Nightmares

Pandemic dreams create a “shared mindscape”

You're not the only one who's been having weird dreams lately.

Have you been having weird dreams this year?

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Dreams about being in a crowd, getting an unwanted hug, or suddenly being unable to breathe?

You’re not alone.

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Nightmares and stress dreams have been plaguing some of us since March, when the spreading Covid-19 disease was officially declared a pandemic.

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Now, scientists are looking into this global phenomenon as a “shared mindscape” affecting the entire world.

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Researchers in Finland analyzed dreams of 4,275 people during Finland’s initial 6-week lockdown period, which began in March.

They found a commonality between dream descriptions: words like “coronavirus,” “death,” “work,” and “crowd.”

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Those who reported feeling more stressed due to the virus also reported more nightmares than those who reported not feeling stressed. In a vicious cycle, nightmares can lead to even more stress.

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The good news is, nightmares can sometimes help us process real-world trauma.

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If we’re able to talk about our nightmares and put them in context, our fears may be easier to live with.

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And because the pandemic isn’t going to be over any time soon, stressed-out dreamers will start becoming less and less affected by pandemic nightmares.

Read more mental health stories here.

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