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A cognitive model of recurrent nightmares

Spoormaker, Victor

In: International Journal of Dream Research, 1 (2008), Nr. 1. pp. 15-22.

Official URL: http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ojs/index.php/IJoDR/article/view/21
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Abstract

Nightmares are a prevalent mental disorder resulting in disturbed sleep, distress, and impairment in daily functioning. Elaborating on previous theoretical models for anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and dreaming, this study introduces a cognitive model of recurrent nightmares, the central element of which concerns representation of the nightmare’s repetitive storyline in the memory as a script. It is suggested that activation of this script during REM sleep results in a replay of the nightmare, and that activation occurs through perceived similarity between dream elements and the nightmare script. The model proposes a central role for cognitive processes in the persistence of nightmares over time. The success of cognitive-behavioural treatments is explained and clinical implications are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Dream Research
Volume: 1
Number: 1
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2009 16:42
Date: 2008
Page Range: pp. 15-22
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
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