Dream recall frequency and content in women

  • Joana Pires (Author)
  • Teresa Paiva (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


In several large-scale studies, sex is related to the frequency of dream recall, on average, women tend to recall their dreams more often than men. Studies on EEG analysis and its correlation with dreams in women are scarce. We aimed to evaluate REM dreams´ recall frequency and content and their emotional characteristics in healthy young women. 20 young women adults’, nonclinical volunteers, without any history pf psychoactive medication and psychiatric disorders performed two consecutive nights of complete Video-Polysomnography recording. REM awakenings dreams were collected, after 10 consecutive minutes of uninterrupted REM. For every dream described, we applied the Hall and Van Castle method of quantitative and systematic dream content analysis and compared to published normative Hall and Van Castle data. The differences of this Portuguese women group and normative USA data obtained in female college students concern mostly dreaming about family, with dead and imaginary characters, while having increased rates of failure and striving. The cultural influences are a possible explanation.


Dreams recall, Women, REM sleep, Hall and Van Castle norms, cultural influences
How to Cite
Pires, J., & Paiva, T. A. S. (2021). Dream recall frequency and content in women. International Journal of Dream Research, 14(2), 266–271. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2021.2.80238