As I walked around the Chemist's a few weeks ago, I thought about where I could get hold of some extra money to get some of the latest beauty products. I suddenly remembered an ad at the University where I work. A researcher was looking for participants for a dream study. The compensation for participating was a £20 shopping voucher which I simply couldn't resist. However, when the researcher at Department of Psychology first started advertising the study, I wasn't sure whether to participate or not. The study involved being woken up by an alarm four times per night for two nights and record your dreams on a dictaphone in the middle of the night.

I waited for months to decide, reflecting on what the effect would be at work due to lack of sleep, if I could ever find the "right" night to do it (maybe a Friday night?), the complications of analysing my dreams afterwards and the amount of time it would take.

Despite the worries about losing deep sleep for two nights, the desire for the shopping voucher grew stronger. I told my husband about the project and he decided to participate in the research project as well. Eventually we got the equipment and questionnaires. Let the research begin!

Waking up in the middle of the night was much easier than I thought. I was able to go to work, and was only slightly tired during the workday.

Also, the questionnaires turned out to be much easier to fill in than I expected. I just ticked the options that applied and wrote down ca. 10 things I had done during each day before going to bed.

Easy peasy!

The experience of taking part in the project taught me that while things may look hard on paper, they are probably much easier in reality. I have gained confidence and feel less hesitant about volunteering, using advanced recipes or taking on new tasks at work.

The biggest gain was not the boost I got from the new hair conditioner and make up I was able to buy, but the reminder that things often seem harder then they are. Trying won't hurt!

Do you have a similar story? Let me know!