Relationships between stress, sleep and nightmares
Overview

An opportunity to participate in a study investigating the relationship between stress and sleep.


  • Tuesday 15th August 2017 09:00 (1 hour)
  • Research Participant
  • Participate

The date given above is the date to register your interest in taking part by. Appointments will be arranged between the researcher and the participant.

This study is looking at the effects of day-time stress on an individual’s sleep quality, frequency of nightmares and night time insomnia symptoms.

Previous research has found individuals with insomnia to be particularly susceptible to the effects of day-time stress on sleep disruption. To a lesser extent stress also affects the subsequent night’s sleep quality of individuals with no insomnia. It has also been found day time stress is associated with an increased frequency of nightmares and this may be due to nightmares potentially being a coping mechanism for stress.

The hypothesis this study proposes is; is the relationship between stress and sleep mediated by nightmare frequency.

Aim

The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of how day-time stress manifests itself in sleep for individuals with regular sleeping patterns.

Volunteer Criteria

Participants must be aged between 18-60 years old.

The upper age limit is due to age-related changes that naturally occur after this age that may affect findings. Sleep is lighter and often more fragmented in older adults with an increased frequency of awakenings, this impaired ability to sleep is often reported as insomnia.

Individuals who suffer from physical or psychiatric illnesses, take medication that may interfere with their sleep or who have suffered from any other sleep disorder, are unable to take part.

What will I be asked to do?

The study will last for 5 consecutive days.

Day 1

You will be required to fill in a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)

Day 2

You will be asked to fill in a Sleep Diary and Nightmare Frequency Diary within an hour of waking and then the VAS at the same time as the previous day

Day 3

Repeat of Day 2

Day 4

You will be asked to fill in the Sleep Diary and Nightmare Frequency Diary within an hour of waking. You will then be asked to go to Northumbria University, at a previously agreed time, to take part in the Trier Social Stress Test which will take 15 minutes. Following this participants will fill in a VAS again.

Day 5

You will be asked to fill in the Sleep Diary and Nightmare Frequency Diary within an hour of waking.

Once completed a time will be arranged to meet with the researcher to hand back all diaries and questionnaires.

Participants will also be required to meet with the researcher before the study starts to be given diaries and questionnaires, and complete an Insomnia Severity Index (ISI).

When & where?

Appointments will be arranged between the researcher and the participant.

Location

  • Room NB 408, 4th Floor, Northumberland Building
  • Northumbria University
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • NE1 8SG

Discussion

Avatar
Add a comment
  • Ian Fairclough
    28th July 2017

    Did you think of using members of the Emergency Services or the military for your study?

    Graeme Miller
    28th July 2017

    Hi Ian, that is an interesting idea as individuals within those fields would have higher levels of day-time stress compared to the average population. However for my study I am just assessing the average population. That is an area of future research perhaps.

Loading...