Slumberdown

The top 20 scary film and TV shows that keep us awake at night revealed


Our recent survey has revealed that sixty one per cent of Brits have struggled to sleep after watching something scary before heading to bed.

‘Crimewatch’, the reconstruction show, which ironically has the catch phrase ‘don’t have nightmares’, has been named the TV show most likely to give you nightmares. 
‘Most Haunted’, hosted by Yvette Fielding came second in the poll, followed by ‘The Walking Dead’ and the critically acclaimed ‘American Horror Story’. Even the doom and gloom of the daily news updates saw it voted into eighth place.

The 1973 horror ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Texas Chainshaw Massacre’ and “found footage” style supernatural film series ‘Paranormal Activity’ are named the top 3 scariest films which can still give grown adults nightmares.

Almost half of the 2,000 adults we surveyed admitted they had changed the channel after watching a chilling film or TV show and over a quarter ended up sleeping with the light. Forty per cent even resorted to watching a kids’ TV show or something light-hearted to calm them down before finally switching off for the night.

Other TV shows to feature in the top ten include ‘Autopsy: The Last Hours of…’, nineties paranormal favourite ‘The X Files’, the news, ‘Silent Witness’ and ‘The Fall’, which starred Fifty Shades of Grey’s Jamie Dornan.

‘True Blood’, ‘Doctor Who’ and 1990s documentary series ‘Strange But True’ are also among the programmes which grown adults admitted still give them nightmares.

Often, what you see, hear or do before going to bed can affect what you dream about and the quality of sleep. But this is bad news if you watch something which is a little on the scary or gruesome side before you turn in for bed.

We've always found that real-life shows like Crimewatch have even more of an effect on my sleep as you know the things which are shown in this programme have actually happened – they aren’t just events a group of scriptwriters have suggested to make a top drama.

If you are prone to nightmares after watching a scary show before bed, we’d suggest recording it to watch during the daytime, to avoid the creepy fear of the midnight run to the toilet.

Try getting stuck into a good book before bed to help you sleep, as not only will this help you get a better night’s sleep, but studies have shown that overall memory improves if you learn right before falling asleep.

nightmare infographic

We know it can be a nightmare finding the right bedding, which is why we are running a fabulous giveaway to give you the chance to win the perfect bedding for you and your family, make sure you enter!

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