THE relationship between sleep and schizophrenia, and particularly the dream state and schizophrenia, has long held the neuropsychiatrist's attention and interest. Kraepelin,1 Jackson,2 and Jung3 hypothesized around the turn of the century, that a similarity did indeed exist between the dream state and dementia praecox. Objective methods for studying sleep and dreaming, however, were lacking, and research in the borderland of sleep-schizophrenia remained in the realm of speculation. With the discovery by Aserinsky, Kleitman, and Dement4-6 in the early 1950's that through all-night electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, sleep could be qualitatively separated into two distinct interdigitating phases—rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and slow wave sleep, the former being associated with a high percentage of dream recall—the sleepschizophrenia paradigm became subject for the first time to experimental scrutiny.
Most sleep studies with schizophrenics since then have focused on the REM state, comparing schizophrenics with their normal counterparts. The
Stern M, Fram DH, Wyatt R, Grinspoon L, Tursky B. All-Night Sleep Studies of Acute Schizophrenics. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(4):470-477. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740160086012