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Sleep Disorders/Sleeping disorder i know not what it is called.

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QUESTION: I already experience this disorder back when i was just 19 years old. Now i am 24, still experiencing this disorder.

When i sleep late in the evening,  time comes that i cannot move my body. I dont even know if i am awake or asleep. Its like a dream that happening in my room. I also feel deep breathing everytime i experience it.

The last time it happen to me, this is what i see...

I am  in my bed newly wake up from sleep. In the ceiling i saw a lizard staring at me with its red eyes. I cannot move my body, i cannot speak and ask help from any body. Also i feel like i breath very deep. After  a minute, i just realize it is not true.

I also experience that someone is whispering words in my ears during sleep. I just dont understand it.

Is this a serious sleep disorder? What so you call it?

ANSWER: Relax, what you are experiencing is natural phenomenon.  Its called sleep paralysis with hypnangogic hallucinations. Normally our brains and body go to sleep and awaken the same time, however every once in awhile there is a nano second which one or the other is behind in time.So you are in between awake and asleep,  this usually happens upon going to sleep or upon awakening.  You cannot move or talk and you see things most of the times its bugs so scary and vivid or someone chasing you.  This also canbe 2 of the symptoms of narcolepsy a sleeping disorder however this would also accompany loss of muscle tone and severe sleepiness which is not what you describe.  If this were to interfere with your daily activities due to the poor sleep it should be looked at.  Usually anti depressants are given to control the dream phase as we sleep.  Many of these dreams are so real and scary that even after you awake for half hour you still are afraid to look under the bed and think its still hiding.  Scientist only know that it periodically will happen to all of us, as long as its not every night or when we nap which is what us with narcolepsy get.  Very very scary that people think youre nuts when you tell them but only a sleep specialist would know of this not even regular mds many times don't.The secret to breaking the cycle is to try and move your eyeballs from left to right, but when you are so scared its hard to remember especially when there is a part of your brain that is still asleep. But knowing its natural phenomenon helps you deal with it.  If you go to narcolepsy network you can read more about this .  It also of course could even give one an anxiety attack.  One suggestion would be that before one goes to sleep to take a few deep breaths, and drink a glass of warm plain milk. Milk when heated contains tryptophan a natural amino acid sleep inducer which makes for a deeper sleep.  However like I said unless this is ruining your waking hours,  you are among the normal and its just a natural clink in your sleep wake cycle that science has still not benn able to unravel.  Happy New Year.  relax.  feel free to email again. Karel

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your very informative answer to my question. It's 2am here in Philippines and I am about to sleep when this sleep paralysis attack me. I believe it's a 4 times attack. After the first paralysis, I thought I was already ok. So I just continue my sleep, then again it gave me paralysis. After I was able to moved my body, I continue to sleep again (by the way I feel so sleepy), in few second I am in paralysis again. I think I have four experience this sleep before I wrote this question. What should I do when I have consecutive attacks?

Answer
Like I stated usually you have them just upon asleep or awaken.  apparently if you have 4 of them, its because you got up a few times or was awakened by something.


If you are having these all the time, then you have to see a sleep specialist and will need to take antidepressants but at very low dosages which hold back your dream state.

I would stay aways 3 hours before bedtime tea coffee, caffeine, chocolate, caramel colored soda like coke and pepsi, gingerale and exercise all this makes for restless sleep.  If you are drinking a lot of coffee cut it down apparently you are having very disruptive sleep . but only if you are having them at least 2 times a week, but if this only happens once in awhile, then there is nothing you can do but those tips,  there is no quick fix.  hopefully knowing they are normal will help them stay away, but as stated if you are having these often, its time to see a neurologist at  a sleep center and have your nighttime sleep evaluated.feel free to email again Karel, PS> if you are sleep during the day its possible you could have narcolepsy, which also you need to contact a sleep specialist.  go to narcolepsy network, and read about all of the symptoms, as sleep paralysis and hypnanagogic hallucinations are symptoms of this.  but only if you are having these often. lets say more than every other week.if it hampers your waking state then you need to visit a sleep center.happy new year, karel

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Karel Sleis

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all questions on sleep disorders,expert on narcolepsy,its symptoms

Experience

i have narcolepsy since age l6

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past chairman of the american narcolepsy association
member of narcolepsy network

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