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To explore if hallucinatory experiences and post-episode distress in young adults experiencing sleep paralysis are reflective of previous childhood trauma and underlying psychopathology. Sleep paralysis is the inability to conduct voluntary movement either at sleep onset or upon awakening. Half of these episodes are accompanied by hallucinatory experiences. This study employed a cross-sectional design. 289 undergraduate students completed a series of online self- report measures. Analysis of covariance revealed that childhood emotional abuse sig-nificantly predicted intruder hallucinations. Multiple regression analysis revealed that gender, emotional abuse, depression and intruder hallucinations explained 35% of the variance in post-episode distress. Hallucinatory experiences during sleep paralysis may be exacerbated by a history of childhood emotional trauma and depressive symptomatology. Furthermore, these may heighten post-episode distress. Sleep paralysis treatment might benefit from a trauma-informed approach. Future research should replicate these findings in a clinical population.

"Sleep paralysis and post-episode distress" by Aisling Dennigan Vol 3 Issue1

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