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Doctor warns four things to never do when having episode of sleep paralysis

A doctor issued a stark warning about four things you should never do during sleep paralysis, a terrifying condition where you wake up unable to move or speak.

Some people may even perceive and hear things that aren’t actually there due to this strange phenomenon, which occurs when you are somewhere between wakefulness and sleep.

The experience can be very distressing and is often linked to stress and anxiety. Although it’s not harmful and usually passes quickly, Doctor Joe MD, who also suffers from sleep paralysis, shared his medical advice online.

In his latest video, which garnered over 32,000 likes, he discusses his own experiences and outlines four things you should never do during an episode.

He explained: “I had the most terrifying sleep paralysis this morning, so I wanted to tell you the four things you should never do if you’re having sleep paralysis. Typically, during the REM phase of sleep, your brain is highly active. This is when you dream.

He added: “To stop you from acting out these dreams, your brain sends signals to inhibitory neurons to deactivate your skeletal muscles, essentially causing paralysis. When there’s a disruption or an overlap between the rim and wakefulness cycle.

“This is when sleep paralysis occurs. Things you should never do. Number one: Do not believe everything you experience during sleep paralysis.

“You can have very vivid hallucinations, and they’re often unpleasant. We’re talking demons.”

“Number two: Don’t focus on the visions. Be aware that they’re not real. And this will allow you to shift your focus elsewhere. Number three don’t let your eyes wander.

“You may see things you’re not ready to see. Instead, close your eyes, which will shut out any bad visions and allow you to have a calm space to talk yourself down.”

The doctor continued: “And four, don’t struggle to get out of the sleep paralysis. This will cause panic, which is never good unless you’re at the disco.”

“Instead, focus on little movements like wiggling your pinky or your little toe. This may wake up your nervous system and help you come out of it.”

TikTok users were left gobsmacked by the warning with many expressing their gratitude in the comments for his advice. One user said: “I used to be scared but now I just get mad every time.”

Another added: “This just happened to me, I don’t wanna sleep again,” while a third remarked: “My sleep paralysis is never scary visions but I am awake and can’t move and it’s hard to breath and I’m trying so hard to get my husband to help me and right when I think I’m going to die, it stops.”


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