New sleep study could explain sightings of ghosts, aliens and demons

People who experience disrupted sleep due to conditions such as insomnia or sleep paralysis are more likely to report seeing aliens or ghosts, according to a new study.

Paranormal beliefs — such as sightings of ghosts, daemons and aliens — were linked to a range of sleep variables in the study, recently published in the Journal of Sleep Research, which had a large sample size of nearly 9,000 people.

Researchers from the University of London assessed demographics, sleep disturbances and paranormal beliefs reported by the participants.

They found that those with poorer subjective sleep quality, including reports of lower sleep efficiency, longer sleep latency, shorter sleep duration, and increased insomnia symptoms, were more likely to give more support to various paranormal beliefs.

These include beliefs that souls live on after death, the existence of ghosts, demons and aliens on Earth, the ability of some people to communicate with the dead, as well as citing near-death experiences as evidence for life after death. death.

Disorders such as exploding head syndrome and isolated sleep paralysis were found to be linked to the belief that aliens have visited Earth, the study said.

Exploding head syndrome is a condition characterized by loud noises or a perception of an explosion in the patient’s head during their wake-sleep or sleep-wake transitions.

Researchers also found that isolated sleep paralysis is linked to the belief that near-death experiences are evidence of life after death.

“If these results are replicated, one possible explanation for these findings is that uncertainty and indecisiveness (in this case, uncertain beliefs) can lead to anxiety, which in turn can disrupt sleep,” scientists wrote.

“Findings obtained here indicate that there are associations between beliefs in the paranormal and various sleep variables,” they added.

Citing some of the study’s limitations, researchers said a cause-and-effect relationship could not be established.

They said the participants were self-selected and likely not representative of the general population.

“Other phenomena that may contribute to these beliefs were not assessed,” the scientists stressed.

However, the findings, they say, could help people better equip themselves to support sleep through psychoeducation.

“Mechanisms underlying these associations are likely complex and need further investigation to fully understand why people sometimes report ‘stumble things at night’,” they added.

New sleep study could explain sightings of ghosts, aliens and demons

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