Our Investigations

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. Sometimes studies are run outside the lab, and we assess the sleep, or dream content, of people sleeping at home. Or we monitor people in the sleep lab, using EEG, and this can involve waking them up to collect dream reports. The laboratory is designed to be as comfortable and non-clinical as possible. On this site you can see photos of the lab and information about the scientific studies we conduct.

The sleep laboratory has 2 bedrooms for experiments on sleep and dreaming, and lounge and kitchen facilities for the running of experiments on sleep deprivation.

Click here for a virtual tour of the Sleep Lab (click on the College of Human & Health Sciences pin and select The Sleep Lab tour)

Our experiments in the sleep lab, and experiments run outside the sleep lab, aim to answer questions on:

  • The functions of sleep
  • The effects of sleep loss
  • The relationship of dream content to waking life experiences
  • Whether dreaming has any function, or is associated with any functional brain process
  • The relationship of sleep, and dreaming, to memory consolidation during sleep
  • The aetiology and characteristics of nightmares


Further Information


  • Increased interrogative suggestibility after 48 hours sleep deprivation
  • Cognitive effects of sleep loss
  • Personality and cognitive characteristics of lucid dreamers
  • Relationship of waking life poor well-being to nightmare frequency and to distressed reactions to nightmares
  • Relationship of apnoea severity to nightmares
  • Dreaming during and after anaesthesia
  • Relationship of sleep loss to inappropriate confidence
  • Personality characteristics of frequent dream recallers
  • Personality and susceptibility to sleep loss
  • Personality and susceptibility to nightmares
  • Effects of illegal drug use on cognition, sleep and dreaming
  • The time-scale of incorporations of waking life events into dreams


Mark Blagrove studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University (1979-1982). After working at the Bethlem Royal Hospital (“bedlam”) for 3 years he conducted research for a PhD on the relationship between dream content and waking life events at Brunel University in west London.

In 1989 he was then appointed Research Fellow at the Loughborough University Sleep Laboratory, studying the cognitive effects of sleep loss. Since 1991 he has been conducting sleep research at Swansea University, was appointed Professor in 2008, and is now Head of the Department of Psychology.

View Professor Blagrove's professional profile here.

The Department of Psychology

To read more about the Department of Psychology at Swansea University, view our Department of Psychology web pages, or our psychological research pages to find out more about our research groups.