Sleep Paralysis: Historical, Psychological, and Medical Perspectives

ISBN : 9780199313808

Brian A. Sharpless; Karl Doghramji
304 Pages
167 x 234 mm
Pub date
Aug 2015
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Sleep paralysis (characterized by an inability to move, conscious awareness in sleep, and vivid hallucinations) has a history that spans over two-thousand years. However, despite this expansive history, it is only in recent times that a scientific evidence base has accrued. The authors explore sleep paralysis from a range of historical perspectives, placing the phenomenon in a context relevant to clinicians and researchers. Dr. Brian Sharpless and Dr. Karl Doghramji's Sleep Paralysis: Historical, Psychological, and Medical Perspectives examines and synthesizes theoretical and empirical literature on sleep disorder. With a focus on phenomenology and prevalence of sleep paralysis, the book situates the disorder within cultural and historical contexts. Sleep paralysis is found to be a well-described, REM-based phenomenon with a number of known behavioral and psychological correlates. The authors compile and summarize the associated features, diagnostic issues, prevalence rates, and potential etiologies. The clinical ramifications of sleep paralysis are also thoroughly examined in this important text. The authors evaluate the available assessment instruments, provide guidance on differential diagnosis, and compile what is known about its clinical impacts. Although a number of individuals are troubled by sleep paralysis, no empirically-established treatments are available. The authors present medication guidance and a brief five session cognitive-behavioral treatment (with a corresponding adherence measure and assessment instrument) for chronic cases.


Chapter 1. What are Sleep Paralysis and Isolated Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 2. Should Sleep Paralysis be more Frequently Assessed In Research Studies and Clinical Practice?
Chapter 3. The History of Sleep Paralysis in Folklore and Myth
Chapter 4. Sleep Paralysis in Art and Literature
Chapter 5. Early Medicine and the "
Chapter 6. Sleep Paralysis: Typical Symptoms and Associated Features
Chapter 7. Prevalence of Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 8. Sleep Paralysis and Medical Conditions
Chapter 9. Sleep Paralysis and Psychopathology
Chapter 10. Theories on the Etiology of Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 11. Diagnostic Criteria, Diagnostic Issues, and Possible Subtypes of Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 12. Review of Measures Used to Assess Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 13. Differential Diagnosis of Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 14. Folk Remedies for Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 15. Psychosocial Approaches to the Treatment of Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 16. Psychopharmacology for Sleep Paralysis
Chapter 17. Conclusions and Future Directions
Appendix A. Terms for Sleep Paralysis
Appendix B. Fearful Isolated Sleep Paralysis Interview
Appendix C. A Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Manual for Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralysis: CBT-ISP
Appendix D. An Adherence Measure for CBT-ISPAppendix D: An Adherence Measure for CBT-ISP

About the author: 

Brian Sharpless, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychology Clinic at Washington State University; Karl Doghramji, MD is a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University; a Medical Director at Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center; and Program Director at Fellowship in Sleep Medicine.

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