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    1. #1
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      Not sure if this belongs here

      But I was wondering if anyone has done or read any studies concerning why our mind seems to jump to the most evil/vile things it can when we enter sleep paralysis. I was reading about psychosis the other day and it always seems they are also overwhelming negative. It seems like sleep paralysis is rarely a happy event if you're not expecting it lol. I'm also curious to see if anyone has done research regarding the relationship between psychosis and sleep paralysis since they are both pretty similar with the exception of being able to move.

    2. #2
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      Hey there DR - looks like I live just across the Mighty Mississip from you (assuming your St Louis is in Missouri).

      I think probably the main factor is just that waking up paralyzed is pretty terrifying, and sets up a dream schema characterized by not just fear but fear and helplessness. Lying unable to move but seeing your surroundings would tend to make a person panic, no? And start them automatically thinking "what if somebody walked in right now - somebody... EVIL?"



      There's also a little factoid I learned a while back - that at times when you're sleeping the brain decides to run diagnostic checks on its various systems- including the fight or flight app. It needs to check form time to time to make sure the adrenaline will flow properly when the right buttons are pushed etc - so at times your amygdala is activated, causing intense terror or rage, and creating nightmarish dreams. Consider it a sort of tuneup.

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      I'm from Illinois actually just near St. Louis :p

      That makes perfect sense thank you. I just figured our minds are a bit evil somewhere deep down lol.

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      0 _ o Wow - we're closer neighbors than I thought!

    5. #5
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      Not sure about Sleep Paralysis, but I know of a theory which proposes why we dream of horrible events. It is built on the assumption that the purpose of dreaming is to provide a threat simulation system, in which we can safely rehearse threat recognition and threat avoidance so that we may be better prepared to face such threats in reality, whether to fight them, or to flee, but in the broadest sense, to ensure our survival and reproductive success.
      This theory was proposed by Antti Revonsuo (2000), and as you can probably guess by my description, it is an evolutionary theory. The source of such a system supposedly comes from the enormous amount of time mankind has spent living in the wild, when battles between life and death with predators were much more common. A highly emotionally salient encounter during the day, such as a situation when your life is genuinely threatened by a predator, will likely re-emerge later that night in a dream, because the memory trace is stronger, due to both emotional salience and recency. Because evolution is such a slow process, and because we have only recently begun living in safer environments like houses (as far as human history is concerned), the threat simulation system still exists even though the threats we face today are entirely different. If we live in an environment where there are very few or no threats, the threat simulation system will become dormant until a threatening encounter triggers it again. When it is dormant, we will dream about what is next emotionally salient, namely our current concerns and worries.
      Again, I'm not sure how to apply this to sleep paralysis; from my own few experiences of SP, I remember nothing disturbing happening.
      Hope that sheds some light on your question.

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