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Sleep paralysis?
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Sleep paralysis?


  Hello,
  I have been experiencing some weird feelling that started when i was 14  now at 42 and i still have what i call the occasional "happening".
  I had mentionned it to my family doctor when it first happened years ago and he said it was a symptom of anxiety and had prescribed something to help me sleep better. I never refilled the prescription, i found it useless!
  What happens is that when i start to fall asleep, my body feels heavy and a tingling vibrating head-to-toe rush takes over, then i feel has if i am awake but i cannot move my body or breathe. I can see in my room, the time on the clock and everything seems real. It's like a battle trying to breathe and move. When i get out of it, my heart is pounding and my body is trembling. Sometimes i slip right back into it. This as been happening for many years so now when i fell it coming i dont panic as much as i used to.
  Does this sound like sleep paralysis? Also I have recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was wondering if what i am experiencing here has anything to do with that? Is sleep paralysis sometimes seen in patients with ms?
  Your feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.
  Suzanne.
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Thanks for your questions.  The symptoms that you described do indeed
match those of Sleep Paralysis.  The normal sleep goes through different
"stages", and one of the stages is called REM ("rapid eye movement")
sleep.  Despite its name, during this particular stage of sleep, there
significant decrease in the tone/activity of most muscles in the body,
except those that move the eyes.  Usually, one is asleep and therefore
unaware of this normal "paralysis".  However, disturbances in the sleep
cycles can cause the REM stage to manifest at innapropriate time, usually
at the start or at the end of sleep.  Often, patients are afflicted by
significant anxiety.
There appears to be several "types" of sleep paralysis: a) Familial, affecting
several family members of different generations, sometimes associated
with excessive daytime sleepiness; b) Associated with Narcoleptic syndrome,
where one would have sudden "attacks" of sleep during daytime.
Sleep paralysis and MS are unrelated neurological disorders, so one does
not predispose to another.
The Sleep Study Center at the Cleveland Clinic is a referral center for
sleep disorders, as is the Mellen Center at the Cleveland Clinic for
Multiple Sclerosis.  If you would like to make an appointment please
contact 1-800-CCF-CARE.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.
Please consult your doctor regarding diagnostic and treatment options.




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