Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Does dreaming affect the quality of our sleep? © Getty images

Does dreaming affect the quality of our sleep?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Go back to sleep...

Asked by: Ashley Martin, Hampshire


There’s research to suggest that having frequent nightmares is associated with poorer subjective sleep quality. Nightmares can cause anxiety, making it more difficult to fall back to sleep, or nod off in the first place. However, the link between dreaming and sleep quality goes both ways. We are more likely to remember a dream when we’re woken from it, so if we sleep badly and have multiple wakings during the night, we may be more likely to recall the content of our dreams.

Can we control our dreams? © Getty Images


Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.


Alice is a Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths. She has contributed to several diverse research areas, including the longitudinal associations between sleep and psychopathology, behavioural genetics, sleep paralysis and exploding head syndrome. In addition to her scientific contributions she also excels in the public engagement of science. She has published two popular science book (Nodding Off, Bloomsbury, 2018 and Sleepy Pebble, Nobrow, 2019). She regularly contributes articles to the media and has had her work published in outlets including the Guardian, GQ UK, Sud Ouest, Slate Fr, Independent.


Sponsored content