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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Book taste linked to dreams
Man sleeping
The study is one of the biggest of its kind
People's taste in books indicates the kind of dreams they have, one of the largest studies into the phenomenon has shown.

Researchers from the University of Wales in Swansea divided more than 10,000 library goers into different personality types based on the books they chose and asked them to complete questionnaires about their dreams.

They found adults choosing fiction had stranger dreams - but were more likely to remember them.

While fantasy novel fans had more nightmares and "lucid" dreams, in which they are aware they are dreaming.

Age a factor

The dreams of those who preferred romantic novels were more emotionally intense.

The research also suggests children who read scary books are three times more likely to have nightmares.

Dr Mark Blagrove, who conducted the study, told BBC News: "Reading affects children's dreams more, the younger they are."

Although the amount people dream was not affected by how much they slept, the number of nightmares tended to decrease with age, he explained.

The findings add more weight to the view that different personality types have different kinds of dreams.

As part of the study, called Dream Lab, 100,000 survey forms were distributed in libraries across the country.

Waking lives

With over 10,000 responses to the adult and children's surveys, Dream Lab is one of the largest sleep and dreaming experiments for decades.

It is also the first major study that examines people's choice of books in relation to their type of dreams.

The aim was to examine any correlation between aspects of our waking lives, including reading and visiting libraries, and the content, frequency and recall of our dreams.

The results were analysed by a team of psychologists at The University of Wales, Swansea.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tom Heap
"They now have a map of our dreams and our reading provides the compass"
Psychologist Dr Mark Blagrove
"People who read fiction were more likely to remember dreams"

Where I Live, South West Wales
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