The science behind nightmares revealed – including most common scary dreams 4 days ago

The science behind nightmares revealed – including most common scary dreams

Or you could just sit and rock in a corner, that always works

Going to sleep is like a game of Russian roulette in the sense that you could be greeted by a saucy fantasy or sleep paralysis and that demon at the foot of your bed. Whether you're big or small, young or old, nightmares scare the hell out of all of us - but what exactly are they?

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While dreams can include all of your senses, the most common form of dreaming is usually visual in nature. According to the Sleep Foundation, the standard characteristics of dreams include a first-person perspective, illogical or incoherent content, strong emotive reactions and various elements of real life.

Even in 2022, the exact reasons for dreams are unknown. Each spiritual community and scientific body has differing theories, including subconscious therapy, emotion processing and mental housekeeping.

If you believe the Marvel cinematic universe is a scientific body, then dreams are actually portals to other realities.

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Here's what we do know

s Via UnSplash

Every person has between three and six dreams a night, with each lasting roughly between five and 20 minutes. Though you can technically dream during any sleep phase, most happen during the rapid eye movement (REM) period. The same goes for those unwanted nightmares.

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An estimated 50 to 85 per cent of adults report having the occasional nightmare, suggests Sleep Education.

The most common scary dreams

The science behind nightmares revealed – including most common scary dreams Via Unsplash
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A study conducted by Amerisleep ranked various nightmares by frequency. They surveyed 2,000 people and found that 64 per cent of participants often had nightmares about falling. Being chased and death came in second and third with 63 per cent and 54 per cent.

Other notable inclusions include feeling trapped (52 per cent), natural disaster (31 per cent), ghost friend or family member (27 per cent) and going bald (4 per cent).

Can you get rid of nightmares?

Researchers at Harvard University sought the answer to that very question and found that the "cause of the stress, if there is one, must be determined."

They added: "If a stressor is identified, effective ways to manage it should be found. "For medication-induced nightmares, dosages might need to be altered or different drugs administered."

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