Sleep research shows that girls are more likely to remember dreams than boys

Concerning dreaming there is a clear gender difference: girls remember the morning more often about what they have dreamed at night than boys. Researchers say that that this also has to do with the fact that that girls don’t quite sleep as well as their male peers.

The stereotype of boys being more rational and girls being more dreamy appears to be not completely out of thin air, as a study by the University of Basel shows.  The researchers had about 5,600 youngsters from different types of schools fill in questionnaires. The questions focused on the topics of dreams, sleep and stress.

About 20 percent of respondents said they often or usually remember their dreams the next day. About 30 percent stated that they only very rarely or almost never remembered what they had dreamed the night before. The other half of respondents rarely to sometimes remembered their dreams.

As the researchers report in the journal “Journal of Adolescent Health“, there is a clear gender difference: girls remember their dreams much more frequently (4.9 on a scale of 1 to 6) than boys (4.2). The dreams were more important for girls than for boys, said Serge Brand of the  UPK Basel. They would not sleep as well as boys and wake up more frequently. “Therefore their waking state and consciousness change faster, and improve the chances to remember dreams,” explained the researchers. Girls also would give their inner life a higher importance than boys.

In adults, the differences in the perception of dreams was already known, Brand said.But so far no data exist for adolescents. Previous studies have mostly been concentrating on the content of dreams, Brand said.

Thus found a Canadian study that the dreams of young people, regardless of sex,revolve mostly around five thematic areas: be persecuted, falling, being late sexual experiences, as well as school, university and teacher.

For many young people dreams do not remain without consequences: 39 percent stated that dreams sometimes to always influenced their mood the next day. 48percent reported that this rarely would be the case. Unlike nightmares, remembering normal dreams was related to health and well-being, the researchers write. Consistent with that is the fact that adolescents who had high spirits and thought of themselves as good sleepers, were also more likely to remember their dreams.