August 1966

Erection Cycle During Sleep in Relation to Dream Anxiety

Author Affiliations

From the Psychology Laboratory and the Psychiatric Treatment Research Center of the Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Karacan is now at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(2):183-189. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730140071012

FOLLOWING the work of Aserinsky1 and Aserinsky and Kleitman,2 it has been well established that there are periods of rapid, conjugate eye movement (REM Periods) occurring at about 90-minute intervals throughout the course of normal sleep in adult human subjects (Ss), and it has been found that most dream reports are obtained after awakenings from these Periods.3 It is also well established that these periods are associated with a low-voltage random electroencephalogram (EEG) record which has been called stage 1 of sleep by Dement and Kleitman.4 In fact the Physiological changes which are associated with REM periods encompass a large cluster of characteristics: increase in respiratory rate and irregularity1,5-8; an increase in pulse rate and irregularity7,8; a decrease in the number of spontaneous galvanic skin responses6,9-10; a greater incidence of isolated wrist activity11,12; an increase in the

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