Sweet Dreams More Common Than Nightmares
Sufficient Sleep Goes With Pleasant Dreams, Survey Shows
Dec. 20, 2004 -- Most people have sweet dreams, especially with a good
night's sleep. That's what Gallup pollsters found in a telephone survey
conducted earlier this month.
About 1,000 American adults participated. Most (65%) said they usually have
The numbers were even higher for people who say they get enough sleep.
Almost three-quarters of those satisfied sleepers said their dreams were
generally good. Only 10% reported bad dreams.
Those who toss and turn aren't as fortunate. Good dreams were less common
and bad dreams were more frequent among people who say they would feel better
with more sleep. A little more than half (57%) of such people had good dreams;
about 20% had bad dreams.
Very few American adults -- 1 in 9 - say they dream nightly, says
If that's not you, don't be jealous. Bad dreams affected 28% of those who
say they are nightly dreamers, compared with 9% of those who report dreaming a
few times per week and 18% of those who say they are rare dreamers.
Why is that? The Gallup poll can't say. It didn't pinpoint the origins of
dreams. That's a task that has fascinated -- and eluded -- people throughout
the ages. Plenty of theories have been suggested over the centuries, from foods
to psychological issues to prophetic tales. But tracing the science behind
dreams is slippery work.
Some surprising findings about slumber were also revealed by the poll.
Contrary to popular belief, America hasn't lost much sleep since 1990. Most
adults sleep six to eight hours a night, with seven hours being most frequent
That's almost the same as in 1990. But since then, Americans have
increasingly said they need more sleep. Today, 44% say they would feel better
if they slept more.
Do you have trouble sleeping? Take
this quick quiz.