Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

I woke up 4 times last night with a one second paralyzing feeling in my head

Of course my mind is pretty mixed up during sleep, but it seemed to feel somewhat the same. It was as if a 220 volt surged against my head while holding it in its grip,  and sort of hurt and made me dizzy (while lying in bed) although it was too scary and quick to really figure it out.  As far as I can tell I shook it off all within what seemed to be about a second. This happened a few times last month too. I will ask my doctor as soon as I can see him, but is it something to forget about and/or can it become chronic?
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
This is a sleep disorder caused by hypotension. If you are not a patient with hypotension, your sleep paralysis can only be caused by improper sleeping posture or neck flexion caused by too high pillow.Dizzy is a typical symptom of hypotension.
A person may have the exact same physiological response to a stimulus, yet experience an entirely different emotion.
Factors such as the individual's existing mental state, cues in the environment, and the reactions of other people can all play a role in the resulting emotional response.[1] For example, if you experience a racing heart and sweating palms during an important exam, you will probably identify the emotion as anxiety. If you experience the same physical responses on a date, you might interpret those responses as love, affection, or arousal. If you experience the same physical responses you are walking in the woods, and you see a grizzly bear. You will interpret your physical reactions and conclude that you are frightened .Another example, if someone sneaks up on you and shouts,  your heart rate increases. Your heart rate increase (palpitations)is what causes you to feel fear(or nightmare).


In the same way, the cause of sleep paralysis is very simple.Sleep paralysis is caused by a terrible the reduced blood supply to the brain(hypotension)when you sleep because your neck bends for a long time,common symptoms include terrible dizziness, palpitations(Faster or slower heartbeat), sweating,visual disturbances (including blurring, color changes, white-out, graying-out, enhanced brightness, darkening or blackening and tunnel vision) that can't see, hearing disturbances (including  crackles and tinnitus) that can't hear, weakness, fatigue, nausea and headache. Less common symptoms include syncope, dyspnea, chest pain, and neck and shoulder pain. When symptoms occur they can vary greatly in expression from one individual to another.[2]
Hypotension, anemia, improper sleeping position or poor blood flow in the neck caused by too high pillow are several common causes of the reduced blood supply to the brain during sleep at night. In particular, anyone with too high pillow during sleep is bound to experience recurring sleep paralysis all night. This  terrible reduced blood supply to the brain is more likely to occur during waking up during the day than during sleep at night. For example, almost everyone suddenly stands up when their blood pressure is low in summer, and has experienced the terrible  symptoms of the reduced blood supply to the brain caused by orthostatic hypotension.
Accordingly, the terrible dizziness during the reduced blood supply to the brain will lead to the illusion of seeing a terrible demon, the palpitation(Faster heartbeat) will lead to the illusion of being attacked by a terrible demon, and tinnitus will lead to the illusion of hearing a certain sound. Because people's instinctive reaction is that your dare not move your body when your can't see the surrounding environment clearly after waking up, therefore, the visual obstacle that your eyes can't see will lead to the illusion of being unable to move your body or can't open your eyes.
The leading cause of  a terrible the reduced blood supply to the brain when you are awake during the day was that you stand up too fast. The leading cause of  a terrible the reduced blood supply to the brain(sleep paralysis) when you sleep at night was that the blood flow is blocked due to the flexion of the neck. Of course, people with hypotension and anemia are more likely to have such a terrible the  symptoms of the reduced blood supply to the brain (a terrible the  sleep paralysis )than normal people.
In addition to the fact that the pillow is too high, which will lead to neck flexion and poor blood flow, sleep on your back is more likely to lead to neck flexion and poor blood flow than sleep on your side. Therefore, sleep on your back is more likely to lead to sleep paralysis than sleep on your side.
[1],The James-Lange Theory of Emotion
By Kendra Cherry Updated on November 19, 2020
Medically reviewed by David Susman, PhD
[2],Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
By Danny Bonvissuto
Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on August 10, 2020  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your doc can help, but it could be hyperarousal from excessive stress/anxiety.  That suggests stress management, but discuss with your doc.
Helpful - 0
2 Comments
Yes I did call him and found out it can't be a stroke or aneurism. Afterwards I figured out what happened by noticing that when I lie sideways with my head on a pillow I am unable to move my head up more than 10 degrees and it causes discomfort to do that.
So I had 4 nightmares that night, in the darkness likely with my eyes closed,  each nightmare telling me that I was unable to move, but the reality was when I awoke and tried to move while lying sideways it just drove my body into the mattress masking the 10 degree upward movement  of the head since my head was likely on the pillow at all times, plus the neck sharp movement gave me a neck ache which made me think it was a head pain.
The part that scared me was a brief feeling of vertigo and nausea, however those were more likely just a confusion and fear feeling.
I took a nap this afternoon and it seemed to occur twice. I wasn't afraid since my doc said it can't be a neurological issue and seems more like a muscle event. He also said it is weird (and comforting) that it only happens during sleep, which makes me wonder if I am just dreaming the whole thing up.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Sleep Disorders Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Dr. Steven Park reveals 5 reasons why breathing through your nose could change your life
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.