If you’ve been experiencing a lot of weird, vivid dreams recently, you’re not the only one. Nearly one month into isolation because of coronavirus and I’ve noticed something: My dreams have become weird and incredibly vivid. I personally can’t remember the last time I’ve had such consistently crazy dreams. Every morning, I wake up completely confused and surprised by the bizarre things that I dreamed the night before. People across the world have reported experiencing wild, colorful dreams since they’ve been locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There’s actually a reason why we’re all experiencing the same weird dream issue and it all boils down to stress and the sudden change in the way we are now going about our days due to quarantine and lockdown.
Jane Teresa Anderson, who has been researching dreams since 1992, authored six books about dreams and dreaming and has hosted a podcast series, The Dream Show With Jane Teresa Anderson, since 2009 says, that we all dream, whether or not we remember them, and right now, more people are reporting more vivid or intense dreams… Our dreams are the result of our brain and mind processing our conscious and unconscious experiences of the last one to two days and then comparing these to similar past experiences. It’s all in an effort to update our mindset. When there’s a lot of intense emotion to process — especially fear — our dreams tend to be more vivid… The majority of us are processing uncertainty and fear, and a lot of stress. When we feel fear or stress during a dream, our brain and glands release fear and stress hormones into the body, so we experience real physiological fear or stress. This jolt to the body can wake us up suddenly, remembering the vivid and intense dream… Tossing and turning during the night due to anxiety can mean we recall more dreams, too.
It is common to have vivid dreams during stressful or uncertain periods in your life. In a way, this is good because these dreams grab our attention, whether it is because we want to stop them or because we want to understand them. Interpreting your dreams can help you navigate the stressful or uncertain periods and find solid direction. (Interpreting dreams is not something you do with a dream dictionary. Dream dictionaries are misleading. There are tools and techniques you can use — if you learn them from reputable sources — to interpret your dreams).
There is a certain theme that many people are experiencing in their dreams right now. Many people are dreaming themes of being trapped or stuck, reflecting their physical, mental, and emotional experiences of feeling stuck or confined during the pandemic. Other common themes include dreams of feeling out of control (something many people feel during uncertain times) and dreams of bugs and insects (possibly reflecting our individual pictures of the virus or of the irritating ‘bugging’ situations we are experiencing).
If you want to stop this kind of dreams, there’re several ways in which you can manage it:
- Make sure you practice mindfulness and self-care throughout the day.
- Go to sleep and wake up at set times so you get back into a routine.
- Write down any anxieties in a journal to get them out of your head.
- Limit your social media intake and log off social media an hour before you go to bed.