The Wellcome Collection – a free museum and library “exploring health, life and our place in the world” and funded by the Wellcome Trust – has recently posted a small review of the history of sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a “sleep disorder in which the body is temporarily immobilised at the moment of waking or the moment of falling asleep. It is a minor, yet common, body/mind malfunction that upwards of 50% of the population claims to have experienced at least once in their lifetime.”
UFO researchers are likely most familiar with the phenomenon as it relates to claims of alien abduction. Social scientists and clinicians have often argued that individuals claiming to have had such experiences were in fact experiencing a bout of sleep paralysis that, after the fact, was transformed into a story of extraterrestrial assault.
Check out the site for some interesting video footage as well.