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Childhood sleep disturbance and risk of psychotic experiences at 18: UK birth cohort

  • A. Thompson (a1), S. T. Lereya (a2), G. Lewis (a3), S. Zammit (a4), H. L. Fisher (a5) and D. Wolke (a6)...

Abstract

Background

Sleep disturbances are commonly reported in the psychosis prodrome, but rarely explored in relation to psychotic experiences.

Aims

To investigate the relationship between specific parasomnias (nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking) in childhood and later adolescent psychotic experiences.

Method

The sample comprised 4720 individuals from a UK birth cohort. Mothers reported on children's experience of regular nightmares at several time points between 2 and 9 years. Experience of nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking was assessed using a semi-structured interview at age 12. Psychotic experiences were assessed at ages 12 and 18 using a semi-structured clinical interview.

Results

There was a significant association between the presence of nightmares at 12 and psychotic experiences at 18 when adjusted for possible confounders and psychotic experiences at 12 (OR = 1.62, 95% CI 1.19–2.20). The odds ratios were larger for those who reported persistent psychotic experiences.

Conclusions

The presence of nightmares might be an early risk indicator for psychosis.

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Copyright

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.

Corresponding author

Andrew Thompson, Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV47AL, UK. Email: Andrew.d.thompson@warwick.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Joint senior authors.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Childhood sleep disturbance and risk of psychotic experiences at 18: UK birth cohort

  • A. Thompson (a1), S. T. Lereya (a2), G. Lewis (a3), S. Zammit (a4), H. L. Fisher (a5) and D. Wolke (a6)...
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