Dream-Enacting Behaviors in a Normal Population

Tore Nielsen, PhD,1,2 Connie Svob,3 and Don Kuiken, PhD3

1Dream Nightmare Laboratory, Sacré-Coeur Hospital of Montreal, Montreal, Canada 2Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montreal, Montreal, Canada3Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada  Address correspondence to: Tore Nielsen, PhD, Sleep Research Centre, Sacré-Coeur Hospital of Montreal, 5400 boul. Gouin Ouest, Montréal, Québec, Canada H4J 1C5Phone: (514) 338-2222, Ext: 3350Fax: (514) 338-2531, ;Email: tore.nielsen@umontreal.ca

DREAMING IS A SLEEP RELATED COGNITIVE ACTIVITY CHARACTERIZED BY MULTISENSORY IMAGERY, EMOTIONAL AROUSAL AND APPARENT SPEECH AND motor activity. For some REM sleep parasomnias, most notably REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD),13 the emotional, verbal, or motor components of dreaming may be enacted behaviorally and form part of the disorder’s clinical symptomatology. These behaviors are distinct from other behaviors observable during REM sleep that are not clearly linked with dream content, such as phasic muscle twitches, and from somnambulistic behaviors observable during NREM sleep that are not typically associated with vivid dreaming. Dream-enacting behaviors have also been reported for healthy individuals in autobiographical accounts4 and by parents evaluating their children’s sleep.5 We recently demonstrated6 that in the first 12 postpartum weeks, 63% of new mothers report some form of dream enactment, whether it be body or limb movement, emotional expression (e.g., weeping during a sad dream), or verbalization of dreamed speech; behaviors were also prevalent for pregnant women (56%) and nulligravid controls (40%). Such behaviors are most often reported for transitions from dreaming to wakefulness because the individual is able to recall enactment of the imagery immediately after it takes place. To illustrate, in a dream report of being pursued by a leopard and confronted by a looming masked figure, a dreamer describes his emotional reactions during the dream and in the transition to awakening:

…Panting for breath, I turned around to see the day turned to night, and a giant figure. .. I heard a thunderous voice saying only that it was time. And my entire body began to shake violently with the sound, as if I were breaking apart. .. I jerked up in a sweat, hitting my head against the wall lamp that stuck out above the bunk. In the darkness, my heart slowly evened itself, but I couldn’t get back to sleep again.4

Very interesting article full text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2786047/?tool=pmcentrez

Randy Clare

Randy Clare

Randy Clare brings to The Sleep and Respiratory Scholar more than 25 years of extensive knowledge and experience in the sleep and pulmonary function field. He has held numerous management positions throughout his career and has demonstrated a unique view of the alternate care diagnostic and therapy model. He is considered by many an expert in the use of a Sleep Bruxism Monitor in a dental office. Mr. Clare's extensive sleep industry experience assists Sleepandrespiratoryscholar in providing current, relevant, data-proven information on sleep diagnostics and sleep therapies that are effective for the treatment of sleep disorders. Mr Clare is a senior brand manager for Glidewell Dental Laboratory his focus is on dental treatment for sleep disordered breathing.

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