Dissociative disorders, such as multiple personality disorder,
have been linked to an 'unholy trinity' of sleep problems,
susceptibility and blocked memories, according to new research
conducted by Emory University, State University of New York
Binghamton and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
Dissociative disorders have long been thought to be a result of
psychological effects such as trauma or abuse, leading the victim
to protect him or herself through the psychological strategy of
'going away'. However, researchers believe these disorders could be
the result of an 'unholy trinity', with disrupted sleep acting as
According to the researchers, the cognitive effects of sleep
deprivation and fragmented sleep are very similar to patients'
typical descriptions of dissociation. In many ways, split
personalities are comparable to dreams, in that the dream state is
like experiencing one's own life from a distance.
Improving sleep can help to dispel these symptoms. In a test of
hospitalised psychiatric patients whose dissociative symptoms met
the clinical definition for a diagnosis, half improved markedly
after a programme designed to assure sufficient high-quality
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes