Zombies, monsters and bugs: Inside people's 'quarandreams'

Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 5:37 PM EDT
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If you've had any strange or scary dreams relating to the coronavirus pandemic, you're not alone.

says it's not surprising to hear that more people have been dealing with more vivid dreams lately.

A Harvard study found common trends some people reported from their latest dreams - like catching the virus or dying from it, and metaphoric elements such as bugs, zombies, natural disasters, or monsters.

"When we dream, our brain is working through all of those memories and that content and information," Dickinson explained. "So it's not a surprise that we're experiencing these dreams that are filled with all kinds of things we wouldn't normally dream about."

Traumatic situations like consistently being exposed to the COVID-19 threat and the intense strain medical professionals are experiencing — especially due to a lack of protective gear and too many patients, Dickinson explained — commonly lead to "traumatic dream content."

For people more removed from the pandemic's front lines, Dickinson said the statistics and cases people hear about on the news cause brains to process that information through dreams.

"Some people are dreaming about monsters or zombies or bugs, because a lot of what we're facing is intangible and invisible and it doesn't have a representation. So we see that more symbolic form show up," Dickinson said.

If a person's pandemic dreams get too intense, Dickinson recommends they give themselves time to "think through and process what happened during the day," or even document their thoughts and feelings in a journal.

Copyright 2020 WVLT News via CBS News. All rights reserved.

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