Now known generically as 'dissociation', the condition describes the disruption of normal psychological or conscious functioning. It often leaves people feeling detached from their emotions and surroundings.
Researchers discovered that when 25 healthy volunteers were sleep deprived for just one night, they experienced many more dissociative experiences.
This is an important finding since popular belief argues that multiple personalities are a symptom of a past trauma such as child abuse or combat.
It sounds as though sleep may be more important to our mental health than we ever imagined.
Last updated: May 10, 2012