Can Sleep Paralysis Lead to Sudden Death?

Can Sleep Paralysis Lead to Sudden Death?

Can Sleep Paralysis Cause Death

Sleep Paralysis is a biological phenomenon which is often mistaken as a paranormal activity by the patient. The patients are reported to say that they feel a slight pressure on their chest as if someone is sitting on their chest of is pressing them from the top. During this phenomenon, they can sense and feel everything however they are not able to make any body movements of saying anything. This event can last from few minutes to about three hours.

Doctors explain this phenomenon as a phenomenon that naturally occurs while going to sleep and coming back from sleep. It’s related to REM atonia where body paralysis is a natural phenomenon while going to sleep and while waking up. It is generally due to the person’s mind become aware however the body is still in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) condition and is not complete awake or rested and feels as if paralyzed. When this phenomenon occurs while going into sleep, it is called hypnagogic, and when it happens while getting out of the rest, it’s called hypnopompic in medical terms.

A person can experience it only once in his lifetime, or it may occasionally occur to him. It is said to happen to individuals who are sleep deprived or are stressed.

Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis

There are various experiences and phenomenon reported by patients who have experienced sleep paralysis, some of them are listed below: –

Feels Awake

The people experiencing this phenomenon says that they are often in full senses and clearly perceive what’s happening in their surroundings although in medical terms doctors say this is only their perception. They are still in sleep and dreaming condition which could lead them to hallucinate different experiences.

The people may counteract above statement saying that they could see the room furniture and clock or a partner sleeping beside them. They sense to have a realistic perception of things and surroundings with their eyes wide open.

Sense of Paralysis

People have reported that they could sense that somebody is stopping them from making any movements. They say that although their mind is awake, they feel unable to make any body movement for a particular duration. Patients complain that they feel as if some external force is controlling them.

The Presence of Some Ghosts

People are reported to say that they could experience the presence of some external force or a spirit. As if somebody is sitting on their chest or pressing them from the top. Some have also reported hallucinating weird creatures or figures.

Difficult Breathing Condition

They have also reported that they feel difficulty in breathing as if someone is trying to choke them by putting pressure on their chest.

This happens when a person is sleeping on their back which is a  position for a person to sleep. People have reported out of this world experiences related to ghosts and aliens.

Causes of Sleep Paralysis

The sleep paralysis is said to be a condition when your body have a problem with regulating the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Our body is generally in two states, either it is awake, or it is resting i.e. sleeping. There is also a third state that takes place while our body is transitioning from one state to another. That is while we are awake and trying to sleep or we are asleep and are in a condition to get awake. When our body is transitioning from either state to another, it goes through a phenomenon called Rapid Eye Movement where our brain relaxes our muscles to avoid any physical action due to dreams. Sometimes this aspect fails to execute properly, and we have a sense of our body being paralyzed while we are wide awake. We are not awake; we are still in dreaming condition. This dreaming state gives us different kind of hallucinations which is explained by various phenomenon by different people like ghosts, creatures, aliens, etc.

Individuals who have an irregular sleeping pattern or are stressed are said to experience this phenomenon quite frequently where due to stretched conditions our brain is unable to execute the transition event correctly.

Your genes could also be a culprit to induce this phenomenon into you. More than fifty percent of cases reported till date have genes too. Often people suffering from anxiety, stress, trauma or depression are also found to have experienced sleep paralysis. It’s about the mental health, and there is no better treat than a sound sleep. If you disturb this biological clock due to different work hours or overload your brain with working out to exhaust it or worry too much, it can all add up to this condition.

How to Lower the Risk of Sleep Paralysis?

A sound mental health can help you avoid this condition. If you are suffering from anxiety and stress, taking proper medication can help you keep your brain healthy. There is no better treatment as a good sound sleep. Keep your sleep routine healthy and disciplined. Avoid taking alcohol or caffeine at nights before going to sleep. Do everything that aids you to have a sound sleep. Yoga is said to help in this condition as it regulates the flow of oxygen to your brain and helps you get out of any mind state. It also aids in making you regulate your sleep. Avoid having high energy food in the night like sugary foods which would result in keeping you awake for longer periods.

Stretching poses in yoga also helps to relax your muscles, and one can practice it before going to bed. You can have a soothing music playing which would relax your brain and aid in sound and early transition to sleep. You can have a glass of warm milk before going to bed as it aids in having a sound, sweet sleep. You can practice taking a cold shower in summers and warm shower in winter. This also helps in regulating your body temperature before you go to bed or else otherwise our body keeps fidgeting to bring back the normal temperature in extreme conditions thus keep us awake for long.


Yoga is a form of exercise that includes body poses, controlled breathing conditions, and meditation to give complete relaxation of mind and body. Unlike other types of exercise where you reach a high level of energy by exhausting your body through trivial conditions, yoga rather relaxes you. Studies have shown an overall better health status for people who practice yoga.

When you do yoga in the presence of a trained instructor you can experience a better mental health. Yoga composes of poses, breath control, and meditation. Poses are different body forms that stretch and works out your muscles to make them more flexible and tolerant to any stress. If you have undergone a heavy-duty physical activity or a daylong meeting sitting on a chair in the boardroom, these poses will relax your strained muscles.

Breath control in conjunction with different poses supplies adequate oxygen at various body parts including your brain and thus relaxes them. Yoga helps your brain to be quite and relaxed without any stress that you have incorporated all day long.

Meditation has a healing effect and helps increase your focus and brain power.

Yoga is not just useful in improving certain mental conditions like stress and anxiety, but it is helpful in overall wellbeing. It also increases your tolerances against day to day stress. It is the perfect cure for a person who has sleep paralysis.

Threats Associated

Although sleep paralysis is a simple activity, it could be a symptom of some other neurological conditions which need to be cured. It could be a start of a disease called narcolepsy where a patient falls asleep abruptly during the day or is dreaming with his eyes wide awake. Generally, before going to sleep our body take about ninety minutes to transition. However, in narcolepsy, this transition happens instantly causing a person to sleep abruptly. This is due to deficiency of certain chemicals in a person’s body.

Treatment for Sleep Paralysis

When you go through this phenomenon, it may seem life threatening. However, its standard in case it’s not impacting you quite frequently. Our body follows four to five rounds of transition movements from non-REM to REM state while we are asleep. During the sleep, our brain is generating neurotransmitters to move from keeping our body paralyzed so that our body not to enact our dreams. That is while our mind is busy dreaming, our body should not make any movements. Sleep Paralysis is a disconnect between our brain and our body while REM is taking place.

People who have faced any trauma or panic attacks are said to be suffering from this sleep disorder. Sometimes when our body is not resting properly, it tends to experience this phenomenon. People with depression also accompany certain kind of hallucination during this phase.

If this is occurring quite often, then a treatment called Focused inward-attention meditation combined with muscle relaxation intervention can be applied to treat this sleep disorder.

Knowing what the cause and phenomenon of this activity are helping to cure this condition. You know what your body is going through while you are experiencing this process. Just keep telling your brain that this is the actual situation which helps the brain to relax and come out of condition sooner. This also helps cure the disorder permanently. One should keep their eyes closed and keep their mind relaxed during the entire process. Average or extended breathing might also help you get out of the situation fast.

Many a time treating the other neurological conditions like depression or anxiety helps improve mental condition which is causing this phenomenon.

Often disturbed lifestyle or lack of sleep could be the reason of this condition. Lack of sleep could ill affect not only your brain health but your overall health like make you more prone to heart attacks, cause you to gain weight, induce blood pressure related problems, may impact your memorizing power, can cause mood swings. If you lead a busy, stressful life, you should try meditation. It helps relaxes your brain and quite it from worldly affairs in order you to have a sound and healthy sleep.

Getting a good night sleep is a precondition to have a healthy brain and avoid welcoming any other kind of mental disorders. Try to have a good eight hours sleep daily without getting disturbed in between. Make it a routine and don’t try to break this cycle. Breaking a sleep cycle interrupts the whole biology of your body and brain, and you might find it difficult to repeat this cycle the other days once broken. Try to create a relaxing and quite environment before you go to sleep. Don’t leave you phone beeping, keep it switched off. Make it dark enough for light not to penetrate your eyes to disturb you. Invest in a comfortable and ergonomic bed to let your body be relaxed while it’s resting rather than waking up cramped with body aches. Keep the room temperature optimal to have a sound sleep. Extreme temperatures often are known to disturb you in between as your body starts alarming you.

Check your family history, in case you are caring in your genes. Sleep disorders are often carried forward from one generation to another. In this case, you need to evaluate how much and what was causing it. This will help forecast your mental health and condition, and a doctor can give you precautionary medications to avoid such conditions.

While treating such patients, doctors watch and study their sleep and wake up routine. This might be due to particular chemical deficiency while are required and responsible for transitioning your body from one condition to another.

There is no need to fear of any demons, and you will certainly not die due to this sleep disorder. It’s a temporary phenomenon which has a cure. Certain times it could be an early indicator of some other disease so never be left unattended.