Sleep Doctor Says Wild Dreams Could be Product of Pandemic Info Overload

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a strange side effect for some people who say they're having weird dreams and sleep disruptions.

Good news. Sleep medicine doctors say experiencing vivid dreams during times of high stress is normal.

As the streets sit empty and people stay at home, going to sleep is one part of our routine that hasn't changed. The problem is some people can’t sleep or they wake up from strange dreams.

Dr. Gary Levinson, a board certified sleep medicine doctor from Sharp Rees-Stealy, said everyone is on information overload right now. Between getting essential information about the pandemic and beating boredom by scrolling through social media, there's a lot to process.

“Often times you sort of repress these thoughts, but when you go to sleep, you don't really have control over that. It will often manifest with a lot of unusual things, a lot of waking up at night to unusual dreams, maybe even nightmares,” Dr. Levinson said.

 Dr. Levinson says people are also anxious and that’s why it’s important to find ways to relax during the day.

“Get outside, get some natural light, and try to appreciate your surrounding sounds. Things like birds, music, plants, flowers, trees, and things that are pleasant," said Levinson.

Right before we go to bed, the sleep medicine doctor recommends not watching television or playing on our phones. We should also try to stick to a routine because it will help us wind down.

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