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You Want to Sleep But Your Brain Does Not: Sleep Paralysis


Sleep paralysis, source: Shutterstock.com

First, I need you to understand that this is a how-to article. Have you ever wanted sleep so badly but you do not seem to get it? There are almost 100% chances you are not alone in this issue. But whether we trivialise it or not, it remains a major issue of concern to you and/or many other people out there.
Having problems finding sleep at night calls for urgent medical and physical evaluation but experiencing the same during the day may not be considered so serious. But to someone who really needs to have the sleep at that time, it becomes a problem indeed.

Aside from the physical satisfaction that sleep provides, there are myriad other benefits of sleep, ranging from benefits to your heart, memory, and other psychosocial behaviours to achieving normal growth and development.

Like I mentioned earlier, this is a how-to article on the possible causes of lack of sleep, sleep paralysis and ways to get the sleep you desired irrespective of the time of the day.
It is necessary to add that mental conditions can also predispose to lack of sleep but the context of the post includes non-medical approaches to get sleep.

Why You Are Unable To Get Sleep

There are many different causes of lack of sleep. They include the following:
  • Sleep Paralysis
  • Anxiety
  • Illness
  • Use of stimulants.

This is not exhaustive and I will only talk about the first point above in the course of this post.

What Is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep Paralysis, as the name implies, there is difficulty sustaining sleep and moving limbs or speaking while the victim has lucid dreams about certain things or people.

It has often been explained away by non-intellectuals or overtly mythical people as a form of spiritual oppression while you sleep. But this explanation may not be so true.
In sleep paralysis, your body feels powerless even when your mind is fully awake. You experience thought of people you know or some abstract mind-objects that you are thinking of. You may be terrified enough to scream loud but with no audible sound heard by the nearest bed neighbour.

A combination of all these features and many more others makes the sufferer really terrified and would not want to sleep anymore. But some helpful tips in this post will help you get the desired sleep and effectively overcome sleep paralysis.

Probing into the possible causes of sleep paralysis, it usually occurs when you engage in prolonged mental activities beyond your normal sleeping time. You may have had to overcome rounds of sleeping urges because you had to finish up your book for your exam the next morning. It could be just a personal target you are trying to achieve before the next morning.
Other factors may include stress, changes in sleep patterns, etc. The bottom line is, you ended up stimulating your brain to become hyperactive, such that it keeps on working even when your body has lost the desire to.


In my own experiences, I sometimes have problems getting a peaceful sleep after a long period of late-night study. Before I discovered these tips on getting sleep afterwards, I have to battle with multiple rounds of sleeping and waking due to sleep paralysis. Whenever I tried sustaining my sleep in the presence of an ongoing episode of sleep paralysis, I have always noticed that it keeps getting worse. Hence, I manage to wake my body up and try to sleep again.
With the methods below, you may not have to experience an episode of sleep paralysis again. And if you already have experienced one on any night, these tips will help prevent a recurrence.
Below are ways you can get the sleep and totally stop sleep paralysis from disrupting your night-sleep.

What To Do To Get The Sleep

These should help you get better sleep and most of these work for other causes of lack of sleep aside sleep paralysis.

  • Plug your ears with a soft music
  • The mechanism behind sleep paralysis may be due to the fact that your brain is still actively involved whereas you actually want to put your body to bed. Listening to some cool song you love does the trick by making the brain and your mind to stop wandering into thoughts that you are trying to avoid.
    For every other person who finds it hard to sleep normally, especially during the daytime hours, listening to some cool interesting song would always do the trick.


  • Don't sleep too early
  • Sleeping too early is not in itself a culprit in inducing sleep paralysis. However, there is a positive association of sleeping too early with waking up too early in the early hours of the post-midnight morning. After waking up at such hours, say 1-2am, you may want to keep yourself busy with something else and in so doing, you trigger a state of high activity in the brain especially when you engage in that mental activity for a prolonged number of hours before asking for sleep again.
    Such mental activities may include reading, watching a movie, writing, etc. All these may make falling asleep without having sleep paralysis in the later morning hours especially more difficult.


  • Try to stop thinking about the things you were doing earlier
  • If there is a way you can stop your mind from wandering, that would be greatly helpful. a wandering mind implies a very mentally active brain. So if you can consciously stop your brain from wandering too wide in your thoughts, you would just have stopped your next episode of sleep paralysis.
    However, this may not be so easy to achieve except you are a Yoga master or whatever. But the tricks above should help you achieve this milestone.


  • Avoid any distractions as much as possible
  • By avoiding noises and bright lights, you increase your probability of falling asleep early. Noise stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for wakefulness to remain active. This part of the brain is known as the reticular activating system(RAS), which when inhibited, results in sleep.
    Similarly, bright light reduces the release of the hormone responsible for sleep. This hormone called melatonin, produced in the anterior pituitary gland in the brain has been found to be increased at night when light has significantly reduced, hence we generally sleep more at night.


Getting good sleep even when your brain is still actively thinking is possible without the use of medications and I hope these steps above helps you achieve that.
The erroneous belief that sleep paralysis is due to some spiritual oppressions while you sleep has been debunked for long now. Get your most sought after sleep. I really hope you do. Drop your comments below.

Prosper Yole

I am a lifestyle blogger, I write useful articles on successful life tips and hacks. Posts bearing Prosper Yole as author are either written by the blog author himself or by our various other contributors. Thank you for reading through. I look forward to having you more often. Please subscribe to my feeds below...

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