People who are born blind have four times as many nightmares as sighted people, according to a new study conducted by the Danish Centre for Sleep Medicine.
The findings confirm that nightmares are related to a person’s daytime stress.
“The study confirms an already existing hypothesis that people’s nightmares are associated with emotions they experience while awake. And blind people apparently experience more threatening or dangerous situations during the day than people with normal sight,” said lead author Amani Meaidi, a research assistant at the center.
The researchers recruited 11 participants who were born blind, 14 who had become blind, and 25 normally sighted people, and asked them to record their dreams over a period of four weeks.
Several surprising findings emerged.
The results showed that approximately 25 percent of a born-blind person’s dreams are nightmares, compared to only six percent for a sighted person. The dreams of people who became blind later in life were more similar to sighted people with nightmares at seven percent.