Sleep Disorders Medicine

pp 225-234


Dreaming and Sleep Disorder

  • James F. PagelAffiliated withRocky Mt. Sleep University of Colorado School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Seithikurippu R. Pandi-PerumalAffiliated withSomnogen Canada Inc

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The field of sleep medicine has contributed the aspect of empirical validity to the study of dreaming, a field long dominated by speculative theories based on anecdotal case reports. One aspect of this attempt toward clarity has been the classification and development of consistent definitions for the topic as well as for the phenomenology on which those definitions are based. Much of the recent history of dream research has been an exploration into the electrophysiology, neurochemistry, and neuroanatomy of REM sleep. Yet today, except when addressing nightmares, it is unclear as to whether any special relationship exists between dreaming and REM sleep. Different forms of dreaming occur in all stages of sleep, with dream mentation associated with many of the parasomnias. A spectrum of complex, yet difficult to control variables affects studies of dream content; however, the variables affecting dream recall are well defined. Today, the most pressing issue concerning dreaming for the field of sleep medicine involves questions as to the role of nightmares in the pathophysiology and therapy of post-traumatic stress disorder.


REM NREM OSA PTSD Dream Rapid eye movement sleep Sleep-onset dreaming Arousal disorders Lucid dreaming Insomnia Mentation Nightmare Parasomnia Somnambulism Obstructive sleep apnea Psychiatric disorders Sleep