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During sleep paralysis you feel awake but cannot move or speak. You may feel like someone is in your room or something is pushing you down.
It's not clear why sleep paralysis happens. It may be linked with insomnia, disrupted sleep patterns, narcolepsy or certain mental health conditions.
Taking steps to improve your sleep can help prevent sleep paralysis, such as having a regular routine and avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed.
Treatment for sleep paralysis can include treating an underlying condition or taking medicine usually used to treat depression.
Sleep paralysis is when you cannot move your muscles as you're waking up or falling asleep. It can be scary but it's harmless.
Page last reviewed: 07/02/2023
Next review due: 07/02/2026