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Slap, J.W. (1977). On Dreaming at Sleep Onset. Psychoanal Q., 46:71-81.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:71-81

On Dreaming at Sleep Onset

Joseph W. Slap, M.D.


The position that dreaming occurs exclusively during REM sleep, which has its first onset after sixty to ninety minutes of nonREM sleep, has been effectively refuted in sleep laboratories but remains uncorrected in the psychoanalytic literature. Examples of hallucinatory activity occurring during the sleep onset period and during a brief nap are shown to have all the characteristics of dreams, including latent content related to repressed material from childhood.

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