The Dreaming Workforce: Investigating Sleep, Dreams, and Work Relationships


  • Veronika Lah University of Ljubljana


Sleep and work constitute a significant portion of our lives, with individuals spending about two-thirds of their time on these activities [1]. Given the crucial role of sleep in workplace performance and overall well-being, it is concerning, that sleep problems continue to be prevalent in modern society [3]. Recent systematic reviews [2] have underscored the notable interplay between sleep and work, warranting further investigation. Particularly intriguing is the potential role of dreams as a bridging element between these two phenomena, offering a novel avenue for exploration and deeper understanding.

A study explores the bidirectional relationship between sleep and work behaviors with thirty business owners. First-person and third-person methods measure how sleep and work behavior influence each other. Participants use the Oura tool for at least sixteen days to measure sleep quality. The Oura ring measures sleep parameters like REM states, efficiency, disturbances, heart sleep, and regularity. Daily surveys via phone questionnaires collect data, and initial and final surveys measure the business context and psychological characteristics.

This explorative research investigates the intricate relationship between sleep, dreams, and work. Daily questionnaires gather data on dream occurrence, focusing on the forthcoming master thesis. Data analysis will employ reduction techniques, with further development in collaboration with the research group. Specific dimensions of dream occurrence are expected to emerge. In-depth interviews may supplement the data to explore relevant aspects of dream occurrence among business owners.


[1] S. Boden, S. J. Williams, C. Seale, P. Lowe, and D. L. Steinberg, “The social construction of sleep and work in the British Print News Media,” Sociology, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 541–558, 2008.

[2] A. M. Gordon, B. Carrillo, and C. M. Barnes, “Sleep and social relationships in healthy populations: A systematic review,” Sleep Medicine Reviews, vol. 57, p. 101428, 2021.

[3] M. Van Laethem, D. G. Beckers, M. A. Kompier, A. Dijksterhuis, and S. A. Geurts, “Psychosocial work characteristics and sleep quality: A systematic review of longitudinal and intervention research,” Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 535–549, 2013