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Should Sleep Paralysis Be More Frequently Assessed in Research Studies and Clinical Practice? 

Should Sleep Paralysis Be More Frequently Assessed in Research Studies and Clinical Practice?
Chapter:
Should Sleep Paralysis Be More Frequently Assessed in Research Studies and Clinical Practice?
Author(s):

Brian A. Sharpless

and Karl Doghramji

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199313808.003.0002
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date: 19 September 2019

This chapter outlines the reasons that it is important to more thoroughly study sleep paralysis and isolated sleep paralysis. Although sleep paralysis is a dramatic and memorable experience for sufferers, it is rarely assessed in clinical or research settings. This is in spite of the facts that:: 1) it is more prevalent than many would think, 2) it is associated with a number of medical and psychiatric conditions, 3) sleep paralysis can be associated with clinical distress and impairment, 4) it may possess cultural importance, and 5) the act of merely assessing for sleep paralysis may lead to a normalization of the experience and relief for the sufferer. Further, no empirically supported treatments are currently available for sufferers, and there is a high risk of misdiagnosis unless sleep paralysis is considered as a diagnostic possibility.

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