Congratulations to Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology Brian Sharpless who recently published an article in the Journal of Sleep Research with two colleagues from Charles University and the National Institute of Mental Health (NUDZ) in the Czech Republic! The article, “Could Sleep Paralysis be Pleasant?” was a quantitative study of the prevalence and associated features of sleep paralysis episodes.
Sleep paralysis is the experience of either going to sleep or waking up and finding yourself unable to move. It is a recognized sleep disorder that can have significant impacts on daytime functioning. The majority of individuals with sleep paralysis also experience hallucinations during the event. Though usually thought of as a frightening experience, this study – using a sample of Czech individuals with recurrent sleep paralysis – found that 23% of episodes were actually pleasant and that the nature of the corresponding hallucinations appeared to be quite different. The ability to lucid dream and a greater openness to new experiences (a “big five” personality trait) were both associated with pleasant sleep paralysis episodes. Clinical implications of these findings were also discussed.
See the full abstract at https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13154. SMCM faculty, staff, and students can request the full-text through interlibrary loan.