Distorted dreams develop during COVID

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Many people have been experiencing anxiety-laced dreams, possibly because of the stress and fear related to COVID.

Naomi Lin ’24, Staff Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly triggered feelings of anxiety and stress for many around the globe. 

Whether it is the fear of unknowingly being in close proximity to a person who carries the virus, or potentially contracting the virus and suffering the lethal consequences, the extent of fears regarding COVID-19 are endless.  The anxiety-inducing pandemic has created countless reports of nightmares and shockingly vivid dreams. 

Healthcare workers reported having war-zone level traumatic nightmares.”

— Elizabeth Heuser

According to Wellness and Support Counselor, Elizabeth Heuser, there is a rise in nightmares. She said, “Doctors and psychologists reported an uptick in dreams about pandemic-related fears: bug infestations, invisible monsters, contagious workplaces and schools, and getting sick in crowds. There were also more vivid dreams with old memories resurfacing due to people living in lockdown isolation as well. Healthcare workers reported having war-zone level traumatic nightmares.” 

Edward Ramos ’23 described his experiences with vivid dreams. He said, “The past few days I’ve been having very vivid dreams. It just started, so I’m not sure if it has to do with the pandemic but it could have to do with stress. Probably because of finals week and all the stress from that. Covid does play a role in how school works, so I guess it kind of connects.” 

To explain why these abnormal dreams occur Heuser stated, “If things are more bizarre or stressful in real life, they will often be reflected in our subconscious mind and may surface when we sleep, possibly for our brains to work out how to prepare for scenarios we fear or feel unsettled by.” 

Heuser suggested in order to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety that permeates into our everyday lives, we must limit screen time. 

“Get off screens one two hours before bed and read a book, journal, and turn down lights so it is time to wind down… and get your 8-10 hours a night!”