Floods or Family Conflict? Bad Dreams Differ By Gender

NPR:

I think it’s safe to say most of us do not enjoy nightmares – that cold sweat, sitting up straight in bed, our pulse racing. But when Antonio Zadra, professor at the University of Montreal, began working on a study about nightmares he found that the narrative animating those bad dreams tended to be very different between men and women. He is coauthor of a new study that has a lot to say about the differences in the way we dream. He joins us now from Montreal. Welcome to the program.

ANTONIO ZADRA: Thank you for having me.

MARTIN: So, what were the differences you noticed in the nightmare scenarios of men and women?

ZADRA: Well, there are some themes that appear more in men’s nightmares. These include themes of disasters, calamities – for example, dreamings of floods, earthquakes, wars, as well as infestations, for instance, of insects. Whereas when we look at themes involving interpersonal conflicts, be it with friends, family members, they’re twice as often found in women’s nightmares than in men’s nightmares.

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