Can Dream Science Be Used To Elicit Healthy Behaviors?

  • Nadia J. Bijaoui (Author)
    Medical Board of California Research Psychoanalyst R.P. #102 Bio Health Education 4640 Admiralty Way, Suite 500 Marina del Rey, CA 90292 USA
  • Joshua Bernstein (Author)
    A.T. Still University of Health Sciences College of Graduate Health Studies 800 W. Jefferson St. Kirksville, MO 63501 USA
  • Christine Markham (Author)
    Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health 7000 Fannin St., Suite 2622 Houston, TX 77030 USA
  • Basil H. Aboul-Enein (Author)
    London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Department of Global Health & Development 15-17 Tavistock Place London WC1H 9SH United Kingdom

Identifiers (Article)


The science of dreams and their interpretation may seem like a recent trend, justifying current research interests. Yet, for centuries, dream science, once called oneirology, has captivated dreamers in quest of meanings and motivated scientists in search of explanations. Due to the recent expansion of dream research this narrative review discusses and explores relationships between dreaming and health promoting behaviors. Perspectives from current evidence are classified according to the fundamentals of the Freudian dream theory. Selected investigations are reviewed according to specific elements of the psychoanalytic theory, suggesting new approaches including a possible explanation of the paradox of the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and new terms proposed, pre-REM and post-REM, to replace non-REM (NREM) sleep. This review draws parallels between selected studies and the possible health promotion benefits within a psychoanalytic perspective, proposing possible lines of research to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing within the context of dreaming. The potential of dreaming to elicit healthy behaviors may be possible if the dynamics of the psyche's structure are consciously understood. Further examinations of dream science could lead to unexplored areas of public health, neuropsychoanalysis, and health promotion with an integrative and cross-disciplinary approach.


Dreams, Neuropsychoanalysis, Health Behaviors, Health Promotion, REM Sleep
How to Cite
Bijaoui, N. J., Bernstein, J., Markham, C., & Aboul-Enein, B. H. (2019). Can Dream Science Be Used To Elicit Healthy Behaviors?. International Journal of Dream Research, 12(1), 34–41.