Do you or someone you know deal with and have the desire to stop sleep paralysis?
When experiencing sleep paralysis, the emotions can range from confusion, to anger, to fear. You feel like your awake but can’t move or like someone is literally holding you down. You may even be able to see, but not speak.
In some cases you may feel partially aware, and in others have literally no idea what is going on. Some wonder if death itself is knocking on the door. The severity can vary from person to person, but I would say my case got pretty bad.
I struggled with sleep paralysis frequently when I was in my late teens, clear up into my mid twenties. There were many nights where I was exhausted and had work or school the next day, but couldn’t sleep. It can get worse if you allow it to and don’t put the effort in to understand it.
Over the years I talked to different people and have done a ton of research on the subject. I now almost never encounter it, and it feels good. I know for a fact that these 7 ideas will help teach you how to stop sleep paralysis.
You don’t have to apply every one of these ideas. In fact one or two of these steps may do the trick. However, If you want to know how stop sleep paralysis for good, I would try to implement all of these.
How to Stop Sleep Paralysis
1. Learn Everything you can About Stopping Sleep Paralysis
You are here and you are learning, so you are on the right track. One of the main reasons I believe sleep paralysis can get worse is that people have no idea what it is.
What is Sleep Paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is a state or feeling of being conscious while not being able to move. It happens when you are transitioning from a sleeping state into being fully awake. There are chemicals in your brain that paralyze the body while you sleep to prevent injury. It is like you are caught right in the middle of your mind keeping you protected and being fully awake.
If you have never experienced it before, it may not seem like that big of a deal. For most it lasts a few seconds to a few minutes. There are, however, reports of it lasting for up to an hour.
Some have no idea what causes it and they let their imaginations run wild on what it might be. Some people link it to deeper and dark things, such as evil spirits or demons.
If you haven’t learned already, there are many people who struggle with sleep paralysis. Like myself, I know you will find many answers that will help you feel better about this issue. Needless to say, fear of the unknown, in addition to the stress and anxiety this causes, doesn’t help. Even if it is actually linked to demons, I was still never physically harmed in any way.
Trust me, I wouldn’t worry about the crazy demon theories. I applied all the ideas collected in this article and worried less. These help me to stop experiencing sleep paralysis all together. They also helped me just get better sleep in general, which brings me to the next point.
2. Try to Relieve Stress & Anxiety, Especially Right Before Bed
This may be the most important point of this article. We all deal with stress and anxiety on some level, and oh how much fun it is. Anxiety and stress in general can and will most likely make any health problem worse. I believe that 100%. In fact, many experts link stress/anxiety as a major cause of sleep paralysis.
Like I mentioned before, sleep paralysis is commonly linked to demons or evil spirits. At times, it got so bad for me I would have definitely said I felt haunted. I eventually got to the point where even a little fear became a big factor in making it worse. However, when I look back at it now it doesn’t even phase me. I’m certain it was caused by my bad sleeping habits in addition to the stress and anxiety of work and school.
It is most often easier said than done, but here are some basic tips for reducing stress:
- Realize that some things are out of your control
- Stay positive
- Eat healthier, more balanced meals
- Exercise regularly
- Don’t turn to drugs or alcohol for stress reduction
- Get more organized, plan things ahead, manage your time
- Spend time with people that make you happy
- Help others, but don’t let them overload you
- Research meditation and relaxation techniques
- Find a relaxing hobby, make time for it
3. Focus on Getting Consistent & Better Quality Sleep
Some things I found that help me sleep better at night include:
- Avoiding naps during the day
- Not sleeping in too long in the morning
- Doing my best to get on a consistent sleep schedule
These can at times seem hard or even impossible, but just set realistic goals and do your best. Everyone is different, but the recommended sleep for teenagers and up can range anywhere from 7-10 hours. There are many different sleeping pills and remedies you can take to help in this cause.
If it isn’t obvious, alcohol and drug abuse won’t help your cause for trying to get on a consistent sleep schedule. I personally try to avoid everything except for Melatonin, a natural sleep aid. There are also many devices such as a Fitbit, that can pretty accurately keep track of your sleep.
As with any goal I would recommend asking for some help with this. Share your sleeping goals with a friend or family member, and ask them to help remind and help you. You are always more likely to succeed in achieving a goal when someone else is involved and helping to keep you accountable. This leads right into the next idea.
4. Talk to Someone About Your Problems
There is no reason to be alone with your problems. I have experienced this problem and I know that there are many that may not understand it. Even if it is all in your head, which I believe it to be for the most part, it is still a real problem. It would barely affect me one week and the next I was completely miserable.
I remember talking to a co-worker about it and finding out he suffered from it just as bad as I did. Believe me, I never in a million years would have thought that individual was going through the same thing. There is a possibility that up to 50% of people have dealt with some form of sleep paralysis. I believe that most people just don’t recognize what it is.
Whether your issue with sleep paralysis is big or small, it still feels good to know your not alone. You can find many accounts and stories online, but you never know how authentic they truly are.
It never hurts to consult a doctor as well, when things get bad. Having sound medical advice from a professional may assist in reducing stress and/or anxiety. I am not a medical professional, but if you want to talk to me or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
5. Try Different Sleeping Positions
In total honesty, this was probably the biggest difference maker in my experience. I was almost entirely a back sleeper and occasionally would sleep on my side. I started to realize that almost 90% of the time I encountered sleep paralysis, I was sleeping on my back. Throughout the years of dealing with sleep paralysis I transitioned into primarily a chest (face down) or side sleeper.
I encounter sleep paralysis only once in a while now. This is just something I personally noticed and felt made a huge impact. I later learned that many people contribute sleeping on your back as a huge factor in sleep paralysis. So if you’re a back sleeper, it could definitely be worth the effort to change it up.
6. Avoid Caffeine in the Evenings
Caffeine is a stimulant and that is the exact opposite of what you want before bed. It can increase your heart rate, anxiety, and even produce muscle twitching.
In smaller doses it is not a huge deal, but you should try and avoid it altogether close to bedtime. Even if it doesn’t make it hard to fall asleep at times, it will most likely make it hard to stay asleep.
Avoiding large amounts of sugar, can help you achieve better sleep as well. Excess sugar can spike your blood sugar levels and make it hard to have smooth sleep cycles.
7. Sleep with the TV or Radio on Low
Something that has always helped me sleep better is leaving YouTube or some other white noise playing on low. I like to leave it at a volume where I have to remain calm and still to make out what is being said. Also I like to pick positive or comedic content.
Having something to focus on besides your own thoughts may help. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend hard rock or anything in the horror genre as you try to sleep, but to each their own. This may be difficult if you are sharing a room with someone, in which case you may have to find a comfortable pair of headphones. Some people use a fan to achieve the same effect of drowning out noise.
Please know that sleep paralysis is not typically considered dangerous. While it can feel super serious and seem like a big problem, it is not a major indicator of a more serious problem.
If you do still feel as though it is tied to a more serious problem, you should always consult a doctor. Doing this may also help put your mind at ease or get another idea that may help.
You don’t have to let sleep paralysis affect or control your life. I hope and believe that these ideas can help figure out how to stop sleep paralysis. You have to act or you will be acted upon. You can overcome it.