A new study has revealed that women have more nightmares than men, with men dreaming mostly about positive experiences.
Amerisleep studied more than 2000 men and women across a variety of industries in the United States and found some interesting and undeniable differences between the dreams of each gender.
While the most common dream for both genders was about the heart-pounding experience of falling (54%) or having sex with someone they shouldn’t have, it was found that men and women have marked differences in the types of things that they dream about.
While dreams of failing a test, being back and school, and being chased by someone or something were found to be commonly recurring themes, it was found that they were most likely in women.
What do women dream about?
The study found that women predominantly suffered from nightmares during their sleep, with dreams about being chased revealed as the most common threat (54.2%). A cheating partner, teeth falling out, and seeing spiders and frightening creatures were also common.
It was also revealed that women remembered their dreams more frequently than men, with more detailed accounts of their experience.
According to the Association for Psychological Science, 43% of women remembered their dreams at least once a week, compared to 41% of men, and 24% of women remembered their dreams every night, compared to only 14% of men.
What do men dream about?
38.5% of men were found to dream about flying, irrespective of their career choice, followed by dreams about coming into wealth (18.5%).
Meeting a beautiful stranger or a mystery man and encountering aliens or UFO’s were also common for men, with mostly positive and joyful feelings associated with the dreams.
Do men ever have nightmares?
While men were reported to have occasional nightmares, it was found that they typically dreamt about more positive experiences than women.
Psychoanalysts have tried to identify the cause of gender differences in dreams for decades, with research still ongoing.
Anne Cutler, a New York-based psychoanalyst, says: “Nightmares come from anxiety. The extent to which women are more prone to anxiety disorders than men may be an underlying reason for this.” A psychology researcher at the University of West England, Dr. Jennie Parker, agrees and speculates that women may be more focused on their anxieties and are also more likely to remember the dreams associated with anxiety when compared to men.
After publishing a report about this, she said: “If women are asked to report the most significant dream they ever had, they are more likely than men to report a very disturbing nightmare. Women reported more nightmares and their nightmares were more emotionally intense than men’s”.
How to reduce the likelihood of nightmares?
Experts have agreed that managing and actively reducing day-to-day stress is one of the best ways to prevent nightmares. Healthy eating, plenty of exercise, meditation, and investing in a quality mattress is a good idea, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
It is also recommended to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, not to eat 2 hours before bedtime, and to put all electronics aside for at least an hour before hitting the hay. Room temperature and sleeping attire are equally important, with nakedness presenting the highest possibility of quality sleep.