JOURNAL ARTICLE

Dreamlike mentations during sleepwalking and sleep terrors in adults

Delphine Oudiette, Smaranda Leu, Michel Pottier, Marie-Annick Buzare, Agnès Brion, Isabelle Arnulf
Sleep 2009, 32 (12): 1621-7
20041598

BACKGROUND: Sleep terrors and sleepwalking are described as arousals from slow wave sleep with no or poor mental recollection.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the mental content retrospectively associated with sleep terrors or sleepwalking.

SETTING: University Hospital.

DESIGN: Controlled prospective cohort.

PARTICIPANTS: Forty-three patients referred for severe sleepwalking/sleep terrors (age: 26 +/- 7 y, 46% men, 5 with sleep terrors only, 8 with sleepwalking only, and 30 with both), matched with 25 healthy control subjects.

INTERVENTION: Thirty-eight of the 43 patients (88%) underwent an interview about the frequency, time, behaviors, and mental content associated with the episodes of sleepwalking and sleep terrors, whenever they occurred over a lifetime. The mental contents were classified for complexity (Orlinski score), and for characters, emotions, fortune/misfortune, and social interactions (Hall and Van de Castle categories). Patients and control subjects underwent an overnight video-polysomnogram.

RESULTS: Seventy-one percent of the patients reported at least 1 dreamlike mentation associated with the sleepwalking/sleep terrors episode. The dreamlike mentation action corresponded with the observed behavior. A total of 106 dreamlike mentations were collected (mean: 3 +/- 3.4 dreamlike mentations/patient, range 0-17). Most (95%) dreamlike mentations consisted of a single visual scene. These dreamlike mentations were frequently unpleasant, with aggression in 24% (the dreamer being always the victim), misfortune in 54%, and apprehension in 84%. The patients with dream mentations reported more severe daytime sleepiness.

CONCLUSION: Short, unpleasant dreamlike mentations may occur during sleepwalking/sleep terrors episodes, suggesting that a complex mental activity takes place during slow wave sleep. Sleepwalking may thus represent acting out of the corresponding dreamlike mentation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
20041598
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"