25 July 2018

Money worries a cause of nightmares

5 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection


Financial fears are creeping into sleeping hours, as new research by Royal London shows money worries are a top cause of nightmares.

  • Money worries are a cause of nightmares, with two in five (41%) saying they are anxious about money
  • A quarter (23%) of people suffer from nightmares once a week or more frequently
  • Three in 10 (31%) say they have changed something in their life or based a decision on a dream or nightmare

Two in five (41%) people said money makes them anxious, which can have a big impact on the subconscious. One of the most common types of dreams is teeth falling out (18 %). Teeth symbolise power and confidence, with financial concerns leading to nightmares about you losing them as you’re not in control.

Royal London’s consumer spokesperson, Mona Patel, said:

"Financial worries don’t just affect our waking hours, as our research shows they are creeping into our subconscious and giving us nightmares. Keeping on top of your finances can make you feel in control and ease your worries. Start with simple steps by keeping a spending diary and setting a budget which can help you towards getting your finances in order."

Reality of dreams

The research highlights the link between our dreams and what we get up to when we’re awake; nine in 10 people think real life issues (88%) and their emotions (91%) affect the type of dreams we have. People in the UK take it one step further, with three in 10 (31%) basing real life decisions on dreams or nightmares.

Nightmares plague millions of people, with nearly nine in 10 (85%) of us suffering from them. A quarter (23%) suffer from nightmares once a week or more frequently, with falling (40%) and violence (29%) being the more common types of nightmares.

Dream Psychologist, Ian Wallace, said:

"Our dreams are how we naturally make sense of all the information and experiences that we unconsciously absorb every day. They are not just some random occurrence but actually a deliberate process, enabling us to draw on our past experiences and then use them to make the most of future possibilities. Dreams provide us with meaningful insights into specific challenges that we may be encountering in our day-to-day lives."

Gender divide

The data also shows a gap between men and women when it comes to dreams, with more than half (56%) of men having based decisions or changed something in their life after a dream in comparison to just a quarter (27%) of women. Two in five men (44%) suffer from nightmares once a week or more frequently in comparison to one in six women (17%). Women (37%) are also more private about sharing their nightmares with other people in comparison to men (27%).

- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

Meera Khanna, Corporate PR Manager - Protection

Note to editors

  1. The research was carried out by RWB, on behalf of Royal London, between 06/07/2018 and 09/07/2018 amongst 1,055 UK adults (aged 18+) and is representative of the UK population. The survey was carried out online and all research conducted adheres to the MRS Code of Conduct (2014). 

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.