During the coronavirus outbreak when everyone was in quarantine, people started to experience vivid dreams. Not only this, but they began to experience hallucinations, sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming, and insomnia.
Scientists have come up with many explanations of dreams, but there are not any proofs for why humans dream. Some theories are that a person’s dreams act as a way to understand what happened during the day, almost like a therapy session. Dreams are also said to act as a memory aid, making a person remember their day and activities throughout.
Major aspects of a person’s life can affect dreams and explain why a person has nightmares, lucid dreams, or no dreams at all. Health conditions, especially mental illness, can make a person experience very intense nightmares, insomnia, and vivid dreams.
A person’s diet also affects dreams based on how the food affects their mood, such as a blood sugar crash or caffeine making it hard to sleep. An activity can affect dreams as well, such as an exhausted person will more than likely not remember their dream due to not waking up during it. Waking up during a dream usually results in the person retaining a memory of it.
The covid pandemic made people make a large shift in their lives. People did not get as much social interaction, they had less activity due to staying home, and many took on major amounts of stress. Many factors have contributed to the immense amount of vivid dreams people were experiencing.
A short survey sent to students attending Totino-Grace High School asked if they had experienced any of the following: lucid dreaming, hallucinations, sleep paralysis, reoccurring dreams, or never dreaming. Many of them had experienced at least one of these, and 80% of the respondents had worsened symptoms during and after the pandemic. “My dreams have been way more vivid since quarantine and I dream more often now. They have been more real and there are more familiar people and experiences in them,” says one student.
An educator in the field of psychology, Abbey Welle, said about dreaming during a quarantine. “A theory is that the brain tries to work through a person’s daily life while dreaming. A complete shift in a person’s daily life will drastically alter their dreaming,” Welle explained.
People have truly been experiencing odd dreams and different types of dreaming. This is due to many life altercations that have occurred since COVID. Hopefully, within time, things will go back to normal, and we can all sleep peacefully again.