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The occurrence and predictive factors of sleep paralysis in university students

Authors Lišková M, Janečková D, Klůzová Kráčmarová L, Mladá K, Bušková J

Received 23 June 2016

Accepted for publication 5 September 2016

Published 14 November 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 2957—2962

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S115629

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Monika Lišková,1,2 Denisa Janečková,1 Lucie Klůzová Kráčmarová,3 Karolína Mladá,1 Jitka Bušková1,2

1Institute of Sleep Medicine, National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, 2Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, 3Olomouc University Social Health Institute, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Abstract: The aim of the present study was to assess the occurrence and predictive factors of sleep paralysis (SP) in Czech university students. Our sample included 606 students who had experienced at least one episode of SP. The participants completed an online battery of questionnaires involving questionnaires focused on describing their sleep habits and SP episodes, the 18-item Boundary Questionnaire (BQ-18), the Modified Tellegen Absorption Scale (MODTAS), the Dissociative Experience Scale Taxon, the Beck Depression Inventory II and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The strongest predictive factor for the frequency of SP episodes was nightmares. The strongest predictive factor for the intensity of fear was dream occurrences. In our study sample, SP was more common in women than in men. Those who scored higher in BQ-18 experienced more often pleasant episodes of SP and those who scored higher in MODTAS were more likely to experience SP accompanied with hallucinations. While 62% of respondents answered that their SP was accompanied by intense fear, 16% reported that they experienced pleasant feelings during SP episodes. We suggest that not only the known rapid eye movement sleep dysregulation but also some personality variables may contribute to the characteristics of SP.

Keywords: sleep paralysis, absorption, personality boundaries, dissociation, nightmares

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