Challenging the myth of REM sleep behavior disorder: No evidence of heightened aggressiveness in dreams

Armando D'Agostino, Raffaele Manni, Ivan Limosani, Michele Terzaghi, Simone Cavallotti, Silvio Scarone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Dreams are commonly described as violent, threatening, and aggressive in patients with REM behavior disorder (RBD), but very few studies have directly investigated dream content in this population. We systematically assessed dreams in subjects with a confirmed diagnosis of idiopathic RBD (iRBD) and explored psychological traits within the group with specific focus on aggressiveness. Methods: A total of 129 dream reports was collected, of which 77 belonged to 12 iRBD patients and 52 belonged to 12 control subjects. Transcripts were analyzed with measures of both form and content. The Thematic Apperception Test was used to assess patients' personality traits and to yield information on formal aspects of waking thought processes. Results: No statistically significant differences were found between the dreams of iRBD patients and those of normal controls in any of the applied measures. In wakefulness, passivity was found to differ between the two populations and was being higher in the iRBD group (F 9,14=4.84, p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Aggressive
  • Bizarreness
  • Dreaming
  • Parasomnias
  • RBD
  • REM sleep
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Challenging the myth of REM sleep behavior disorder: No evidence of heightened aggressiveness in dreams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this