This is how your age and gender affect your nightmares, according to a new study

What is YOUR worst recurring bad dream? Running from someone but being unable to scream or make a sound? Being suffocated underneath the weight of something massive? Losing your teeth? According to a new study about common dreams and nightmares, your gender and your generation might play a role in how scary dreams plague your subconscious.

Dreams by Gender

While falling was the most common bad dream among men, being chased was the most recurring night terror among women.

Women’s Nightmares

19.6% of women reported dreams about being chased, 9.9% dreamt of falling and losing teeth, 9.7% experienced nightmares about being attacked, and 8.3% reported a bad dream of a breakup with their S/O. (Only 3.1% of men polled also experienced nightmares about breakups.) ?

Men’s Nightmares

19.4% of men reported bad dreams about falling, 17.1% experienced being chased, and 13.7% dreamt of being attacked. The study also notes that large amounts of stress seemed to drive 36.9% of men’s nightmares (and 49% of women’s bad dreams).

Dreams by Generation

Baby Boomers (1946-1964) dreamt the most, with 63.9% of those polled reporting frequent dreams. In comparison, 57.2% of Gen Xers (1965-1980) and 56.5% of millennial (1981-1997) dreamt often. Who knew Baby Boomers would be the most imaginative, at least while unconscious?

Nightmares of Millennials

According to the study, social issues seem to haunt millennials the most, with protests and police brutality mentioned by respondents.

Interestingly, millennials — the youngest group surveyed — experienced bad dreams about death the most. 6.9% of millennials reported these type of night terrors, while 5.9% of Gen Xers and just 1% of Baby Boomers reported the same.

19.9% of millennials surveyed experienced nightmares of being chased, and they also experienced the highest frequency of bad dreams about a significant other leaving them. ?

Nightmares of Gen Xers

15.1% of Gen Xers surveyed said that being chased was their most frequent bad dream. 10.9% of this demographic experienced nightmares about falling, and 10.5% experienced an attack.

Gen Xers also mentioned bad dreams about feeling lost (8.4%) and showing up to something late (9.2%).

Nightmares of Baby Boomers

18.2% of baby boomers experienced nightmares about being chased, while bad dreams about falling came in at 16.2%. Interestingly, over half of those surveyed who dreamt about being chased reported associating the color black with that memory. One respondent said, “It seems to be about running away from something or somebody bad but not being able to speak to ask for help.”

14.1% of baby boomers mentioned bad dreams about feeling lost. Some said they were lost in the mountains, some wandered around an abandoned building or endless hallway, some got stuck in a foreign city, and others felt alienated by those surrounding them.

Whatever your recurring bad dream is, we hope this survey helped you understand why it happens. Here’s to battling your inner demons.

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