TV

The week in radio and podcasts: All in the Mind; Impotential

Two troubling Radio 4 programmes examined the tricks your brain plays on you in your sleep and a problem particular to men

All in the Mind (Radio 4) | iPlayer
Impotential (Radio 4) | iPlayer

The mind and the body – it’s a dualism that we can’t escape, even on Radio 4. Particularly on Radio 4. All in the Mind returned with Claudia Hammond for a kind of unintentional Halloween special. The lead subject was sleep paralysis, a condition suffered by around one in 20 people. It’s the sensation that you are awake but can’t move. I’ve experienced it a handful of times myself, once most severely many years ago on my own in a flophouse in Costa Rica. I woke but my body wouldn’t move. I was also aware that I couldn’t speak. No one in the world knew where I was. And I had a sudden fear that I’d be stuck, paralysed, in a cheap hotel room in San José for ever.

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