The COVID 19 pandemic had an adverse impact on the quality of our sleep. It changed our sleeping patterns. This is sure to reflect in the dreams we have.
Scientists Analyze The Changes After Lockdown
A team of Italian researchers tried to analyze the dreams people had during the lockdown and after it. They wanted to see if there was any noticeable change in people’s dreams during the two phases. In both phases of the pandemic, people reported sleep disturbances, negative emotions and pandemic-induced nightmares. Scientists discovered that the dreams people had during the lockdown were more lucid than the ones they experienced after it. Its findings attest to the recent research on the link between sleep and stress. For some, it is a feeling of being trapped. For others, it is a time of a great many frustrations. Still, others described it as a time of great anxiety. For some, the lockdown was like an alternate reality. Whatever it is, the feelings the pandemic has invoked in people arouses curiosity and makes us uncomfortable at times. This cycle of lockdowns, curfews, plans to re-open and their cancellations add up to the already burdened minds. This, definitely, has its impact on our mental health.
Seeing dreams is one among the many ways man has found to cope up with the frequent lockdowns and re-openings. Some report seeing clear and rich dreams during the lockdown. However, a large number of people report experiencing negative emotions like sadness, frustration, anger and loneliness during their sleep.
Researchers have included lockdown as a factor in their researchers. Their findings were published in the Journal of Sleep Research Trusted Source.
Scientists began observing an amazing trend from the time when the lockdown began. People started sharing their dreams on social networking platforms like Facebook. People claimed to see clear and strange dreams. Thus researchers decided to analyze the “pandemic dreams” in an organized manner. One among them told a news channel that the quality of sleep and dreams are the essential elements of the overall health of a person. For instance, an increase in the number of nightmares is a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder. Scientists are seeing this in all the lockdown dreams. Analyzing them will give valuable insights into this, experts hope. A recent study published in the journal Nature and Science of Sleep too reveals that isolation adds up to the psychological stress people experience in general.
90 people participated in the study. The participants were of 19-41 years of age and they were mostly women. The team asked them to prepare a sleep-dream diary. They also had to fill an online survey in a time span of 14 days.
The country was in lockdown during the first week. In the second week, the Government had relaxed its pandemic-related restrictions.
Italy, the first country to report coronavirus outside China, witnessed a dramatic rise in infections. Within months, the virus overwhelmed the country’s ill-prepared healthcare system. Italian Government had to lock down the country for three months; from March to May.
During this time, a large number of people experienced a lack of sleep, sleep disturbances and nightmares. In light of this, the researchers concluded that the easing of restrictions will affect people in the same way the lockdown affected them.
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During the lockdown, people slept longer and saw lucid dreams. They also reported waking up frequently at night and difficulty falling back to sleep again. Some even used sleep medications for the purpose. After lockdown, people had dreams. They saw themselves in large crowds or travelling. This may have a direct connection with the news of easing restrictions.
Those who had life-changing experiences because of the pandemic may be the ones who suffered the most.
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