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Lockdown Could Be Making Us Have Weird Dreams, Expert Says

By Laura Rogan March 31, 2020

Found your mind running wild as your body is confined to the same four walls?

Turns out there could be a valid reason for it, according to experts anyway. So if your dreams are feeling more Inception than The Wizard of Oz just lately, rest assured, it’s probably lockdown related rather than some sinister, underlying conflict that a dream dictionary has warned you of.

According to Professor Mark Blagrove, Swansea University’s leading sleep expert from their department of psychology, being couped up at home during the UK’s lockdown is likely to intensify your dreams, making them seem more ‘wild’ and even emotional at times.

Credit: Unsplash

It’s all down to some super sciencey stuff about us getting much more REM sleep than we’re used to, as a direct result of most of us sleeping in when we’d usually be commuting – and generally sleeping for much longer, meaning our dreams have a lot more time to unfold throughout the night. For those who aren’t familiar with REM sleep, it’s the term that is used for the phase of sleep which creates dreams, which happens due to increased brain activity during this cycle. People who have longer REM sleep are more likely to remember their dreams than those who don’t, so if the dreams feel a little bit new to you, this is likely the reason for the sudden change.

In addition to noticing stranger dreams during the isolation period, sleep expert Blagrove has also noted that people may experience dreams about things that are important to them at that time, such as the pandemic or even their pets, as well as people they haven’t seen for a long time – a result of spending much more time on social media while we’re at home.

Credit: Pexels

Speaking to PA, Blagrove said: “Many people will have experienced a change in their circumstances recently, and any type of stress may be dreamt about. Some people will be having a life that is more boring than previously.

“But there will be a lot of people who have more stress, possibly because they are with people who they wouldn’t spend so long with as a proportion of the day.”

Continuing: “For a lot of people, they won’t dream about their working life because, generally, it’s not that interesting… But if the current situation gives people more interesting things happening, it may happen that people are dreaming more.”