Sleep paralysis is when you cannot move or speak as you are waking up or falling asleep. It can be scary but it's harmless and most people will only get it once or twice in their life.
During sleep paralysis you may feel:
These feelings can last up to several minutes.
Sleep paralysis happens when you cannot move your muscles as you are waking up or falling asleep. This is because you are in sleep mode but your brain is active.
It's not clear why sleep paralysis can happen but it has been linked with:
You often have sleep paralysis and you feel:
A GP may be able to treat an underlying condition that could be triggering sleep paralysis such as insomnia or post-traumatic stress disorder.
If this does not help they might refer you to a doctor who specialises in sleep conditions.
You might be given medicine usually used to treat depression. Taking this type of medicine at a lower dose can also help with sleep paralysis.
You might also be referred for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).