Scientists Close to Understanding Sleep Paralysis

Imagine you’re laying in bed.  Your mind is active and aware, but you can’t move your body for seconds, or minutes, or even hours.  It sounds like a nightmare, but that exact scenario happens to people who are haunted by sleep paralysis.

Sleep Paralysis is one of the least understood of all sleep disorders, but researchers are finally starting to understand more about it.  In fact, scientists at the University of Toronto might be close to understanding how the phenomenon occurs.

Researchers monitored the electrical activity in rats, and by blocking certain receptors they managed to stop sleep paralysis.  In the process, they learned that both gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine must be present and working together to cause it.

The lead researcher says this work is very important not only to stop suffers from having episodes of sleep paralysis, but also to help stop more issues down the road for individuals who have it.  About 80 percent of people who have it eventually develop a neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s disease.

Source: Business Insider