Experiencing unusual dreams during quarantine? You’re not the only one.

Neuroscientist explains this recent phenomenon and provides tips for a better night’s sleep.

By Katherine Gianni

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash.

Healthy sleep habits have come into question during this time of necessary quarantine. Some confess to crawling into bed at an earlier hour, while others have found themselves running on just a few hours of sleep to keep up with work and personal responsibilities. Whether you’re getting a full eight hours, or drifting off for a quick snooze, many people have reported stirring restlessly in their sleep, disturbed by the strange figures, unusual places, or frightening scenarios that have appeared in their dreams. Dr. Patrick McNamara, associate professor of neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine and the VA New England HealthCare System, discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has affected our dreams and what we can do to prevent even the most intense ones from negatively impacting our sleep schedule and well-being.

Why are some people experiencing more vivid or unusual dreams during the coronavirus pandemic?

Some people have also reported a rise in nightmares or night terrors during this time of self-quarantine. Do you have any tips for achieving a more restful night’s sleep or conquering nightmares?

What are the different types of dreams?

Do dreams disrupt normal sleep patterns?

Photo by Zoë Gayah Jonker on Unsplash.

How does lack of sleep affect one’s emotional or physical wellbeing?

How do sleep stages change throughout the duration of the night?

Some folks have been tracking their pandemic dreams. Should we give bad or strange dreams additional thought once we wake up? Why or why not?

Photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz on Unsplash.

For additional commentary by Boston University experts, follow us on Twitter at @BUexperts. For research updates from the Boston University School of Medicine, follow @BUMedicine. To learn more about the McNamara Lab and ongoing projects, visit their website here.

Cutting-edge research and commentary out of Boston University, home to Nobel laureates, Pulitzer winners and Guggenheim Scholars. Find an expert: bu.edu/experts

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