Sunday 22 August 2021

Covid Dreaming


Lately, my dreams have been peppered with covid images and feelings. In one dream, I was walking down the street with a mask on and it began to melt and ended up like chewing gum on my face, I felt really embarrassed. In another dream, I saw doctors performing a surgery without masks and I was trying to tell them to put them on. More recently I dreamed, the Taliban were knocking on my front door! 

Dreams mean many things but can they can certainly be a release for anxiety. I started researching covid dreams and below is a bit of what I found. It seems that strong emotions in waking life reach into our dream state. If you are having covid dreams perhaps it means you are processing your emotions in a healthy way. Be kind to yourself in these huge transformational times. Keep the faith, all things pass!

Excerpt from

When coronavirus swept the globe last year, reports were everywhere of startling, vivid dreams plaguing us.

Faced with the Covid-19 threat, our brains were overwhelmed and they transferred the stress to our sleeping state.

Now, more than a year on, as many people have become used to pandemic life, we set out to find from you if your dreams had also adapted to the "new normal".

Are masks, empty streets and social distancing now simply a backdrop to our everyday dreams? What do you see when you nod off?

Here are a handful of the dreams readers sent us.

"I will be walking along a beach with water filled to the brim with sharks, and wonder why people aren't social distancing," says Fiona Ramage in Dundee, Scotland. She says the pandemic is now the backdrop of most of her dreams and they sometimes include a "casual, matter-of-fact" fear of coughing.

Sayaka, who moved to the UK from Japan with her family, says her seven-year-old daughter tells her about her Covid dreams. "She mainly 'stays at home'. Only her parents wear masks, and all members of the family wash hands in the dream."

While Mariela Cort├ęs, in Santiago, Chile, says her dreams have taken a more surreal turn. "I even want the animals - cats and dogs - to wear masks, but they don't."

"I'm in a crowded space, like a shopping centre, and all of a sudden I realise I have no mask. Nobody around me is wearing masks either. I feel in danger and become suddenly extremely aware of people's proximity to me," says Diletta de Cristofarro in Nottingham, UK.

Valdas Noreika, a lecturer in psychology at Queen Mary University of London, explains there is a complex link between the waking mind and the sleeping mind.

"Some themes move between waking and sleeping, but there are some things in daily life that we never dream about, for example browsing the internet," he explains.

He and colleagues are collecting dream diaries for a study that will analyse whether daytime thoughts about Covid have affected what people dream about.

It is normally things that arouse strong emotions that cross into our dreams, he says.

"Someone who is very threatened in the pandemic is more likely to dream about it for many years to come, which is interesting but also sad," he adds.