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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 53 (2011) 10, 757 - 763

Short report

Sleepiness predicts an increase in dissociative symptoms: a field study

D. van der Kloet, T. Giesbrecht, H. Merckelbach

background In laboratory studies, sleepiness has been found to increase dissociative symptoms.
aim To explore the link between sleepiness and dissociation in a natural setting.
method A longitudinal study was performed among volunteers at a pop festival. Information was collected via self-report scales at four successive test moments spread over a 12-hour period.
results Sleepiness was the only variable that could predict the increase in dissociative symptoms. This result was not mediated by a deteriorated mood.
conclusion Our data suggest that sleepiness intensifies dissociative symptoms, even if it occurs outside a laboratory environment. Studies focusing on sleep normalisation may provide insights into new ways of treating dissociative symptoms.