Sleep paralysis in Chinese adolescents: A representative survey


Sleep paralysis has been studied in different countries and regions, but it has rarely been investigated in mainland China. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of sleep paralysis and examine features of and factors associated with sleep paralysis (SP) among Chinese adolescents. A cross-sectional study was performed by using self-administrated questionnaires distributed to junior and senior high school students. The prevalence of sleep paralysis was determined from 11 754 completed questionnaires (overall response rate: 95.1%). The relationship of sleep paralysis to personal (age, gender), lifestyle (smoking, drinking alcohol), and community (rural or urban) characteristics and sleep status (sleep duration, nap time, bedtime, subjective sleep quality) were analyzed, and the features of sleep paralysis were investigated. We found that the prevalence of sleep paralysis in this population was 6.77%. The prevalence of sleep paralysis increased significantly from junior to senior high school regardless of sleep duration, naptime, bedtime, or mental health status. Logistic regression analysis revealed that risk factors for sleep paralysis included female sex, drinking alcohol, low subjective sleep quality, and living in a rural area. Major features of sleep paralysis included the inability to move (92%) and a sense of weight on chest/difficulty breathing (43%). The results of this study suggest that in order to reduce the incidence of SP, health education should be used to promote the importance of regular sleep habits for adolescents.

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Correspondence to Dr Guofu Pi.

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Shengli Ma and Tao Wu contributed equally to this manuscript.

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Ma, S., Wu, T. & Pi, G. Sleep paralysis in Chinese adolescents: A representative survey. Sleep Biol. Rhythms 12, 46–52 (2014).

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