SINCE THE discovery of rapid eye movements (REMs) associated with a desynchronized electroencephalogram (EEG) during behavioral sleep1 and the correlation of this sleep stage with dreaming,2 considerable investigation of REM sleep has been instituted to assess its significance in normal man and in various psychiatric illnesses. The similarity between mentation during dreaming in normal people and thought patterns in schizophrenia has led to many investigations of REM sleep in this disease. These studies have not consistently demonstrated marked differences in REM sleep between schizophrenics and normal subjects.3 Similarly, REM sleep does not appear to be markedly altered in mental illness characterized primarily by depression.3 Several recent studies have suggested, however, that Stage 4 or delta sleep may be decreased in schizophrenia4 and depressive psychosis.5,6
Various drugs used in the treatment of mental illness have been
Brannen JO, Jewett RE. Effects of Selected Phenothiazines on REM Sleep in Schizophrenics. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(3):284–290. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740210028004
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