Metaphysics & Psychology
New study associates lack of sleep with stronger paranormal beliefs
By T.K. Randall
January 21, 2023 · 16 comments
An 18th-Century depiction of sleep paralysis. Image Credit: Henry Fuseli
Scientists have conducted a new study into the link between lack of sleep and a belief in aliens, ghosts and demons.
The time we spend each night in our beds has long been associated with the paranormal - from sleep paralysis and 'things that go bump in the night' to alien abductions - many of the phenomena we associate with the paranormal tend to be reported after hours.
Now researchers have taken this connection one step further by conducting a new study to determine whether or not a lack of sleep might actually be associated with a greater overall belief in paranormal phenomena.
The study involved surveying 8,853 people about their sleeping habits and personal beliefs.
What the researchers found was that participants were a lot more likely to believe in ghosts, demons and aliens if they got fewer hours of sleep or experienced difficulty drifting off to sleep at night.
Around two-thirds of those who experienced sleep paralysis or the related 'exploding head syndrome' believed that aliens were already visiting Earth (compared to a mere 3.4% of the total sample).
This same cohort also tended to have a stronger belief in life after death.
"As [sleep paralysis] involves different types of hallucinations, including auditory and visual, and [exploding head syndrome] typically involves a bang, our findings suggest that the belief in aliens may be associated with sleep disturbances that produce sounds or images," the study authors wrote.
"One explanation for these associations is therefore that someone experiencing sounds or images associated with sleep could interpret this as evidence that aliens or other supernatural beings exist."
Source: IFL Science
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