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A common but poorly studied type of parasomnia is sleep paralysis, where the subject is unable to move during sleep, while suffering from terrifying hallucinations. In this study, I undertake an extensive analysis of the historical and pictorial representation of this disorder, through the way it symbolised in the history of art. The development of the concept takes us back to the mythological and folkloric setting in which the characteristics of sleep paralysis originate with the representation of a demon that rests on the sleepers without letting them breathe and abusing them at night: the incubus and the succubus. I will also delve into a symbolic and anthropological investigation of folklore in different cultures that deacribe this sleep disorder, and will analyze the influential painter Henry Füssli and other artists who established the archetype of visual representation of sleep paralysis that remains to this day

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Amaia Salazar 251
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