Why do I get irresistible sleep attack during day time with sleep paralysis?

Q. I get irresistible sleep attack during day time and sleep paralysis. What is the possible cause?

Answered by
Dr. Vandana Patidar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 14, 2020 and last reviewed on: Oct 11, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have daily sleep attacks during the day (irresistible sleep attacks) and before I fall to sleep I see things like I am dreaming but I knew I am awake. At night, before I fall asleep I have multiple episodes of sleep paralysis. Sometimes in every morning, I have sleep attacks and I fall asleep and sometimes I have dreams but when I am awake I realize it has been only seconds or a few minutes.

It started last year. Initially, I was unable to stay awake beyond 10 PM, then I started to have multiple episodes of sleep attacks during the day. It started as an irresistible urge to sleep which I tried to resist but then I go into a hallucination where I see and hear things like a dream but I am aware that I am awake and when I realized that the sleep become more intense and I fall asleep. This episode lasts for 12-30 minutes and in between the episodes, I feel refreshed but only for a few minutes and then the next attack will start. At night, upon falling asleep I have sleep paralysis and it is usually once but two incidences happened for three consecutive times. It mostly happened when I am not doing activities, after meal, using phone, watching TV or when I am sitting in the car for long-distance. This been happening for a duration of four months and after that, it comes and go with no specific pattern.

I saw a doctor and my labs were all normal. I did a sleep study and MSLT and also normal and I do not have depression. What do you think is the possible cause of that?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Irresistible sleep attacks during daytime are called narcolepsy. They are usually considered harmful and should be treated with stimulant drugs. Amphetamines are used to treat them.

Sleep paralysis is also treated with antidepressant medicines and Benzodiazepines. Usually, it is observed that if a person has good night time sleep there will be a reduction in the sleep attacks during the daytime. The reasons are usually not very clear but some genetic factors play a role. I would advise you to contact a sleep medicine expert at your place and start the treatment.

Thank you doctor,

But I have one episode only of sleep attacks which was for four months and then disappear. I know I had such sleep attacks many years back but it was not like this. I have done a sleep study and MSLT and showed no abnormalities although I have done it when the sleep attacks have already disappeared.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

If you wish you could wait for some time. But yes, if symptoms progress consult a psychiatrist or sleep medicine expert.

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