Daydreams are great because they inspire, entertain, and de-stress us. And if you begin to visualize your daydreams, there’s actually a better chance they’ll become reality. But if the best part about daydreams is our ability to consciously control them, then the strangest part about our actual dreams is what they say about our subconscious fears, desires, and challenges. If you dig deep and begin to log and interpret your dreams, these subconscious thoughts might become clearer. Amerisleep surveyed 1,000 people in the US about what they’d dreamt about over the past year, and the trends they discovered might surprise you.

African American woman sleeping in bed

The study focused on the content and interpretation of men’s and women’s dreams, and the differences between them. Overall, the hottest topics were sex and intimacy, being unable to move, being chased, and the future. Sound familiar? Tons of other trends emerged too: For example, almost 23 percent of respondents had dreamt about a cheating partner.

These results get even more interesting when dissected by gender. While the hot topics remained in a similar order for both men and women, 35 percent of women reported dreaming of a dead relative, while men have this tragic dream far less often. Conversely, guys are much more likely to dream about being back in high school than their female counterparts.

Whether you consider high school a nightmare or not, both genders have bad dreams more often if they sleep less. In fact, people who got five or fewer hours of sleep were 20 percent more likely to have nightmares most nights.

“The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night,” the study says. “As it turns out, sufficient sleep not only benefits your health during the day; it can give you better dreams at night.”

Everybody is susceptible to nightmares, but men and women seem to differ when it comes to dreams about infidelity. If you’ve had a dream about being cheated on or cheating, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re destined to cheat or guarantee that your partner is actually cheating on you. In fact, almost half of women perceive these types of dreams to mean that they’re facing a tough decision. In contrast, 39 percent of men take these dreams to literally mean that they have feelings for someone else. The majority of them still buy into the idea that they’re facing a tough decision.

But how much do we think about our dreams, anyway? According to the study, only nine percent of men “always or usually” search for meaning in their dreams, while 17 percent of women said the same.

“According to at least one clinical psychotherapist, dreaming is how our conscious mind and unconscious mind communicate with one another,” the study said. “With that thread of logic, nobody else can ever truly understand what your dreams may be trying to tell you specifically, and even the most basic dreams could be relaying something personal.”

How do you interpret your dreams? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)