What happens to your body when you have sleep paralysis? During a sleep paralysis episode, you’re aware of your surroundings but cannot move or speak. But you can still move your eyes and breathe. Many people hear or see things that aren’t there (hallucinations), making episodes even more frightening.
Why can’t I breathe during sleep paralysis? Because rapid and irregular breathing occurs in REM sleep, people who experience sleep paralysis may struggle to breathe properly, which can feel like suffocation.
How do you confirm sleep paralysis? How is sleep paralysis diagnosed? No medical tests are needed to diagnose sleep paralysis. Your doctor will ask you about your sleeping patterns and medical history. They may also ask you to keep a sleep diary, documenting your experience during sleep paralysis episodes.
What can trigger sleep paralysis?
Other factors could be involved, including:
- Mental health conditions, such as PTSD or bipolar disorder.
- Other sleep problems, such as narcolepsy or nighttime leg cramps.
- Use of certain medications, such as those for ADHD.