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Physical pain, mental pain and malaise in dreams

Knoth, Inga Sophia ; Schredl, Michael

In: International Journal of Dream Research, 4 (2011), Nr. 1. pp. 17-23

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Research has been able to show that pain is rare but perceptible in dreams. Three explanations for pain dreams are postulated: incorporation of pain during sleep, memories of self-experienced pain (first-person memories), and pain seen in others (third-person memories). A total sum of 1612 diary dreams assessed from 425 participants within 14 days were analyzed concerning physical pain, mental pain and malaise. The findings partly support the continuity hypothesis, because participants who experienced headaches in waking life tend to have pain dreams more often. On the other hand, high scores of neuroticism predicted the occurrence of mental pain dreams, but not physical pain dreams. A relationship between malaise dreams and malaise in the waking state could not be confirmed. Findings support that pain dreams tend to be based on pain memory rather than on incorporation, whereas unrealistic pain dreams indicate a possible effect of pain seen in others. To expand the present findings, a diary study with a daily checklist eliciting self-experienced pain, illness, injuries, pain seen in others, and pain noticed in media is suggested.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Dream Research
Volume: 4
Number: 1
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2011 09:47
Date: 2011
Page Range: pp. 17-23
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: pain; pain dreams; continuity hypothesis; mental pain; physical pain; malaise
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