Recent research suggests that horror movies fulfill their intended purpose of promoting a restful night’s sleep.
A recent study mentioned in a blog post on Betway Insider suggests that out of 14 different activities, watching a horror movie is the least recommended if you want to achieve a long and uninterrupted sleep. If you plan to watch the latest installment of the Scream franchise before bedtime, you should expect to get an average of only seven and a half hours of sleep (compared to over eight hours for the most favorable activity) and stay awake for an average of 26 minutes (as opposed to 12 minutes). As a result, “watching a horror film” scores a low rating of 65 percent in terms of sleep quality.
If your priority is to get a sound sleep rather than thrilling scares, then meditation may be the optimal choice for you. It secured the top spot on the list by providing eight hours and four minutes of sleep. However, sleep duration is not the only aspect of a good night’s rest. Preparing a face mask, which came in second, received the highest score of 90 percent for “sleep quality,” surpassing meditation’s 88 percent. The perceived differences in the rankings of sleep quality and sleep quantity stem from the fact that not all three stages of the sleep cycle are treated equally. Among light sleep, REM sleep (the dream stage), and deep sleep, the latter is deemed most crucial for physical restoration. The research participants who watched horror movies only spent an average of 25.44 percent of their sleep time in deep sleep, whereas meditators managed 37.86 percent.
The study suggests that watching a movie before going to bed is not necessarily a bad activity. In fact, comedy movies made it to the third spot on the list. Respondents who watched humorous films before sleeping spent an average of 14 minutes awake at night (the same as those who applied a face mask) and slept for eight hours and eleven minutes on average. However, switching to a true-crime documentary is only slightly better than choosing a fictional horror movie, ranking second to last on the list.
Sleep has frequently been portrayed as a source of horror in movies, as many villains such as ghosts and vampires tend to make their appearance at night. One of the most well-known examples of this concept is the Nightmare on Elm Street series, which features a killer who terrorizes his victims in their dreams.
The research did not investigate the impact of watching horror-comedy movies such as Happy Death Day or Freaky on the quality of sleep.