Dealing with vivid dreams that may be adding to stress during the pandemic

Posted at 5:35 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 21:20:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some people are having nightmares and vivid dreams since the pandemic started.

It may have to do with how people process stress and anxiety as the world tackles the coronavirus crisis. Some people are posting about their dreams on Twitter with #pandemicdreams or #coronadreams.

One person tweeted that an older lady attacked her for trying to buy baby hand sanitizer in her dream. Another person tweeted they had a nightmare about a meteorite heading straight for them before waking up.

Dr. Roy Asta is a psychiatrist at TriStar Skyline’s Madison Campus. He said their subconscious may be trying to process the world’s current state. “We have difficulties dealing with events and stuff, especially stuff that’s beyond our control," Dr. Asta said. "They usually come back in our dreams, so they sort of haunt us in a weird way."

Dr. Asta believes people are having vivid dreams right now because the pandemic has sent life into a tail spin. “But also just dealing with the stress, a lot of this is out of our control, and because of that it’s made us feel hopeless about the situation, and so when you go to bed at night with this feeling, it’s interpreted in your dreams.”

If you or your kids are having nightmares, he recommends not reading about COVID-19 before bed, exercising during the day, and not eating right before bed.

“I like music. For some reason music, it just settles things down, it’s probably one of the best things you can do is to play some uplifting music or soft soothing music.”

If bad dreams begin to affect you relationships, and you can't sleep more than 4 hours, it may be time to consult a therapist or psychiatrist.

Dr. Asta said, “We call it social interpersonal occupational disfunction.”

Hopefully, vivid pandemic dreams will cease soon.