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  • Have you been having weird, vivid dreams lately?

  • Well, if in recent weeks, you've found yourself waking up and remembering really strange dreams,

  • you can take comfort in the fact that you're not the only one.

  • People all over the world are having weird dreams during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • - One of the phenomena about this crisis is it's just more universal than anything that's

  • happened since maybe the 1918 flu.

  • Dr. Dierdre Barrett is conducting a dream survey about the coronavirus pandemic, and

  • in just over a month has collected roughly 6,000 dreams from nearly 2,500 dreamers in

  • an effort to better understand how the current crisis is affecting our dreaming

  • I knew this was the kind of crisis that was going to produce a lot of anxiety dreams in

  • the general public who are not as directly experiencing it but are certainly anxious

  • about it.

  • And then, full on trauma dreams from the first responder health care providers

  • Okay, let's take this opportunity to define anxiety, which is characterized by feelings

  • of tension and worry; versus trauma, an emotional response to a terrible event, often characterized

  • by initial shock and denial, and may result in unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, and

  • physical symptoms like nausea and headaches.

  • I collected dreams from 9/11 and that was a very similar situation in many ways.

  • People were very upset about this event.

  • They were watching depictions of it on television.

  • They were afraid it might happen again and affect them.

  • And then, there was a smaller group of people who had been the first respondersand those

  • people tended to have the very literal PTSD nightmares that cut across all stages of sleep

  • and just replay and replay.

  • Luckily, most of the dreams collected through Barrett's ongoing survey haven't been

  • trauma dreams, but instead reflect dreamers' anxieties.

  • And although these dreams have been varied and wide ranging, Dr. Barrett has noticed

  • recurring themes

  • Well, the biggest cluster is about getting the viruspeople notice that they are having

  • trouble breathing, they're spiking a fever.

  • Lots of dreams that are anxious about whether one's got one's mask and gloves, and is

  • practicing social distancing.

  • A lot of people are dreaming about their leaders and their government in general.

  • This tracks with the long-accepted theory that our dreams are influenced by "day residue,"

  • fragments of recent events and experiences that often make their way into our dreams.

  • But our conscious thoughts and experiences are frequently represented by symbols and

  • metaphors in our unconscious dreams.

  • There's a big cluster of metaphors for the virus of which by far the largest subgroup

  • are bug dreams.

  • I've just seen dozens and dozens of dreams where every kind of insect you can imagine

  • is coming at the dreamer.

  • There are cockroaches running toward the dreamer.

  • There are masses of wriggling worms.

  • And I think that's because of the slang term we say "I've got a bug" when we've got a virus.

  • So, our anxieties about the coronavirus pandemic are being expressed in our dreams directly,

  • or as metaphorical symbols.

  • But there's another way the pandemic is affecting our dreaming

  • One aspect that I didn't really realize ahead of time that's certainly happening is that

  • people are just recalling more dreams through this time.

  • And that's not directly because of the pandemic.

  • It's because of the lockdown, stay at home, quarantine, whatever you want to call it.

  • And fewer people setting an alarm and getting up to go to work and not sleeping as long

  • as their bodies naturally would, are suddenly catching up on sleep

  • That's right: the fact that many of us are sleeping more is allowing us to reconnect

  • with our natural cycles, resulting in more REM sleep, and in the end, more vivid dreams

  • We go into REM 90 minutes into our sleep and then, every 90 minutes we go into another

  • REM period

  • And if our sleep is disrupted in the deepest part of the REM cycle, we're even more likely

  • to remember those dreams.

  • But if your dreams are getting a little too weird, Dr. Barrett has some expert advice.

  • The best method for that is to think of what you would like to be dreaming about.

  • Just tell yourself that's what you want to dream about, sort of play through a pretend

  • dream of that as you're falling asleep.

  • And both that will make going to sleep easier but it also often gets through to our dreaming

  • mind, and it increases the odds that we'll have the content we want.

  • And decreases the odds of the anxiety dreams.

  • If you've had strange, coronavirus pandemic dreams, consider taking Dr. Barrett's dream

  • survey.

  • Check out the link in the comments below.

  • And if you want to learn more about COVID-19, check out our playlist here.

  • And make sure to subscribe to Seeker for all your viral news.

  • Thanks for watching, and I'll see you next time.

Have you been having weird, vivid dreams lately?


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為什麼冠狀病毒大流行會影響你的夢想? (Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Affecting Your Dreams)

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    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日