REM sleep and dreams

Relationship to anxiety, psychosomatic, and behavioral disorders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Sleep disturbances are frequently associated with, and can comprise core features of, anxiety disorders. Studies using objective sleep recordings have demonstrated impaired sleep initiation and maintenance in persons with generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder, but a normal latency to REM sleep. Increased phasic motor activity and eye movement density during REM sleep have been reported in combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: moreover, nightmares and other symptomatic awakenings disproportionately arise from REM sleep. One of the most consistent behavioral manifestations of sleep loss is the worsening of mood state. With prolonged sleep deprivation it is possible to observe an increase in self-reported feelings of depressed mood, anger, frustration, and anxiety. Interestingly, there is little evidence that waking stress leads to increased REM, although there have been reports of small elevations in REM following severe emotional upset. REM sleep might have some sort of calming effect. The relationship between somatic distress and dream disturbance has been recently investigated: individuals who reported more incidents of both bad dreams and nightmares did report higher levels of somatic distress. However, REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a parasomnia characterized by complex and often violent motor behaviors that emerge from REM sleep and that are associated with violent and unpleasant dreams, represents a particular condition. A discrepancy between the aggressiveness displayed in dreams and the placid and mild-mannered temperament has been observed in patients with RBD.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRapid Eye Movement Sleep: Regulation and Function
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages417-426
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780511921179, 9780521116800
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011

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Psychophysiologic Disorders
REM Sleep
Anxiety
Sleep
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Parasomnias
Frustration
Sleep Deprivation
Temperament
Panic Disorder
Anger
Veterans
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Eye Movements
Emotions
Motor Activity
Maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Ferini-Strambi, L. (2011). REM sleep and dreams: Relationship to anxiety, psychosomatic, and behavioral disorders. In Rapid Eye Movement Sleep: Regulation and Function (pp. 417-426). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511921179.043

REM sleep and dreams : Relationship to anxiety, psychosomatic, and behavioral disorders. / Ferini-Strambi, Luigi.

Rapid Eye Movement Sleep: Regulation and Function. Cambridge University Press, 2011. p. 417-426.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Ferini-Strambi, L 2011, REM sleep and dreams: Relationship to anxiety, psychosomatic, and behavioral disorders. in Rapid Eye Movement Sleep: Regulation and Function. Cambridge University Press, pp. 417-426. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511921179.043
Ferini-Strambi L. REM sleep and dreams: Relationship to anxiety, psychosomatic, and behavioral disorders. In Rapid Eye Movement Sleep: Regulation and Function. Cambridge University Press. 2011. p. 417-426 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511921179.043
Ferini-Strambi, Luigi. / REM sleep and dreams : Relationship to anxiety, psychosomatic, and behavioral disorders. Rapid Eye Movement Sleep: Regulation and Function. Cambridge University Press, 2011. pp. 417-426
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