(ORDO NEWS) — The night is best for paranormal activity when there is little light and sound present, limiting the human imagination.
While the relationship isn’t entirely clear, new research shows an interesting connection between paranormal beliefs and one of our most important nighttime activities, sleep.
Through the study, the researchers found that subjective measures of worsening sleep quality were associated with stronger belief in ghosts and demons, a soul living after death, people’s ability to communicate with the dead, near-death experiences as evidence of an afterlife, and aliens visiting Earth.
The study authors report that the decline in sleep quality included lower sleep efficiency, longer sleep delay, shorter sleep duration, and increased symptoms of insomnia.
In addition to self-reported sleep quality, researchers have found that the belief that aliens have visited Earth is associated with isolated sleep paralysis and exploding head syndrome, a disorder characterized by a sensation of loud noise or rumbling in the head.
Isolated sleep paralysis, in which a person is aware and awake but unable to move, without other symptoms of a sleep disorder such as narcolepsy, has also been linked to the belief that near-death experiences are proof of life after death, the study found.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is a new discovery worthy of further study,” the scientists write.
They note that the findings are broadly consistent with previous studies that have also found associations between paranormal beliefs and sleep variables. The new study aims to explore a wider range of sleep variables with a larger sample size.
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