Introduction-Aim: Manifest dream content is rarely studied in dream research. Conflicting results have been presented regarding dream recall and affect vis-à-vis the menstrual cycle. Progestagens may improve dream recall. Thus, we aimed to assess dream recall/affect vis-à-vis the menstrual cycle in a large sample of women.
Subjects-methods: We studied 779 women (mean age +S.D.: 31+9 years). The subjects were given once a simple questionnaire with items regarding age, menstrual cycle duration, day of their menstrual cycle, dream recall regarding previous nights dreams and dream affect/emotional content (positive or negative). We studied only women with self-reported regular menstrual cycles of 2135 days in a cross-sectional fashion. We considered that the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle was relatively stable for all women, with a duration of 14 days. Statistical analysis was done with analysis of covariance, with dream recall and content as dependent variables, age as a covariate and menstrual phase as a factor.
Results: According to the subjects responses 400 women were in the follicular phase and 379 in the luteal phase. Three hundred and two women recalled the previous nights dreams, 159 reporting positive/pleasant dream affect/content and 143 reporting negative/unpleasant dream affect/content. Age was not associated with dream recall or content; the latter was not associated with menstrual phase (P>0.5). However, in women who recalled their dreams, there was a weak association of dream content with menstrual phase (and more in detail, of those with positive affect with the luteal phase, P=0.06).
Discussion: In women that recalled the previous nights dreams a tendency towards pleasant dream content was noted in the luteal phase.
19 May 2018 - 22 May 2018