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Meditation-based therapy may reduce occurrence of sleep paralysis

By: Lydia L. Kim, Digital Content Editor

A new study published in Frontiers in Neurology explores a new therapeutic technique to reduce the occurrence of sleep paralysis (SP) in patients with narcolepsy. SP involves a feeling of paralysis a person may experience when waking up or falling asleep and may cause hallucinations.

The study examined the use of hypnosis and “Meditation-Relaxation (MR) therapy” over an 8-week period for a group of 10 participants. The participants were asked to keep a daily journal with notes on whether or not SP occurred, how long it was perceived to last, and the emotional impact the experience had, in addition to completing several standardized assessments used to track the treatment’s efficacy.

The researchers used MR therapy as a “psychological therapy” in four steps during the SP episode: “Step I: Reappraisal of the meaning of the attack; Step II: psychological and emotional distancing; Step III: inward focused-attention meditation; Step IV: Muscle relaxation.” The control group, however, were exposed to the same intervention steps, but also were encouraged to “[engage] in deep breathing” exercises as well.

Ultimately, the research found a “dramatic decrease in the number of days SP was experienced (50% reduction)” as well as a decrease in the “total number of episodes (54% reduction).” Due to the ease for patients to access various types of MR therapy from their homes (through digital devices), the researcher’s feel there is a very strong clinical impact on these findings.

Please read more about the study here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2020.00922/full

Source: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2020.00922/full

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