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Dreams are more important to girls
Girls remember their dreams more often and attach greater importance to them in everyday life than boys of the same age. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from the University Psychiatric Clinics Basel (UPKBS) as part of a comprehensive study with around 5,600 participating girls and boys.
It was already known from previous studies that women in adulthood remember their dreams better and deal more intensely with what they dreamed than adult men. In a large-scale study, the researchers at the University Psychiatric Clinics in Basel have now examined whether these differences already exist in childhood. The result: There are already clear gender-specific differences in the memory of dreams and their processing among young people.
5,600 adolescents interviewed about their dreams As part of their comprehensive study, Serge Brand from the University Psychiatric Clinic Basel (UPKBS) and colleagues asked around 5,600 girls and boys about their dreams, how they were processed and their overall sleep quality. At the same time, other factors such as personal stress, stress or individual creativity were determined, the researchers reported when presenting their study results on Tuesday. In order to ensure the comparability of the results, young people from all school types and social classes were included, explained Serge Brand and colleagues. Overall, around 20 percent of the adolescents surveyed stated that they could “often or usually” remember the content of their dreams, while about 30 percent of adolescents said that when they woke up, they “only very rarely” or “ are practically never present. After a more detailed analysis of the data obtained, Serge Brand and colleagues subsequently found that there are clear gender-specific differences in the ability to remember dreams and how they are processed.
Gender-specific differences in dreaming The results of the current survey show that there are considerable gender-specific differences in the memory of dreams and the processing of dream content even before adulthood, explained Serge Brand and colleagues in the current issue of the journal "Adolescent Health". After waking up in the morning, the girls would remember their dreams more often than boys of the same age. In addition, the girls deal with the contents of their dreams even more intensively during the day and attach great importance to them, the researchers report. According to Serge Brand, the girls achieved a significantly higher value than the boys on a specially developed scale, which should reflect the processing of dreams. (4.9 versus 4.2 on a scale of one to six). This is also due to the fact that girls generally sleep less consistently than boys and therefore often wake up at night, which increases the likelihood of a memory of the dreams, explained Serge Brand. According to the scientists, the fact that the girls apparently deal more intensively with the processing of their dreams is due to the fact that "girls generally place greater importance on their inner life" than boys. But boys also often deal intensively with the content of their dreams.
Better well-being through memory of dreams? According to the researchers at the University Psychiatric Clinics in Basel, the content of dreams often revolves around similar things among girls and boys. Earlier Canadian studies have already shown that many dream of falling, school, teachers, sex and personal persecution, explained Serge Brand. The majority of the dreams (63 percent) involve the respondents themselves, but in 23 percent of the cases the dreaming people do not occur in their own dreams, according to the latest survey. Regarding the effects of dreams, the researchers found that 39 percent of the adolescents surveyed said that dreams would significantly affect their mood during the day. On the other hand, 48 percent of those questioned said that dreams had no impact on their mood. It was also striking, according to the researchers, that adolescents who remember their dreams more often answered questions about their own sleep quality and general well-being, both of which tended to be described as good rather than study participants who had no memory of their dreams. Those who often remember their dreams appear to be in a good mood more often, sleep better, have a generally higher level of well-being and more stable health, explained Serge Brand and colleagues. (fp)
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