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How to Prevent Sleep Paralysis

Updated on May 8, 2014

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Sleep paralysis is a terrifying condition for anybody to experience. It occurs when somebody wakes up during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep and discovers that they're temporarily paralyzed.

Often this temporary state of paralysis is accompanied by intense, horrifying hallucinations of demonic visitors and ghostly specters which can be very disturbing for the sufferer.

Now there are a few causes of sleep paralysis, including sleep deprivation and an interrupted sleep cycle. I'm going to share with you several methods to help prevent sleep paralysis from occurring so that you can enjoy a good nights sleep without experiencing this dreadful phenomenon.

Manage Your Sleep Cycle

It's very easy in the fast paced world of today to lose consistency with regards to your sleep-wake cycle. There are entertainment options - both in the home and outside - which run late into the night and millions of people are employed in a job with an inconsistent shift pattern.

Factors which can prevent you from being able to go to bed at a consistent time; however, a major cause of sleep paralysis is a disrupted sleep cycle. Therefore, it's important that you try to go to bed at a consistent time (where possible) and use an alarm to wake up at a consistent time. It may be difficult at first but the more you use an alarm to wake you up, the more you'll find that you become tired at a consistent time and as such you can develop and manage a consistent sleep cycle.

By doing this you will be decrease the likelihood of experiencing sleep paralysis.

Develop A Good Sleep Environment

I used to struggle to fall asleep in the evening but I managed to change this by adapting my sleeping environment so that I'd have better "sleep hygiene." It's important that your brain associates your bedroom with a place for rest, so that whenever you enter your brain begins to prepare to sleep.

Removing items such as a television, computer or even a radio will help you to develop a better sleeping environment because your brain will only be stimulated by these items in another room - meaning it will no longer associate your bedroom with anything but sleep. It's also important to make sure your bedding is comfortable and that your room is both dark and slightly cool. Decorate the room with colors such as green and blue to create a cool, peaceful environment which will encourage a healthy sleep. These conditions will make it easier for you to fall asleep

By improving your sleeping environment you will fall manage to fall asleep with greater ease, allowing you to avoid sleep deprivation and in turn avoid sleep paralysis.

How To Improve Your Sleep Environment

Make Sure You Get Enough Rest

As I've mentioned, sleep paralysis can be caused by not having enough sleep, so it's important that you try to sleep for around 8 hours every night. Not having enough sleep can make the transition from NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep to REM Sleep much more difficult which is one of the main causes of sleep paralysis.

Follow the two steps above to develop a consistent sleep cycle and a good sleeping environment as this will help you sleep. It's also extremely important that you try to change your lifestyle habits before going to bed. If you exercise, shower or eat too soon before you go to bed your body and brain will still be highly stimulated and you'll find it extremely difficult to go to sleep - so try and complete these tasks up to an hour before you go to bed

Finally, it's also very important not to watch television or use a computer for up to an hour before you go to bed. This is because the screen contains a type of light which blocks your brain from producing melatonin, which is the hormone which controls your sleep-wake cycle.

Ensuring you get enough sleep each night will help stop sleep paralysis from occurring.

Sleep On Your Side

Research into this condition found that 60% of sufferers lie in the supine position (flat on their back,) however this position can make it difficult to breathe when you're asleep which prevents you from smoothly entering REM sleep and can thus cause this strange phenomenon to occur.

In Conclusion

It's important that you try to avoid sleep deprivation because it can cause sleep paralysis, so use the information and advice offered above to help you develop a better sleep cycle and enjoy a disruption free night.

Sleep paralysis is a terrifying condition and affects millions of people worldwide. Aside from the tips mentioned above, there is an excellent method which will help you to recover your mobility when you wake up and discover that you are paralyzed. Basically, you have to focus on one of your digits - fingers or toes - because they're less paralyzed than your limbs, doing this will help to gradually reawaken your brain and help you overcome your paralysis.

It really does work and I've used it many times to overcome the paralysis and alert my brain to the fact that I'm awake.


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    • Besarien profile image


      3 years ago

      I experienced sleep paralysis once in college in conjunction with a waking nightmare. Very happy that it has never happened again. Another informative, useful hub- well done! Voted up!

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      you mean half of the body numbness? I always get arm sleeping, feel numbness on the whole arm.

    • GizSleep profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UK

      I'm glad it's gone as I know how horrible it can be! What was your first experience like?

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I use to have episodes when I felt I can not breathe or someone is pinning me down. Horrifying feeling! Eventually it went away.


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