Pre- and post-sleep stress levels and negative emotions in a sample dream among frequent and non-frequent nightmare sufferers
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Arch Psych Psych 2012;14(2):11-16
Aim. This study examined whether self-identified frequent nightmare sufferers report stronger negative emotions in their everyday dreams and higher stress levels in the evening and in the morning than reported non-frequent nightmare sufferers. Method. Sixty participants ranging in age from 13 to 58 selected on the basis that they self-reported having more than one nightmare a week, or less than one nightmare a month. For the assessment the authors used four questionnaires: a demographic questionnaire, daily report summary questionnaires, dream diaries, and post-dream diary questionnaires. Results. A MANOVA performed on a dream recalled by frequent nightmare sufferers revealed an overall significant difference in negative emotions (p<0.01), which was significantly attributable to higher levels of dream fear and anxiety (both, p<0.01). Frequent nightmare sufferers also reported experiencing significantly more negative mood and higher stress levels before and after sleep (p<0.01). Discussion. Results support the continuity hypothesis between waking and dreaming.
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