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Tall Tales about the Mind and BrainSeparating fact from fiction$
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Sergio Della Sala

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.001.0001

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Something wicked this way comes: causes and interpretations of sleep paralysis

Something wicked this way comes: causes and interpretations of sleep paralysis

Chapter:
(p.380) Chapter 23 Something wicked this way comes: causes and interpretations of sleep paralysis
Source:
Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain
Author(s):

Christopher C. French

Julia Santomauro

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.003.0024

Sleep paralysis consists of a period of inability to perform voluntary movements at sleep onset or upon awakening, either during the night or in the morning. It is classified as an REM (rapid eye movement) sleep parasomnia; that is, an undesirable sleep disturbance that occurs during sleep that is characterised by the kind of rapid eye movements (REMs) typically associated with dreaming. During an episode of sleep paralysis, the individual is fully conscious and aware that it is not possible to move limbs, head and trunk, and there may also be respiratory difficulties. Sleep paralysis represents a unique altered state of consciousness, although there is still a lot to learn about this puzzling phenomenon.

Keywords:   sleep paralysis, parasomnia, sleep disturbance, REM sleep

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