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Sleep Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Is this Sleep Paralysis? Who knows anything about this?

My boyfriend was supposedly diagnosed with sleep paralysis a few years ago, but it hasn't subsided. He says that for him, sleeping is comparable to being in a coma because he hears what everyone's saying/doing around him while he sleeps, except when he has time lapses. He hasn't been able to remember any of his dreams since he was diagnosed and according to him, sleep specialists say he can't dream. Is this possible? He says he hates sleeping at night because he doesn't think he'll be able to wake himself up in the morning. With effort, he wakes himself up by pinching himself hard enough to leave a mark or forcing himself to twitch (more like jump) when he hears the alarm go off. If he sleeps with the TV on, he doesn't need an alarm because he can count how many TV shows have gone by and that tells him what time it is in the morning - that's how conscious he is at night. I'm really concerned for him because he claims to be afraid of sleeping at night and some nights he refuses to sleep because he doesn't want to risk not waking up in the morning. I know he's on an anti-depressant and ADD medications. Could those be bringing this on? I don't know when he was diagnosed in relative to when he started taking those medications, so I'm just throwing this out there. It breaks my heart to see him so afraid to sleep and I often feel like in the morning I need to be careful what I say so I don't make a remark about my dreams. He claims that when people tell him about dreams, he gets really jealous because he misses being able to dream. I really don't think this is healthy and I want to know what anyone knows - cure or at the very least a way I could help, diagnosis, thoughts, does this sound similar to what anyone else is going through? The lack of dreams is really what bugs me about this whole thing. Please please please respond :(
2 Responses
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention - he snores despite this, which I find weird. But he's also had very traumatic experiences in the past, if that may be a contributing factor.
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello and hope he is doing well.

Understand your predicament. Disorders related to dreaming could occur with REM sleep behavior disorders. But, snoring by itself indicates a narrowed air passages. This could cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea and disturbed sleep. Here, the air way collapses during sleep and the lungs do not have air entry leading to deoxygenation (decreased oxygen) of blood and the person wakes up. This period of non entry of air is called ‘Apnea’ and the waking up is called an ‘Arousal’. This keeps alternating and the person may not actually wake up all the time, but these repeated arousals can disturb the sleep architecture and cause fatigue, headaches and daytime sleepiness.

I would advise him to consult a sleep specialist who would assess with first a sleep questionnaire, and then he may ask for a polysomnogram, which is an overnight sleep study as this helps to detect the apneas.

Hope This Helped and Do Keep Us Posted.
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