Scientists have said nightmares may not have any direct link to the sleeper’s waking life, rather it can be the reflection of the person’s emotions or concerns.
Researchers, at the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Chicago, who asked 2,000 men and women about their dreams, found a link between the themes of their dreams and their emotions and fears. Hair or tooth loss and sitting exams are also common themes, even among those too young to go bald and too old to sit exams.
While men are more likely to have nightmares about violence or being sacked, bereavement and sexual harassment crop up more in women’s nightmares.
Dreams about hair and tooth loss are more common in women — perhaps signifying anxieties about losing their looks, said researcher Dr Michael Schredl.
Dr Schredl said: “Topics like falling, being chased or paralysed do not have direct correspondences to waking-life experiences. “A monster chasing you in a dream might reflect a daytime fear of a particular task lying ahead that one wishes to avoid.”