Date of Award
Joel M. Martin
While evidence for many types of psychotic experience exists in the general population, dreams have been a particularly prominent model for hallucinations and delusions in otherwise healthy individuals. This definition of "bizarreness" in dreams mirrors the description of psychosis in schizophrenia patients when their psychosis remits (Colace, 2003). Babkoff et al, (1989) found a linear association - less sleep caused more waking-state hallucinations. While the relationship between psychotic symptoms and sleep deprivation is well established, most existing data regard waking-state psychotic symptomology. The relationship between sleep deprivation and dream-state psychotic symptomology has not been investigated. Further, no sleep deprivation study assessed variables (such as delusion proneness) that have been strongly associated with subclinical psychotic symptoms in waking-state experiences (Garety et al., 2005). I hypothesized sleep deprived individuals who show a high degree of delusion proneness will also experience a greater frequency of bizarre dream elements, as compared to those who are lower in delusion proneness and not sleep deprived. Thus, I hypothesized an interaction effect between the two variables of sleep deprivation and delusion proneness. To test this hypothesis, undergraduate students completed measures of subclinical delusional ideation and were instructed to record their dreams and amount of sleep in a journal for four consecutive nights. Results disconfirmed the hypothesis: sleep deprivation seems to equalize dream bizarreness. When sleep deprived, delusion proneness has little impact on dream bizarreness; when not sleep deprived, delusion proneness significantly increases dream bizarreness.
Lezon, Anna Leigh, "Sleep Deprivation and Delusion Proneness: Influence on Dream Bizarreness" (2012). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 149.