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Covid-19 pandemic is affecting dreams too: Study

Greater presence of lucid dreams during confinement could reflect the attempt to cope with the waking pandemic-experiences (REUTERS)Premium
Greater presence of lucid dreams during confinement could reflect the attempt to cope with the waking pandemic-experiences (REUTERS)

  • The study conducted by the Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy stated that people had a higher number of awakenings, a harder time falling asleep, higher dream recall, and more lucid dreams during lockdown than post-lockdown period

NEW DELHI: The covid-19 pandemic has strongly impacted sleep and dream pattern, showed a recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research.

The study conducted by the Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy stated that people had a higher number of awakenings, a harder time falling asleep, higher dream recall, and more lucid dreams during lockdown than post-lockdown period.

One hundred subjects were recruited through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp) during the Italian lockdown to participate in the study. Firstly, they were requested to fill out a web survey including socio-demographic information, and self-administered questionnaires to collect sleep and clinical measures during the lockdown.

They were trained to participate in the longitudinal protocol for 14 days, from April 28 to May 11, 2020. The first week (April 28–May 4) was the last period of complete lockdown while the second week (May 5–May 11) witnessed the easing of restrictions.

Participants reported more dreams that included “being in crowded places" during post-lockdown than compared to the lockdown period. The poorer sleep quality during lockdown is quite consistent with previous findings, the authors said.

“The relationship between traumatic events and dream recall frequency confirmed the idea of the pandemic as “collective trauma". Also, we hypothesized that the greater presence of lucid dreams during confinement could reflect the attempt to cope with the waking pandemic-experiences," said the authors.

"Both sleep and dream measures showed critical differences between lockdown and post-lockdown periods," the authors wrote.

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