If you find yourself unable to move or speak for a few seconds or minutes when falling asleep or waking up, then it is likely you have isolated recurrent sleep paralysis. Often there is no need to treat this condition.
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Your doctor may want to gather more information about your sleep health by doing any of the following:. Most people need no treatment for sleep paralysis. Treating any underlying conditions such as narcolepsy may help if you are anxious or unable to sleep well. These treatments may include the following:.
There's no need to fear nighttime demons or alien abductors. If you have occasional sleep paralysis, you can take steps at home to control this disorder. Start by making sure you get enough sleep.
Do what you can to relieve stress in your life -- especially just before bedtime. Try new sleeping positions if you sleep on your back. And be sure to see your doctor if sleep paralysis routinely prevents you from getting a good night's sleep. Sleep Disorders Guide.
Continued Who Develops Sleep Paralysis? Much of the change has to do with when we choose to go to bed—and with how we decide to do so. Her research tracks how multiple individual differences in our environment affect our circadian rhythms and our ability to fall asleep easily and soundly. What about pharmaceuticals: Which do they use, and are any targeted as sleeping aids? Once this information has been gathered, she brings them to the lab, monitors their sleep in a controlled environment, and determines how each of the various factors affects the ability to fall asleep.
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Many sleep genes, she points out, are conserved across species. And the sleep patterns in the flies, she told me, are remarkably similar to those in humans.
The vast majority of the story has to do with our environment. Conversely, bad sleep hygiene can equal, in its effects, some of the most problematic genetic disorders. Some of the elements of sleep hygiene are basically the same as good health practices. We fall asleep faster when we exercise and have regular mealtimes. Eat too late or too much and sleep becomes more elusive.
The effect is reciprocal: sleep disturbance is associated with weight gain. Go to bed hungry, and sleep likewise escapes your grasp. Any schedule variability, in fact, may detract from sleep ability: in some preliminary results, Rosalind Picard, the director of the Affective Computing Research Group at M. Regular sleep schedules also predict better G. But it may be that the most important aspect of sleep hygiene has to do with light—which, of course, has gotten more pervasive during the past century, especially at night.
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