Show Summary Details
Page of

Sleep Paralysis and Medical Conditions 

Sleep Paralysis and Medical Conditions
Sleep Paralysis and Medical Conditions

Brian A. Sharpless

and Karl Doghramji

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 October 2019

Sleep paralysis can occur in the context of a wide variety of medical conditions. One of the most common of these is insufficient sleep syndrome, or sleep deprivation, which is, in turn, highly prevalent. Sleep paralysis is a hallmark symptom of narcolepsy, and can occur in the context of obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, sleep-related hallucinations, and Wilson’s disease. It can also be induced by a variety of medications and substances, notably alcohol. The pathophysiological basis of sleep paralysis in narcolepsy is thought to be a deficiency in the hypothalamic neuropeptide hypocretin (orexin). Hypotheses for the aetiology of sleep paralysis in the other disorders noted are also explored, with the final common pathway likely being a dysregulation of REM sleep timing and consolidation resulting in an abnormal juxtaposition between motor inhibitory aspects of REM sleep and partial wakefulness.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.