For the fourth time in a row, I woke up covered in a pool of my sweat, with my heart beating fast. Ever since the lockdown, I have been having weird dreams. 

These nightmares although vary in their setting have one thing in common, someone almost every time is out there to kill me. 

Like last night, I dreamt of being in an overcrowded club with a bunch of my friends and this random waitress is trying to poison my drink. I choke to death in my dream and wake up with a fright.

Are you having such dreams too? Well, we aren’t alone. A lot of people are experiencing strange dreams or nightmares ever since the lockdown.

Google searches of the question “Why am I having weird dreams lately?” have quadrupled in the United States in the past week. But why is it happening?

One common reason behind this phenomenon is the lack of sleep or the alterations in our sleep pattern. This pandemic has tossed our sleep schedule out of the window and this has severely affected our subconscious mind.  

Did you know that almost all of us dream but we can’t remember them because of good sleep? Now that we aren’t sleeping enough, we are remembering more dreams thus creating an illusion of us dreaming more under the lockdown.

The Guardian quoted psychologist Philippa Perry to help people understand why they are experiencing these. She says:

Normally our dreams are processing ancient memories, or things that have just happened. We have so much more to process right now in terms of experience and feelings. Most people who claim they usually don’t dream do – they just can’t remember them. So pandemic dreaming could be as simple as people remembering dreams more often, due to being in a new situation.

But how does this explain that our dreams have been scary AF lately? Research has shown that anxiety and stress can increase negative content in our dreams.

This becomes especially true when there is a global crisis. To give one such example, researchers found that post 9/11, the collective trauma made people have more frightening dreams than ever before. 

In the present scenario, most of us are feeling the anxiety of losing a potential member of the family or a loved one.

To add to this is the fear of our jobs, our livelihood, our education and what not. Basically, all of us, at all points of time, are just bursting with fear and insecurities. This anxiety is making us fearful of what is to come and thus our subconscious mind is more fearful than ever.

Be it dreams of going out in public or even missing out on a snack, all of these dreams explore what is missing or what we are fearful of in the times of a pandemic. Thus, it is advisable to not dwell on your fears or dreams too much and rather focus on prioritizing your health.