Poor Sleep = Better Dream Recall

Researchers have pinpointed an area in the brain that may be linked to why some people recall more dreams than others.

In a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, investigators linked the difference between “high dream recallers” and “low dream recallers” to an area of the brain called the temporo-parietal junction. Increased activity in that area, which acts as an information-processing hub, might promote intermittent waking throughout the night. And that, in turn, makes dreams easier to recall.

A team led by Perrine Ruby, a research fellow at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, in France, also found that the brains of high dream recallers were more reactive to outside sounds.

The investigators used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to measure the spontaneous brain activity of 41 volunteers during wakefulness and sleep. The volunteers consisted of  21“high dream recallers” who recalled dreams 5.2 mornings  per week in average, and 20 “low dream recallers,” who reported two dreams per month in average.

 High dream recallers, both while awake and while asleep, showed stronger spontaneous brain activity in the the temporo-parietal junction as well as another area, the medial prefrontal cortex.

The researchers said their findings indicated that high dream recallers may also differ in the number of dreams they have, compared with low dream recallers.

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