Friday, June 4, 2010


Rock singer Sheryl Crow is a victim of sleep paralysis, as she revealed in a 1996 interview with Rolling Stone magazine. "It's a bizarre and twisted feeling where you feel completely paralyzed. You are sure you are going to die."

Sheryl Suzanne Crow, born on Februrary 11, 1962, Kennett, Missouri. Her parents were members of a local big band in which her father, an attorney, played trumpet. The family was very musical and owned three pianos.She graduated in 1984 from the University of Missouri where she majored in music education with a concentration in piano.
Following college, she worked in St. Louis as a music teacher and moonlighted on the weekends singing. After a couple of years of teaching, she met a local producer who helped her get work singing commerical jingles. Her success at this convinced her that she should move to LA and pursue a career. At first she sang backup for such stars as Michael Jackson and Don Henley. She then released her debut album in 1993 and scored a hit with "All I Wanna Do", firmly establishing her as a star.

In the April 2003 edition of Ladies' Home Journal Sheryl Crow spoke about her lifelong struggles with depression. As a child she would go through long bouts of depression and also struggled with sleep paralysis and a fear that she would die during her sleep.

The terror that Crow described in a 1996 interview with Rolling Stone magazine is known as “sleep paralysis.” It’s a state of being awake but completely frozen, unable to move or speak. It usually strikes just after waking up, but can also occur just before falling asleep.

The medical establishment is quite aware of this phenomenon, but has a less sensational name than "old hag syndrome" for it. They call it "sleep paralysis" or SP (sometimes ISP for "isolated sleep paralysis").
The name of the phenomenon comes from the superstitious belief that a witch - or an old hag - sits or "rides" the chest of the victims, rendering them immobile.
Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain is in the transition state between deep, dreaming sleep (known as REM sleep for its rapid eye movement) and waking up. During REM dreaming sleep, the brain has turned off most of the body's muscle function so we cannot act out our dreams - we are temporarily paralyzed.Sometimes your brain doesn't fully switch off those dreams - or the paralysis - when you wake up.Sleep paralysis is often accompanied by vivid hallucinations. There may be a sense someone is in the room, or even hovering over you. At other times, there seems to be pressure on the chest, as though someone or something perched there.

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