Is It Safe to Wake Someone From Sleep Paralysis?

Woman Sleeping

Bedtime is one of the best parts of the day. It’s where you release all of the day’s stress and recharge for a new day ahead. However, sleep problems like sleep paralysis can instantly ruin your good night’s sleep.

Is it safe to wake someone from sleep paralysis? Waking up someone from sleep paralysis should be safe, but you might not be able to catch it as it only happens for a few seconds or minutes. Gently wake someone up if you feel that the person is about to do something dangerous.

While there is no particular treatment for sleep paralysis, there are also no restrictions on what to do during an episode. Remember that the person is already awake but just immobile. It is also less likely that they will do something dangerous because of their inability to move. Nevertheless, the person in sleep paralysis will not be able to snap out of it on their own, so a gentle tap or touch might help.

What Is Sleep Paralysis? Symptoms and More

Let’s dig deeper and get to know more about this occurrence. Sleep paralysis is often considered as an unwanted event during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. It is when you feel or experience one or more of the following:

  • Waking up during the night, totally aware of your surroundings but unable to move or speak.
  • Being fully aware of your surroundings, feeling like your body is frozen.
  • Trying to scream but not a single sound comes out of your mouth. 
  • Feeling like shadows or intruders are lurking in your bedroom, ready to hurt you any time.
  • Feeling like you are floating or spinning
  • Having difficulty breathing and feeling pressure on your chest—as if someone is trying to strangle you.

Sleep paralysis can happen in seconds or minutes and can occur differently from one person to another. It can also accompany sensory, visual, and auditory hallucinations. This terrifying experience has been transformed into different stories and names across cultures and traditions, but the common factor is that your mind is awake, but your body isn’t.

Sleep Paralysis and Death

Can sleep paralysis cause death? It does not cause death directly, and it is not life-threatening. In fact, it is generally considered not serious and as a typical occurrence even among healthy people. However, underlying conditions can set you up for danger, so it is always best to have yourself checked if you or your partner/roommate sense any other red flags or warning signs. You can consult with a sleep specialist if you feel bothered with your sleep paralysis episodes or try avoiding unhealthy sleeping habits first to see if it works.

What Causes Sleep Paralysis?

Woman with Black Shirt Lying Down

Myth: Sleep Paralysis: Ghosts and Aliens

Sleep paralysis gave way to ghost and alien stories and is often connected with paranormal events. Different stories from different people claim that they have seen ghosts and many other supernatural creatures during sleep paralysis episodes. Several supernatural creatures have been made out of these personal experiences, and the most common one is about a creature that sits on a person’s chest. This reportedly causes breathing difficulties and makes the person feel heavy and unable to move.

This may be difficult to believe for many because of a lack of evidence. Nevertheless, the feeling of fear and anxiety connects cultural beliefs and science closely when it comes to sleep paralysis.

Sleep Paralysis Causes: What Experts Say

Meanwhile, experts consider sleep paralysis as a neurological condition that is often caused by the following factors:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Unhealthy sleeping habits (changing sleep schedule, sleeping on your back, etc.)
  • Narcolepsy and other underlying conditions
  • Alcohol use
  • Anxiety and depression

These are the most common factors that can contribute to episodes of sleep paralysis. It may not cause death, but it can still disrupt your sleeping pattern. The best thing to do is to be fully aware of the risk factors and look for ways to prevent or get rid of them.

You can prevent sleep deprivation by doing things like ensuring a good massage or reading a good book before you sleep. Check out SNAILAX Massage Vibration Mattress Massager (view on Amazon). It has soft polyurethane memory foam padding for superior comfort. This mat is also flexible as it can be used on the couch, bed, floor, and other areas. It also has different vibrating massage motors that help relieve stress, tension, and fatigue.

What to Do If Someone Is in Sleep Paralysis?

The first thing that comes to mind is waking the person up. As referenced earlier, waking a person in sleep paralysis may or may not be applicable or helpful. The best thing to do is to prevent the episodes from happening even before the person goes to sleep. Here are ways to ensure that your sleep won’t get disrupted with sleep paralysis occurrences:

1. Maintain healthy sleeping habits

Sleeping for a good number of hours may not be applicable in this day and age. We have so many distractions such as longer working hours, gadgets, and a lot more reasons to stay up late. Nevertheless, the most effective way to prevent sleep paralysis and other sleeping disorders is to make sure you get to sleep six to eight hours each night. Remember that lack of sleep can lead to many conditions and can often ruin your disposition for the entire day.

Nothing makes sleep better than a good pillow like the puredown Natural Feather Pillow (view on Amazon). This high-quality product is composed of two pillows made with 95% Grey Goose Feather and 5% Grey Goose Down, the perfect combination for premium neck and shoulder support. These pillows provide luxurious comfort for a good night’s sleep.

2. Treat underlying conditions

Listen to your doctor, and don’t forget to take your medications for other sleeping problems regularly, if you have any. For those with sleep paralysis, it is always best to consult a doctor if you still experience regular episodes even after maintaining healthy sleep habits and routines. As mentioned, there is no specific treatment for sleep paralysis. Still, the sleep specialist can help determine what caused your episodes and if there are any other problems associated with it.

3. Create a good sleeping environment

This probably applies to people with or without sleeping disorders. Create an ideal sleeping environment by making sure that your room is cool and free from unwanted sounds. It would help if you also made sure that there is no light coming from gadgets and television to ensure that you get a sound sleep at night.

A good sleeping environment is also best achieved by maintaining a clean and organized bedroom. Complete the whole set-up by making use of devices such as RENPHO Eye Massager (view on Amazon). This product provides powerful heating Massage and adopts rhythmic percussion massaging, trigger point therapy, and several others. It has built-in heating pads that help relieve eye strain and make you feel refreshed after a long day at work. This product is excellent for better sleep and is recommended for people with healthy eyes or those with no existing eye conditions. It is portable and easy to use so you can bring it anywhere you want.

4. Stay positive

Stop stressing yourself out and make sure to always look at the brighter side of things. Stress and negative thoughts are major triggers to sleep disorders and many other health problems, so the best thing to do is to think happy thoughts.

Help relieve stress before bedtime with products like iHome Zenergy Aromatherapy Diffuser (view on Amazon). This diffuser produces a fine mist, blending water, and the best essential oils for better sleep. It also features sound therapy that has 12 kinds of soothing environmental and white noise to make you feel calm and relaxed at night. You can also program this machine and set wake times partnered with your favorite sound modes and aroma.

The Takeaway – Is It Safe to Wake Someone From Sleep Paralysis?

Waking someone up from sleep paralysis depends on a lot of factors. One thing you have to remember is to wake the person gently if you feel something odd or dangerous is about to take place. Sleep paralysis can be a typical event for some, while it can be frightening for others. It is always best to find ways on how to prevent it, for it is an indicator of sleep deprivation and stress.

Additionally, one sleeping disorder can trigger other health problems, so it is best to avoid it as early as possible. Ensure a good night’s sleep by following the tips I mentioned previously and make sure to maintain healthy sleeping habits for you and the entire family. Don’t hesitate to visit a sleep specialist if you feel like the natural methods are not working, and the sleep paralysis episodes are already causing significant stress in your life.

Kris Peter

I am a lifelong advocate of sleep, continually learning, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.

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