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Having unusual dreams during the pandemic? You're not alone

Last Updated Jun 16, 2020 at 8:33 pm PDT

Summary

It seems many people have been experiencing vivid dreams during the pandemic

Psychologists say in times of struggle or during major world events, vivid dreams tend to become more common

These dreams may be a way for us to cope during difficult times

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) —  As it turns out a lot of people have been experiencing extremely vivid dreams recently, and psychologists believe they know why.

CityNews conducted an unofficial Twitter poll asking people if they’ve been having vivid dreams recently. Out of the 362 people who voted, just under 60 per cent say they have noticed an increase in the number of dreams manifesting through the night.


“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Dr. Wendy Hall, UBC nursing professor and sleep researcher. “I am also having those dreams and it doesn’t have to be about the pandemic it can be just a sense of threat as well.”

Hall suggests in times of struggle or during major world events, vivid dreams tend to become more common.

“Sleeping is more of a challenge during times of stress, a lot of us even if we don’t recognize it, we are in the fight or flight mode so we are in a state of hyperarousal,” she adds


Psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren has spent 20 years studying sleep agrees, and says stress can absolutely contribute to vivid dreaming and the content of the dreams themselves.

“What you are doing is you are replaying the events going on during the day, which are mostly are these news inputs and the emotional tone of your thoughts during the day. And so if you’re worried, stressed about the virus, politics, economic status that’s what you are going to dream about,” he says.

But it’s not all bad, these dreams may be a way for us to cope during difficult times.

“I think on some level, some conscious or unconscious level, they do help us resolve what we are feeling,” Hall says.