An estimated one third of the UK population experience terrifying sleep paralysis yes it is a condition still not fully understood.
On 9 October, Altitude Film Distribution will release THE NIGHTMARE, (read our review by clicking HERE) the critically acclaimed new film exploring sleep paralysis from director Rodney Ascher (ROOM 237).
Sleep paralysis is a natural and common phenomena where a person is unable to move, speak or react to their surroundings while falling asleep or waking. As the brain is still alert, many experience vivid nightmarish hallucinations, sensing mysterious seen or unseen figures and voices. For many, these experiences can be extreme and disturbing made frightening by not understanding what is happening to them.
Altitude commissioned a poll of 1000 UK residents to discover more about sleep paralysis in the UK which produced the following results;
30% of the UK population have experienced sleep paralysis at least once.
Sleep paralysis is more common than colour blindness or being left handed.
Sleep paralysis is more prevalent in women and in 15-24 year olds.
38% of those who have experienced sleep paralysis don’t understand it and attribute it to a having stroke, dying, being abducted by aliens or possessed by ghosts.
40% of those who’ve experienced sleep paralysis think it’s just a bad dream.
24% of people who experience sleep paralysis in the UK have it at least once a month.
If you are London based, you are also more likely to experience it.
(A Gorkana Surveys poll, on behalf of Altitude Film Distribution, among 1,000 UK adults)
Sleep paralysis has existed for millennia in cultures around the world yet we still do not know enough about it. Hallucinations vary but the physical aspects remain fairly constant and UK researchers at Goldsmiths and the University of Chester are encouraging more sufferers to take part in research in order to discover more about the phenomenon.
COMMENTS ON THE POLL’S RESULTS;
“The alarming finding that more than 30% of people would think that they were dying or having a stroke when experiencing symptoms of sleep paralysis chimes well with the notion that this is a largely unrecognised sleep disorder in the general population. This underscores a need to promote understanding of this relatively common experience.”
Professor Alice Gregory, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths
“Those numbers are even higher than what I’ve seen before but in keeping with what I’ve come to understand about Sleep Paralysis. For an experience that’s incredibly dramatic (and often terrifying) but fairly common, it’s something that’s surprisingly under-discussed (at least in the US and, I presume, the UK). A lot of people have been keeping it to themselves, and in my experience, often assume they’re the only one going through it. I know I did”
Rodney Ascher, director of THE NIGHTMARE
On October 9, acclaimed director Rodney Ascher will take you into the minds of people who have experienced sleep paralysis through twisted and terrifying re-creations of their worst visions in a film that explores the horror of reality in a way no movie has before… THE NIGHTMARE takes horror to the next level – because this time, what you’re watching is actually real.
THE NIGHTMARE is in cinemas on 9 October and will be available to own on demand and on DVD from 26 October.