Shelley Adler, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, trained in medical anthropology research, has written a book called Sleep Paralysis: Nightmares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection.1 She makes a strong case for the incredible power of our mind and beliefs…and how they can even lead to death.
Adler spent time studying the strange case of the Hmong men -- immigrants from Laos to America. In the early 1980s, 117 of them died in their sleep. Aside from one of them, they were all healthy and young, with a median age of just 33. Yet after living in various parts of the United States for a period of months, they began to pass away. The medical community was confounded, but gave their condition the name Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS). A name was all it got because they couldn't come up with any other answers about what was killing these men off.
Adler has researched "nocturnal pressing spirit attacks," which is known as sleep paralysis to scientists -- or just plain old nightmares to the rest of us. There are beliefs about this sleep disturbance, often considered some type of evil spirit, documented in the traditions of many cultures.
Listen as Jon Barron dives into the mystery of Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS) and the mind-body connection with this health podcast!