About one in seven dreams can be considered bad dreams or nightmares, a more intense and bizarre version.

A 2007 study led by professor Antonio Zadra, of the department of psychology at the University of Montreal, analyzed 10,000 dreams and sorted through the topics. The study is described in the recently published book, “When Brains Dream.”

The Top 10 themes, ranked by frequency:

  1. Physical aggression, including sexual aggression, murder. 32%
  2. Interpersonal conflicts, such as insults, infidelity, lying. 30%
  3. Failure or helplessness, being late, unable to talk, making mistakes. 17%
  4. Health concerns and death, of someone else or the dreamer. 12%
  5. Apprehension or worry of someone or something without an objective threat present. 11%
  6. Being chased, but not physically attacked. 8%
  7. Evil presence, monsters, aliens, vampires. 7%
  8. Accidents, car crash, drowning, slipping. 6%
  9. Disaster and calamity, fire, flood, end of the world 5%
  10. Insects and vermin, infestation, bites, stings. 5%