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Number 19 DEMENT - WILLIAM DEMENT Unmit Sinai Hospital New...

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Unformatted text preview: WILLIAM DEMENT Unmit Sinai Hospital, New York, N.Y. THE EFFECT OF DREAM DEPRIVATION The need for a certain amount of dreaming each night is suggested by recent experiments. ' Aboutayearanaresearchpm- mandlhemeanduntionofshlfle grant was initiated at the Mount Sinli Hospital which aimed at. assessing the basic function and significance cl dreaming The experiments have beat arduous and time-consuming and are stilt in progress. However, the results of the first series have been quite uniform, and because of the length 01 the maxim. it has been decided to issue this preliminary report. - In recent yurs, a body of evidence has accumulated which demonstrates that dreaming occurs in association with Periods of rapid, hietrtculartyr synchro- nous eye movements (1—3). Further- more. the amount and directional pat- teming of these eye movements and the associated dream content are related in mhawayastostronglysuggcstthat the eye movements represent scanning movements made by the dreamer as he Watches the events of the dream (3]. In I study of undisturbed sleep (4}. “I eye-movement periods were ob- Iim’ed to occur regularly throughont the night in association with the lightest Phases of a cyclic variation in depth of “*P. as measured by the clutter- ‘flcephalograph. The length at indi- VI‘I-Ial cycles averaged about 90 min- PfiiOdS 0‘ eye increment was about 20 minutes. Thus. a typical night's sleep hacludes tour or five periods of dream- ing. which account for about 20 percent of the total sleep time. Oneoftherrtostatrikingfactslppar— cut in all the works cited shave was that a very much greater amotnat. of dreaming newts normally than had heretofore been realized—greater both from the standpoint at frequency and that-ationinasinglcnightofsleepand in the invariability of its occurrence from night to night. In other weds, dreaming appears to be an laminate part ot normal sleep and. as arch. although the drearns are not usually recalled. occurs every night in every sleeping person. ‘ A consideration of this aspect of dreaming leads more or less inevitably to the formulation of certain rather fmadamental questions. Since there ap- peartohenoexoeptionstothenightly occurrence 0! a substantial anscatnt ol dreaming in every sleeping person. it might be asked whethet or not this amountofdreamingisinsornewaya necessary and vital part of our exist- ence. Would it be possible fer human beings to continue functioning normally if their dream life were completely or partially suppressed? Should dreaming be comidered necessary in a psycho- logical sense or a physiological sense or both? ' The obvious attack on these problems lies to study auhiects who had artts'lehostir been deprived of the opportunity to drum. After a tear unsuccessful pre- lirninary trials with depressant thugs, it was decided to use the somewhat drastic method of awakening sleeping subjects immediately after the onset of teaming and to continue this pro- cedure throughout the night. so tint each (Ier period would he artificially laminated right at its beginning. flinch ad Method Thedatainthisartielearefmmthe first eight subjects in the research pro- m. all males, ranging its-age from 23 to 32. Eye movements and accom- panying low-voltage. noospindling elec- troencephalographic pattern (4) were medastheobiectivecr'neriaofdream- ing. The technique by which these vari- ables are recorded, and their precise —'_————-H_H.———u—n—n—-—u—-———I—— Reprinted from Science, Vol. 131. No. 3415, June 10, 1960. Copyright 1960 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. . B1 relationship to dreaming. have bun ostensively discussed elsewhere (2. J). Briefly. the subjects came to the labo- ratory at about their usual bedtime. Small silver-disk electrodes were care- fully attached near their eyes and on their acalps; then the subjects went to sleepinaquiet.dartroorninthelabo- ratory. Lead wires ran from the elec- t'rodestoapparamsinanadjaoentroom upon which the electrical potentials of eye mvemenls and brain waves were recorded continuously throughout the Ilia!!!- Eye movements and brain waves of each subieet were recorded through-om- a series of undisturbed nights of sleep. to evaluate his base-line total nightly dream time and over-all sleep pattern. After this. recordings were made throughout a number of nights in which thesuhjectwasawakenedbytbeetperi- manlet' every time the eyevmovement and electroencephalographic recording indicated that he had begun to team. These “dream-deprivation" nights were always consecutive. l-‘tu‘thermore.' the subjectswererequestednottosleepat any other time. Obviously. if subjects wereallowedtonap.ortosleepat home on any night in the dream- deprivation period. an unknown amount of dreaming would talte place. ofl'aetting the eflects of the deprivation. On the first night immediately after the period of dream deprivation. a'nd for several consecutive nights thereafter. the sub- iefl was allowed to sleep without dis- turbance. These nights were designated “recovery nights.“ The subject then had a varying number of nights off. after which he returned for another series of interrupted nights which exactly dupli- cated the dream-deprivation series in number of nights and number of awak— ening: per night. The only dillerence was that the subject was awakened in the intervals between eye-movement (dream) periods. Whenever a dream period began. the subject was allowed to sleep on without interruption. and was awakened only after the dream had ended spontaneously. Neat. the subject had a number of recovery nights of undisturbed sleep equal to the number of recovery nights in his original dream- deprivation series. Altogether. as many as 10 to 30 all-night recordings were made for each subject. most of them on consecutive nights. Since. for the most part. teats could be made on only one subject at a time. and since a minute-by-minute all-night vigil was required of the experimenter to catch each dream episode immediately at its onset. it can be understood why the experiments have been called arduous and time-consuming. Table 1 summarizes most of the per- tinent data. As can be seen. the total number of base-line nights for the eight subjects was 40. The mean sleep time for the 40 nights was 1' hours and 2 minutes. the mean total nightly dream time was 82 minutes. and the mean percentage of dream time (total dream time-to total sleep time x 100) was I9.4. Since total sleep time was not held absolutely constant. percentage figures were routinely calculated as a check on the possibility that diflerences in total nightly dream time were due to differ- ences in total sleep time. Actually, this is not a plausible explanation for any but quite small diilerences in dream time. became the range of values for total sleep time for each subject turned out to be very narrow throughout the entire study. When avenged in terms of individuals rather than nights. the means were: total sleep time. 6 hours 50 minutes: total dream time. 80 min- utes: percentage of dream time. l9.5: this indicates that the figures were not skewed by the disparate number of base-line nights per subject. The re- _ marhable mailormity of the findings lor individul nights is demonstrated by the tact that the standard deviation of the total nightly dream time was only plus or minus 7 minutes. Wellness hDreaaa “Arse-W The number at consecutive nights ol’ dream deprivation arbitrarily selected as a condition of the study was five. However. one subject left the study in a flurry of obviously contrived excuses after only three nights, and two subjects insisted on stopping after four nights but consented to continue with the recovery nights and the remainder of the schedule. One subject was pushed to seven nights. During each awakening the subjects were required to sit up in bed and remain fully awake for several minutes. Do the first nights of dream deprivation. the return to sleep gen- erally initiated a new sleep cycle. and the nest dream period was postponed for the expected amount of lime. How— ever. on subsequent nights the number at forced awakenings required to sup- press dreaming steadily mounted. Or. to . put it another way. there was a progres- sive increase in the number of attempts to dream. The number of awakenings required on the first and last nights of deprivation are listed in Table I. All the subjects showed this progressive in- crease. although there was considerable variation in the starting number and the amount of the increase. An impor- tant point is that each awakening was preceded by a minute or two of dream- ing. This represented the time required for the experimenter to judge the emerging record and make the decision _""I to awaken the subject alta- noticed the beginning of eye K merits. in some cases the time little longer. as when an period started while the eapefim was looking away from the M apparatus. It is apparent from 1135‘ the method employed did not cm absolute dream deprivation but. W about a 65- to ills-percent q _ as it turned out. Nfihtly Dream Tile Elevated after Deprivation The data on the first night or: dream deprivation recovery period summarized for each subject in Tim; .As was mentioned. one subject had fl the midy. The mean total dream ti. onthellrstrecovery night'WIsIfi minutes. or 26.6 percent ol’ the tag mean sleep time. lfthe resultsle subjectswhodidnotshowrnarkedi. creases on the first recovery night is. excluded. the mean dream time is [31 minutes or 29 percent. which reprise". a Sill-percent increase over the m base-line mean. For all seven subjeeg together. on the first recovery nidtt lb ' increase in percentage of dream ran; over the base-line mean (Table I. at. 3. mean percentage figures: col. to. in recovery night percentages) was signifi- cantatthep<.05|evelinaone-tai' Wilcoxin matched-pairs signed-ranks test (5]. f' It is important to mention. however. that one (SM. in Table l) of the two subjects alluded to above as exception was out really an exception because. although he had only | hour I minute of dreaming on his first recovery night. he showed a marked increase on four subsequent nights. His failure to show a rise on the first recovery night was in all likelihood due to the fact thatll had imbibed several cocktails at a party before coming to the laboratory so that the expected increase in dream time was offset by the depressing el'lcct ol the alcohol. The other one of the two subjects lN.W. in Table I) failed to show 'a significant increase in dream " time on any of five consecutive recovery nights and therefore must be considered the single exception to the over-all results. Even so. it is hard to reconcile his lack of increase in dream time on ' recovery nights with the fact that dur- ing the actual period of dream depriva- ‘ lion he showed the largest build-up in _' number of awakenings required to sup- _ press dreaming ill to 30) of any sub- . ject in this group. One may only suggest that. although he was stroneg allected by the dream loss. he could not increase his dream time on recovery nights be- cause of an unusually stable basic sleep cycle that resisted modification. "'5 EFFECT OF DREAM DEPRIVATION 53 Tlhh I. Swan-tea nfehpcrimental mitt TST. total Ike, time: I'DT. will lift!!! til"- --"'"' Dream- Awake-nines Diners-deprivation recovery nights _ m... “a mac. halt-line Ilia!!! depri- {No.1 ————-— Fist antral recovery ugh ___d______.___._—————-—- vsue- ——-—-—e—- first ms: T51- 11)? Menu sights First Last No. 1'51" TDT hunt . (No.1 night night m TD? mm ' Subject IV. T. {4 “if”! night) a... lit?" "-5 I M I 943' 2""- MJ 0'50- lw li.‘ :......m- ll'tOF-I'll" ire-2|.) ‘ ' sets-u it. s. it uses..- new) “.7. I‘M- lll 1' 1d 2 I!!!" 949' 34.1 8‘”- INF 11?. ..5,_,,ip- llo‘P-II'JI" Isa—11.1 _ ' . Seen-e N. IV. rage-tine serum .39. 1‘"- l9.5 II :0 t S W‘- I‘ll"I| I” T'IO' l'll' on: {whom- tlttmmr- 11.4—22.4 _ ' - . ' sum rl. niches-noun ‘gw I'll. li.‘ 'i 2] 5 7‘25- I‘SI" 36.3 M'- 1'23' In puns-aa- obsr-I‘JJ- 143—12.: _ denl I. G; "O lute-fine Iii!!! ,m. ins- t9.) to an s 7|Ia- 2'0!” 29.: ms- ttss- 16.3 ,w-n3h I'll-4"“. I6.9—22.1 5.6” .I' W. D. M has-viii fights) 929- I‘ZI' 10.8 I) 20 l 3"!” 2"”- 3-0 gagg-Jlfl- tltl--t‘32- "Jr-23.4 r S. u. (2 Milne wits) 94p- 1‘12' I 1.9 21””!!! 6 5'03“ 1'0! " 19.! 6‘40- I’O‘P It. pggmm I'm-4'33" lat—19.3 our" I'm" 2st- Meet ll". 6. {2 hue-Ht- flirt) o'ld' "23' NJ 3 9 I3 HIP-024' IMF-1'2?- nT-NJ ' shim-fitment. The number of consecutive recovery mth for each subject in this series .if Icsls was too small in some cases. mainly because it Iwas naively supposed .it the beginning of the study that an increase in dream time. if it occurred. would-last only one or two nights. Ono tuhject had only one recovery night. another two. and another three. The dream time was markedly elevated above the base-line on all these nights For how many additional nights each of these three subiects would have maintained an elevation in dream time can only be surmised in the absence of objective data. All of the remaining iour subjects had the consecutive re- covery nights. One was the single sub- icfl who showed no increase. two were nearing the base-line dream time by Ihcfil'thnight.andonea‘tifltbowcd marked elevation in dream time. From this admittedly incomplete sample it appears that about five nights of in- creased dreaming usually follow four or five nights of dream suppression achieved by the method of this study. Elect Not Due to Awakening Six of the tubiects underwent the series of control awakening—that is. awakenings during non-dream periods. This series exactly duplicated the dream-deprivation series for each sub- iect in number at nights. total number 0i awakenings. and total number of awakenings per successive night. The dream time on these nights was slightly below base-line levels as a rule. The Purpose of this series was. of course. to see it the findings following dream de- privation were solely an effect of the multiple awakenings. Data for the first recovery nights after nights of control awakenings are included in Table 1. There was no significant increase for the group. The mean dream time was 88 minutes. and the mean percentage was 20.]. Subsequent recovery nights in this series also failed to show the marked rise in dream time that was observed after nights of dream depriva— tion. A moderate increase found on four out of a total of 24 recovery niglm for the individuals in the control- awakening group was felt to be a re- sponse to the slight reduction in dream time on control-awakening nights. Ichavlnrll Cheats Psychological disturbances such as anxiety. irritability. and difficulty in concentrating developed during the period of dream deprivation. but these we not catastrophic.'0ne subicct. as was mentioned above, quit the study in an apparent panic. and two subjects insisted on stopping one night short of the goal of five nights at dream depriva- tion. presumably because the stress was too great. At least one subject exhibited serious anxiety and agitation. Five sub- jects developed a marked increase in appetite during the period of dream deprivation: this observation was sup- ported by daily weight measurements which showed I gain in Height of 3 to 5 pounds in three of the subiects. The psychological changes disappeared as soon as the subjects were allowed to dream. The most important fact was that me of the observed changes were seen during the period of control awakenings. The results have been tentatively in- terpreted as indicating that a certain amount of dreaming each night is a necessity. It is as. though a pressure to dream builds up with the aocrtiing dream deficit during successive dream-depriva- tion nights—a pressure which is first evident in the increasing frequency of attempts to dream and then. during the recovery period. in the marked increase in total dream time and percentage of dream time. The fact that this increase may be maintained over four or more successive recovery nights suggests that there is a more or less quantitative compensation for the deficit. It is pos- sible that if the dream suppression were carried on long enough. a serious disruption of the personality would result {6). . Intercom-drums t. E. Ami-ssh and N. Klein-use. J'. Aim. Physioi. I. I (I959: W. Donut and E. Wolpert. J'. Nut-III Kent-t Dunne us. 5“ "ml: D. Goodman-II. A. Shapiro. M. Isolden. L. Surnadlribw. J'. Alas-nut Sod-i Ins-ital. ”. 29! ("99); E. Walnut and fl. Tm. 4.“.1. Arch. Neural. Pas-dint. D. so: “ml. 2. It. has. 1. Narrow Mental Disease m. 10 (1955:. 3. —— and N. Kleitm. .I'. Esau. Fare-loi. I). )B tln‘n: W. Densent and E. Wotpert. rats as. M! ttfllt. a. W. Dunes-t and N. Helm-an. Electroencepha- bg. and (tin. Neurophrsioi. t sis (1931). 5. S. Shel. Nonparametric Smirrfcs lo: the Inherit-Jul Sell-wen lMcOrII-Hill. New York. I956}. 6. The research reported in this paper was aided by a ll'lllt trout the Foundations' Fund tor laterals in Psychiatry. ...
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Number 19 DEMENT - WILLIAM DEMENT Unmit Sinai Hospital New...

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