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Study shows what fuels nightmares

Monday - 2/17/2014, 5:43am  ET

WASHINGTON - To sleep, perchance to dream.

That is, about monsters, wars, fires, break-ups and broken hearts. Ten thousand dreams were documented by researchers at the University of Montreal for a study into nightmares and bad dreams, reports The Daily Mail.

So what makes people cry out in fear at night?

For men the most prevalent dream was one of aggression, focusing on disasters such as earthquakes and wars. Oh and, for some reason, insects.

Women's dreams were centered on interpersonal conflicts. Those included people lying to them, being left for another or abandoned.

For the study, researchers Antonio Zadra and Geneviève Robert had 572 adults write down their dreams during a five-week period.

Fear wasn't the only emotion that stirred nightmares, they found. Participants also mentioned guilt, sadness and confusion.

The study published in the journal Sleep explores what nightmares are.

Some believe it regulates emotions while Robert thinks it is "cognitive trash."

Click here to read more from The Daily Mail.

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