Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Continuity Hypothesis of Dreaming

There is much research evidence that dream images relate directly to waking day life circumstances. For example, students who study sports have more dreams about sports than students who study other disciplines. People who are ill have more dreams with doctors, needles, medications and other illness-related imagery than people who are not ill. One of the major researchers in the area is Dr. Michael Schredl from Germany who has found the continuity hypothesis to be stable and global for dreamers. Please google Dr. Schredl and blog about his work and how his work has influenced the field of dream science.

47 comments:

  1. I found it very interesting Professor Schredl’s concentration on dream memory as we age. The connection between dream memory in the elderly and their visual memory decreases as their visual memory fades with dementia. Schredl also found correlation with elderly short term memory and the increase of sleep. The more the elderly dreamer sleeps the less the dreamer remembers; there are too many interruptions during their sleep and their short term memory does not have the capacity to recall most of their dream in waking life. Therefore, Dr. Michael Schredl continuity hypothesis is stable and global for dreamers until their last stages of life.

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    1. I'm glad you brought that up! I also found it super interesting the connection between dream memory and visual memory in elderly. It makes me wonder what the visual imagery is for the blind or visually impaired, if there is any at all?

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    2. Yeah, I also found that interesting. I like the questions you asked Janice, and I would also wonder if it goes further than that. Like, do near-sighted and far-sighted people have different dreams? I know in my sleep I usually have perfect vision, despite the fact that I'm blind as a bat in real life. Perhaps if I analyzed the content of my dreams I would find that there's more focus on close-up things? Similarly, if you were older and had lost your near vision, would you experience fewer dreams where you're reading, or looking at something close up?

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  2. I found that the research done by Dr. Michael Schredl was all quite interesting. I was reading about his research on psychotherapy and how interpreting dreams is considered a very “important therapeutic technique”. The continuity hypothesis is found in the results of his research suggesting that dreams are a continuation of your waking life. I enjoyed his idea of using psychotherapy on overcoming nightmares. He suggests using a technique called Imaginary Rehearsal Therapy” where after a nightmare, the dreamer will write it down and determine an appropriate coping strategy that would help them overcome the event that occurred in the dream. He says if you imagine this coping strategy, every day for two weeks that your outlook on the event in the nightmare will change. You will improve how you handle that scary event and strong negative emotions in the nightmare will be lessened. This only further supports the idea of the continuity hypothesis; your dreaming state and your waking life are continuous.

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  3. Dr. Schredl has formulated a mathematical formula for specifically measuring the continuity between waking life and dreaming. This mathematical model includes emotional involvement, type of the waking life experience, and the interaction between personality traits and incorporation rates. It also looks at the time interval between when the waking day event occurs and when the dream occurs.
    I find it fascinating that Dr. Schredl has developed a mathematical formula for looking at dreams because I have always thought of dream interpretation as a very qualitative type of social psychology. It is interesting to see that there are potential ways to mathematically and systematically analyze dreams. The dream interpretation methods that we have been introduced to so far have all relied on qualitative accounts of dreams and although these reveal powerful hidden meanings, it would be fascinating to see if more mathematical and systematic ways of dream interpretation could be developed. I personally do not think it would work as well because there are so many individual variations in both our dreams and our waking lives.

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    1. I agree with you Jessica. The mathematical formula would work for measuring some aspects but if someone followed the "one size fits all" rule would certainly be a mistake. Not that I'm saying Schredl feels that way.
      I'd be a fan of using both the qualitative and quantitative methods to yield the best results.

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    2. Agreed! I like how Dr. Schredl's research brings the study of dreams into a more quantitative realm. I believe it is very beneficial to provide the same kind of empirical certainty that can be found in other sub disciplines to the world of dream research.

      In addition to providing empirical clarity, Dr. Schredl's research integrates cognitive function as well. It could be argued that this methodology will encourage cross-talk between dream researchers and those in disciplines that are traditionally more rigorous.

      In short, anything that brings a wider credibility to dream research is a good thing. ;)

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  4. I looked into Michael Schredl 2002 study with Friedrich Hofmann revolving around his continuity hypothesis. I found the objectives of their research worth noting - both the manipulated and non-manipulated (interpersonal & intrapersonal) waking life events were evaluated with the dreams an individual was having.

    I think the methodology, particularly the materials, was able to provide these authors with wholesome, valid & reliable data despite the setbacks acknowledged. Participants submitted both questionnaires and journals; thus, producing alternative means of expression for individuals. Although sleep cycles were interrupted, I believe the data provided an overall idea of what one would expect with regular rest patterns.

    It’s interesting yet sensible that students reported more incidences of communication with friends, etc., and Dr. Schredl’s conclusion was very sensible. It’s waking activities that have some form of emotional stimulation is likely to be in dream content. The researchers’ future implications included that studies should incorporate a mathematical evaluation component – which he later developed, as Jessica mentioned.

    Since this area of study is portrayed to be so qualitative-research focused, it’s impressive to see an alternative methodology to evaluate the dreaming phenomenon.

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  5. Through our lectures we have learned that the Continuity Hypothesis is a dominant theory in dream research. This theory states that what occurs in our waking day life (feelings, thoughts) will continue into our dreaming life (DeCicco, 2012). Dr. Michael Schredl, a key researcher at the sleep laboratory of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany has used the Continuity Hypothesis as a basis for his research. Several of his studies and findings will be discussed below.

    Dr. Schredl studied the rate at which activities such as talking with friends occurred in dreams in comparison to highly focused activities such as mathematical skills. To do so, 133 psychology students completed a dream questionnaire, documented in a dream diary for two weeks, then completed a waking activities questionnaire. His results indicated that highly focused cognitive activities occur less frequently in dreams when compared to less focused activities. In another study, Dr. Schredl found dream characteristics such as the frequency and type of social interactions and the type of settings to be stable across multiple populations.

    Dr. Schredl also focused on dreaming among the elderly in his work (Heidelberg University, 2010). He found a decrease in the dream memory with aging as it is strongly connected to the dreamer’s visual ability. Similarly, the elderly participants were found to dream about past experiences, such as those during the war. In terms of nightmares, he describes the “Imaginary Rehearsal Therapy” in which dreamers confront their dreams in order to overcome them. This involves writing down your dream and implementing a strategy to overcome the dream over the course of the next few weeks in hopes of changing the dream course when a similar nightmare occurs. He also notes that the themes of individuals dreams have remained the same over the past 50 years. For example, individuals commonly continue to dream about images such as falling as it represents fear in one’s waking life. In terms of the child population, he has found that children’s dreams reflect the current media, and therefore have changed as the media changes over time.

    As noted by his above studies, Dr. Schredl has largely influenced dream research and the field of dream science. He is one of a select few of dream researchers in Germany, and his work is very influential as a result. His studies are supportive of the Continuity Theory and bring forth new ideas regarding dreaming. His research is strengthened by his focus on all individuals, rather than a specific age group or sex. He continues to expand on his research, leading to further developments in the dreaming field.

    References

    Heidelberg University. (2010). Prof. Dr. Michael Schredl. Retrieved from http://www.nar.uni-heidelberg.de/en/service/ int_schredl.html

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  6. In researching Dr. Schredl, I came upon one of his studies on "Nightmare Frequency and Nightmare Topics" using the continuity hypothesis. In this study nightmares are called "disturbing mental experiences that occurs in the REM stage". Majority of these nightmares are seen through what Dr. Schredl identifies as: "falling, being chased, paralyzed, being late, and the death of a close person."

    Overall, a study of 2,019 people, over 1,000 being female, and over 800 being male, found that 5% have frequent nightmares happening every 2 weeks. He also found that common nightmares are: falling, being chased and closed ones who have died.

    Dr. Schredl found that although one may have nightmares about falling, or being chased it does not directly correspond to the dreamers waking life, but the waking fears of that dreamer. For example, if I am to dream of being chased by something that makes me fearful, it may represent a waking fear or my daytime fear of something that I may want to avoid.

    Although this study has proven to be very insightful, Dr. Schredl states that more research needs to be done on the relationships between nightmare topics and those of the waking life which I believe will furthermore influence the field of dream science.

    I find this research to be very, very interesting. The fact that nightmares are known as mental disturbances alone gets to me. I say this because I've never looked at a nightmare other than "hey I had a dream today I fell off a building...oh well" and continue with my day. I must say that because of that, I would like to learn a lot more about the relationships of nightmares and the waking life. Very interesting journal!




    Schredl, M. (2010). Nightmare frequency and nightmare topics in a representative
    German sample. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 260, 565-570 doi: 10.1007/s00406-010-0112-3.

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  7. Dr. Schredl has researched different factors that correlate with dreams and nightmares in different populations. More specifically, he has examined how the health of subjects can be affected by their nightmares, contents of the nightmares and how frequently they have them. It has been found that those subjects that have chronic nightmares or increased frequency from the general population have an increased risk of mental health disorders such as insomnia, depression and anxiety. He suggests based on these correlations that those experiencing regular nightmares receive treatment and help so that their health does not deteriorate as a result of these nightmares.
    I think that this area of research in particular is very interesting and important. When health is a factor that is affected by nightmares more people need to be educated on how their nightmares can affect their health. Any of us that have had nightmares know how vivid and real they seem, and how difficult it can be to sleep afterwards etc. This seems to be a relatively new area of his research but articles suggest that more will be done by him to examine this field area.

    http://www.psychicreach.co.uk/2011/07/dream-meanings-how-nightmares-can-lead-to-high-anxiety

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  8. I read an interview with Dr. Schredl, where he discusses why we have nightmares about falling. I found this to be extremely interesting. When asked why we dream about falling, Dr. Schredl replied "Falling is an extreme dream of fear. When you translate it into psychological language, it is the fear of losing grip, losing control over everything and hitting rock bottom." This supports the continuity hypothesis, as we are more likely to have this dream when we are feeling a lack of control of a fear of losing control in our waking lives. I have the falling dream very often, so it's interesting to find out a possible explanation for it.
    I also found Dr. Schredl's research on the content of children's dreams to be very interesting. Dr. Schredl found that the media has had a huge impact on children's dreams, as the main characters of nightmares have shifted from ambiguous characters (ghosts, boogeyman) to the main characters of children's movies. This again supports the continuity hypothesis, as children's exposure to media in waking life is impacting the content of their dreams.
    I find it fascinating that Dr. Schredl has devoted so much energy to researching aspects of the continuity hypothesis. I think it's always helpful for people to be able to determine why they have certain dreams, because they will then be able to draw conclusions about their waking live circumstances.

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  9. I found a lot of the information put forth by Schredl rather interesting. I found the study by Schredl and Hofmann "Continuity between waking activities and dream activities" (2002) especially interesting because it was something I would have never really thought to explore. One would assume the comparison of dream activities and waking activities would yield similar results. Although it does make sense that in a dream you'd probably be more active than in your waking life. Personally I feel an awesome dream would be more along the lines of when you have the ability to fly not when you sit down to read a book or write a letter.

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  10. Dr. Schredl research was very interesting especially how he used dreams as a form of psychotherapy. This was a very good way of one overcoming their fear in their dreams and it also spoke about ones dreams being a continuation of their waking day life. I also came across a very interesting study in which he examined the health of individuals who have nightmares and how often they have the nightmares. The findings resulted in individuals who have nightmares frequently have a higher chance of developing mental health disorders.

    In all of Dr. Schredl's research he has examined and displayed to people his views on dreams and the use of psychotherapy.

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    1. I think that using the continuity hypothesis in psychotherapy is a very beneficial idea. Considering with this hypothesis, people continue waking activities in their dreams and dreams can help with problem solving. Combine the two together, and people may see a solution to their psychological issues or ways to cope based on how their dream self behaves.

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  11. Researching Dr. Schredl, I found that he has done so much interesting work into the correlation between dreams and waking day life. Like Jessica has already mentioned, what I found most interesting was the fact that he has created a formula to determine the relation between waking day life and dreams. I always find it really fascinating when someone can take something as subjective as dream analysis and turn it objective by making a formula.
    It seems like Dr. Schredl is very passionate about his work as he seems to research so many different areas. When I was researching him I just found so many studies analyzing so many different aspects.
    Another study by Dr. Schredl that I found really interesting was analyzing dreams in patients with borderline personality disorder.

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  12. It would seem to make sense that more emotionally cogent events from waking life would be incorporated into dreams. Not only do these events carry more meaning for the dreamer, but by their emotional nature, they involve more regions of the brain with stronger connections. Dr. Schredl's work to quantify this relationship is helpful to bring the "common sense" into the scientific.

    The relationship between dream memory and aging was also interesting. Not only is there the effect of the reduced short term memory that comes with age, but also the impact of declining visual acuity since dreams are generally very visual by nature. That deficits from real, waking life impact dreams and dream memory bolsters the connection between the two.

    I found the coping strategies put forth by Dr. Schredl for dealing with nightmares to be of particular interest. The potential therapeutic benefit for people suffering nightmares due to traumatic events is great. these coping strategies could also be carried over into waking life to help the dreamer deal with the real-world traumas that have led to or contributed to the nightmares.

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  13. After conducting a bit of research on Michael Schredl, there were two things that I found interesting about his research. He found that men and women have different nightmares and that dreams have been used in psychotherapy. Firstly, it was interesting how the type of nightmares that men and women have are so different. Men were found to have more nightmares about being fired or about violence while women were found to have more nightmares about sexual harassment or the death of a loved one. Women also had more nightmares about losing their hair and/or teeth. I think this reflects a continuity hypothesis because these are things that are related to waking day life. Men, especially those in powerful jobs, could fear the loss of a job and how that would affect them and their family financially. They could also be insecure about their body and not being ‘tough’ enough to defend themselves or their family and that is why they have dreams about violence. Women on the other hand tend to be more emotional than men so would have more fears about losing family and the potential for some type of harassment. Most women are also concerned about their appearance in some aspect, so losing hair or teeth could translate to their worry about aging or not being beautiful enough (in their eyes).

    It was also interesting to learn that dreams can be used in the psychotherapy process. The use of dreams is done more so by psychoanalysts and has been found to contribute to treatment success. It makes sense that dreams would be used in any therapy setting as many dreams bring our emotions or fears to consciousness. Im sure using dreams in psychotherapy would help patients manifest certain feelings that they were unaware of, or the dreams may help them deal with a difficult situation in which they have been trying to repress their feelings. This would work well with the continuity hypothesis because hidden emotions and feelings still affect us and they manifest through our dreams, so if we start having strange dreams or dreams that are full of difficult feelings and/or emotions, then dreams could be used to help us understand what we are feeling. This would allow us to deal with situations better and maybe deal with the situation faster and in a more positive way than if we continually tried to ignore the feelings and the negative situation.

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  14. After looking up Dr. Michael Schredl, I was most interested in the work he has done on nightmares. I found an interview where Dr. Schredl explains how a dream of falling can often be explained by a fear of losing control and hitting rock bottom. He also talks about how we can influence our dreams and overcome the problems we face in our nightmares. He calls this “Imagery Rehearsal Therapy”. He states that if we approach and confront this fear phenomenon, we can change our dreams. This is done by writing out the dream and creating a coping strategy, where you confront the fear phenomenon. After repeating this once a day for a couple weeks, the cognitive processes change and this appears in our dream.

    I found this to be a very interesting strategy, and it seems so simple. I found that Dr. Schredl has also done work on sleep disorders and psychopathology. There are a number of people who suffer from sleep disorders, intense nightmares, or psychopathology who could benefit from research in these areas. I believe that dream therapy would be a very useful tool for helping individuals who deal with these disorders and research like Schredl’s helps create ways to do so.

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    1. Reading the research by Dr. Michael Schredl was very interesting in regards to dreams and creativity. The research indicated that creative people dream more. Dreams are also related to events in everyday life events. I beleive creative people have more involved in their dreams about certain situations they are in everyday. Problem solving is also an important aspect related to individuals dreams. Some people problem solve more than others due to specific school requirements and job requirements. Based on these aspects of their everyday life they are more likely to dream about their problem solving skills in relation to their dreams.

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  15. After googling up Dr. Schredl I was amazed at the amount of research articles he has published in this area of study. It was hard to chose one to focus on for comments so I have just jotted down a few points that were interesting to me. I also tried to watch him on YouTube but unfortunately I do not understand German.

    I maintain a true belief in the continuity of our waking lives into our dream lives. Our minds absorb varying amounts of information that may process at different time intervals and there are possibly instances when this cognitive stimuli may be in limbo stored in a waiting area until a subconscious state is attained, then it can be processed systematically. Is this the daily residual effect that Freud acclaims dreams to be? Even though waking day activities do commonly appear in our dream world, I believe it is more than the day residue having a carry over effect. Dr. Schredl does make note that our perceptions of the world at times carries over into the imagery of our dreams. For example if you believe the world is cold & bleak then the setting of the dream may by of a cold climate with bleak terrain. We process images by our heightened imaginations within our illusory state, and that in turn elicits cognitive correlations on how we process these thoughts into images.

    I took note of one article that focused around dreams & creativity. It was stated that there was a higher dream recall in creative people and that they have more bizarre dreams. Understandably so, they have heightened imaginations with an innate creative energy that will without a doubt have continuity into their dream state. Your mind is the same bundle of molecular energy whether the body is resting or not. I think it's awesome to know there is such high levels of brain activity during REM sleep. Our minds our processing while our body rests.

    One area I think would be interesting to look into further is hypnosis. The reason I mention this is because the example Dr. Schredl mentions in one of his articles. An individual who smoked close to 2 packs a day had a vivid dream about inoperable lung cancer. This then induced an immediate cessation of his cigarette habit. There are so many ads I see nowadays saying how hypnosis will help you quit smoking. The patient is in a dream like state, then cues are given to them by the hypnotist to stop smoking. Does the subconscious mind have predominance over our conscious mind? There are no set rules or societal norms to abide by in the dream world. Our subconscious state is pure. Our dreams mirror who we are in the real world but in a surreal state of being.

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  16. one more thing... I would like to share this website I googled across. It is for the International Journal of Dream Research: www.ijodr.org

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  17. After researching Dr. Schredl I was amazed by the amount of research he has published, and by the variety of dream topics – waking life continuity, emotions, sports, education, psychological disorders, nightmares, gender and age differences - in his research. Through my research for this week’s blog I was also able to find some great articles on nightmares by Dr. Schredl for the course paper.

    The research on dream continuity hypothesis is very interesting and also very relevant to our course as we work on the various lab assignments. The continuity hypothesis that our thoughts and feelings in waking life continues into our dreams has been well documented in dream research, and from my personal experience of dream discovery extremely valid.

    One very interesting article I read by Schredl & Reinhard was, The continuity between waking mood and dream emotions: Direct and second-order effects (2009). The study examined the role of emotions in dreaming, and emotions in relation to the continuity theory. The study found that both positive and negative emotions in waking life were reflected in dream content, but also that the emotions present in dreams can affect waking life the next day. I found the second-order effect of dreams effecting waking life emotions very interesting, and can relate to this finding as there have been times I have woke up and felt frustrated or upset over a dream.

    As the course progresses I continue to learn new and interesting facts about dreams each week, and look forward to discovering more in the weeks to come.

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  18. Dr. Schredl has made many contributions to the study of Dream Psychology. One of his advancements that I have found interesting were his studies with Dreams and individuals that are Creative. Dr. Schredl found that creative individuals had more bizarre dreams as well their dreams are longer. I found this fact to be very interesting as well as plausible as creative people tend to "think out of the box" and this is not only exhibited in their lives sometimes but also their art and ways of thinking. Dr. Schredl also found that the dreams of creative individuals tended to be transformed into their art.

    Dr. Schredl's contributions have been a great asset and advancement to the field of Dream Psychology. With the continued contributions from himself and the many other Dream Psychologist this field will continue to grow in a knowledgeable way.

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  19. When I did some research on Dr. Schredl I too was very impressed by the large variety of articles he has published in regards to varying topics within dream science. One area of his research which touches on the topic of nightmares I found especially interesting since it talked about the differences in regards to men's and women's nightmares. As previously mentioned by another blogger, he found that men were more likely to dream about violence or being fired from a job whereas women were found to have nightmares about death and sexual harassment. This was interesting to me since it seems to be very reflective of waking day events since by nature men are known to be more violent and aggressive in comparison to women. On the other hand these findings also make sense for women since by nature they are more emotional and sensitive which further supports the continuity hypothesis. I too also found it very interesting that his research has shown that nightmares about falling or being chased relate to waking day fears rather than waking day events. All in all I very much agree that Dr. Schredl has and continues to significantly impact various topics within dream science and am very interested to see what his future research can tell us about the connections between our waking and dreaming lives.

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  20. After reading several of Dr. Michael Schredl’s work on dream research, I find a few of his studies and insights that are quite interesting. In an interview I found online by the “Network Aging Research”, Dr. Scheredl mentioned how dream contents hardly change with age. Although dream contents might be slightly different as we age, it was found in one of his studies that older individuals (65 years and older) still dream of wartime experiences. I find it fascinating that early experiences are still able to emerge in our dreams even as at old age. In addition, it was also mentioned that dream and visual memory are both related to each other.

    Furthremore, Dr. Schredl also mentioned the common dreams of falling. He explained that the dream is associated with a fear or losing control or grip of something that is possibly relevant to our waking life. I find it interesting that dreams of falling are common dream content.
    Another aspect of Dr. Schredl’s work that I enjoyed reading was on the topic of nightmares. In his study, it was found that men and women experience different types of nightmares/dream contents. For instance, it was found that women’s nightmares are prevalent on sexual harassments, losing hair/teeth/nails whereas men’s nightmares were more common among the issues of violence, losing a job etc.
    I find this research on nightmares rather interesting as I can see how it could possibly relate to waking life events. For instance, women’s nightmares can be related to their insecurities and fears of losing their beauty.

    Overall, I think that Dr. Schredl’s work has immensely contributed to the filed of dream science. More specifically, his work has focused heavily on the Continuity Theory and has since proposed new ideas on dreaming.

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  21. Dr. Michael Schredl contributed to dream research in a large way and it is proven by the amount of articles and research that he has completed over the number of years he has researched dream theories. One particular aspect of his research I found interesting was about nightmares.

    He carried out an experiment that determined the percentage of the population that experienced nightmares and what kind of nightmares they experienced. The results that Dr. Schredl found were that the most common nightmares people had were being late, falling, paralyzed, being chased or losing loved ones. He also found that men were more likely to have nightmares about being fired from a job or about violence where as women were more likely to dream about losing hair or teeth and bring unattractive in general. Dr. Schredl concluded that dreams such as becoming paralyzed and falling werent a representation of the subjects in their waking lives, but they could be dreams about fears that they have.

    Over all I think that Dr. Schredl's work contributes to dream theories immensely as it allows us to understand that dreams dont simply represent people and their waking lives but it could represent fears that people may have. Its interesting to hear that men and women also have different dreams than one another.

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  22. I read several articles about Dr. Schredl's work. It is clear that he has contributed a lot to the field of dream research. His research that i found most intriguing was his research dealing with nightmares. I frequently have nightmares and so i found his research on the topic the most compelling.
    His research on nightmares speaks of the amount of people in the study who have nightmares and if so how often as well as typical things that they dream about during a nightmare. Some of the most common things were falling, being paralyzed and failing exams (even if they were not students). He also explained that there were differences in the the things that males had nightmares about versus what females did. According to his research men were more likely to have nightmares about violent occurrences and women were more likely to have nightmares about sexual harassment or death of a loved one.
    Overall, i found Dr. Schredl's research very interesting and informative. He has made significant advances in the field of dream research, particularly in nightmare research.

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  23. I personally found the article Dr. Schredl published on dreams about romantic partners interesting. He posits that dreams are a continuation of what is happening in daytime relationships (the continuity hypothesis). He found in his study that dreams about separation seemed to coincide with periods of separation in real life, and the same went for dreams about being together and periods of togetherness. I found this very interesting, because often it seems that the imagery is more important than the literal content, but in this case there was a direct relationship between relationship dreams and daytime life.

    This seems influential, because when studies like this are able to link daytime life and dreams, it helps show the world that dreams can be a valuable interpretation tool, and that they are not just randomly generated by the mind to include anything and everything. This study shows that our minds take what is going on in our lives, and translate it into our dreams; in short, there is nothing random about it.

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  24. From what I’ve found, Dr. Michael Schredl is a head researcher in the sleep lab at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany. His work constitutes the continuity hypothesis between waking and dreaming, dream recall, creativity and dreaming, psychopathology and dreaming, the dreams of patients with sleep disorders, as well as memory consolidation during sleep, and the treatment of nightmares.

    A topic I find very interesting, brought up in Schredl’s “Body-mind interaction,” is the interaction between dream time and REM sleep. Alfred Maury (1861) questioned whether dream recall happened like a flash upon waking, or was recall from a recollection of experiences made during sleep time. For instance, Maury had a long dream about the French Revolution, full of vivid detail and events, which eventually led him to the last event where a blade was hitting his neck, and then he awoke. Upon awakening he realized that a piece of his wooden bed top had fallen on his neck. The question then is, how is dream recall generated? Does it really happen like a flash upon awakening or is it based on a series of events throughout ones sleep?

    This reminds me of a dream I had in the past, which I still remember because I found it quite comical upon waking. I was running through the forest being chased by a vicious animal. I had no escape and no where to run. Finally, I found a tree and climbed to the top. However, my feet were dangling and I felt the animal clawing at my feet. When I woke up, I realized that the sensation was from my kitten attacking and playing with my bare feet. This topic fascinates me and I often wondered how my dream came to end this way. Did the dream begin while my cat was attacking my feet or afterwards? That is, was my body aware of my feet being attacked and my dream was based on this sensation alone? Or, was I already dreaming about being chased, and during the dream, my cat began attacking my feet, and the dream added this new sensation to the dream already at present? If that’s the case, how are dreams formed? If my cat never attacked my feet would my dream have ended differently?

    Maury (1861) suggested that dreams were generated backwards after the arousing stimulus. However, Dement and Kleitman (1957) found that dream time often coincided with the REM time during sleep. Hobson and Stickgold (1995) found that when waking participants up 20 seconds into REM, they reported the beginnings of dreams, whereas when awoken after 15 minutes of REM sleep, they often reported the endings of dreams. Schredl insists that much more research needs to be done on this topic as it is still unclear how recall is generated upon waking.

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  25. Stephanie SchuelerOctober 17, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Dr. Schredl has published several very interesting articles in different areas of dream research. I found several of them interesting, including the one about the continuity hypothesis. As stated above, it was interesting how Schredl incorporated his mathematical choices, I too have never thought a lot about doing the math of dreams.
    Dr. Schredl's research on the link between creative personality and dreams was very interesting. The explanations of how creative people have stranger dreams and have better recall were very intuitive, and have made me wonder about how different the content of our dreams are for every personality type, and how they remember it.
    I was intrigued by Dr. Schredl's research on nightmares, I find the concept of them fascinating, and I will most likely to continue looking into more of his articles on the subject. Part of his work in this area that stood out to me is the difference in nightmares between men and women, as well as his five most common themes of nightmares being; falling, being chased, paralyzed, being late, and the death of a loved one. I know that for me, these kinds of nightmares happen to me more often than any other kind.
    Dr. Schredl has been rather influential with his work in the field of dreams, as he has published 70+ articles and 3 books on many different kinds of dream research. His work has had impact in the dream research areas of continuity between waking and dream, factors of dream recall, creativity and dreaming, psychopathology and dreaming, dreams of patients with sleep disorders, memory consolidation during sleep, and the treatment of nightmares.

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  26. Dr. Schredl has made huge contributions to the field of dream research. After reading some of the research done by Dr. Schredl I found his topics on dream recall very interesting especially those about dream recall and sleep disorders. In this research he found that negative dreams were found to be more common in people who were insomniacs then those who did not appear on the pathological apnea index. This has made an impact on dream science as he reported that there people who suffer from insomnia may be more emotionally stressed which may describe how insomniacs tend to have more negative dreams then other people.

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  27. What I found interesting about Dr. Michael Schredl’s work is that he has worked on and published many different topics relating to dreaming. When doing a quick search within PSYCinfo, it is clear that he has influenced many areas of dream psychology, some of these areas include continuity hypothesis, personality disorders and dreaming, nightmares, romantic partners, pain, experience of flying, gender, dreaming related to children, and much more. He has studied a wide variety of people from different backgrounds, which supports the idea of the continuity hypothesis where there is a link between a person’s waking traits and dream traits.

    One example seen within his research would be the relationship seen between the “emotion intensity and emotional tone of the waking-life event.” (Schredl, 2006) This article goes into further detail about if there is a waking life event that has a great emotional attachment; there is a greater chance that this event will be incorporated into the dreams. (Schredl, 2006) This idea has been studies within our course and relates to our second lab about emotions. Overall, Dr. Michael Schredl has impacted the field of dream psychology by undergoing research to strengthen the continuity hypothesis as well as researched other topics within this field to gain more knowledge on dreaming.

    Schredl, M. (2006). Factors affecting the continuity between waking and dreaming: Emotional intensity and emotional tone of the waking-life event. Sleep and Hypnosis, 8(1), 1-5.

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  28. I read one of his articles which tested participants by making them fill-out a dream questionnaire, dream diary, waking activities questionnaire, and dream content analysis (Schredl, & Hofmann, 2002). It was to test and see if the type of activity would be represented in a dream and if activities of certain emotional value had a change in frequency in the dreams. He did this test by using the continuity hypothesis as the guide (Schredl, & Hofmann, 2002).
    In his findings he found that dreams of certain activities came from activities that frequently occur in waking life. The two with the highest effect were reading and driving a car. Also, the way these activities are used in waking life affected how common they were in the dream (Schredl, & Hofmann, 2002). For example, if they read for fun the act of reading in a dream would be less than if they were reading for study purposes in waking life. In addition, if there was more emotional value associated with that event or activity, it was more or less likely to be in the dream (Schredl, & Hofmann, 2002).
    Schredl, M., & Hofmann, F. (2002). Continuity between waking activities and dream activities. Consciousness and Cognition.
    doi:10.1016/S1053-8100(02)00072-7

    It's interesting to see such findings as this, it kind of makes me feel like I am conscious in two ways rather than one. I can continue what I was doing in the waking world despite being asleep.

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  29. Perhaps the most interesting aspect for me was Dr. Shredl’s research on creativity and recall. He mentions that the most important aspect of personality linked to creativity and recall was thin boundaries. Thin boundaries can be seen as the mind hypersensitive to experience. Personally, I was surprised because I thought recall information and creativity would be more relevant to personality aspects such as extroversion, neuroticism, or high emotionality. People high in thin boundaries may experience traumatizing nightmares, but also clearer solutions for problems upon awakening. Linked with creativity, he also states that people who are considered more imaginative have increased bizarre dreams and their duration of dreaming is longer. Shredl has done research showing that these creative dreams can involve artistic ideas and impulses, and an increased capacity to solve problems at work, for example. Artistic expression, such as an idea about a painting or a topic of a book to be written, can emerge after awakening from a dream and inspire if recall is clear. As an example of impulse, Dr. Shredl’s states that an urge to ask someone out on a date after dreaming of it is more likely to happen if one dreams creatively with motivation. So then, people with creative dreams compared to ‘normal’ dreams have an advantage of solving many more problems after awakening, as well as being inspired artistically. Dr. Shredl was also inspirational in showing the mind-body interaction as a cognitive activity, as well as the importance of REM sleep in recall. He states that we only access a small sample of the activity that goes on during REM sleep.

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  30. Dr. Michael Schredl is a head researcher of a sleep lab. He has made a very large contribution to dream research, publishing three books, and over 70 articles. Some of his areas of research include: the continuity hypothesis, dream recall and treatment of nightmares.
    Dr. Schredl has examined dreaming in older adults. He found that dream memory decrease as we age, because dreams are dependent on visual ability, which tends to deteriorate as we age. He also found that the elderly tend to dream about past experiences. Schredl also examined nightmares, and how individuals could overcome them. Nightmares can be overcome by implying “Imaginary Rehearsal Therapy”, in which dreamers confront their dreams by writing them down and developing strategies to overcome them. I found this research to be particularly interesting as I frequently have disturbing dreams, and I would be interested to see if this method is effective.
    Through his research, Dr. Schredl has examined important aspects of dreaming, and he has made significant contributions to the field of dream research.

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  31. I found Dr. Michael Schredl had a huge contribution to the dreaming science. He has so many different articles out there on various topics. I especially found his dream research on aging very interesting! I thought it was interesting that even though people asume that dream memory decreases with age it is actually that dream memory is associated with visual memory and it is the visual memory that decrease with age. I wouldnt have ever put two and two together like that without reading this article. I also found it interesting how he talks about the amount of sleep elderly people get in correlation to the length of there dreams. It was compelling to see that the longer the elderly person sleeps the SHORTER their dreams are. Further i thought it was interesting yet less surprising that as you get older your dreaming self often will stay youthful. As you are not able to do as many things in your waking life due to age limitations, your dreaming self stays youthful enough to do all of these things.

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    1. This area of research of Dr. Schredl seems very interesting. I would never have assumed that imagery would change for the elderly and that these changes would be from visual changes and not from a change in memory abilities. Also, the findings that elderly dreamers dream about themselves when they were youthful is compelling. I believed that as you aged in your waking life you would age in your dreams. Its nice to know that as I age I will always stay youthful in my dreams.

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  32. Doctor Michael Schredl has a Ph.D and works with the Central Institute of Mental Health Sleep Laboratory in Mannheim Germany. His main focus is that of dream research. He has published countless articles and three books on dream research. He focuses on three areas of research: “continuity between waking and dream, factors of dream recall, creativity and dreaming, psychopathology and dreaming, dreams of patients with sleep disorders, memory consolidation during sleep, and treatment of nightmares”.
    Now one of the pages I've looked at concerning Dr. Michael Schredl was in German coincidentally, I do have a strong German background, however if I mix up some of the meanings of his work I apologize my translation wasn't clear.
    He has been working with the sleep laboratory in Germany since 1990, he also has been teaching since then about things like dream courses and autogenic training (which is a relaxation technique developed by another German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz, 1932).
    He is involved in dream research studies such as: body/mind interaction in which they observed the interaction between when dreaming occurs and how a person generates recall of the dream. Mentioning that dreaming is usually seen most frequently during REM sleep and that the time spent dreaming is highly correlated with the time spent in REM sleep. They also looked at eye movements during sleep however there wasn't a concrete finding between whether all eye movements signaled dreaming or not. Schredl has also looked at the connection between creativity and dreams in which he is looking at how the more bizarre or crazy a person’s dreams seem to be the more creative they are in waking life. He also notes that in this area of research more large-scale studies are needed in order for more concrete conclusions can be made.
    As with studying a wide range of different areas concerning dreams as mentioned earlier I found that the most interesting area of his research was that of dream recall and sleep disorders. In the first study which was carried out by Schredl and two of his colleagues they looked at the dream recall of people with sleep disorders. After patients were diagnosed in the lab with a confirmed sleep disorder they were then studied for dream recall. What they found that with people with insomnia and myoclonia the dream recall in these patients was higher than people without the disorder. These patients also reported more negative dream content but it was noted that with the completion of this study needs to be a follow up study that looks into the content of these patients’ dreams to build on the idea of dream recall and sleep disorders of this nature.
    I also was looking to find information on his work with treatment of nightmares however I couldn't find much in the way of general information regarding his work in this area, just published articles.

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  33. I found it interesting when looking at Dr. Schredl's dream recall and creativity. It was fascinating to learn that there is higher dream recall frequency in those who have more creative minds, possibly due to their visual memory. It does although, make sense that those individuals whom have more creative minds would have much more creative, vivid, and even technical dreams.
    I decided to look further into Dr. Schredl's dream recall and visual memory which had also discussed how frequency of dream recall in heightened when the person exhibits visual creative skills.It would be interesting to view other studies that look at visual memory and dream length reports. It would make sense that someone who say... has a photographic memory had longer dreams, since they may remember their dreams in more detail when compared to the average mind.

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    1. I also found his research on creativity & recall extremely interesting! I always wondered what a possible correlation between creativity and dream recall may be… I also blogged about how I liked Dr. Michael Schredl’s conclusion regarding visual memory serving as a mediator. I wonder however, if people who are creative just happen to be more detail oriented, and observant, thus have better recall period. I’d be curious to see there is a correlation between creative people and being observant.

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  34. The work and body of research generated by Dr. Dr. Michael Schredl is incredible. Since 1990, Dr. Schredl has been working in Germany at the Central Institute of Mental Health. His broad range of studies include focus in the mind/body connection of dreaming, content of our dreams, and dream recall. Personally, I found the concept of dream time incredibly interesting. Dr.Schredl's research looked at whether dreams were a collection of images recalled upon awaking or if they appeared like a flash during the process of awakening. This concept of a flash of dream images upon awakening was something I had never considered before. Personally, I always assumed dreams were a continuous loop of images we either remembered or forgot after leaving REM sleep. Dr. Schredl's work in this area has further educated me on how complex the dreaming mind is.

    Another aspect pf Dr. Schredl's research I found incredibly interesting was the relationship between sleep disorders and dream recall. The results of the experiments showed a greater dream recall frequency for patients with insomnia. I personally think this is fascinating, and raises the question of how the ability to recall dreams may be associated with quality of sleep.

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  35. Dr Michael Schredl has been a devoted member to the study of dreams since the early 1990's. He has spent much time researching and testing hypothesis regarding dream interpretation and understanding the dreaming mind. Publishing over 70 articles in numerous journals he has made great achievements within the study of dreams. In 2002 he published a paper titled Continuity between waking activities and dream activities and in this paper he uses empirical statistical evidence to show that continuity exists between ones waking life and dreaming life. By looking at dream content he has found that people do not perform as many cognitive, reading or using a computer for example, tasks in their dreaming life as they do in their waking life but they do find that more emotionally charged tasks and interactions with people seem to have more continuity between waking and dreaming life.

    When we as individuals look at our dreams the continuity is sometimes clear to us and can be understood, other times it may be overlooked and overshadowed by the weight of the dream. The fact that there are people who want to study dreams in a scientific and empirical way is a great step towards understand the dreaming mind, and the mind in general. Dr. Michael Schredl is a great asset to this cause. Having spent a few minutes going through his works and what he is passionate about has been intriguing and educating. I

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    1. Publishing over 70 articles is amazing, i didn't see the study you are talking about where he looks at dream content but it sounds very interesting! Dr. Michael Schredl has researched so many different aspects of dreams, he has made huge and great contributions to this cause. I completely agree with you that it is so easy to see how passionate he is about his work, it definitely shows in his writing.

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  36. Dr. Michael Schredl has produced much significant work in dream research, including significant articles and books. I familiarized myself with a couple of his notions, including the “dream content analysis”, and “Creativity and Dream Recall,” which I found fascinating and got caught up in.

    As a very creative individual myself, coming from an art background, I find that I recall my dreams in-depth, with vividness of details. In art school, I noticed that most of my girlfriends also recalled their dreams quite well. Compared to my friends outside of art school, many of them tell me that they have difficulties remembering their dreams… So I found this personally interesting, and liked Dr. Schredls conclusion, stating that “visual memory may serve as a mediator variable in the relation between creativity and DRF (dream recall frequency).” I believe that this actually says something interesting about dream continuity…

    People who are creative and artsy in their waking life, see and think creatively, which follows into their nocturnal life of dreams, and vice versa. I think people who are more in touch with themselves and the environment are better with DRF – and also happen to be creative. I’m not sure what the connection between, creativity, environment, being in touch with one’s self, and DRF is, but apparently seems to be significant.

    Dr. Michael Schredl’s work has influenced the field of dream study when his findings supported the notion of continuity between waking and dreaming. Future research can further examine comparisons between our waking day activities and our dream activities while including emotional involvement; state of the brain. I would be interested to see what Dr.Michael Schredl has to say about premonitions, considering that individuals who have premonitions seem to directly carry their “future visions” from their dreams directly into their waking day lives.


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  37. I found the work by Dr.Schredl to be quite interesting. To me the concept that there is a formula to intertwine waking life and dreams seems so obvious. Dreams always seem to relate to waking life in one way or another, however no one had taken the time to figure it out. I found interesting how he had so many different articles on so many different subjects from women to the elderly. It was quite intriguing to see how dreams change depending on the type of people who were dreaming them and what their waking life consisted of.

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  38. The study I read about, done my Dr. Michael Schredl was very interesting. I did not know how influential waking day life events were on dreams let alone the ability to determine how likely a waking day event will occur in a dream. Schredl's mathematical formula for determining the likelihood of a waking day event being incorporated into a dream based on different factors (including emotion) is incredible. The study I read looked at how the variation in emotions related to daily events played into the probability the events would show up in the participants dreams. Participants kept a log of daily events, the significance of those events and how much emotion was felt towards those certain events in a diary (diary method). The study found that variations in emotional intensity to daily events influenced the imagery had in their dreams. This provided an influential factor and further evidence for the methods by which dreams reflect waking life.

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