10 Sleep Paralysis Symptoms

By april
Reviewed: dr. vanta
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Sleep paralysis is characterized by the temporary loss of muscle control known as atonia. This usually happens just after falling asleep or just upon waking. Because individuals remain aware when this happens, it can bring on some distressing symptoms. Although anyone can experience sleep paralysis, it usually shows up somewhere between childhood and young adulthood.

Sleep paralysis is thought to be connected to the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of the sleep cycle. This type of abnormal behavior during sleep is called parasomnia. It's a benign disorder, although it can induce anxiety and fear. Here are 10 symptoms to help identify sleep paralysis.

Inability To Move

The hallmark symptom of sleep paralysis is the inability to move. This happens just after waking up or just before falling asleep. Individuals feel awake and are aware of the loss of muscle control. This temporary loss of movement can last from a few minutes to around 20 minutes but is thought to be harmless with no lasting effects.

It usually doesn't happen frequently enough to cause health problems, although a small percentage of individuals may experience frequent episodes. Unfortunately, scientific evidence is inconclusive regarding ideal treatments for sleep paralysis.

Sleep Paralysis

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