Women have more nightmares than men

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  • Women are 'more prone to nightmares'

    Women have significantly more nightmares than men because they find it harder to switch off at the end of the day, a new study has found.

    According to the research, we carry our worries into our dreams and continue to process our concerns while we sleep.

    In the study, 193 volunteers were asked to recall their most recent dreams and it transpired that 9% of male students reported having a nightmare compared to 34% of women.

    Researcher Dr Jennifer Parker of the University of the West of England, who carried out the research, said it was the first study to examine the difference between male and female dreams.

    She said, ‘From our results it appears that men and women differ in the frequency of nightmares – women have more – and women perceive those nightmares to be more emotionally intense.

    ‘I think that women use their dreams as a subconscious coping strategy.

    ‘I believe these results show that women carry over their waking concerns into their dream life more so than men do, and they appear to have more difficulty with ‘switching off‘ their concerns.’

    Through her work, she discovered that women’s dreams seem to be able to be divided into three categories: being chased or life threatened, losing a loved one, or confused dreams.

    She said: ‘The interesting thing is, looking at the content of the nightmare reports, men and women are experiencing the same things, but women are experiencing them more intensely.

    ‘Women had more unpleasant dreams than men and unpleasant dreams contained more misfortune, self-negativity and failures.’

    And guess what? Men’s dreams contained more sexual activity.

    No surprise there then!


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