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What Are Sleep Paralysis and Isolated Sleep Paralysis? 

What Are Sleep Paralysis and Isolated Sleep Paralysis?
Chapter:
What Are Sleep Paralysis and Isolated Sleep Paralysis?
Author(s):

Brian A. Sharpless

and Karl Doghramji

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199313808.003.0001
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date: 19 September 2019

This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of the importance of sleep and dreams in human historical contexts. These universal phenomena have not only been viewed with curiosity, but also with fear, joy, and wonder. They have also powerfully shaped certain world events and entire disciplines have been created in the hopes of decoding their secrets. The chapter next discusses the importance of less common (and more anomalous) nocturnal experiences such as sleep paralysis. Three different definitions of sleep paralysis are provided, and theses phenomena are then situated in current diagnostic systems. Last, the major sections of the book are foreshadowed.

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