The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the sleep and dreams of many individuals. Some have experienced improvements, while others have had more complaints. The changes to daily life such as working from home and spending more time indoors in confinement may have disturbed the circadian rhythms of some individuals. There were many reports of a shift towards a later bedtime during the pandemic, with several studies showing that in general, females experienced worse sleep than males, including more nighttime awakenings and nightmares. Increased dream and nightmare frequency during the pandemic has been shown in multiple studies. It has been postulated that because dreams are often guided by the dominant emotional state, that dreams and nightmares related to pandemic themes are a result of specific stressors related to COVID-19. Those experiencing unwanted sleep disturbances and nightmares could stand to benefit from mindfulness and relaxation practices that can ease stress and anxiety before bedtime. Striving to maintain a regular sleep schedule and enhance exposure to daylight–particularly during the first half of the day–may also be helpful.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health