MEN may be from Mars and women from Venus but when both are in the land of Nod they're still worlds apart.

A Welsh dream expert has confirmed what many already suspected that the differences between the sexes continue even while asleep.

Dr Mark Blagrove, a reader in psychology at Swansea University, has studied 100,000 people's dream experiences as part of a nationwide survey. It showed that a typical married couple sleeping side by side would have completely different types of dream, often at the same time.
The research shows that women's dreams:

Are increasingly about work;Have more emotion in them;

Are likely to last longer;

Are more often based on the home, and

Involve more characters, especially family members

Men's dreams:

Have more strangers;

More often involve cars, roads and violence;

Feature more sex with unknown partners, and

Are more often about work, concerning redundancy and financial security.
Psychologist and author of several books on dreams, Veronica Tonay, says the Swansea research confirms long-held suspicions that men and women dream differently.

She said,

"Most of us have heard that women are more comfortable with their emotional life than are men. There is actually an emotional problem called male Alexithymia which describes how difficult it is for many men to express their feelings in words. Women are raised in the world of emotion, and if self-esteem for them comes from relationships, then being able to express feelings is very important.

"But at work, expressing feelings can actually block success. These differences find their way into our dreams, where women experience more feelings than do men."

The concept of "his'n'hers" dreams comes as a new survey shows that more than a fifth of people in the UK have bad dreams at least once a week.

And the survey, commissioned by the Travelodge hotel chain, found jobs could be linked to bad dreams with nurses, accountants and IT workers more likely to have nightmares than anyone else.

The survey of 2,000 people using Travelodges found the most common dream was being chased or teeth dropping out, with falling being trapped or being injured also frequent themes.

Dreams have an infinite variety with one respondent recalling being chased by singer Cliff Richard in the street, a number dreamt of Catherine Zeta-Jones and one had a dream about being shouted at by TV presenter Davina McCall.

Psychological theorists speculate that dreams deal with immediate concerns in our lives, such as unfinished business from the day or concerns we are incapable of handling when awake.

Whatever their purpose, continuing research at Dr Blagrove's "sleep laboratory" at Swansea University shows negative dreams are far more common than positive ones. But he added, "Even happy people have more negative dreams than positive ones."