Sleep paralysis in medieval Persia - The hidayat of Akhawayni (?-983 AD)

Samad E.J. Golzari, Kazem Khodadoust, Farid Alakbarli, Kamyar Ghabili, Ziba Islambulchilar, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Majid Khalili, Feridoon Abbasnejad, Niloufar Sheikholeslamzadeh, Nasrollah Moghaddam Shahabi, Seyed Fazel Hosseini, Khalil Ansarin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Among the first three manuscripts written in Persian, Akhawayni's Hidayat al-mutaallemin fi al-tibb was the most significant work compiled in the 10th century. Along with the hundreds of chapters on hygiene, anatomy, physiology, symptoms and treatments of the diseases of various organs, there is a chapter on sleep paralysis (night-mare) prior to description and treatment of epilepsy. The present article is a review of the Akhawayni's teachings on sleep paralysis and of descriptions and treatments of sleep paralysis by the Greek, medieval, and Renaissance scholars. Akhawayni's descriptions along with other early writings provide insight into sleep paralysis during the Middle Ages in general and in Persia in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
StatePublished - May 22 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Akhawayni
  • Night-mare
  • Persia
  • Sleep paralysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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