Isolated sleep paralysis and fearful isolated sleep paralysis in outpatients with panic attacksb


  • Supported in part by NIMH R01 MH 070664 (held by Jacques Barber) and NIMH R01 MH070918 (held by Barbara Milrod).

  • b

    The authors would like to thank Taylor DiGravina, Libby Graf, Julia Hormes, Sarah Kay, Jared Minkel, Rachel Simmons, and Tempe Watts.


Isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) has received scant attention in clinical populations, and there has been little empirical consideration of the role of fear in ISP episodes. To facilitate research and clinical work in this area, the authors developed a reliable semistructured interview (the Fearful Isolated Sleep Paralysis Interview) to assess ISP and their proposed fearful ISP (FISP) episode criteria in 133 patients presenting for panic disorder treatment. Of these, 29.3% met lifetime ISP episode criteria, 20.3% met the authors' lifetime FISP episode criteria, and 12.8% met their recurrent FISP criteria. Both ISP and FISP were associated with minority status and comorbidity. However, only FISP was significantly associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, body mass, anxiety sensitivity, and mood and anxiety disorder symptomatology. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 66:1–15, 2010.