People who sleep badly tend to believe in the supernatural, that is, in ghosts, demons or even aliens. The statement comes from a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research. According to the scientists responsible, these beliefs are associated with sleep paralysis or exploding head syndrome, a disorder that causes the sensation of a noise inside the head.
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Sleep paralysis was also shown to be related to beliefs about near-death experiences, and to arrive at these findings, scientists had the participation of 8,853 people, who answered a questionnaire about paranormal events and sleep variations.
“At night can be a frightening experience for some. In fact, ostensibly paranormal experiences, such as seeing a ghost or an alien, are often reported during the night”, reflect the authors.
One of the theories presented in the study is that sleep paralysis may involve visual and auditory hallucinations, and the results suggest that these beliefs may be linked precisely with disturbances of sounds or images. Therefore, if a person has hallucinations with sounds or images associated with sleep, he can interpret this as evidence that supernatural beings exist.
In any case, the researchers themselves recognize that further research is needed to put this relationship into practice.
Another theory by researchers is that believing in the supernatural can cause anxiety and interfere with sleep. This may help to understand why belief in ghosts, demons or aliens was linked to lower sleep quality.
The next step to understand this relationship in depth is to invest in studies that cover a larger group of people. The authors further estimate that future studies on paranormal beliefs and sleep should use objective measures of sleep variations for greater accuracy.
“Previous studies have found significant associations between paranormal beliefs and sleep variables. However, these have been performed on a small scale and are limited in the number of sleep variables investigated,” the researchers claim.
Source: Journal of Sleep Research