Kick back to something lighter instead

Previous research says you should shut off your screens before bed so you’ll have an easier time falling asleep. But even if you can conk out after a few episodes of The Walking Dead, those zombies could still affect your slumber, suggests a new study in the journal Dreaming.

Scientists found that people who consumed violent TV shows, video games, and other forms of media within the 90 minutes before bedtime were 13 times more likely to have a nightmare than those who watched nothing, or kept their entertainment light.

But in a potentially welcome twist, people who watched sexual shows and flicks before bed were six times more likely to have a sexual dream. Nice.

So why does TV infiltrate our dreams? The results are consistent with cognitive neoassociation theory, or the idea that what we encounter on screen triggers related thoughts and memories in our brain, says study coauthor Brad Bushman, Ph.