Thursday, 8 Jun 2023

Coronavirus lockdown causing people to have more unusual dreams

Millions of Brits have been told to work from home where possible and to stay indoors.

This means we are experiencing a massive lifestyles changes such as not going out to restaurants or the cinema.

And life in lockdown could also be having an effect on our dreams, according to an expert.

Staying indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic could be causing people to have longer, more memorable and more intense or emotional dreams, says Professor Mark Blagrove, a leading expert in sleep and dreaming at Swansea University's department of psychology.

This is due to increased financial pressures, cabin fever and lack of stimulation caused by staying at home for days on end.

He said: “Many people will have experienced a change in their circumstances recently, and any type of stress may be dreamt about.

“Some people will be having a life that is more boring than previously.

“But there will be a lot of people who have more stress, possibly because they are with people who they wouldn't spend so long with as a proportion of the day.

The professor added: "It may be discomforting, it may be extremely stressful and dangerous for people in domestic violence situations.”

“You then have the extra things like financial worries, employment worries, worries about your children."

There is a metaphorical “replication of life in dreams” which focuses on the “more emotional side”, according to Professor Blagrove.

  • Coronavirus lockdown restrictions could be lifted by summer – before vaccine is made

He explained: ”For a lot of people, they won't dream about their working life because, generally, it's not that interesting.

“But if the current situation gives people more interesting things happening, it may happen that people are dreaming more."

In addition to their day-to-day situation, there is also the effect of people no longer having to commute, and can sleep in.

This particularly affects our REM sleep, meaning we dream longer and our brain is more active.

And if you sleep for longer, you are “more like to remember the dream”, said Professor Blagrove.

Professor Blagrove had recently started dreaming about his cat, coronavirus, isolation and money.

He added: "There's going to be a lot of people having quite emotional dreams."

  • Coronavirus

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