What’s going on?
- The researchers crowdsourced sleep and stress data for 4,000 people during the COVID-19 lockdown in Finland.
- 800 respondents also offered information about their dreams.
- “We were thrilled to observe repeating dream content associations across individuals that reflected the apocalyptic ambience of COVID-19 lockdown,” said lead author Dr. Anu-Katriina Pesonen, head of the Sleep & Mind Research Group at the University of Helsinki. “The results allowed us to speculate that dreaming in extreme circumstances reveal shared visual imagery and memory traces, and in this way, dreams can indicate some form of shared mindscape across individuals. The idea of a shared imagery reflected in dreams is intriguing.”
What did the researchers find?
- Social distancing
- Coronavirus contagion
- Personal protective equipment
The study also found people have been sleeping more since the pandemic began, but they have a harder time falling asleep.
- “Repeated, intense nightmares may refer to post-traumatic stress,” she explained. “The content of dreams is not entirely random, but can be an important key to understanding what is the essence in the experience of stress, trauma and anxiety.”