Insomnia and Dreaming

For the occurrence of dreams, an uninterrupted period of sleep is needed. So if the quality of sleep declines, the dream recall frequency will decline as well. As experiments shown us, people of mood disorder and depression have a reduced dream recall frequency. Also people having Apnea and increased daytime sleepiness, CNS and PLM will have the same results which are a decline of sleep quality and a reduced dream recall frequency. Insomnia is the most frequent, it is considered as a symptom and it is a subjective dissatisfaction with sleep, also difficulty with sleep initiation and sleep maintenance.

The stages may look like this, increased sleep latency, increased awakenings and arousals, decreased sleep efficiency, increased time of wake after sleep onset, decreased total sleep time, decreased rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) and decreased deep sleep in stages 3 and 4. A study on 289 people have showed over a 6 year period in the life of the experiment, that there is a comparison between individuals reporting insomnia to those reporting no insomnia. Those reporting were 141 and those none reporting were 148 individual. The only difference was in the nightmare recall frequency that was found higher in the insomnia group.

Also this finding took into consideration people taking medications and those who were not taking any sort of medication inside the reporting insomnia group. A decrease in dream recall was shown; a decline in dream recall is recorded with disordered sleep. Those with sleep latency more than 30 minutes reported a decline in dream recall. As for sleep effiency the groups with a higher percentage (85%) had more dream recall frequency than others. Individuals with a WASO (wake after sleep onset), of higher than 60 minutes had a lower dream recall than others.

Also stages 3 and 4 showed a significant decline for the group reporting insomnia. As a result, people with 360 minutes of continuous sleep have an increased nightmare and dream recall. As a conclusion, dreaming requires a minimum quality of continuous sleep. People reporting insomnia has lower levels of dream and nightmare recalls. I can not say that I had a personal experience in insomnia. But surely I saw close people in my family having this problem. When I used to live in my grandparents house, I used to notice how my uncle would wake up in the middle of the night after slept for a maximum of an hour.

He used to walk around the house for a while, than take out his collection games that he used to build and try to reshape them. He would do this for a couple of hours before returning to bed. I might say that I noticed how he would wake up in a bad mood. Also when he was asked to remember certain events and details it would take him a while. I think his changeable mood as a result of sleeping for a very limited number of hours may have affected his way of thinking. Also I noticed how he would sleep for several hours during the day to compensate the lost sleepless nights.

As a direct effect, my uncle started taking bad decisions in his field of work and was finally advised to see a physician. These days after seeing the difference I realized that I was right in describing his insomnia at the time. Reference: Pagel, J. F. 1,3; Shocknesse, Shannon 2 (1)University of Colorado School of Medicine and Director, Sleep Disorders Center of Southern Colorado, Pueblo, Colorado (2)Rocky Mountain Sleep, Pueblo, Colorado Dreaming and Insomnia: Polysomnographic Correlates of Reported Dream Recall Frequency. [Article] Dreaming. 17(3):140-151, September 2007.