Dreams of a geographer: A long dream and waking life series of geographic locations

  • Louis Marrou (Author)
    AGILE team, UMR CNRS 7266 LIENSs (Littoral, Environment and Societies), La Rochelle University, La Rochelle, France
    PhD, professor of Geography at the La Rochelle University, France, and researcher in the AGILE TEam from UMR CNRS 7266, France
  • Isabelle Arnulf (Author)
    Sorbonne Universities, Paris, France Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France

    MD, PhD, head of the sleep disorder center, Pitie Salpetriere University Hospital, Paris, France

    Professor of Neurology, IHU@ICM, Sorbonne Universities, Paris, France

Identifiers (Article)


Several studies have shown that daytime geographic locations are more frequently incorporated into the dreams of the next two nights, but also after a 7 days delay. We analyzed the dream locations in 680 dream reports longer than 20 words recorded over a calendar year in a single geographer subject, and compared them with the exhaustive, concomitant daytime log of the 122 cities he visited during the same year. Among the dream reports, 24.4% (from 38% of the nights) named the geographic location in dreams. There were 107 cities visited in dreams and 122 visited during daytime: only 30 locations were common to dream and daytime life. Dream reports were longer when they indicated a location (90 ± 92 vs. 70 ± 67 words/dream, p = 0.008). In contrast, 72% (77/107) of locations visited in dreams had not been visited during the same year and 20 (18.7%) dreamt locations had never been visited during the entire life. In the 139 nights including a dreamt location, there was a timely (same night) concordance of 32.5% between the location visited the day before and the location in dream. Another 13.5% dreamt locations corresponded to locations visited within 10 days prior to target nights (without any peak at the 7th day), whereas 11.5% dreamt locations were locations to be visited the next day(s) (anticipation effect). This within-subject, large single longitudinal dream series, concomitant with an exhaustive log of visited geographic locations, confirms the continuity hypothesis for incorporation of recently visited locations in dreams, does not confirm the 7th day delay in incorporating location sources, and shows a small but interesting anticipation effect in dreams of future visited locations.


dreaming, episodic memory, setting, location, longitudinal, continuity
How to Cite
Marrou, L., & Arnulf, I. (2018). Dreams of a geographer: A long dream and waking life series of geographic locations. International Journal of Dream Research, 11(1), 13–20. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2018.1.40949