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J Psychol. 2008 May;142(3):267-75. doi: 10.3200/JRLP.142.3.267-276.

Relation between waking sport activities, reading, and dream content in sport students and psychology students.

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Sleep Laboratory, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.


The continuity hypothesis in its general form states that dreams reflect waking life: concerns, thoughts, and experiences (G. W. Domhoff, 1996; M. Schredl, 1999; I. Strauch & B. Meier, 1996). For example, athletes and sport students dream about sports more often than do psychology students, presumably reflecting their engagement in sport activities and sport theory (D. Erlacher & M. Schredl, 2004). In the present study, the authors tested the previously unexamined hypothesis that differences in dream content would directly reflect individuals' differing amounts of waking sport activities. As expected, the amount of time that individuals spent engaged in an activity (sports or reading) was directly related to their percentage of corresponding dreams. Also, individuals reported reading dreams less frequently than they did sport dreams, although reading was more prominent in their waking lives than were sport activities. The findings also indicated that other factors such as emotional involvement and associated worries might be of importance in explaining the relation between waking activities and dream events. Future studies using longitudinal designs would shed more light on this relation and would help derive a more precise formulation of the continuity hypothesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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