5 things you should know about sleep paralysis

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Sleep paralysis is a condition in which a person is unable to move or speak for a brief period of time. It can occur when falling asleep or upon waking up. Sleep paralysis may be accompanied by hallucinations and is often a symptom of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea.

1. Sleep paralysis can be a symptom of narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes a person to fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly during the day. People with narcolepsy may also experience sleep paralysis.

2. Sleep paralysis can occur when falling asleep or upon waking up.

Sleep paralysis can occur during the transition from wakefulness to sleep (known as hypnagogic or pre-sleep paralysis) or from sleep to wakefulness (known as hypnopompic or post-sleep paralysis).

3. Sleep paralysis may be accompanied by hallucinations.

Hallucinations during sleep paralysis may be visual, auditory, or tactile. These hallucinations can be frightening, but they are not real.

4. Sleep paralysis is often a symptom of sleep disorders.

In addition to narcolepsy, sleep paralysis is often a symptom of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.

5. There is no cure for sleep paralysis, but it is treatable.

There is no cure for sleep paralysis, but it is treatable. Treatments for sleep paralysis include lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule and sleeping on your back. Medications such as tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may also be prescribed.

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