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Insight from the consideration of REM dreams, non-REM dreams, and daydreams.
Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, Volume: 6, Pages: 138 - 162
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Throughout history, there have been reports and claims that consideration of dreams can produce personal realizations and insight. We assessed Exploration–Insight scores associated with discussing REM and non-REM dreams in connection with recent waking life experiences. Thirty-one participants were...
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Throughout history, there have been reports and claims that consideration of dreams can produce personal realizations and insight. We assessed Exploration–Insight scores associated with discussing REM and non-REM dreams in connection with recent waking life experiences. Thirty-one participants were cued in the sleep laboratory for a daydream report and then awakened from REM and N2 sleep for dream reports. Participants subsequently discussed each of their dream and daydream reports for 30–40 min with two experimenters, following the structured Ullman (1996) dream group discussion procedure. Participants assessed the benefit of discussing the reports by completing the Gains from (Day)Dream Interpretation (G[D]DI) questionnaire. We found no difference in G(D)DI scores between discussing REM and N2 dream reports, and no difference between dream and daydream discussions in engagement and thoroughness of exploring the reports. However, discussing dream reports produced higher scores on the G(D)DI Exploration–Insight subscale compared with discussing daydream reports. Significant differences were evident in items reflecting the learning of what the report means in terms of waking life issues. Frontal theta prior to waking from N2 was significantly associated with Exploration–Insight score obtained after N2 dream discussion, but this relationship was not found for REM dreams. The findings of high ratings of Exploration–Insight after discussing dreams were evident even though participants did not select the dream, unlike what can occur for home recorded dreams, and even though discussion was brief. We suggest that insight might be produced by embodied and metaphorical thinking in dreams.
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
CHHS Swansea University