Subjective sleep-related variables in those who have and have not experienced sleep paralysis

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Abstract

Research suggests that poor sleep quality is related to the occurrence of sleep paralysis, although the precise relationship between these two variables is unknown. This association has generated interest due to the related possibility that improving sleep quality could help to combat episodes of sleep paralysis. To date, studies examining the association between sleep quality and sleep paralysis have typically measured sleep quality using general measures such as the global score of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The aim of this study was to increase the precision of our understanding of the relationship between sleep paralysis and other aspects of sleep by investigating associations between different sleep-related variables and sleep paralysis. Using data from the G1219 twin/sibling study, analyses were performed on 860 individuals aged 22–32 years (66% female). Results showed that two components of the PSQI, sleep latency and daytime dysfunction, were predictors of sleep paralysis. In addition, a number of other sleep-related variables were related significantly to sleep paralysis. These were: insomnia symptoms, sleep problems commonly related to traumatic experiences, presleep arousal, cognitions about sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness. There was no relationship with sleep-disordered breathing, diurnal preference or sleeping arrangements. Potential mechanisms underlying these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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