What is sleep paralysis?
While we usually think of being asleep or awake as clearly defined and distinct, conditions like sleep paralysis challenge these fixed boundaries. Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move that occurs right after falling asleep or waking up. Individuals remain aware during episodes, which frequently involve troubling hallucinations and a sensation of suffocation. These episodes of sleep paralysis involve elements of both sleep and wakefulness, which is part of why they can give rise to distressing symptoms. While much is still unknown about sleep paralysis, a review of its types, symptoms, causes, impacts, and treatment can enable a better understanding of the condition and how to try to prevent it.