DETROIT – If you’ve been experiencing an increase in oddly vivid dreams, you’re not alone. And there’s a reason why it’s happening.
“Coronavirus pandemic dreams,” an actual thing, are being reported by people across the globe.
Many sleep and dream experts believe that withdrawal from our usual environments and daily stimuli has left people with a void of “inspiration,” forcing our subconscious minds to draw more heavily on themes from our past.
National Geographic reports that many research groups have been studying this and they have all noted similar findings; that pandemic dreams are being colored by stress, isolation, and changes in sleep patterns.
“We normally use REM sleep and dreams to handle intense emotions, particularly negative emotions,” Patrick McNamara, an associate professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine who is an expert in dreams, told NatGeo. “Obviously, this pandemic is producing a lot of stress and anxiety.”
You may also be remembering dreams more clearly that you were pre-coronavirus quarantine. That’s because many are experiencing lower quality sleep. “Frequent awakenings, also called parasomnias, are associated with increased dream recall. Latent emotions and memories from the previous day can also influence the content of dreams and one’s emotional response within the dream itself.”
Experts say trying to find bizarre inspirations during the day could help ease your dream stress, by giving your brain different inspirations, and to prevent your mind from digging too deeply through your stress.
Also, just generally trying to sleep better -- get into a routine, limit screen time, make sure you’re getting enough rest.