In Experiment 1, 96 frequent dreamers were randomly assigned to Control or Experimental conditions. All participants rated waking and dream moods over ten days and recorded their most vivid dream for each night. On the first and tenth day they rated the levels of distress and solvability of up to eight specific personal problems. After ten days they also rated degree of improvement and problem-solving effort for each nominated problem. All Experimental participants also cognitively reviewed one particular focal problem each day. Experimental participants were also randomly assigned to use either a dream incubation technique (Delaney, 1996) for this focal problem either just before sleep or just after morning wakening, or to use a simple relaxation technique either just before sleep or just after wakening. Night dream incubation participants were particularly likely to report reduced problem distress, greater problem solvability, and improvement in their focal problem. Daytime anxious and depressed moods of the night dream incubation participants decreased over ten days relative to Controls. In Experiment 2 participants predicted how they would have been affected by either night or morning incubation instructions used in Experiment 1. Results did not support an expectancy interpretation of Experiment 1.
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White, G.L., Taytroe, L. Personal Problem-Solving Using Dream Incubation: Dreaming, Relaxation, or Waking Cognition?. Dreaming 13, 193–209 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:DREM.0000003143.00133.1c
- Dream incubation