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Monday, November 7, 2022

Are you paralysed in sleep?


What is sleep paralysis?

Even known as the Old Hag Syndrome, the situation manifests itself as heaviness in the chest when a person is dropping off to sleep or is just about to wake up (lying in the face-up position). The individual feels paralyzed and can't move or speak. It occurs when the mind is awake but the body is still asleep.

Dr Ashit Sheth, head, Department of Psychiatry, Bombay Hospital, says that even though all culture has its own supernatural explanation associated with it, the situation is actually not harmful to the person who experiences it. "It is a state of motor paralysis, and not mental decease . It occurs during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. In this situation , the body is asleep but the mind is awake and conscious of the surroundings. If the victims obtain nightmares just as they are waking up, they get frightened and find it tough to move or speak."

The symptoms

Patients experience some general symptoms, each one associated with its own myth. Steer clear of the faulty beliefs and learn to an identify the syndrome for what it is.


In the paralyzed state, the muscles are even asleep. As the individual  wakes up, only his mind is conscious. In such a situation, the respiratory muscles are also sleeping, directing to breathlessness. The victim feels such as he is getting strangulated and experiences a heavy or tight chest.


If you feel a sinister presence in your room during an episode, you are a hallucinating. Dr Sheth says this occurs because you may have been having a nightmare just before you wake up and it stays with you.

Feeling 'mad'

Human sometimes report feeling as if they are going insane. Hallucinations aggravate a this sense. Experts insist that this phenomenon is totally physiological and not a mental illness.


Like several sleep disorders, this condition is even often caused by lifestyle.

Stress and alcohol consumption

The urge to excel is a clearly taking its toll in all spheres of life. Alcohol doesn't aid  relieve that stress but contributes to it. It is suggestible  to cut down on drinking if the Old Hag keeps bothering you.

Irregular sleep

A lot rests on a your sleep pattern. Late nights and yo-yo sleeping habits can even affect your state of mind. Those working in the BPO sector or similar jobs are simply victims of this condition because of  their irregular sleeping hours.

Jet lag

You hop across continents disturbing a your bodily cycle and inviting sleep disorders. If you think you are suffering from sleep paralysis, try and ignore trans-meridian journeys.

Underlying medical situations

Psychiatric conditions like anxiety or bi-polar disorders and potassium disorder, caused by a deficiency of potassium, can even direct to sleep paralysis. In such a case, it is vital to get a sleep study done.

Sufferers must undergo a polysomnogram to rule out other troubles. Those of them suffering from narcolepsy, sudden sleep for a some minutes at any time of day, catalepsy, loss of muscle tone causing a fall, or hipnogogic hallucination, waking up with a hallucination, are more at danger.

Help yourself

- When under sleep paralysis, try to move a finger due to that one movement is sufficient to break out of the episode. The paralysis is not permanent unless it is accompanied by underlying medical situations.

- Take a tepid water bath before you hit the bed. It keeps the physique warm and comfortable.

- Daily exercises and breathing can aid you sleep well. » Identify your comfort zones while sleeping. For instance, Krishna Puri, a sleep paralysis patient, never sleeps in a supine (face-up) position. Rishab, 23, feels comfortable with a sheet for cover.

- Dr Sheth tells Modafinil (taken only after prior consultation with your doctor) can aid  against hallucination and narcolepsy.

"" સંપૂર્ણ વિગતો ગુજરાતી માં વાંચો ""

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