Why sleep paralysis happens



  • 1 Waking up before REM is finished

    Sleep paralysis happens when the brain wakes up before rapid eye movement (REM) is finished. 

  • 2 Unable to move their body

    The person becomes conscious but is unable to move their body since the ability hasn't been turned back on yet. 

  • 3 Sleep deprivation

    When a person who had been sleep deprived gets some sleep, they might experience an episode of sleep paralysis. 

  • 4 Suffering from sleep apnea

    People who experience sleep apnea during their sleep may be subject to sleep paralysis. 

  • 5 Irregular sleeping schedule

    People who don't have a steady sleeping schedule may suffer from sleep paralysis. 

  • 6 Suffering from depression

    According to a study, people who suffer from depression are more likely to experience sleep paralysis. 

  • 7 Due to anxiety

    The same study showed that people who have anxiety problems are also subject to more sleep paralysis episodes than those who don't. 

  • 8 Due to stress

    People who are under a lot of stress are more likely to suffer from sleep paralysis. 

  • 9 Due to mental conditions

    Bipolar disorder may be a trigger of sleep paralysis. 

  • 10 Due to sleeping on the back

    It is said that sleeping on the back triggers sleep paralysis in some people. 

  • 11 Due to medications

    Certain medications may trigger sleep paralysis such as ADHD medication. 

  • 12 Due to use of drugs

    People who abuse drugs may be more likely to experience sleep paralysis. 

  • 13 Due to sleep disorders

    Sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, which is also a neurological disorder, is one reason behind sleep paralysis. 

  • 14 Due to cramps

    Nighttime leg cramps may be a trigger of sleep paralysis. 

  • 15 Triggered by interrupted sleep

    People who wake up during their sleep and fall back asleep are more likely to experience sleep paralysis