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Sleep Paralysis Among Egyptian College Students: Association With Anxiety Symptoms (PTSD, Trait Anxiety, Pathological Worry)

Jalal, Baland BA*; Hinton, Devon E. MD, PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: November 2015 - Volume 203 - Issue 11 - p 871–875
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000382
Original Articles

Among Egyptian college students in Cairo (n = 100), this study examined the relationship between sleep paralysis (SP) and anxiety symptoms, viz., posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trait anxiety, and pathological worry. SP rates were high; 43% of participants reported at least one lifetime episode of SP, and 24% of those who reported at least one lifetime episode had experienced four or more episodes during the previous year. Fourteen percent of men had experienced SP as compared to 86% of women. As hypothesized, relative to non-SP experiencers, participants who had SP reported higher symptoms of PTSD, trait anxiety, and pathological worry. Also, as hypothesized, the experiencing of hypnogogic/hypnopompic hallucinations during SP, even after controlling for negative affect, was highly correlated with symptoms of PTSD and trait anxiety. The study also investigated possible mechanisms by examining the relationship of hallucinations to anxiety variables.

*Center for Brain and Cognition, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA; and ‡Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Send reprint requests to Baland Jalal, BA, Center for Brain and Cognition, UC San Diego, 0109 Mandler Hall, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0109. E-mail:

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