To know what the sleep paralysis causes are, it is first important to know what it really is and when it happens. Sleep paralysis usually occurs when a person is in the process of either falling asleep or waking up. It can really be a frightening experience that many people don’t fully understand.
Sleep paralysis is not physically being able to move somewhere in the state of waking up or falling asleep. During a typical episode of sleep paralysis a person is usually awake and aware to some degree but cannot speak or move at all. To help prevent injury while sleeping, your body is put in a paralyzed state while you sleep. A disruption in the changing of your sleep cycles causes you to become aware before being totally awake.
Did You Know Lucid Dreaming Can Help Stop Sleep Paralysis:
Top 3 Sleep Paralysis Causes
3. Sleep Disorder / Medications
There are some sleep disorders that are linked to sleep paralysis, such as narcolepsy — sleep paralysis can occur as a side effect of narcolepsy.
However, if you do experience sleep paralysis it doesn’t mean you have or are going to have narcolepsy.
Sleep disorders or even a mental condition can definitely mess with your sleep.
There are also many prescription medications that can make it hard to sleep or get into a normal sleep schedule. Medications can affect each person in a slightly different way.
This is kind of a two in one because you may need to take a medication to control your sleeping disorder or other issue. If you don’t take it you can have issues with sleep, however, the medication itself may make it hard to sleep.
If needed, consult your doctor for advice with your medications.
2. Stress / Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are very common daily occurrences for most. We know now that both can have many negative effects on the body.
How many times have you laid awake thinking about a rough day or presentation you have to give the next day?
Life happens and your not always gonna be able to control your stress perfectly. Things like daily exercise, positive thinking, and deep breathing techniques can help reduce stress.
Try writing a little list of your main worries. Sometimes you just need to get them out of your head and onto paper. Writing them down and looking at them can help you realize that you can’t control everything.
The bottom line here is that stress and anxiety can make it hard to sleep and stay asleep. This in turn can make you more likely to experience sleep paralysis.
1. Sleep Deprivation / Interrupted Normal Sleep Schedule
All other causes directly tie into this one. It is believed that sleep paralysis is primarily caused by you not having smooth transitions through your sleep cycles.
Not getting enough sleep makes it harder for body to get through the sleep cycles smoothly like it needs to.
Consistent lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can have many other negative side effects as well.
It is important to maintain a good sleep schedule. Your body needs time to recharge and rejuvenate itself.
There many things that can cause sleep disturbances or interruptions, and many can be hard to avoid.
Other Possible Sleep Paralysis Causes
- Substance Abuse: Hopefully it is obvious that drugs and alcohol can negatively affect your sleep. If you need help in this area you can call the National Drug Helpline 1-888-633-3239, or visit www.drughelpline.org
- Fear: Though closely tied with stress and anxiety, fear can be a beast of its own. A scary event in the day or a even movie before bed can make it hard to sleep. Sleep paralysis itself can be a very scary experience.
- Sleeping on your back: This is considered to be the position of sleep in which sleep paralysis occurs most frequently. If you sleep on your back primarily, maybe try a new sleeping position.
What can you do about sleep paralysis?
If you or someone you know is dealing with this, start here by identifying the cause. It may be something as simple as late night netflix binges or gaming sessions.
If this has just started happening, think about what changes have recently been made around that persons’ sleep schedule.
For most people, sleep paralysis is not a big deal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed.
Learning to lucid dream can help stop sleep paralysis!