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All about Sleep Paralysis

How is your week going? Did you try and stay on track with your healthy eating as best you could? Did you drink water and keep your body hydrated and focused? Are you getting enough sleep? Could you do better? Are you keeping a fairly decent routine and making your sleep and recovery just as important as your exercising and healthy eating? Remember you have to look after your body and your mind one else can do this for you...not even me! Today’s Topic So this week team I’m talking about your SLEEP PARALYSIS.

Whenever a client has a question I like to learn more about that subject. Especially if I don’t know an awful lot about it.

Last night this particular client experienced what they thought was sleep paralysis...for the first time and it frightened them. They sent me a message first thing telling me about their experience.

Sleep paralysis is the temporary ability to move or speak when falling asleep or waking up.

It isn’t harmful and usually only lasts a few seconds and then passes. However this few seconds can be very frightening. It can affect all ages but teenagers and young adults are more susceptible.

So what you feel when this happens is complete awareness of your surroundings but you are unable to move or talk. You may find it difficult to take deep breaths as if your chest is being restricted or even crushed. You may be able to move your eyes but perhaps not able to open them. You may also have the sensation there is someone or something in the room which possibly might want to cause you harm and therefore you are very frightened.

This can leave you anxious and unable to get back to sleep. Your speech and movement will return to normal once it’s passed.

So what causes it?

It happens when parts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occur while you’re awake. REM is the stage of sleep when the brain is very active and dreams often occur. The body is unable to move – this stops you from acting out your dreams. However the eyes move and the muscles used in breathing.

REM sleep can occur while you’re awake and it could be because: • You’re not getting enough sleep • Irregular sleep patterns – jet lag or sleep deprivation • Narcolepsy – which is a long term condition that causes you to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times • You have a family history of sleep paralysis • Sleeping on your back

So what can be done about it?

It often gets better over time but you should work hard to improve your sleeping habits and the environment you sleep in.

• Concentrate on getting good, quality sleep – especially if you are active. 6 – 8 hours is the goal. • Keep a routine – go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. • Create a safe, comfortable, quiet, dark, temperature controlled environment. • Avoid caffeine, booze, smoking and big meals hours before sleeping. • Exercise but not within 4 hours of sleeping It’s more than likely this won’t happen again but it’s always wise to see your GP if you get recurring bolts of sleep paralysis. He may recommend seeing a sleep specialist.

Fitness Fact of the week Inactivity, poor nutrition, tobacco use and frequent alcohol consumption are the primary cause of chronic disease. Quote of the week “The mind is like a doesn’t work if it isn’t open!”

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