Whether we want to admit it or not, erotic dreams are something we’ve all experienced at least once in our lifetimes. In the recent survey of Dr Franceen King, 96.5% of 200 female participants, between the ages of 15-85, reported experiencing erotic or overtly sexual dreams. But what actually causes sexual dreams? Is it our desires? Our nature? Or could it even be our sleeping position?
Many may not have considered it before – rarely do most stop to study their dreams in relation to whether they’re on their left side or right side– but a recent study in Hong Kong shows just why we should start looking at our sleeping position when it comes to our dreams.
Calvin Kai-Ching Yu, a professor at the Shue Yan University, conducted an experiment into exploring the effects our sleeping positions on our dreams. He interviewed 670 university students, two-thirds of whom were female, and asked them to complete surveys about their dreams. The participants that slept in the prone position (on their front) reported feeling sensations related to sex more frequently than those who slept in other positions, as well as reporting other erotic themes such as “being tied up”, “being locked up”, and “being unable to move”. From their results, the researchers concluded that their study did indeed provide circumstantial evidence that dream experiences, and in particular dream content, can be influenced by body posture during sleep.
“I believe that the brain during sleep is not at all totally detached from the external world, and stimuli, including those stemming from the environment, are probably incorporated into dream content more often than people observe or are aware of,” Kai-Ching Yu said, according to NBC News. “The unconscious brains of the dreamers try to make sense, and even make use of, the external stimuli.”
Yu suggests that the increase in sexual thoughts could be due to the fact that people may not get as much air when they sleep on their stomach and this could then makes their unconscious brain think or imagine being constricted as a result of external stimuli. Whilst it is true that sleeping prone can lead to poorer ventalitory responses, the link between lack of oxygen and sex is not a definitive one.
As well as this, the participants in this study weren’t actually monitored as they slept; their results were all survey based and said surveys were filled out after they woke up, meaning that they might not be as accurate as needed. Whilst this study is highly interesting, it contains many flaws and its findings should not be regarded as fact.
Other outside factors can instead affect our dreams. Studies show that our sleeping position has a bearing on our personality and so it may be the personalities of people that sleep on their fronts affecting their dreams, not actually the position. Erotic dreams may be down to diet or sexual behaviour, such as the frequency at which a person has sex.
Which position do you sleep in? Have you found that sleeping on your front increases your chances of having erotic dreams?