What triggers sleep paralysis? Sleep paralysis happens when you regain awareness going into or coming out of REM. Because narcolepsy is characterized by unstable wakefulness and unstable sleep, people with narcolepsy have frequent night awakenings that can be associated with sleep paralysis.
Can sleep paralysis last for hours? This condition is known as post-dormital or hypnopompic paralysis. The events can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, with rare cases lasting for hours, where the person could well experience panic symptoms. Due to the correlation of the paralysis with REM sleep, this type of atonia is not complete.
When does sleep paralysis usually occur? Sleep paralysis occurs when the sleep cycle is shifting between stages. When you wake up suddenly from REM, your brain is awake, but your body is still in REM mode and can’t move, causing you to feel like you’re paralyzed. Episodes of sleep paralysis last from a few seconds to 1 or 2 minutes.
Can a normal person get sleep paralysis? Sleep paralysis is a normal part of the REM sleep. However, it is considered to be a disorder when it occurs outside of REM sleep. It can occur in otherwise healthy people, as well as in those presenting symptoms of narcolepsy, cataplexy and hypnagogic hallucinations.