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Dream Recall and Its Relationship to Sleep, Perceived Stress, and Creativity Among Adolescents

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To explore associations between dream recall, gender, sleep, perceived stress, and creativity in a large sample of adolescents. In adults, women report a higher frequency of dream recall than men. Moreover, increased awakenings seem to increase dream recall, whereas low sleep quality is associated with low dream recall. In addition, there is some evidence that dream recall is associated with personality traits such as creativity. For adolescents, comparable data from larger samples are missing to date.

      Method

      A total of 5,580 adolescents (mean age: 18.23 years; 3,711 females and 1,869 males) participated in the present study. Participants completed an Internet-administered questionnaire related to dreaming, sleep, perceived stress, and creativity.

      Results

      As compared with males, female adolescents reported a higher dream recall rate and felt a stronger impact of dreams on the subsequent day. Female adolescents also described themselves as more creative, and reported suffering more from sleep complaints and perceived stress. Multiple regression analyses further revealed that increased dream recall was independently predicted by factors such as female gender, sleep quality, and creativity, whereas perceived stress, awakenings during the night, and sleep duration had no predictive value.

      Conclusions

      Similar to the findings of studies conducted on adults, dream recall was also associated with female gender in a large sample of adolescents. Additionally, it seemed that several different factors such as good mood, increased sleep quality, and creativity influenced dream recall. These results can provide a basis for better understanding the psychology of dreams in adolescence. In contrast to nightmares, recalling dreaming is associated with health and well-being.

      Keywords

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