Dream rebound: the return of suppressed thoughts in dreams

Psychol Sci. 2004 Apr;15(4):232-6. doi: 10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00657.x.


People spent 5 min before sleep at home writing their stream of thought as they suppressed thoughts of a target person, thought of the person, or wrote freely after mentioning the person. These presleep references generally prompted people to report increased dreaming about the person. However, suppression instructions were particularly likely to have this influence, increasing dreaming about the person as measured both by participants' self-ratings of their dreams and by raters' coding of mentions of the person in written dream reports. This effect was observed regardless of emotional attraction to the person.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Dreams*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Repression, Psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking*