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PARANORMAL RESEARCH AND INVESTIGATIONS

      OLD HAG SYNDROME (SLEEP PARALYSIS)

Old Hag Syndrome/Sleep paralysis

is a connarcolepsy, cataplexy, and hypnagogic hallucinations. The pathophysiology of this condition is closely related to the normal hypotonia that occur during REM sleep. When considered to be a disease, isolated sleep paralysis is classified as MeSH D020188. Some evidence suggests that it can also, in some cases, be a symptom of migraine.

Physiologically, sleep paralysis is closely related to the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is known as REM atonia. Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain awakes from a REM state, but the body paralysis persists. This leaves the person fully conscious, but unable to move. The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes "after which the individual may experience panic symptoms and the realization that the distorted perceptions were false". When there is an absence of narcolepsy, sleep paralysis is referred to as isolated sleep paralysis (ISP). "ISP appears to be far more common and recurrent among African Americans than among White Americans or Nigerian Blacks", and is often referred to within African American communities as "the witch riding your back"

In addition, the paralysis state may be accompanied by terrifying hallucinations (hypnopompic or hypnagogic) and an acute sense of danger. Sleep paralysis is particularly frightening to the individual due to the vividness of such hallucinations. The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as a dream, since completely fanciful, or dream-like, objects may appear in the room alongside one's normal vision. Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for alien abductions and ghostly encounters. A study by Susan Blackmore and Marcus Cox of the University of the West of England supports the suggestion that alien abductions are related to sleep paralysis rather than to temporal lobe lability.dition that may occur in normal subjects or be associated with

Sleep paralysis occurs during REM sleep, thus preventing the body from manifesting movements made in the subject's dreams. Very little is known about the physiology of sleep paralysis. However, some have suggested that it may be linked to post-synaptic inhibition of motor neurons in the pons region of the brain. In particular, low levels of melatonin may stop the depolarization current in the nerves, which prevents the stimulation of the muscles, to prevent the body from enacting the dream activity (e.g. preventing a sleeper from flailing his legs when dreaming about running).

Several studies have concluded that many or most people will experience sleep paralysis at least once or twice in their lives. A study conducted by Sedaghat F. et al. has investigated the prevalence of sleep paralysis among Iranian medical students. 24.1% of students reported experiencing sleep paralsis at least once in their lifetime. The same result was reported among Japanese, Nigerian, Kuwaiti, Sudanese and American students.

Many people who commonly enter sleep paralysis also suffer from narcolepsy. In African Americans, panic disorder occurs with sleep paralysis more frequently than in Caucasians. Some reports read that various factors increase the likelihood of both paralysis and hallucinations. These include:

  • Sleeping in a face upwards or supine position
  • Irregular sleeping schedules; naps, sleeping in, sleep deprivation
  • Increased stress
  • Sudden environmental/lifestyle changes
  • A lucid dream that immediately precedes the episode.

Treatment starts with patient education about sleep stages and about the muscle atonia that is typically associated with REM sleep. For most healthy individuals, avoiding chronic sleep deprivation is enough to relieve symptoms. It is recommended that patients be evaluated for narcolepsy if symptoms persist.

Many perceptions associated with sleep paralysis (visceral buzzing, loud sounds, adrenal mental state, presences, and the paralysis itself) also constitute a common phase in the early progression of episodes referred to as out of body experiences.  Mental focus varies between the two conditions; paralysis sufferers tend to fixate on reestablishing operation of the body, whereas subjects of out-of-body episodes are more occupied by perceived non-equivalence with the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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