SP = Sleep Paralysis, the paralysis normal for REM sleep

ASP = Awareness during Sleep Paralysis

SUNDS = Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome

SIDS = Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

What is the basis for all this confusion?

Many people, including some doctors, scientists and medical researchers, use the phrase "sleep paralysis" to mean both SP and ASP as defined above. The persistence of this ambiguity is most unfortunate because of the confusion it generates.

When a researchers hypothesize that "sleep paralysis" causes SUNDS, are they suggesting that the mechanism that normally paralyzes the body during REM sleep somehow goes haywire, perhaps by paralyzing the heart or lungs, and causes death?

Or, are the researchers suggesting that the extreme terror often reported by those who have experienced Awareness during Sleep Paralysis has literally scared someone to death?

Why Does this Matter?

For one thing, the population at risk would be different. If the former explanation is true everyone is at risk, since everyone has Sleep Paralysis. If the latter explanation is true only the 15% of the general population that experiences Awareness during Sleep Paralysis would be at risk.

Moreover, it is quite possible that researchers are looking for the former type of explanation while popular beliefs and superstitions are based on the latter type of explanation.

What is the evidence that either SP or ASP are related to either SUNDS or SIDS?

What little evidence is available suggests that there is no connection. Consider these points:

Other Conditions