What is Sleep Paralysis? | Kati Morton

What is Sleep Paralysis? | Kati Morton


– Hey everybody. Today we’re gonna talk
about sleep paralysis. What is it, and how can we overcome it? But before I jump into that,
are you new to my channel? Welcome. I make videos on Mondays and Thursdays, so make sure you’re subscribed and have your notifications
turned on so you don’t miss out. Sleep paralysis is when our body goes into the fifth and
final stage of sleep. We’ve heard about this stage a lot. It’s otherwise known as REM sleep. And REM, if you didn’t know,
stands for rapid eye movement. And we’ve talk about
REM in regards to EMDR, because it’s that movement
of our eyes that we believe helps our brain process through our day. But anyways, that’s the
fifth and final stage. During that stage, our
mind disconnects itself from our body so that when we dream, let’s say we’re dreaming
about playing soccer, really kickin’ butt, running, kicking, doing all sorts of exciting things, it disconnects so that we
don’t act that out in our sleep and hurt ourselves or
potentially someone else. Like we could fall off the bed,
kick a spouse, you name it. So that when we wake up during
this fifth and final stage, our REM stage of sleep,
our mind can kinda wake up, but our body is completely unable to move, because it’s still disconnected. After researching this, I
found out that sleep paralysis falls under the blanket
term of REM parasomnias. And the term parasomnia is
defined by the Cleveland Clinic as disruptive sleep
disorders that cannot occur during arousal from
rapid eye movement sleep or arousals from non-rapid
eye movement sleep. And they can result in
undesirable physical or verbal behaviors, such as
walking, talking during sleep. And parasomnias occur in
association with sleep, specific stages of sleep, like
whether we’re REM or not REM, or sleep/wake transitions. These parasomnias can be disruptive to both the patient and the bed partner. Because our mind isn’t really awake when it’s coming out of a deep sleep, have you ever kinda been woken
up when you’ve been sleeping for quite a little while, and
it like takes you a minute to kind of figure out where
you are and what’s happening? Many people who struggle with
sleep paralysis report seeing or even feeling things when
they wake up that scare them, and that’s when they realize
that they can’t move, because we wanna do
something, we wanna react, and we realize that we can’t. And this only makes the sleep
paralysis more and more scary. But know that it’s just your
brain trying to wake up. It’s not completely aware
of its surroundings, and it’s trying to make
sense of everything as quickly as possible. So know that you’re not psychotic, or having a psychotic
break, anything like that. Your brain is simply
trying to wake itself up. After much research, they’ve
concluded that sleep paralysis is merely a sign that our
body is not moving smoothly through the sleep cycles. They don’t link sleep
paralysis to mental illness or anything like that, but we do know that stress and changes in our sleep patterns overall can exacerbate but not cause it. It’s also estimated that
four out of every 10 people have experienced sleep paralysis. I know I have. I remember waking up in college, it’s just this one instance that’s like so vivid in my memory, I remember my roommate coming
in and asking if I was okay, and I had taken a nap,
and I was so confused. I woke up, I was
frightened, and I couldn’t, my body wouldn’t move when I wanted it to. It was actually pretty scary. Now we can have sleep
paralysis in conjunction with another sleep disorder, or it can occur completely on its own. So if you’re having
issues with your sleep, please reach out to a sleep
specialist in your area. Even when I was looking through the DSM to make sure that sleep
paralysis wasn’t in there, you know, just double checkin’ myself, there was a whole section, I wanna say it was like
three to five pages, dedicated to letting mental
health professionals know when a referral to a sleep
specialist should be made. And essentially, their
recommendation was that it should always be considered, and they should be part
of your treatment team. I also wanna make you aware that during all of my training and schooling, I was not taught about
these issues at all. Sure, I could’ve learned a little bit through different internships
or a specific job, but I didn’t even know that
sleep disorders were actually included in the DSM until
I went to research this. And I only tell you that to make sure that you get the right
help when you need it, because not all mental
health professionals will be equipped to give you that help. But now let’s get into
the treatment options, because there are some. Don’t worry, there’s help available. And the first thing is that we need to keep track of our
sleep for a few weeks. I have many patients of
mine do this anyways, especially my bipolar patients
so that they can keep track of how well they’re sleeping,
when they’re sleeping, and all sorts of stuff like that. So start, the first thing is
always to start by tracking it so we can figure out when
it’s happening and how often. My second tip is to write down all the symptoms you experience. Just like when we talk about
any other mental health issue, I always tell you write down
all that you’re feeling, because like I talked about earlier, sleep paralysis can happen on its own or in conjunction with
other sleep disorders. So we wanna make sure that all of your symptoms are getting treated. And my third tip is to get your sleep back into a more regular routine. Move your bedtime closer
to where you want it to be in 15 or 30 minute increments, and do the same with your wake up time until you get it into a
more desirable schedule, and then you do your
best to keep it there. Nobody’s perfect. I know it can be difficult to get these things in
order and keep ’em there, but just try your best, because having a regular
sleep and wake schedule can help tremendously. It can lessen the amount of nights that you have sleep paralysis or experience other
sleep disorder symptoms. And my fourth tip, reduce your stress. We know that stress can
exacerbate sleep paralysis. Also doing hard work in therapy, let’s say we’re doing some trauma therapy, can make our sleep/wake
schedules veer off course. So using some simple breathing
techniques before bed, like the four by four breathing,
we breathe in for four, hold for four, breathe out for four. Or does anybody remember my
really old video of relax, I think it was called
relax breathing techniques? I’ll link that in the description. So if you’re having a hard time right now, you can click over there and
check it out and get started. But it can also help to
do some simple stretches, like the yoga stretches. I have a video about that too. I’ll link that in the description. But we find that doing forward bend, when we just bend over our
legs, getting into child’s pose, plow pose, or a spinal supine twist can all help our nervous system calm down and relax before we go to bed. Also journaling when
you get home from work, instead of right before bed, could really help kind of unwind to let us get all the things we’re
thinking about out of our head and onto paper so that
we can kinda put ’em to rest for the night. Because if we journal right before bed, some of my clients have reported to me that it wakes their brain
up and makes them start worrying and getting upset
about the things all over again. So maybe try doing it just a
little earlier in the evening. Overall, just finding some
ways to lower the amount of stress you’re feeling
can really really help. This video has been brought to you by the Kinions on Patreon. If you would like to support the creation of these mental health videos, click the link in the
description and check it out. I hope that was helpful
and, at the very least, gave you an idea of why
we have sleep paralysis and what we can do to make
it happen less and less. As always, if you have other
mental health questions that you’re hoping I’ve answered
or wanting me to answer, check on YouTube. Search on YouTube using
my name, Kati Morton, and then put in some keywords, because trust me, I have
like a thousand videos, and chances are I’ve talk about it. Thank you for checking back,
and I will see you next time. Bye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *