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(p. 7) Isolated Sleep Paralysis 

(p. 7) Isolated Sleep Paralysis
Chapter:
(p. 7) Isolated Sleep Paralysis
Author(s):

Brian A. Sharpless

and Dan Denis

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190245863.003.0002
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date: 24 November 2020

Isolated sleep paralysis involves the juxtaposition of certain aspects of REM sleep (e.g., muscle atonia, dream activity) with waking consciousness. It is a terrifying phenomenon that has played an important role in many supernatural and folkloric beliefs. Isolated sleep paralysis is also a surprisingly common phenomenon in the general population, with higher rates found among students and psychiatric patients. A minority of individuals were identified who experience clinically significant distress and/or interference as a result of episodes. Fortunately, much has been learned about this syndrome in recent years and an empirical literature base exists. There are currently several assessment and treatment options available for sufferers, but large-scale efficacy trials have yet to be conducted.

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