Over the past four years I have experienced several episodes of what would seem to be sleep paralysis.
I will wake up, generally shortly after falling asleep, and be unable to move or talk. I am fully aware of this when it is happening, and I remember it clearly afterwards. I am always alone, and recall trying to scream for help and struggling to flail my limbs, but being unable to do either.
This has only happened half a dozen times or so, and I am unsure if it could be stress or sleep habit related. (Both are quite possible since I first experienced this late in my junior year of high school, a time at which I was overly stressed and rarely got adequate sleep)
On three or four occasions I awoke confused, and found that my face was paralyzed on one side, my speech was slurred and my tongue was half numb. (always the right side) The first time that this occurred, to the best of my knowledge, I did not experience sleep paralysis. My mother took me to Urgent Care the first time it happened to make sure I had not had a seizure or TIA. My CAT scan, MRI and EEG all came back normal, the symptoms cleared up after about an hour, and the doctors couldn’t figure out what had happened.
The next time that this facial paralysis happened, I awoke to being completely paralyzed (this was the first time I recall full paralysis), and after that subsided, when I looked in the mirror my face was still paralyzed (visibly drooping) on the right side.
The best guesses I got from the doctors was that I'd had some sort of seizure, rare migraine symptoms, or a panic attack.
They never mentioned sleep paralysis; I only just learned about it in my college Abnormal Psychology class and instantly thought of what has happened to me in the past with paralysis.
I haven't been back to a neurologist for a couple years, and these episodes are less frequent now
So, after all of that rambling, I guess my question is; Does this sound like Sleep Paralysis, and can facial paralysis be a part of that?
Thanks for writing in.
Facial paralysis is not a part of sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis occurs due to total paralysis of skeletal muscles and complete arreflexia.
As rightly mentioned by your doctors the symptoms of facial paralysis, slurred speech and tongue numbness could be due to migraine or some kind of seizure. Neurological problems and bells palsy can be excluded since all your tests like MRI and nerve conduction tests are normal.
I would suggest you to consult an experienced neurologist.
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