Research Suggestions Welcome

The basic functionality of the Sleep and Dream Database is now in place and ready to use.  Some aesthetic tweaks still need to be made, and better export options are in the works, but I’m finally starting to turn my attention from the architecture of the database to its contents.  In coming weeks I will upload several new data sets, including the Hall and Van de Castle norm dreams, a new demographic survey from Harris Interactive, and a collection of reports from a small group of people who have been wearing the Zeo sleep manager device while keeping dream journals.


Looking farther ahead, I’d like to collect dream reports from distinctive individuals and/or groups whose waking life concerns could be studied in light of patterns in their dreams.  For example, I’d love to study the dreams of serious athletes to learn about their visions of victory and fears of injury or defeat.  It would be fascinating to look at the dreams of avid gun owners to understand better the psychological roots of their passion for firearms.  I’d be curious to explore the dreams of both prison inmates and prison guards, to get a deeper sense of life on both sides of the penal system.

Now the SDDb is up and running, these kinds of projects are easier than ever to pursue.

If you have suggestions about types of people you think would be good prospects for new research, please let me know.  Better yet, if you would like to collaborate in gathering and analyzing dreams from specific groups, I’d like to hear what you have in mind.

6 Replies to “Research Suggestions Welcome”

  1. Good news. Your site seems to be the only source for new sets of dreams for basic research.

    I’d like to see dream sets from gay and lesbian dreamers.
    … also African Americans.

    The Harris youth survey seems to have dreams recalled from childhood by adults as indicated by “I was 13 years old I had a dream…” and similar expressions. I know it would be difficult, but is there any way to get children’s dreams recalled by children.

    One small thing: the headers on the SDDb page are dark red on a black background. Hard for me to read.

    Great site. Can’t wait to see the new dream sets.

  2. I’d like to see a serious study done in the Yaqui community, particularly around how spiritual dreams shape one’s ritual position in the community, and how they guide life decisions. This will be tricky, because others in the past have learned little bits and pieces and exploited them hideously in sensationalist pop books. I’d like to see something that could heal the damage. Speak to me about it privately

  3. I’d also be interested to see a study of the effects of moonlight on sleep and dreaming. The hypothesis I’d like to see tested is that, since people sleep most deeply and restfully with the least light, and yet are most likely to dream vividly, even lucidly, with light in the room, that we evolved to vary in the depth of our sleep on the 28-night cycle of the moon, thereby reaping the benefits, in the long run,. of both. I suspect that street lamps have disrupted this cycle, giving us either the perpetual equivalent of full-moon illumination, or (if we shut it out with heavy curtains, as many do) a perpetual new-moon absence of illumination. I have felt a difference in sleeping while living in the desert beyond streetlamps, versus living in the city., This could have interesting implications!

  4. And finally, I’d like a study of how much sleep people get with various political affiliations. Do people in one party or another get more or less sleep, and does this affect their decision-making? Do people in the extreme ends of either party get different amounts of sleep from those in the more moderate range? How does amount of sleep affect blind followership versus questioning and weighing of options?

  5. Oh, another one! I’d like a study of truckdrivers and dreaming. They are on the road most of their lives, on a strenuous, high-stress job, and sleep either in ever-changing quarters or in the cramped confines of a sleeper-cab, in a constant variation of lighting, temperature, and other conditions. At the same time they need to rely on intuition (more likely called “hunches” in the subculture) more than the average blue-collar worker, as road conditions and the routes expected of them constantly shift.. Call it a hunch of my own, but I get the impression there’s something valuable out there to learn.

  6. Oooh, got another one! Since I brought up on another thread the possibility that a common denominator in groups that sleep better than other groups might be strong extended family ties as opposed to disrupted family ties, one could compare sleep patterns among people with strong rights and responsibilities as defined by extended family, nuclear-family only., people estranged from family, AND people living communally in self-created families. You can make contact with people in the latter group through the Fellowship of Intentional Communities at

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