What is the Most Common Nightmare?

Over at i09, Robert T. Gonzalez poses the question, “What is the most common nightmare?” To find an answer, he turns to a body of nightmare research generated worldwide since the 1930’s by psychologists Antonio Zadra, Michael Schred and many others.

Interestingly, the criterion of the nightmare studies vary quite a lot. The definition of what “counts” as a nightmare in some, but not all, studies is “a disturbing, emotionally intense dream that ends with the dreamer waking from sleep.” Data collection methods vary as well. Some studies have used dream logs while others have interviews or retrospective questionnaires. Subject pool size (from 200 to 10000) and make-up (students, the “feeble-minded”, nightmare-sufferers, or the general population) are other variables.

For the most part, the Dailynightmare.com list of common nightmares echoes these studies. Although our “data” has been collected through voluntary reporting and “sorted” and “analyzed” by tagging and clouds, our top themes in unranked order are:

Family
Violence
Death
Animals
Monsters
Creepy houses
Work-related

–themes which confirm those found in research.

As they say in the academic business, more research is needed. Please continue to send your nightmares to the Dailynightmare.com for further analysis.

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