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Prevalence and Clinical Picture of Sleep Paralysis in a Polish Student Sample.

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Wróbel-Knybel, Paulina 
Karakuła-Juchnowicz, Hanna 
Flis, Michał 
Rog, Joanna 
Hinton, Devon E 


Sleep paralysis (SP) is a psychobiological phenomenon caused by temporary desynchrony in the architecture of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. It affects approximately 7.6% of the general population during their lifetime. The aim of this study was to assess (1) the prevalence of SP among Polish students in Lublin (n = 439) using self-reported online surveys, (2) the frequency of SP-related somatic and psychopathologic symptoms, and (3) the factors potentially affecting the occurrence of symptoms among people experiencing SP. We found that the incidence of SP in the Polish student population was slightly higher (32%) than the average prevalence found in other student populations (28.3%). The SP clinical picture was dominated by somatic symptomatology: 94% of respondents reported somatic symptoms (most commonly tachycardia, 76%), 93% reported fear (most commonly fear of death, 46%), and 66% reported hallucinations (most commonly visual hallucinations, 37%). The number of SP episodes was related to sleep duration and supine position during sleep. The severity of somatic symptoms correlated with lifestyle variables and anxiety symptomatology. Our study shows that a significant proportion of students experience recurrent SP and that this phenomenon is associated with fear and physical discomfort. The scale of the phenomenon requires a deeper analysis.



PTSD6, anxiety, fear, parasomnia, psychopathologic symptoms, sleep disorder, sleep paralysis, Adolescent, Adult, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Poland, Prevalence, Sleep Paralysis, Sleep, REM, Students, Young Adult

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Int J Environ Res Public Health

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