Association between sleep, childhood trauma and psychosis-like experiences

Nicole D. Andorko, Zachary B. Millman, Elizabeth Klingaman, Deborah Medoff, Emily Kline, Jordan DeVylder, Gloria Reeves, Jason Schiffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychosis-like experiences (PLEs), or attenuated positive symptoms of psychosis, present along a severity continuum and have been associated with distressing thoughts and impairments in functioning. Although knowledge of the clinical importance of PLEs is expanding, risk factors for their expression are still poorly understood. Sleep disturbances are one known factor that exacerbate PLEs expression and distress, and trauma exposure is associated with occurrence of PLEs, as well as increased risk of later sleep difficulties. This study examined the joint influences of sleep and trauma on PLEs in an undergraduate sample. Self-report questionnaires on presence and distress of PLEs, sleep problems, and occurrence of previous traumatic experiences were completed by participants (N = 409). In order to determine the unique impact of sleep on PLEs, three sets of predictors: sociodemographic, psychosocial (including trauma), and sleep were entered in steps into a hierarchical multiple regression model. In the final model, specific sleep domains uniquely predicted PLEs, while previous trauma exposure, which was a significant predictor when entered in step two with other psychosocial variables, was no longer a significant predictor. Results suggest the possibility that disruptions in sleep following or occurring alongside a traumatic experience may somehow contribute to, or exacerbate the presence of PLEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-340
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Adolescents
  • Psychosis
  • Psychosis-like experiences
  • Sleep
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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