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  Columnist: J. Patterson

Image credit: Johann Heinrich Füssli

Sleep paralysis and hallucinations

Posted on Thursday, 3 September, 2009 | 2 comments
Columnist: J. Patterson

The following are the most credible and scientific sites I could find, along with a few related sites with a more personal/supportive aspect. Ever awakened to find you couldn't move, saw or sensed a presence, heard a voice, felt physical sensations like excessive weight on your body or smothering, and been terrified? Before scrambling to find someone to do an exorcism, please consult a few of the sites below for information on less paranormal explanations for your experience, and make up your own mind. You're not alone, there are plenty of other sufferers of this natural phenomena, that share their own experiences, and scientists that study it, as it is still not very well understood.

Please note this isn't a claim that anyone with these symptoms definitely has this, or a diagnosis of any kind, just an alternative to paranormal causes backed by reliable scientific and professional sources - it is intended to allow anyone interested in the subject to have as much varying information at their fingertips as possible, and ruling out normal, mundane explanations for a suspected paranormal event is the first step in a critical thinking approach to investigating and understanding phenomena.

National Center for Biotechnology Information
A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health$=activity
Over 300 articles containing references to sleep paralysis in some way


Global $22.6B pharmaceutical company whose highest priority areas include sleep disorders
Article on narcolepsy, features of sleep paralysis, hallucinations

Pennsylvania State University
Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Brief article on Isolated Sleep Paralysis

Scientific American "Magazine"

Ask the Brains: What is Sleep Paralysis?
Clear, easily understandable and informative article

Psychology Today "Magazine"
Sleep Paralysis Gets Screentime—But Not as a Horror Flick
Brief article with links to related subjects

Although not a clinical medical site, deals with scientific and medical issues

Skeptic's Dictionary
Scholarly site suggesting mundane explanations for paranormal subjects
Article and number of other various sleep paralysis links

Scientific-oriented site and providers of scholastic materials
Long research paper on SP written for a university course

Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP)
Scientifically-orientated educational charity and amateur research organisation dedicated to a better understanding of anomalous phenomena
Long article on sleep paralysis and sleep-related hallucinations, also has article on temporal lobe epilepsy

Dream Studies
Intended to present reliable contemporary dream science information; lucid dreaming, nightmares, and so-called altered states of consciousness
Author has MA in Consciousness Studies and a Certificate of Dream Studies, BA degree specializing in archaeology
Article on Sleep Paralysis and Spirits

Trionic Research Institute
Awareness During Sleep Paralysis (ASP)
Semi-scientific site dedicated to ASP

Experience Project
Experience Project is the largest living collection of shared experiences.
Over 122 people noting their own sleep paralysis experiences

Sleep Paralysis Explained (Sorta) Part 1

Article Copyright© J. Patterson - reproduced with permission.

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