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The Relationship between Psychotic Experiences, Nightmares and Emotion Dysregulation: Results from a Student Population

20 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2019

See all articles by Dr Umair Akram

Dr Umair Akram

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology; University of Oxford

Maria Gardani

University of Glasgow

Kamila Irvine

University of Lincoln (UK)

Sarah Allen

University of York - Department of Health Sciences

Antonia Ypsilanti

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology

Lambros Lazuras

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology

Jennifer Drabble

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology

Jodie Stevenson

University of Lincoln (UK)

Asha Akram

University of Sheffield - Department of Psychology

More...

Abstract

Background: Sleep-disruption is commonly associated with psychotic experiences. Whilst sparse, the literature to date highlights nightmares and related distress as prominent risk factors for psychosis in students. We aimed to further explore the relationship between specific nightmare symptoms and psychotic experiences in university students whilst examining the mediating role of emotion dysregulation.

Method: A sample (N=1273) of students respondents from UK Universities completed measures of psychotic experiences, nightmare disorder symptomology, and emotion dysregulation.

Findings: Hierarchical linear regression analysis showed that psychotic experiences were significantly associated (Adjusted R2 = 32.4%) with perceived nightmare intensity, consequences and resulting awakenings, and with emotion regulation difficulties. Furthermore, multiple mediation analysis showed that the association between psychotic experiences and nightmare factors was mediated by emotion regulation difficulties.

Interpretation: Adaptive regulation of dream content during rapid eye-movement sleep has previously been demonstrated to attenuate surges in affective arousal by controlling the intensity and variability of emotional content. Deficits in emotion regulation may partially explain the experience of more intense and disruptive nightmares amongst individuals with psychotic experiences. Emotion regulation may represent an important control mechanism that safeguards dream content and sleep quality.

Funding Statement: The authors stated: "No funding received."

Declaration of Interests: No conflicts of interest declared in relation to this paper.

Ethics Approval Statement: The study was approved by the Sheffield Hallam University Research Ethics Committee, and all participants provided online informed consent.

Keywords: Sleep, Psychosis, Emotion Regulation, Student Mental Health

Suggested Citation

Akram, Umair and Akram, Umair and Gardani, Maria and Irvine, Kamila and Allen, Sarah and Ypsilanti, Antonia and Lazuras, Lambros and Drabble, Jennifer and Stevenson, Jodie and Akram, Asha, The Relationship between Psychotic Experiences, Nightmares and Emotion Dysregulation: Results from a Student Population (09/16/2019 19:24:40). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3457432 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3457432

Umair Akram (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology ( email )

Sheffield
United Kingdom

Maria Gardani

University of Glasgow

Adam Smith Business School
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8LE
United Kingdom

Kamila Irvine

University of Lincoln (UK)

Lincoln LN2
United Kingdom

Sarah Allen

University of York - Department of Health Sciences

Seebohm Rowntree Building
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Antonia Ypsilanti

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology

Sheffield
United Kingdom

Lambros Lazuras

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology

Sheffield
United Kingdom

Jennifer Drabble

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology

Sheffield
United Kingdom

Jodie Stevenson

University of Lincoln (UK)

Lincoln LN2
United Kingdom

Asha Akram

University of Sheffield - Department of Psychology

Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

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