Why am I having weird dreams lately?

How quarantine is affecting people's dream patterns

Why am I having weird dreams lately?

Charlotte Reynolds, News Editor

“Why am I having weird dreams lately?” is the common question that’s quadrupled in Google searches in the United States as of April 13. The sudden change of pace in the world has affected most people’s sleep schedules, consequently affecting their dream patterns. If you answered yes to the first question, you’re not the only one who is experiencing suspicious dreams. Dreams are fugitive or quick to disappear. A person typically only remembers the general concept of their dream and the confusing metaphors that don’t make sense to the human brain.

According to the Huff Post, five minutes after waking up from a dream, we forget 50 percent of its content, and 90 percent of the dream’s detail is lost only 10 minutes later. Dreams take place every 90 minutes during REM (rapid eye movement sleep), meaning those who stay up all night are more likely to experience less vivid dreams or none at all. Contrary, those who are getting more than the recommended hours of sleep for teens, 8 to 10 hours, are experiencing stress-induced vivid and memorable dreams. A poll taken by 96 students showed 51 percent of them were getting 8 or more hours of sleep each night and 49 percent got 6 or fewer hours.

Students that are directly affected by COVID-19 such as having a family member that is a healthcare worker, are symptomatic of the virus or know someone that is, or has been tested, have dreams that highlight their fears and anxieties surrounding their experience. According to the New York Times, nightmares follow in the wake of trauma and PTSD. Those who don’t have a direct relation to the virus, experience less realistic dreams.

Sophomore Rinoa Womack said, “I have dreams about going to band class and everyone is talking about how great it is to be out of quarantine. I had a dream where I went out with friends after the order was lifted”. Another poll showed 64 percent of students were dreaming every night, and 36 percent weren’t or couldn’t remember them. The abnormal nature the whole world is experiencing is proven to have an immense impact on people’s dreams or lack thereof.