How to Avoid Sleep Paralysis | Causes and Types of Sleep Paralysis

How to avoid sleep paralysis

While sleeping, if you suddenly think that you are awake and everything in your body seems to be asleep, and you can’t talk or can’t breathe or can’t move your hand or leg, then you are facing sleep paralysis. Now we are going to know about how to avoid sleep paralysis.

Though humans weren’t able to discover the exact reason and prevention method of sleep paralysis, there are some ways we think that it is avoidable.

If you have faced this before, then you should know about how to avoid sleep paralysis.

The Science of Sleep Paralysis

When the brain signals the body to stay in the REM stage (Rapid eye movement), the blood pressure and heart rate increase. For a few seconds or minutes, the limbs become paralyzed against doing any physical actions of dreams, and the swallow or irregular breath occurs.

In sleep disorders, incidents like sleep paralysis are very common to most people. Sleep paralysis is the middle condition of wakefulness and REM stage.

It’s called a brain glitch.

It covers you in dreams from fully awake and makes you stay in REM (Rapid eye movement) paralysis state and like a paradoxical state through the REM and awakening. Your body will not wake up in this situation, but your brain will wake up without intention. You will feel the dream alive and so real.

The time when it happens-

  • The time after few minutes of sleep
  • The time of waking up or end of the sleep

The Types of Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is categorized into two terms. These are-

  1. Isolated sleep paralysis
  2. Recurrent sleep paralysis

Both isolated and recurrent sleep paralysis together makes a condition called RISP (recurrent isolated sleep paralysis). It is not that common, and also it is very troublesome often. People without narcolepsy are involved with recurrent isolated sleep paralysis.

  • For Isolated sleep paralysis, diagnosis of narcolepsy is not connected when the episode is going on. This neurological disorder controls the brain to prevent full wakefulness.

Isolated sleep paralysis is when it happens just for one time with someone in their whole lifetime.

  • On the other hand, Recurrent sleep paralysis is mainly seen in patients who have narcolepsy.

Also, sleep paralysis can occur often. Over time recurrent sleep shows multiple episodes.

Sign and Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis

avoid sleep paralysis
sleep paralysis

Though we don’t consider sleep paralysis as a severe disease or it’s not like an emergency problem, we should take care of it too. When it happens, then you will find mostly these signs and symptoms-

  • While waking up or
  • While falling asleep,
  • Unable to moving a single part of the body
  • Facing difficulties while breathing
  • Unable to speak even a single word
  • Being conscious
  • feeling conscious but not for the body
  • Brain awake, but the body is still asleep
  • sweating and headache
  • Feeling muscle aches
  • having paranoia and muscle pains
  • Feeling chest pressure

Other severe unrealistic symptoms are-

  • Seeing hallucinations
  • Feeling like something or someone is over you
  • And he is giving a high pressure on you or your chest
  • Having consciousness but that causing to see unnatural things
  • Feeling like death is very near to you
  • Non-threatening some sounds giving high pressure
  • Feeling someone is so close to you or in your room
  • Feeling too scared

These can end in a few minutes or seconds and also if someone touches you while you are in the stage of sleep paralysis.

Causes of Sleep Paralysis

Causes of sleep paralysis
Causes of sleep paralysis

Everyone can face sleep paralysis, even a child also. But few can stay at risk when sleep paralysis happens to them. Though people weren’t able to figure out the exact reason behind sleep paralysis, we found some common causes like-

  • The family history of sleep paralysis
  • Narcolepsy- which can make you sudden falling asleep
  • Insomnia – less sleeping can create the brain to act like this
  • Anxiety disorders- the bad mood is one of the main reasons for hallucinations
  • Major depression – it is also one of the best reason for sleep paralysis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar or panic disorder disorder
  • Disconnecting between body and mind or brain
  • Disrupted sleeping schedule
  • And other sleeping disorders can make sleep paralysis

Prevention of Sleep Paralysis

We have an outstanding advantage that though sleep paralysis is painful and very scary, it doesn’t stay too long, just a few seconds or minutes, and it doesn’t create any bad results like any serious health problems or deaths.

Only the problem is the memory of the night can cause your fear of sleep or can create mental pressure. As you know, sleep paralysis doesn’t have any specific medicine which can cure it.

But doctors and other health professionals found some ways and tips to get rid of sleep paralysis. For this, you can just change some of your lifestyle routines and can add extra remedies for it.

The most important ways to avoid sleep paralysis are-

Things you should do

  • Regular exercise
  • Making your mindless stressful
  • Taking enough rest
  • Yoga exercises
  • Maintain an exact time for sleeping
  • Take about 6 to 8 hours of sleep regularly.
  • Set up a time for sleep and wake up, then try to sleep and wake up that exact time every day
  • Follow to sleep on your side.
  • Place the necessary regular medications near you that you can take in any condition.
  • Also, you should know the side effects of these medications that you can avoid easily.
  • Can take some therapy or trauma counseling
  • Do some breathing exercises to calm yourself.
  • If you are facing mental illness like depression or anxiety, seeing the doctor and taking the medication of antidepressant can prevent your more minor sleep paralysis.
  • These antidepressants help reduce depression or anxiety disorders and make fewer dreams at night, reducing minor sleep paralysis.

You shouldn’t do

  • Don’t sleep on your back
  • Don’t exercise before going to sleep
  • Don’t use these medications, which creates terrible side effects on sleep
  • Try to don’t eat a big meal before going to bed
  • Also, don’t drink caffeine or alcohol shortly before going to sleep

How Can We Treatment for Sleep Paralysis

There isn’t any cure or treatment for sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis can be solved in a minute or few seconds, and it won’t create any serious health problems or trauma or any long-lasting physical effects. Indeed it is just quite frightening and worrisome.

Isolated sleep paralysis doesn’t require treatment because it is a one-off occurrence that can show up only once in the whole life. But if you have signs of narcolepsy, then you should see a doctor.

If it creates a harmful effect on your daily work or everyday lifestyle, it’s important to go for any consultant to get a formal diagnosis or get treatment. It is for those who are frequently suffering from sleep paralysis or sleeping disorders.

At first, you should find out the reasons behind or which cause sleep paralysis to you. There are many reasons, but all can’t be for you, so figure out that one can match with you.

Before that, the most common reasons for sleep paralysis are lack of sleep or insomnia, loss of muscle control or daytime sleepiness, narcolepsy, sleeping on the back, any psychiatric mental disorders like depression or anxiety, family history, and disrupted sleep patterns etc.

When you are done with finding the real reason, contact the doctor who will suggest you eliminate these triggers of sleep problems. Then what the doctor can do is-

  • Eliminating recently used some medicine
  • Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Physical Therapy and some exercise
  • The medicine of psychiatric mental disorders like depression or anxiety
  • Antidepressants
  • Medicine for insomnia or lack of sleeping problems
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

How to Avoid Sleep Paralysis

Other kinds of routines which can protect your sleep from sleep paralysis are-

  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Managing stress and further pressure
  • Regular sleeping same schedule
  • Don’t take a nap too late in your day
  • Don’t take naps of over 90 minutes
  • Stay away from your electronic devices from the place of your sleep or bed
  • Should not exercise before 2 hours of sleep time
  • Make a darkroom before going to bed
  • Try to avoid any typos of lights or light sources while sleeping
  • Can use smooth music for relaxation
  • Try some breathing exercises before sleep which can make you relax and calm
  • Make a comfortable bed and a suitable environment for sleep
  • Set a comfortable room temperature


The sleep paralysis patients are mostly getting this problem for not maintaining good sleep hygiene and not getting enough sleep. So, maintenance of the sleep environment and sleeping hours can prevent the inability of body movement in REM sleep.

If you experience sleep paralysis before and don’t want to experience it again, follow how to avoid sleep paralysis. But if it doesn’t work, then contact a doctor for proper medications.