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Psychologists chase down sleep demons
Date:11/8/2011

sode at least once. Frequency of sleep paralysis ranged from once in a lifetime to every night.

When looking at specific groups, 28 percent of students reported experiencing sleep paralysis, while nearly 32 percent of psychiatric patients reported experiencing at least one episode. People with panic disorder were even more likely to experience sleep paralysis, and almost 35 percent of those surveyed reported experiencing these episodes. Sleep paralysis also appears to be more common in non-Caucasians.

"Sleep paralysis should be assessed more regularly and uniformly in order to determine its impact on individual functioning and better articulate its relation to other psychiatric and medical conditions," said Sharpless.

He looked at a broad range of samples, and papers were included from many different countries.

People experience three basic types of hallucinations during sleep paralysis -- the presence of an intruder, pressure on the chest sometimes accompanied by physical and/or sexual assault experiences and levitation or out-of-body experiences.

Up to this point there has been little research conducted on how to alleviate sleep paralysis or whether or not people experience episodes throughout their lives.

"I want to better understand how sleep paralysis affects people, as opposed to simply knowing that they experience it," said Sharpless. "I want to see how it impacts their lives." Sharpless hopes to look at relationships between sleep paralysis and post-traumatic stress disorder in the future.


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Contact: Victoria M. Indivero
vmi1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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