Dreams Where You Can’t Move or Speak

Ever experienced dreams where you can’t move or speak? This can be a tremendously frightening experience, and you’re unlikely to ever forget it. You’re unable to open your mouth, move your body or turn your head. You can’t make a sound because you’re unable to open your mouth. You’re short of breath and have an overbearing feeling of pressure being exerted on your chest. It gets worse – there’s someone or something “evil” in the room with you. You are experiencing a classic case of sleep paralysis.

What Is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a condition where you experience temporary inability to move, speak, or react while asleep, awakening from sleep or falling asleep. This transitional state is characterized by an inability to move your muscles. This can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. While it is probably one of the scariest things you can ever experience, it is largely harmless. While in most cases it happens only once, there is a chance that it might recur severally and sometimes a couple of times a night.

Researchers have concluded that sleep paralysis is often a sign that the body is not moving as it should through the various stages of sleep. It is rarely linked to deep underlying psychiatric issues. Sleep paralysis affects both women and men at any age. Usually, the first age of occurrence is between 14 to 17. However, you are most likely to experience it in your 20’s and 30’s. At least 50% of people will experience sleep paralysis once in their lifetime.

Causes of Sleep Paralysis

The possible causes of dreams where you can’t move or speak are as follows:

  • Sleeping on your back increases the chances of experiencing sleep paralysis
  • Insomnia
  • Disruption of your sleep pattern
  • Mental disorders such as bipolar and stress
  • Drug and substance abuse
  • Fatigue
  • Use of medications such as those meant for treating ADHD
  • Can be a symptom of an underlying sleep disorder e.g. narcolepsy

How to Prevent Dreams Where You Can’t Talk or Move?

1.    Get Adequate Sleep

One of the simplest way to deal with sleep paralysis is to make sure you get enough sleep. You need 6 to 8 hours of sleep every day. For this reason, you need to plan out your day with this in mind. Go to bed early to allow you to have adequate time for sleep.

2.    Prepare Your Room for Sleep

Make your bedroom a place of peace and tranquility where you have no option but to focus on sleep. Ensure your room is cool and you have warm and cozy beddings to get into. If you live in a noisy neighborhood or you’re sharing the house with other people, then you would do well to invest in a pair of earplugs to keep out the noise. Ambient light, bright street lights and any other source of light illuminating your bedroom can interfere with your sleep patterns. Block out as much light as you can or invest in eye masks. If you have an uncomfortable mattress, then it’s probably time to get a new one.

3.    Have A Sleep Schedule

To avoid dreams where you can’t move or speak, you need to develop a sleeping schedule and stick to it. Go to bed at the same time every day and set the alarm to wake you up at the same time in the morning. This gets your body into a rhythm and you will soon start feeling sleepy at the set bedtime and wake up at the appointed time in the morning. A handy tip is to try using some sort of cue to trigger sleep. For example, you can read a book or do some meditation every day before you sleep to help you relax. 

4.    Cut the Bad Habits

Let’s face it, we all have bad habits. You may have developed a bad habit that you indulge in before going to bed. It’s all good to read, meditate or pray before going to bed. However, habits like taking caffeine, smoking, drinking alcohol or watching TV before you sleep are not good habits. In fact, they could negatively affect the quality of your sleep.  You should also avoid eating too much before going to bed. Start preparing for bed two hours in advance. During this two-hour period, you should start winding down and avoid doing any of the things mentioned above.

5.    Sleep on Your Side

As mentioned earlier, sleep paralysis is more common among those who sleep on their backs. While it is not clear why this is so, you should make a point of sleeping on your side.

6.    Exercise

Start exercising regularly. You do not even have to go to the gym. Get on a low-impact workout regimen like walking every day. Exercise will help improve your sleep patterns. However, do not do it too close to bedtime.

7.    Relax

If you’re having dreams where you can’t move or speak, then it is possible that you are stressed. Stress has a way of interrupting your sleep cycles and increase your chances of experiencing sleep paralysis. Take time out from your busy schedule to relax and unwind. Go out with friends once in a while and forget about all your troubles. Cut out things that get you stressed. For example, if watching the news usually gets you in a foul mood, then you should avoid watching it. 

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