Sleep paralysis and psychopathology

  • CO Mume
  • IC Ikem


Background. Sleep paralysis in the absence of narcolepsy
is common. Individuals experience episodes of profound
muscular paralysis on waking from sleep in the morning or
during the night. These episodes are disturbing, especially
because they often involve feeling unable to breathe
deeply or voluntarily. Previous studies have suggested an
association between isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) and adverse
psychosocial situations. This study examines an association
between ISP and anxiety in orthopaedic patients suffering from
physical injuries, patients with multiple somatic complaints
(suffering from psychological disorders), and healthy controls.
Methods. Healthy individuals, orthopaedic patients and
patients with multiple somatic complaints were asked to fill
out a survey that determined the 3-month prevalence of ISP.
Anxiety was scored on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale
Results. ISP was reported by 28% of the healthy subjects,
44% of the orthopaedic patients and 56% of the patients with
multiple somatic complaints. The degree of anxiety among the
orthopaedic patients was significantly higher than that in the
healthy subjects and significantly lower than that reported by
the patients with multiple somatic complaints.
Conclusion. This study suggests that although ISP occurs in
healthy individuals, it is more common in association with

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-6786
print ISSN: 1608-9685