Many people have been sharing their peculiar and often times humorous dreams with the hashtag #pandemicdreams.

Sarah Meadows, Section Editor

It is no question that a majority of people have experienced unusually vivid dreams over the course of this quarantine. As a matter of fact, it has become such a common reoccurrence that it has appeared on national news, scientists have done research regarding it, and there is even a twitter hashtag, #pandemicdreams, that has circulated around the social media platform. 


The why behind these odd dreams is quite simple. Due to quarantine, many people are using this time to catch up on sleep that they lost during their once overly-busy schedules. In doing so, this directly relates to stronger dreams. Moreover, better uninterrupted sleeping will allow for one to remember their dreams in a lot better detail.


On top of the additional hours of sleep people are getting during quarantine, stress levels also play apart in the vivid dreams. Despite a less busy day-to-day schedule, people are still seeming to have heightened stress levels. According to psychologist Britney Blair, Psy.D., dreams usually occur during REM sleep, in which the brain is “bathed in a neural chemical bath that can offset some of the stress we experience on a daily basis” (goodhousekeeping.com). Nonetheless, due to the overload of stress that this quarantine has brought on, most people’s brains are struggling to process this stress. This can often cause horrible and panic-inducing nightmares. 


Whether these weird dreams are horrifying or strangely random, it is no doubt that they are happening more often. Natalie Jamison (10) described, “I never remember having dreams every single night until quarantine hit. Now I either have extremely funny or extremely scary dreams on a night-to-night basis.”


Although lighthearted dreams are often an entertaining experience for most, vivid nightmares can shock and even scar the imaginations of masses of individuals. Blair explains that there are three important steps one can take to prevent these stress dreams. First, it is important to have a consistent sleep schedule. Second, it is crucial to abstain from overly stressful media. Third, it is essential to include a period of self-meditation before bedtime to relieve stress. From listening to music to reading a book, taking one’s mind off the stress of the day is not only helpful to reduce bad dreams, but it is also helpful for mental health in general. 


Quarantine or no quarantine, dreams are inevitable as they are a part of human nature. This has been true since the dawn of time and will be true for the rest of humanity’s existence. Nonetheless, as we learn more and more about sleep science, it will become more and more clear how to dream the sweetest of dreams.