The influence of dreams: A study of how written dream content assessed with linguistic text analysis is related to post-sleep affect
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Although sleep and dreaming take up one third of our lifetime, their exact functions are not completely understood as of today. The study’s aim was to investigate how the relationship is between emotional and cognitive content in dreams and the post-sleep affective state. A total of 104 Norwegian speaking adults participated. Each morning for seven days participants answered a self-report questionnaire and registered their dreams. The dreams where further analysed by the text analysis program, LIWC. The results indicated that having dreams with positive emotional content were followed by a positive affective state post-sleep, and that many words used to describe a dream also correlated to positive affect. A visible relation was also observed between having negative emotions in dreams and a subsequent negative affective state post-sleep. Limitations of this study concern, amongst others, the methods used and the sample size and characteristics of the participants and dreams. In conclusion, both positive and negative emotions in recalled dreams were related to the affective state the following morning, which is in line with the continuity hypothesis. In future research one should focus further on the intriguing methods and perspectives regarding dreams, their content and relations to the post-sleep affective state.