Christian Guilleminault

Publication Details

  • Prevalence of nightmares and their relationship to psychopathology and daytime functioning in insomnia subjects SLEEP Ohayon, M. M., Morselli, P. L., Guilleminault, C. 1997; 20 (5): 340-348


    A representative sample of 5,622 subjects between 15 and 96 years of age from the noninstitutionalized general population of France were interviewed by telephone concerning their sleeping habits and sleep disorders. The interviews were conducted using the Sleep-Eval knowledge-based system, a nonmonotonic, level 2 expert system with a causal reasoning mode. Questions investigated nightmares, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition (DSM-IV), definition, psychopathological traits, and included 12 other groups of information, including sociodemographics, sleep-wake schedule, daytime functioning, psychiatric and medical history, and drug intake. The data from 1,049 subjects suffering from insomnia were considered for this analysis. Bivariate analyses, logistic regression analysis using the method of indicator contrasts for the investigation of independent variables, and calculation of significant odds ratios were performed. Nightmares were reported in 18.3% of the surveyed insomniac population and were two times higher in women than in men. The following factors were found to be significantly associated with nightmares 1) sleep with many awakenings, 2) abnormally long sleep onset, 3) daytime memory impairment following poor nocturnal sleep, 4) daytime anxiety following poor nocturnal sleep, and 5) being a woman. There was a strong association between the report of nightmares in women and the presence of either a depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, or both disorders together. When the effects of major psychiatric disorders were controlled for, nightmares were significantly associated with being a woman, feeling depressed after a poor night's sleep, and complaining of a long sleep latency. Nightmares can lead to a negative conditioning toward sleep and to chronic sleep complaints. Considering the frequency of nightmares in an adult insomniac population and the significant relationship between nightmares and certain subgroups, nightmares should receive more attention in patients, especially women complaining of disrupted sleep, as high rates of psychiatric disorders were found in this specific group.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XN93300003

    View details for PubMedID 9381055

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: