The more you feel exposed to coronavirus, the more you dream about it.
Researchers have long believed that there is a close link between our dreams and our daily well-being. In its Thursday, April 16, 2020 article, National Geographic reports that confinement impacts sleep and, more specifically, dreams.
Indeed, scientists around the world are currently studying the impact of coronavirus and containment on dreams. The results of their research have revealed that dreams are currently filled with a host of negative emotions.
Patrick McNamara, Associate Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and a specialist in dream interpretation, explains :
” WE NORMALLY USE REM SLEEP AND DREAMS TO DEAL WITH INTENSE EMOTIONS, ESPECIALLY NEGATIVE ONES. IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT THIS PANDEMIC IS A SOURCE OF STRESS AND ANXIETY ”
NIGHTMARES ARE MORE FREQUENT IN THESE TIMES OF CONFINEMENT.
And while we don’t usually remember our dreams, the isolation and stress caused by this coronavirus pandemic have an impact on dreams, and dreamers are even remembering more and more of their dreams. In addition, many people are prone to parasomnia, or frequent awakenings, which contribute to dream recall.
The Centre de recherche en neurosciences de Lyon (CRNL) found in a March study that “the process of dream recollection among those surveyed has increased by 35% due to the coronavirus epidemic,” reports National Geographic. However, bad dreams also increased by 15 percent.
The Associazione Italiana di Medicina del Sonno has attempted to analyze the dreams that Italians are currently having about containment. The researchers found that the more people felt exposed to danger, the more likely they were to dream about it.
THE MORE PEOPLE FEEL EXPOSED TO CORONAVIRUS AND THE MORE THEY DREAM ABOUT IT…
The results of the study carried out by Luigi De Gennaro, Professor of Physiological Psychology at the University of Rome, and the study carried out by the CRNL agree that the individuals most exposed to the coronavirus, such as carers, people living near the epicentres of the disease or those with relatives who are infected with the virus, are those who have the most dreams related to the coronavirus.
Psychology professor Deirdre Barrett, who works at Harvard University and is the author of the book The Committee of Sleep, conducted a survey that allowed her to gather a sample of dreams. Several respondents said that they imagined contracting the coronavirus and died from it. Other participants in the survey dreamt of insects, zombies, natural disasters, mass murderers, blurry figures, and monsters.
According to Deirdre Barrett: « With the exception of healthcare workers, dreams generally do not contain vivid images of intubated patients in respiratory distress. The virus is invisible. I think that’s why it takes on different forms in dreams. »
IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO CONTROL OUR BAD DREAMS
However, all of these coronavirus-related dreams share a common “quirk,” and CRNL researcher Perrine Ruby explains that « the sleeping brain may be using this mechanism to regulate emotions ».
In any case, Dr. Barrett says it’s possible to “write the script » of our dreams and ease the torment. How can we do that? By adding a new dimension to your dream, rewriting it, and repeating it before you go to sleep. Some people could then adapt their dreams as they wish and “have some semblance of control over bad dreams.
According to Perrine Ruby, « modifying the context – laws of physics among other things – makes it possible to change perspective, to propose another angle and to rethink the dream in order to ease tensions ».
Source : National geographic