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Are you having weird or vivid dreams during lockdown?

Are you having really weird dreams during lockdown? It could all be down to how your body processes stress.

It’s not unusual to have the odd dream where you wake up with a sudden start, but since the spread of coronavirus, many people have been reporting experiencing vivid nightmares, night after night.

Global searches for the term ‘vivid dreams’ have shot up over the past few weeks, and people have been taking to social media in their droves to complain about the frequency of their realistic and unsettling dreams.

Most of us are familiar with this kind of disruptive sleep hallucination. Vivid dreams feature all kinds of fantastical themes, but they’re usually characterised by a sequence of illogical events that are seemingly disconnected.

Frustratingly, they can often be recalled immediately after waking but soon fade from memory, leaving the dreamer feeling disorientated for the first part of the day.

So what’s the reason behind this new phenomenon?

“It’s not necessarily that our dreams are more vivid right now. It’s more likely to be down to the fact that we’re remembering them more than usual,” says sleep consultant, Dr Neil Stanley.

“The fact of the matter is that you can only remember a dream if you wake up during it. Usually, a person will naturally have four or five dreams a night, but if you’re a good sleeper, you may only remember one of them.” This is usually the dream you’re having just before you wake up in the morning.

“If your sleep is disturbed, because you’re stressed or anxious though, then you may wake more often during the night,” explains Stanley.

“In these instances you’re actually more likely to wake during REM sleep and you’ll probably remember more of your dreams, which is why they can feel more vivid.”

REM, or rapid eye movement sleep, begins about 90 minutes after you fall asleep and recurs every 90 minutes.

Often referred to as ‘dreaming’ sleep, REM is the sleep stage where you’re most likely to experience dreams. This is because although the body is paralysed, the brain acts like it’s awake, firing signals with the same intensity as it would if you were going about your waking life.

“Further, your dreams can feature anything you know or can imagine and so while some dreams are very mundane others can be more exciting,” says Stanley.

“The more dreams you wake up from, the more likely it is that some of them will be particularly odd, bizarre, frightening or emotionally charged,” he adds. “These dreams are liable to be described as being ‘vivid’, but in fact, they are simply more memorable than others.”

Why are people experiencing dreams with the same scenarios?

Stanley says that although social media users might be finding similarities in the dreams they’re having, it’s not possible to say what a particular individual will report as being ‘vivid’.

“Most dreams that are related to anxiety involve the dreamer being in a situation that they would find stressful in their waking life, for some that may be public speaking, for others it could be being late for an appointment or meeting.”

In this case, it’s not that we’re all being brainwashed by some kind of lockdown dream genie, but more that we share the same fears and anxieties as a species.

Have you noticed you are having more vivid dreams or even weird dreams during lockdown? Is there a particular theme that is being repeated each night?

 

Are you having weird or vivid dreams during lockdown?

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Joan Fraser
20th Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes -so vivid and some make me really anxious! This morning was about a lady I've not seen for years (she will be approaching 70 now) but in the dream she having a baby and abandoning it for me to care for.......others involve me being lost (not unusual as I have no sense of direction), however, the latest one was on The Great Wall of China 🙂 I can laugh now, but don't like waking up feeling anxious
Alexisthecat
7th May 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I keep dreaming of my late Mum &Dad he was a Vicar and wo're a full length black Cassock this is what I see him in my dreams and I can actually hear and talk to him in my dreams
I also dream a lot of my late maternal Grandmother to whom I was very close she was sitting right next to me and I could smell her sweet breath
Gilly 22
7th May 2020
0
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Have found listening to Audible books very helpful as was getting extra anxious at night waking from strange dreams and tricky getting back to sleep.
Raindrop
7th May 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I am still have weird dreams that make no sense at all.
Slivk22
5th May 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
For the first month I was up and down all night so I changed my sleeping schedule. I read from 2300-0200 and then go to bed. Other than a bathroom break I sleep wonderfully until noon.
Gillhoward
1st May 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I am so glad to read this i thought it was just me but i now know i am not alone
Many Thanks
Grannystephanie
29th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Very strange and vivid. Sometimes I wake up and think I am still in the dream. Very unsettling. I can sometime remember details for days. Seem not to be able to sleep for more than 3 or 4 hours! Any suggestions on what I can do to sleep more peacefully?
pamflower
29th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I often have a dream where I am lost. I come out of a door and turn the wrong way. I am miles from where I want to be. I trudge along trying to get back. Last night, I was so far out I ended up running back. This time I was going in and out of peoples' houses. Then I dreamt I was going to see The Bachelors. They came on stage but there was no music. They had to sing with no music and Con had this piece of wood in a black bag that he used to beat on his guitar so they could sing together.
0
Thanks for voting!
Wow....what are you eating before you go to bed... sometimes they say cheese causes nightmares..you
obviously have a vivid imagination Pamflower 🙂
Munsterlander
29th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I am watching the news so much and with it pictures of this dammed virus literally floating about with all the graphics the TVs use that I keep dreaming of the virus...what a nightmare...literally.
Raindrop
26th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I am having strange dreams too about my late husband. He died suddenly two years ago and my memories of our life together usually brings me nice but sad dreams. Now I keep having dreams where we are constantly arguing, over what I cannot recall but I do not like these dreams at all. Is he telling me to move on I wonder.
Yodama
26th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I have always had weird and vivid dreams, so lockdown is not the cause.
Can't wait to got to sleep for yet another technicolour movie of my imagination.
Lionel
25th Apr 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
No, I can't say I am. Fortunately, sleep comes easily and my more urgent problem is getting up in the morning.

After a lifetime of getting up at all hours of the day and night to work, usually sacrificing hours of sleep, since retiring 8 am is my earliest time. The trouble is, it's so easy to turn over these days until, that is, my wife notices my absence.
Catton
25th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes, and I don't like it.
ChrissieDB
25th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I rarely remember dreams anyway. I sleep like a log and usually wake up naturally, quite early. When I do wake up during a dream - and can therefore recall it - it's usually only a kind of visual remix of things I'm mulling over in my mind; the mundane day to day stuff comprised of snips of conversation or thoughts about people and events that have been on my mind. Occasionally, of course, the mix can create some bizarre visualtions as the unconscious mind doesn't "reason". Those are the ones that can be thought provoking and interesting, I suppose, trying to work out where they came from.

During recent weeks, however, I can't say I recall any of dreams. I've been working from home and am generally still tired enough to sleep well, as usual.
Yagala
25th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I always say that dreams are a part of our brains history put into a hierarchise and when we sleep well these parts of our past are coming to the fore and we "dream", reliving a part of our past.
Thus I have had several really nice dreams about my past which I really enjoyed when I had in real life.
No bad dreams or horror dreams because I had a pleasant past and now enjoy those pleasant moments as dreams.
Felix1
25th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I dreamt I went in my husbands bedroom to see if he was awake. He was dead. I ran downstairs to phone his daughters but I could not speak. Eventually I rang my aunt to ring them. I awoke with palpitations, sweating and fearful. I went to check. Phew. It was three in the morning. Could not sleep after that. Had a hot drink and did a few chores. I was very tearful for days.
Mary Lincoln
25th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I keep having the same recurring dream. It's been goings-on for more than a couple of months now. It always starts with a new car. Not any car but, a very beautiful sporty type, it is coloured Burnt Orange. When ever I go out in it and park someone always steals it. I never get to take it home. What is that all about. As I am 78 yrs old don't think I could get into a sports car.
Judith Slinnjones
25th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I keep having dreams about my late husband I am trying to phone him and can’t get the number right ,makes me feel a bit low when I wake .
Marley444
25th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
This is so strange. I keep having reoccurring dreams about my hairdresser in various situations. She is not always cutting my hair either! I have been searching for may hair cutting scissors and thinking about them for days now, so I am sure this is why, and as if by magic I found them this morning after waking up from yet another dream about hair cuts! So the good news is I have my scissors, but the bad news is I cannot find a comb in the entire house, as I never use one, and my husband is bald! So I have just attempted a little trim using a brush LOL!
Mari50
25th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Not really but I am very stressed although the lock down is like an every day occurance to me as I am practically housebound. My brain too goes manic although I have no control. I think with me I can not get out to do some mindfulness with nature as the paths are very narrow.
Wilf
25th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I am but my wife isn't? We are eating more cheese than usual in sandwiches and pizzas from the freezer so that could explain some of it. Yet she is also eating cheese as well so its a strange one. We are watching more of the news than usual and later at night so maybe my mind is more active than normal.
bob scott
25th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes! But mine are not night time! mine are day time with searing pain, cannot be controlled try to get a nap, but weird things going on in my head, none off it makes sense other than extending my drop off time, just pure exhaustion.
Bob Scott.
eric1
25th Apr 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I seem to find my mind wandering during the day, but at night it just goes wild, my dreams are more vivid and clear, I think this is because perhaps I am more relaxed, not complaining though lol!
MrsPat
25th Apr 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
How interesting yes I am and so is hubby. We keep talking about it and why it's happening. Stress? We are ok we have food etc so we cannot work it out?

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