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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Oct;1406(1):77-85. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13447. Epub 2017 Aug 15.

Dreamless: the silent epidemic of REM sleep loss.

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The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Tucson, Arizona.


We are at least as dream deprived as we are sleep deprived. Many of the health concerns attributed to sleep loss result from a silent epidemic of REM sleep deprivation. REM/dream loss is an unrecognized public health hazard that silently wreaks havoc with our lives, contributing to illness, depression, and an erosion of consciousness. This paper compiles data about the causes and extent of REM/dream loss associated with commonly used medications, endemic substance use disorders, rampant sleep disorders, and behavioral and lifestyle factors. It examines the consequences of REM/dream loss and concludes with recommendations for restoring healthy REM/dreaming.


REM sleep; REM/dream loss; dreaming; sleep deprivation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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