Sleep paralysis

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Sleep paralysis

Post  WitsEnd on Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:58 pm

Does anyone suffer from this? As if migraines and vertigo weren't enough, my brain has found a new trick Mad

It's starting to scare me a bit. As I've mentioned before I had a baby last year and my life has changed a lot since. I now find myself napping with the baby during the day and it only ever happens at these times. Never during the night.

I semi wake up (in the sense that I know this is one of these episodes) but slip back into a sort of dream where I can't move or talk. Quite often my "dream" will turn into me trying to phone for help but I can't hardly move to pick up the phone.  On the rare occasion I have managed to get to my phone, I can't talk. It's like there's a massive weight on me. And every single time this has happened I slither on to the floor in my "dream".

I feel like a crazy person writing this.

I need to start tracking it along with my migraines to see if there's a pattern.

Do I need to see a doctor about it, do you think?

Any advice or feedback of experience would be great Smile
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WitsEnd

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Re: Sleep paralysis

Post  Seaine on Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:31 am

I used to experience sleep paralysis quite often.  In my personal opinion you don't need to see a doctor for it.  I remember getting it all the time when I was a kid, for years and years before I knew what it was.  I would be sleeping, then become aware of my body.  I would be unable to move except maybe to open my eyes a tiny bit or twitch my fingers or toes.  It would always be accompanied by a nightmare and feelings of terror.  I usually felt like a demon was attacking me or dragging me through the floor to hell, or something similar.  Many people think they are being abducted by aliens who are causing their paralysis, or feel that something evil is sitting on their chest preventing them from moving.  When I would finally wrench myself awake, I would have to get up and walk around for a bit.  If I tried to go back to sleep right away, I would slip back into the same nightmare and paralysis.  All of these are normal symptoms of sleep paralysis.

Over the years, my feelings of terror during these episodes decreased.  As my fear of it decreased, the sleep paralysis came less often.  I'm not sure if those two things are related or not.  Now it happens very rarely - a few times per year at most.  When it does happen, I feel unease but no real fear, and instead of wrenching myself awake, I usually just slip back into normal sleep.  Perhaps because of my reduced fear, my nightmare is much more mild, or even nonexistent.

Here are the factors that seem to vastly increase your chances of experiencing it:
- Taking naps, as you have found to be true.
- Sleeping on your back.
- Sleeping sitting up, such as in a chair.
- Having a sleep schedule that is constantly changing.
- Being of african descent (which I am not).

I never sought any treatment, and indeed I'm not sure if there is any.  So far as I know this condition is not dangerous to your health.  I have also not found this to be associated with my migraines in the least bit.  I remember having this years and years before I ever got a migraine, and the condition went away almost entirely before I ever found any migraine triggers that helped my migraines get better.  In total I had this on a regular basis for probably about a decade.
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Seaine

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Re: Sleep paralysis

Post  Mini on Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:44 am

Common sense tells me, that I think any new change in our health is best checked with the good doctor.
Having said that, it is entirely probable, that what you call sleep paralysis is simple utter exhaustion connected with sheer physical hard work and lack of sleep connected with the new baby, as well as dealing with unpredictable M patterns and what it does to our health, in every respect.

MY children are both grown up now, but when I have been babysitting my grandchildren I have been reminded how exhausting it is look after babies, simply because of the constantly disturbed sleep patterns.

As a G-mother I'd only have them for weekend, and they will go home, but when my babies were small, I remember being permanently sleep deprived, especially with my boy, who was a poor sleeper.

It was a nightmare of constant tiredness, I felt at crying at times together with my baby. Later there was added hard work of keeping and eye on them, all the time, chasing after them so they do not hurt themselves as well as running a house.
I adored my babies, and it was all worth it. But this is how it was.

I also find that with M my sleep is often disturbed anyway, sometimes I just cannot wake up in the morning. Sometimes, I have dreams that I am awake and getting dressed, when I am in fact still fast asleep, waking up confused and late. Sometimes I cannot sleep at all, waking up several times during the night with strange dreams.

IF you are seriously troubled perhaps you need to be examined in sleep clinic. Sorry., I am in UK and we can be referred to a sleep clinics by our GP, for any sleep disorders, I am not sure what is available where you are. But it is better to be safe ad have a chat with someone about it.

Another thing has occurred to me, have you looked at any new medicines and the s/effects and what effects it might have on your existing medication.
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Re: Sleep paralysis

Post  WitsEnd on Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:50 pm

Thank you both for your replies. I really appreciate it as I feel a bit isolated here because I don't think anyone would understand. I have only told one of my good friends as I do not want to give my family any reason to be more concerned about my head issues than they already are.


Seaine, your post summed up so much of what is happening to me. Especially the bit about slipping back into it if you dare close your eyes again.

Thanks for all the info Smile

Mini, I really understand where you're coming from with the sleep deprivation point of view but I genuinely don't feel sleep deprived. My little guy sleeps 12-13 hours at night. The only reason and time I nap with him is when I can feel a migraine brewing. Extra sleep will usually knock it on the head for me. Maybe I am more tired than I realise though. My other half works away and I'm working 3 days a week and looking after the baby myself when he's away. You've given me food for thought!

Where you mentioned about thinking you'd got dressed etc and then woke to find you're still in bed... I've been there. I had an episode where I got up and went down stairs, then I woke in bed again. This happened about 6 times before I forced myself out of my bed to break the cycle. It was so strange!

I am also in the UK Smile

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Re: Sleep paralysis

Post  Migrainegirl on Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:49 pm

I believe this is a classic stress dream. And with all the hard work of being a new mom, it's certainly understandable to be a bit stressed. The good news is that life does get easier as they get older. Meanwhile don't worry about it too much.
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