Daily stress interacts with trait dissociation to predict sleep-related experiences in young adults

J Abnorm Psychol. 2011 Aug;120(3):719-29. doi: 10.1037/a0022941.


Building on the previously documented effects of stress and dissociation on sleep and dreaming, we examined their interactive role in general sleep-related experiences (GSEs; e.g., nightmares, falling dreams, hypnagogic hallucinations; see Watson, 2001). Stress, sleep quality, and GSEs were assessed daily for 14 days among young adults. Baseline assessment included life stress, sleep quality, psychopathology, dissociation, and related dimensions. Multilevel analyses indicated that daily stress brings about GSEs among highly dissociative young adults. Additionally, baseline trait dissociation predicted within-subject elevation in GSEs when daily stress was high. Flawed sleep-wake transitions, previously linked to dissociation and sleep-related experiences, might account for this effect.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology*
  • Dreams*
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Wakefulness