SLEEP PARALYSIS 
Author Message
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

What is it? Can it be caused by stress and/or depression? Therapies?

Thanks,

Joe Ong



Wed, 22 May 1996 02:30:13 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

Quote:

>What is it? Can it be caused by stress and/or depression? Therapies?

It is associated with narcolepsy, but also occurs in normals.  As
far as I know it is not caused by stress or depression, is harmless,
and no therapy is needed if the patient is not narcoleptic.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gordon Banks  N3JXP      |"I can eat more fat meat than you can cook in a week

------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Sun, 26 May 1996 02:45:30 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

I heard that sleep paralysis is normal, especially when you are in
REM sleep, i.e. dreaming.

The reason your body is paralyzed whenever you dream is to protect
you from hurting yourself, should you try to move because of
something that happens during the dream.

As soon as you stop dreaming, you instantly regain control of your
body, and you can resume tossing in your sleep, for example.

--
George B. Clark



Mon, 27 May 1996 07:24:05 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

Quote:
>What is it? Can it be caused by stress and/or depression? Therapies?

I have had this condition and I find that it correlates to increased stress
levels.  For example, during Finals or very important tests I would begin
these attacks a night or so before the test.  I would have to go through them
in order to fall asleep.  I am completely conscious and aware of my
surroundings as I go thorugh these but I am u/a move until it has completed it
course approx 20-45 seconds max.
T.
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Tue, 28 May 1996 21:26:01 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS
: >What is it? Can it be caused by stress and/or depression? Therapies?

: I have had this condition and I find that it correlates to increased stress
: levels.  For example, during Finals or very important tests I would begin
: these attacks a night or so before the test.  I would have to go through them
: in order to fall asleep.  I am completely conscious and aware of my
: surroundings as I go thorugh these but I am u/a move until it has completed it
: course approx 20-45 seconds max.
: T.

My wife had the same 'problem'. It seems to have gone away after
stresses in her life were reduced. She complained that it felt like
someone was sitting on her chest, she had difficulty breathing, and she
couldn't move for up to several minutes. Must be a scary feeling.

Mark Goldsworthy



Sat, 01 Jun 1996 04:09:26 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

Quote:
>>What is it? Can it be caused by stress and/or depression? Therapies?
>I have had this condition and I find that it correlates to increased stress
>levels.  For example, during Finals or very important tests I would begin
>these attacks a night or so before the test.  I would have to go through them
>in order to fall asleep.  I am completely conscious and aware of my
>surroundings as I go thorugh these but I am u/a move until it has completed it
>course approx 20-45 seconds max.

        I used to get this alot.  Mine would be associated with
a ringing in the ears, and a feeling of sinking, falling, or mindless
terror.  As I got older it no longer was scary, and I began to
induce it purposefully.  It is a very odd feeling, sometimes associated
with hallucinations (auditory), and the impression that I am aware of
my diminishing awarness as I cross the sleep barrier.  

        Sometimes I had an impression of crossing a "membrane" of
a sort seperating sleep and consciousnes.  I could rarely remember
details when leaving the state, but I can remember the past
epesodes vividly while in one.  I can even leave "memory post-its"
to myself, which I will not recall until the next incident.  Very
odd.  Nothing else is like it.

        Stress could trigger it, as could asprin, which caused a
ear-ringing that somehow can induce it.  Being overtired is
a recipe for this, as is coffee consumption (which may lead
to being overtired).  

        I've gotten notes from people from time to time saying they
get sleep paralysis, and it is very similar to what I've described.
I suspect the "astral travel" nonsense reported by some crazies
is related to sleep paralysis and hypnogogic phenomona.  

Jim "that happens to you too!?"  Del Vecchio



Sat, 01 Jun 1996 08:45:04 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

Quote:


> : >What is it? Can it be caused by stress and/or depression? Therapies?

> : I have had this condition and I find that it correlates to increased stress
> : levels.  For example, during Finals or very important tests I would begin
> : these attacks a night or so before the test.  I would have to go through th
> : in order to fall asleep.  I am completely conscious and aware of my
> : surroundings as I go thorugh these but I am u/a move until it has completed
> : course approx 20-45 seconds max.

I have been dealing with this problem for many years!  A psychologist
once told me that it was probably due to stress.  My experiences are
quite terrifying!  Usually, I notice paralysis of my limbs then sometimes
I hear a repeating song in my head that I can't get rid of.  Usually I
just try to relax and wait for it to be over, but on occassion I have had
what seem like nightmares...but I am "awake" and my eyes are open!  I am
unable to scream or talk, although I try!!  The duration of these
episodes seem to be a couple minutes, but I'm not quite sure.  I have
never located any clear-cut references to my problem in books and the
like...if anyone knows where I could find more information about this,
please post it here!


Sat, 01 Jun 1996 09:22:23 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS
One experiment worth trying is diet.  Try eating a few ounces of meat before
going to bed, and see if that affects it much.  On another night, try
eating no meat or high-protein foods for several hours before sleeping.
My theory is that the amino acids from digesting meat stimulate brain
activity, and can cause (or eliminate) various sleep disorders.  I first
noticed this in myself, and I'd like to collect the experiences of other
people.  For me, meat can cause a sort of insomnia where my brain just
refuses to quiet down.  It just recounts all my worries about health, the
car, money, etc.  That's a very unpleasant sort of insomnia.


Sat, 01 Jun 1996 16:58:29 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

Quote:

>>>What is it? Can it be caused by stress and/or depression? Therapies?

>>I have had this condition and I find that it correlates to increased stress
>>levels.  For example, during Finals or very important tests I would begin
>>these attacks a night or so before the test.  I would have to go through them
>>in order to fall asleep.  I am completely conscious and aware of my
>>surroundings as I go thorugh these but I am u/a move until it has completed it
>>course approx 20-45 seconds max.

I just handed in a paper on a related topic - REM sleep atonia in cats after
brainstem lesions.  During my research for it I had a look at some of the
research on sleep paralysis too because it used to happen to me quite a
lot when I was a kid.  I thought I was dead because I could see my room but
couldn't move at all.  I could feel myself getting e{*filter*}d and scared but I
noticed that there was no corresponding increase in my breathing rate, which
lead to a feeling of soffocation.  I didn't experience any hypnagogic
hallucinations but the world did _sound_ strange to me.  I still get it if
I'm over tired or sleep in occasionally.

The various research I came accross concluded that sleep paralysis occurs in
about 20% of the 'normal' population (i.e. without sleep disorders like
narcolepsy), and can be induced during stressful times.  One paper found
that there was a high incidence of SP in night nurses (on duty!) and med.
students.  Some Japanese researchers attempted to induce SP in normals by
waking them up suddenly soon after they entered REM sleep I believe.  They
found that it could be elicited again in the region of 20% of the time I
think.  I'm not sure of the numbers and can't remember the references off
hand, but I have the papers at home and would gladly look them up if asked.

--

Brian Scott                   |  body & mind; and their preservation is the
Department of Psychology      |  ultimate rationale for our existence."
University of Toronto, Canada |         - Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)



Sun, 02 Jun 1996 02:01:54 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

: I just handed in a paper on a related topic - REM sleep atonia in cats after
: brainstem lesions.  

+--------------------------------------SubG---------------------------------+
Um...do you mean `REM sleep without atonia'?

I seem to recall that most of the research involving atonia and lesions
on cat's brains (i.e., Moruzzi [or however the hell you spell his name])
was significant in that PS withOUT atonia was observed---healthy
cats (and indeed most mammals) experience PS with atonia on a regular
basis.

That is, please elaborate.
+--------------------------------------SubG---------------------------------+

: During my research for it I had a look at some of the
: research on sleep paralysis too because it used to happen to me quite a
: lot when I was a kid.  I thought I was dead because I could see my room but
: couldn't move at all.  I could feel myself getting e{*filter*}d and scared but I
: noticed that there was no corresponding increase in my breathing rate, which
: lead to a feeling of soffocation.  I didn't experience any hypnagogic
: hallucinations but the world did _sound_ strange to me.  I still get it if
: I'm over tired or sleep in occasionally.

: The various research I came accross concluded that sleep paralysis occurs in
: about 20% of the 'normal' population (i.e. without sleep disorders like
: narcolepsy), and can be induced during stressful times.  One paper found
: that there was a high incidence of SP in night nurses (on duty!) and med.
: students.  

+----------------------------------------SubG-------------------------------+
Would you be referring to the study done at Duke Medical school (sometime
in the early 70's, I believe)?  I believe something like 1 or 2% of the
test subjects (the staff of ~400 people) reported experiencing sleep
paralysis 5 to 15 times a year.

As I recall, the same report suggested that 40 to 50% of the population
experiences it at least once in their lifetimes, generally postdormitally,
and with a slightly higher incidence in women than men.

I don't remember how frequently dyspnoea is reported with sleep paralysis,
although it seems that most people that bring the subject up (as opposed
to making, `Hey, that happened to me once,' comments when someone else
mentions it) have experienced some form of respiratory distress.

Yours etc.,

SubGenius



Fri, 07 Jun 1996 07:18:51 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS
 I didn't experience any hypnagogic

Quote:
> : hallucinations

Could you explain what hypnagogia is please?

chris
______________________________________________________________________________
"The thing about travelling in hyperspace" said Ford,"is that it is unplesantly
like being drunk".
"What's so unplesant about being drunk?", asked Arthur.
"Ask a glass of water ..."
______________________________________________________________________________



Tue, 11 Jun 1996 04:56:50 GMT
 SLEEP PARALYSIS

es:

:  I didn't experience any hypnagogic
: > : hallucinations

: Could you explain what hypnagogia is please?

: chris
: ____________________________________________________________________________
_
: "The thing about travelling in hyperspace" said Ford,"is that it is unplesan
ly
: like being drunk".
: "What's so unplesant about being drunk?", asked Arthur.
: "Ask a glass of water ..."
: ____________________________________________________________________________
_
Hypnagogia means "leading to sleep" according to my dictionary.  I
became aware of it a few years back when I had several Hypnagogic
experiences.

In a Hypnagogic state, many portions of your 'mind' might be awake,
while others are in a sleep state.  (This is by *no* means a technical
or medically correct explanation mind you...)  Many people experience
a form of paralysis, arms, legs, entire body, an inability to speak,
or sensory distortions.

In my most 'memorable' experience I was unable to hear for a good 10
minutes, and my vision was very low-res and 'grainy'.  After seeing my
doctor, fearing that I had some type of wet-ware failure, and several
tests, the specialist chalked it up to a 'Hypnagogic Experience'.  All
are different, but many are attributed to something waking you, just
as you've entered the early stages of sleep and or dreaming.

-------------



Tue, 11 Jun 1996 13:15:53 GMT
 
 [ 12 post ] 

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