Associations between sleep variables and ostensibly paranormal experiences and paranormal beliefs: A scoping review

Rauf, B., Perach, R., Madrid-Valero, J.J., Denis, D., Sharpless, B.A., Farron, H., French, C.C. and Gregory, A. 2023. Associations between sleep variables and ostensibly paranormal experiences and paranormal beliefs: A scoping review. British Journal of Psychology. 114 (4), pp. 797-818. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12655

TitleAssociations between sleep variables and ostensibly paranormal experiences and paranormal beliefs: A scoping review
TypeJournal article
AuthorsRauf, B., Perach, R., Madrid-Valero, J.J., Denis, D., Sharpless, B.A., Farron, H., French, C.C. and Gregory, A.
Abstract

Night-time is a period of great significance for many people who report paranormal experiences. However, there is limited understanding of the associations between sleep variables and seemingly paranormal experiences and/or beliefs. The aim of this review is to improve our understanding of these associations while unifying a currently fragmented literature-base into a structured, practical review. In this pre-registered scoping review, we searched for relevant studies in MEDLINE (PubMed), PsycINFO (EBSCO), Web of Science and EMBASE using terms related to sleep and ostensibly paranormal experiences and beliefs. Forty-four studies met all inclusion criteria. All were cross-sectional and most investigated sleep paralysis and/or lucid dreaming in relation to ostensibly paranormal experiences and paranormal beliefs. Overall, there were positive associations between many sleep variables (including sleep paralysis, lucid dreams, nightmares, and hypnagogic hallucinations) and ostensibly paranormal experiences and paranormal beliefs (including those of ghosts, spirits, and near-death experiences). The findings of this review have potential clinical implications such as reducing misdiagnosis and treatment development and provide foundations for further research. Our findings also highlight the importance of understanding why so many people report ‘things that go bump in the night’.

JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Journal citation114 (4), pp. 797-818
ISSN0007-1269
2044-8295
Year2023
PublisherBPS
Wiley
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12655
Web address (URL)https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjop.12655
Publication dates
Published online18 Apr 2023

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