A mew Australian research states that nightmares are more common than though - as 16 percent of the people have dreams that make them wake in fright every week.
Victoria University candidate Fabian Elzo surveyed 440 students, aged 18 to 34 years, from the Melbourne-based University, asking them how often they had bad dreams that caused them to wake up.
He found not everyone had nightmares, but they were extremely common, with nine out of 10 (89.3 per cent) of the students reporting at least one nightmare in the past year.
The survey found 15.9 per cent of the students reported having at least one trauma or more general nightmare a week.
"The finding was a lot higher than what was reported in the literature, it says an estimated four to 10 per cent of the population have weekly nightmares. What we found is almost 16 per cent had weekly nightmares," News.com.au quoted Elzo as saying.
People who experienced about one nightmare a month (30.5 per cent) were more likely to have bad dreams with general themes.
Men, overall, were more likely to have trauma-related nightmares.
Elzo said people who suffered regular nightmares may benefit from counselling as, if unaddressed, they could lead to insomnia and fatigue.
The research was presented at the 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Sleep Association and Australasian Sleep Technologists Association conference.