I study the relationship between sleep and cognition, including effects of sleep loss, memory consolidation functions of sleep, causes and possible functions of dreaming, nightmares, and lucid dreams.

  • MA, Natural Sciences, Cambridge University
  • PhD, Brunel University

Areas of Expertise

  • sleep
  • dreaming
  • memory
  • learning
  • REM sleep


  1. & Sleep-dependent memory consolidation is related to perceived value of learned material. Journal of Sleep Research
  2. & Sleep does not cause false memories on a story-based test of suggestibility. Consciousness and Cognition 52, 39-46.
  3. & The dream-lag effect: Selective processing of personally significant events during Rapid Eye Movement sleep, but not during Slow Wave Sleep. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 122, 98-109.
  4. & Comparing personal insight gains due to consideration of a recent dream and consideration of a recent event using the Ullman and Schredl dream group methods. Frontiers in Psychology 6, 831
  5. & Lucid dreaming frequency and alarm clock snooze button use. Dreaming 25(4), 291-299.

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  • PSY357 Sleep and Dreaming

    The module provides an in depth look at the psychology and neuroscience of dreaming. It addresses the relationship between dreaming and the stages of sleep, and the relationship with waking life events and concerns. The module covers research conducted in sleep laboratories as well as research on dreams collected at home. Different types of dreams are explored, such as lucid dreams and nightmares. The relevance of Freud to current work in experimental psychology on dreaming is critically evaluated, including claims that dreams can be a source of personal insight. Finally, students will be able to explore the current debated issue of whether dreaming has a function, and whether this function is related to proposed functions for sleep.


  • Exploring visual attention eith eye-tracking and pupilometry (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Johnston

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
1989 1991 Research Fellow Loughborough University
1991 Present Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader/Professor Swansea University

External Responsibilities

  • Fellow, British Psychological Society

    2013 - Present

  • Peer Review College Member, Economic and Social Research Council

    2012 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

  • Dream content as a measure of memory consolidation across multiple periods of sleep 2012 - 2013

    £100k award, with J-B. Eichenlaub, E. van Rijn, P. Lewis, G. Gaskell, M. Walker, ESRC

Research Groups

  • Sleep Lab

    The Swansea University Sleep Laboratory investigates sleep, dreaming, and what happens when people are deprived of sleep. Undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Department of Psychology are involved in this work.