Have you ever found yourself dreaming about work at night? You'll be surprised to know that it isn’t uncommon. What we do when we’re awake significantly influences what we dream about when we’re sleeping.
Experts say that it is important for us to keep work-related stress at a minimum and increase hobby-related moments of relaxation during the day. These two things can seep into our unconscious minds as we sleep. This is particularly important because stress is a vital factor that can increase nightmares.
Does this mean that you need a work-life balance to have a better sleep quality?
In a new study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, researchers explored the differences between dreams related to work and dreams related to hobbies, and the different emotional states linked with each.
Past studies have found that many people have had a significant number of hours dreaming about work. This was more prominent the more hours the person worked.
The new study sought to assess if similar patterns would arise for dreams related to hobbies. It also sought to distinguish the emotional tone between the two types of dreaming mentioned above.
This new report is based on the theory called “continuity hypothesis of dreaming.” It states that waking thoughts and emotional states continue into our dreams. The themes of our dreams are typically directly related to our daily lives and experiences.
A sample of 1,695 participants was used in the study. Researchers asked participants to recall their dreams in the past 12 months, asking them to estimate their percentage of dreams that were work-related, and dreams that were related to hobbies.
The results of the study revealed that respondents who participated in their hobbies more ended up dreaming about them more. Dreams that were related to hobbies were significantly more positive than dreams that are related to work and regular dreams.
Most importantly, researchers found that those who worked full-time had both dreams that were related to work and dreams that were related to hobbies than participants who worked part-time or were unemployed. Higher work-related stress was linked to more work-related dreams, and this was particularly common among female workers.