Shortened REM Latency: A Consequence of Psychological Strain?

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    • Abstract:
      Previous research has demonstrated that in healthy subjects situational strain may provoke not only sleep disturbances characteristic of depression (e.g., shortened REM latencies), but also alterations In dream content. Nevertheless, there are some controversial results. The aim of on study was to clarify these inconsistencies by developing a design which might avoid some methodological problems which were present in some of these previous studies. Eleven male subjects slept In the laboratory for 7 consecutive nights. During 2 evenings they saw a stressful sad a neutral `movie In randomized order. The subsequent nights included REM sleep awn for the purpose of dream collections. Whereas the subjects were demonstrably affected by the disturbing films, the patterns of subsequent sleep remained unchanged. In contrast, manifest content of the initial dreams were clearly altered. Whereas the modes of dreaming were quite different within post-stress nights, mood was Improved the next morning in all subjects. The results are discussed within the framework of several prevailing concepts about sleep, dreams, and psychological strain. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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