National Sleep Foundation

Chapter 6: Parasomnias

Etiology and Risk Factors of Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralysis (ISP)

What are the etiology and the risk factors for recurrent isolated sleep paralysis?

Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralyses (ISP) is often associated with rapidly changing sleep-wake patterns (i.e., Advanced Phase Sleep Disorder or Delayed Phase Sleep Disorder). It can also be associated with poor sleep health habits, such as not getting enough sleep. Stress, depression, and anxiety are also risk factors for this parasomnia.1

Studies suggest a possible familial pattern of inheritance for this parasomnia.2

Similar clinical assessment as is required of all parasomnias. Most parasomnias are diagnosed by detailed patient history and interview. Polysomnography (PSG) may be necessary to rule out other sleep disorders, particularly narcolepsy. The evaluation is often videotaped for better documentation and assessment.

References

  1. Nielson T, Zadra A, “Idiopathic Nightmares and Dream Disturbances Associated with Sleep-Wake Transitions,” in Kryger M, Roth T, Dement W (ed.), Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (5th Edition), St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2011, pages 1106-1115.
  2. Nielson T, Zadra A, “Idiopathic Nightmares and Dream Disturbances Associated with Sleep-Wake Transitions,” in Kryger M, Roth T, Dement W (ed.), Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (5th Edition), St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2011, pages 1106-1115