Sleep paralysis consists of a period of inability to perform voluntary movements either at sleep onset or upon awakening.
What are the symptoms?
- A complaint of inability to move the trunk or limbs at sleep onset or upon awakening
- Presence of brief episodes of partial or complete skeletal muscle paralysis
- Episodes can be associated with hypnagogic hallucinations or dream-like mentation (act or use of the brain)
You may be able to minimize the episodes by following good sleep hygiene:
- getting enough sleep
- reduce stress
- exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime)
- keep a regular sleep schedule
One lifestyle change is to shut off television and relax before bed to reduce brain stimulation before sleeping. Reducing or eliminating drug and caffeine use can reduce the incidence of hypnogogia.
An increase in the quality of nutrition, exercise and reduction of stimulants may offer a natural way to treat the problem.