Results show that 71 percent of participants reported at least one incident of dreamlike mental content associated with an episode of sleepwalking or sleep terrors, and the action in the dreamlike thoughts corresponded with the observed behavior.
A total of 106 reports of dreamlike mental activity were collected; the mental content was brief, with 95 percent of the reports involving a single visual scene. These dreamlike thoughts were frequently unpleasant, with 84 percent involving apprehension, fear or terror; 54 percent involving misfortune, in which injury, mishap or adversity occurred through chance or environmental circumstances; and 24 percent involving aggression, with the dreamer always being the victim. Compared with healthy controls, patients with sleepwalking and sleep terrors reported more severe daytime sleepiness and had four times as many arousals from slow-wave sleep.
Principal investigator Isabelle Arnulf, MD, PhD, neurologist and head of the sleep disorders unit at Unité des Pathologies du Sommeil at Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris, France, said that it has been widely believed that dreams do not occur during sleepwalking and sleep terrors events. However, previous studies focused mostly on children rather than adults.
"The results are surprising, as it is commonly reported that sleepwalkers and patients with sleep terrors do not remember dreaming," said Arnulf. "Adults involved in the study who experienced sleepwalking and sleep terrors were less confused during the episode than children, making it easier to express their dream mentations."
According to the AASM, sleepwalking and sleep terrors typically occur during arousals from slow-wave sleep and are classified as "parasomnias," which are undesirable events or experiences that occur during entry into sleep, within sleep or during arousals from sleep. Sleepwalking occurs when a person gets out of bed and walks around with an altered state of consciousness and impaired judgment. An episode of sleep terrors occurs when a person sits up in bed with a look of intense fear, often making a cry or piercing scream.
Forty-three patients with severe, frequent, dangerous or disturbing episodes of sleepwalking or sleep terrors participated in the study and were matched with 25 healthy control subjects. The mean age of patients was 26 years with a range from 11 to 72 years, and 46 percent were male. Five patients suffered exclusively from sleep terrors, eight subjects suffered from sleepwalking only and 30 experienced both sleepwalking and sleep terrors.
Data were gathered retrospectively by interview, so that the dreamlike thoughts that were collected covered a lifetime span for each patient. Thirty-eight patients (88 percent) were able to reliably answer questions about their mental content during the sleepwalking and sleep terrors episodes. Sleep also was monitored during one night in a laboratory.
For a long time rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has been considered to be the neurobiological basis of dreaming, the authors noted. Although complex mental activity has been reported in non-REM sleep during slow-wave sleep, the extent to which the reported dreamlike thoughts may be described as "dreaming" is still debated.
The authors suggested that the brief, dreamlike activity occurring during sleepwalking and sleep terrors could be either the terminal part of a longer dream that is forgotten at the time of arousal, or a short mental creation elicited before or just at the time of arousal.
Sleep is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS), a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The APSS publishes original findings in areas pertaining to sleep and circadian rhythms. Sleep, a peer-reviewed scientific and medical journal, publishes 12 regular issues and 1 issue comprised of the abstracts presented at the SLEEP Meeting of the APSS.
For a copy of the study, "Dreamlike Mentations During Sleepwalking and Sleep Terrors in Adults," or to arrange an interview with the study's author, please contact Kelly Wagner, AASM public relations coordinator, at (708) 492-0930, ext. 9331, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AASM is a professional membership organization dedicated to the advancement of sleep medicine and sleep-related research. As the national accrediting body for sleep disorders centers and laboratories for sleep related breathing disorders, the AASM promotes the highest standards of patient care. The organization serves its members and advances the field of sleep health care by setting the clinical standards for the field of sleep medicine, advocating for recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, educating professionals dedicated to providing optimal sleep health care and fostering the development and application of scientific knowledge.
Kelly Wagner | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
26.09.2017 | Life Sciences
26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.09.2017 | Information Technology