If it occurs upon .In a sneak peek from this week’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians, 20 year old Kendall Jenner speaks to momager Kris Jenner about her upcoming appearance schedule. It includes stops in Paris, Milan and London. Kendall is reluctant to do this because she was recently diagnosed with sleep paralysis. This is a disorder where the sleeper feels like they are unable to move while falling asleep or waking up (see below):
“I can’t travel that much. I’m like, scared. I’m freaking out because of these f—ing paralysis things. I’m scared to fall asleep because it keeps happening to me. It almost feels like my heart stops.”
Although Kris tries to explain to Kendall’s that her career as a model requires her to do a lot of travel, Kris understands that Kendall has a real issue, saying:
“Kendall basically lives on an airplane. So the anxiety on an airplane and the sleep paralysis is a huge problem. Sometimes it’s been so bad that she’s been paralyzed from even getting on an airplane. I’ve had to get on a plane and fly from L.A. to London just to get her from London to New York! So it’s becoming a real problem.”
Kendall tells her mother that her health “is a bigger deal,” that it is “genuinely frightening and I don’t know how much of it I can do.”
Kendall ultimately did drop out of many of her show commitments. She did walk in New York Fashion Week, but skipped London, Paris and Milan. In October, she did join her sisters in Paris for Fashion Week. It was there that sister Kim was robbed at gunpoint.
According to How Sleep Works, the definition of sleep is “a naturally-occurring, reversible, periodic and recurring state in which consciousness and muscular activity is temporarily suspended or diminished, and responsiveness to outside stimuli is reduced”. It is different from hibernation, coma, or unconsciousness due to anesthesia because it is easily reversibility.
Sleep is divided into two broad types: rapid eye movement (REM sleep) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM or non-REM sleep). Each type has a distinct set of physiological and neurological features associated with it.
REM stands for “rapid eye movement” but involves many other aspects including virtual paralysis of the body. It is associated with dreaming, unsynchronized and faster brain waves, and loss of muscle tone. During non-REM sleep, the brain uses significantly less energy during sleep than it does in waking. In areas with reduced activity, the brain restores its supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule used for short-term storage and transport of energy.
REM sleep occurs in cycles of about 90-120 minutes throughout the night, and it accounts for up to 20-25% of total sleep time in adult humans As the name suggests, it is associated with rapid, random side-to-side movements of the closed eyes. This may relate to the internal visual images of the dreams that occur during REM sleep.
Breathing is more rapid and irregular during REM sleep than during non-REM sleep, and the heart rate and blood pressure also increase to near waking levels.
Although the muscles are more relaxed during non-REM sleep, they become completely paralyzed and unresponsive during REM sleep. This virtual absence of muscle tone and skeletal muscle activity is known as atonia. It occurs because the brain impulses that control muscle movement are completely shut down. The exceptions to this include muscles which controll the eye movements and muscles with essential functions such as the heart and diaphragm muscles. These which keep us alive during sleep.
Non-REM sleep is defined as any sleep which is not REM sleep It consists of three separate stages (stage1, stage 2 and stage 3). These are followed in order up and down as the sleep cycles progress.
Stage 1 (NREM1 or N1): a stage between wakefulness and sleep, sometimes referred to as somnolence or drowsy sleep.
Stage 2 (NREM2 or N2):
Stage 3 (NREM3 or N3): known as deep or delta or slow-wave sleep
Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which an individual, either during falling asleep or awakening, briefly experiences an inability to move, speak, or react. This is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, characterized by an inability to move muscles. Sleep paralysis is closely related to REM atonia, the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Sleep paralysis occurs either when Ifalling asleep, or when awakening from sleep. When it occurs upon falling asleep, the person remains aware while the body shuts down for REM sleep, a condition called hypnagogic sleep paralysis. Hypnopompic sleep paralysis is when it occurs upon awakening. In this case, the person becomes aware before the REM cycle is complete .
Sleep paralysis may be accompanied by terrifying hallucinations to which one is unable to react due to paralysis, and physical experiences (such as strong current running through the upper body). These hallucinations often involve a person or supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying the individual, accompanied by a feeling of pressure on one’s chest and difficulty breathing. Another common hallucination type involves intruders (human or supernatural) entering one’s room or lurking outside one’s window, accompanied by a feeling of dread.
Genetics plays a big role in sleep paralysis- it tends to run in families. Other linked factors include:
The underlying mechanism results from disrupted REM sleep, when there should be a general inability to move muscle to prevent the sleeper from acting out their dreams. About 8% of people experience sleep paralysis at one point in their life.
According to WebMD, most people need no treatment for sleep paralysis. Treating any underlying conditions such as narcolepsy may help if you are anxious or unable to sleep well. These treatments may include the following: