Coronavirus has affected millions across the globe. It has changed the way we perceived life, it has altered our routine. Humans across the continent are complaining of irregular sleep patterns coupled with fear of loss, anxiety, and even depress. Thanks to the relentless pandemic hovering our lives, the COVID stressors are inevitably encroaching into the silent hours of the night, in the form of fragmented, longer than usual bursts of dreams: some blazingly exhaustive while some mildly disturbing.
Experts say some pandemic dreams are about the fear of the unknown: some about fear for the safety of loved ones and other dreams revolve around loss, grief, and the uncertainty of the “new normal”. If you are also having vivid dreams, COVID dreams, then you are not alone. Social media is flooded with people describing their unusual dreams and trying to seek meaning and/or any correlation. There is even a website I Dream of COVID that asks people to share their dreams during the current crisis.
Recently, a person from United Kingdom elucidated his dream where he was travelling by a bus and the women sitting next to him kept touching his cheek. She just didn’t stop touching after he requested a couple of times and then said “its ok to catch the virus”. Her boyfriend was on the adjacent seat but didn’t say or do anything, he just looked. In Pakistan, a college professor dreamt that she was one of only 100 people left on the planet not infected with COVID-19. She was also chased by infected people as they wanted to make the world miserable for everyone.
I Dream of COVID
Started by sisters Erin and Grace Gravley from Mexico in March 2020, the website has recorded a submission of 2100 dreams from all across the world. Readers can browse the dreams by location as well as theme, and there are definitely some recurring topics. Neither of the two sisters are trained in psychology nor dream interpretation. According to Erin Gravley, “They are interested in the narratives seen in the dreams, and the broad patterns developing. Some of the archetypes seem to predate the pandemic: water, teeth, storms, things like this.”
Let’s Learn The Basics
Britney Blair, Psy.D., a San Francisco area-based licensed clinical psychologist, and adjunct faculty member at Stanford University’s Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explicates that dreams usually occur during a REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycle. It is in this phase of the sleeping cycle that the brain gets loaded with neural chemical bath that can counterbalance some of the stress we experience on a daily basis.
The REM cycle is responsible for alleviating the stressful stimulus — a fight with your loved one, or a frightening accident — by categorising some of it into long-term memory. However, the global pandemic has resulted in micro stressors, which the brain is having trouble in processing, especially during the sleep cycle. According to Blair, unlike an accident, for example, where a sequence of events occurs, the pandemic has silently folded out for several communities. All of this is producing a “kind of funky, odd content” that makes a dream so memorable in the first place itself.
It’s Time To Change Your Schedule
Disturbing the circadian rhythm has long-term effect on the human body. There are several researches available online that throw light on the negative effects of poor sleep cycle on brain function, hormone production, and other bodily functions. Here are some basic steps you need to take for a better sleep.
- Reduce long day-time naps: Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, meaning that you may struggle to sleep at night. Restlessness at night can make you edgy and moody. In order to stick to the body clock, it is advised to reduce irregular napping habit and to stick to a routine.
- Limit Screen time, especially at night: Time away from screen not only encourages physical health but also social development. Mind often clearly remembers the last imprints. It is therefore essential to have positive thoughts before going to bed.
- Meditate: As a relaxation technique, meditation helps to enhance inner peace. It produces overall calmness, gives birth to positive thoughts and helps in fighting sleep troubles.
Feel free to write to us to share your thoughts, feelings. We will reach out to you with different techniques, write-ups that will make you feel good. You can also share your dreams and we will try to interpret them.