This is why we’re all having really weird dreams during lockdown

Thank god I’m not the only one

The number one question everyone has been asking their group chat is: “Anyone else having really crazy dreams?” And the answer is yes, literally everyone I speak to and apparently all of Twitter are having intense, weird and vivid dreams during lockdown.

It’s incredibly frustrating and sometimes a bit scary having such intense dreams especially when we’re already stressed during the day, sleep is meant to be our escape.

Everyone having weird dreams at the same time seems like an odd phenomenon but apparently when a collective trauma is happening this is pretty common. College students’ dreams were analysed before and after 9/11 and the study found after 9/11 the students were twice as likely to experience negative and upsetting dreams.

So at least there’s a small bit of comfort that our weird dreams are normal for the current time. This is what is actually causing you to have all those vivid dreams:

We’re stressed about coronavirus

Unsurprisingly everyone is stressed and worried about the pandemic. According to a professional dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg we dream about the most pressing issues of the day. She says our stream of consciousness is filled with fear and negativity and this continues on to our dreams.

She said: “This virus and the quarantine is top of the mind for most of us, as it affects us psychologically and has changed our behaviour and routines. That stream of consciousness we have during the day is now filled with thoughts of fear, frustration and stress that continue on into the night and into our dreams.”

Lauri also said the weirder the dream, the more likely you are to remember it. She said: “The more intense, bizarre and stressful the dream, the more likely you are to remember it and stressful times breed stressful dreams.”

A change in routine

According to psychologist Dr. Rubin Naiman a change in routine can cause our dreams to change. He said: “When waking life is more vivid, so is dream life.”

Rubin explained when something normal happens our brain doesn’t need to digest it, but when something unusual happens like a pandemic our brains can sometimes process the experience through dreams.

You’re sleeping lightly

Psychoanalyst Robert Bosnak suggests it’s not necessarily to do with having more intense dreams but sleeping lighter. If you’re not having a really heavy sleep you’re more likely to remember your dreams.

Plenty of us aren’t sleeping well at the moment because of stress related to coronavirus. A survey of 1,000 people revealed 22 per cent of adults were experiencing worse sleep patterns during the pandemic.

Our bodies are created to stay awake during danger and so in a stressful situation, like a pandemic, you may remain on high alert which interrupts your sleep according to Professor Jennifer Martin at UCLA.

We’re all getting more sleep

A lot of people are experiencing their really vivid dreams at the end of their sleep just before they wake up. This is because we’re all sleeping more.

With nothing to do, we’re all getting more hours of sleep. Dreams happen during our REM cycle of sleep and the more REM sleep you get the more dreams you have. As the night goes on our REM cycles get longer and we end up doing our most of our dreaming during the latter third of the night according to Dr Rubin Naiman.

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