What Is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is not being able to move or speak when you are waking up or falling asleep for a temporary time period. Even if it is only for a short minute it can be a scary thing if you aren’t aware of what is happening. Here are some common myths about sleep paralysis and the truth behind them.

Myth: You Cannot Open Your Eyes

Although in many stories people claim they cannot move their eyes this is not true. During an episode, you will be able to open your eyes. You can also move your eyes around during an episode as well. It may seem harder due to the fact that you are anxious about what is happening.

Myth: You Stop Breathing

False. When you are experiencing sleep paralysis you will feel shortness of breath. Some victims explain this has a heavyweight on their chest. It will be difficult, but you will be able to breathe. You just will not be able to take deep breaths as easily as you normally do.

Myth: It Is Because You Sleep on Your Back

Sleep paralysis is not affected by how you sleep. Some may believe that sleeping on your back is what causes an episode, but you are just as likely to have an episode laying on your stomach or on your side.

What to Do When You Are Having Sleep Paralysis?

Stay calm. The most important thing is to not panic while having an episode. Once the episode is over, consider seeking professional help. If this only happens every once in a while, do not worry. It is normal for most people to experience this due to lack of sleep or anxiety. You can lessen the episode or the chance of having an episode by getting more sleep and reducing stress. Before you go to sleep try to destress as much as possible. If this happens often or multiple times in a row, then seek help.

See a Sleep Specialist Today in Jacksonville

Sleep paralysis can cause anxiety and fear if you are unaware of the symptoms. It may only happen once in your life, or it may happen multiple times. If your symptoms are concerning, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. A sleep specialist can help address frequent sleep paralysis episodes. For help with sleep paralysis or other sleep disorders, request an appoitment or give Jacksonville Sleep Center a call at (904) 854-6899.