On Air Now
Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Lucy Horobin 6:30am - 10am
1 May 2020, 11:52
Have you been experiencing abnormally vivid dreams during the coronavirus lockdown? Well, you're not the only one.
As lockdown continues across the UK, many people have seen their lives turned upside down by the coronavirus outbreak.
Daily lives have been affected across the world, causing many changes in our personal lives, including a change of sleep pattern.
Alongside this, there have been a staggering amount of reports of people have abnormally vivid dreams during the lockdown.
When you look into the research behind sleep and dreams, it makes a lot of sense why a lot of us are dreaming more, and in a more vivid way.
According to The Sleep Council, vivid dreams can be caused by many different factors, including sleep deprivation as well as a fluctuation in hormones and stress.
Which makes a lot of sense as many of us are feeling more stressed and anxious in our lives due to the pandemic.
Professor Colin Espie, professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford, explained to The Independent that our dreams are a "widow into the fact that the brain is busy processing emotion".
This means that dreams are likely to be more active and vivid when you are in a "heightened emotional state".
He continued to explain: "What you’ll probably notice in your dreams just now is they’re a little bit more vivid and probably more emotional in tone. That just reflects the way that we are at the moment.
"One of things that is difficult for us to manage as human beings includes uncertainty, so therefore that’s the kind of emotion that is a part of the reality for us right now.”
If you are one of these people having more vivid dreams than usual, it's nothing to worry about, says the expert.
He explains: "It’s just part of us, it’s part of this situation and it’s not something people should be anxious about.
“It’s not something people need to fret about, it’s not something people should be looking into in detail. The purpose of sleep is to deliver good quality daytime alertness and awake function so we’re able to manage and cope.”