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

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.”

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%).