Weird Shelter In Place Dreams

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Have you been having some strange, weird, more unusual than usual dreams and nightmares, since we’ve been staying in and staying home? Well, you aren’t alone.

According to the National Geographic

With hundreds of millions of people sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic, some dream experts believe that withdrawal from our usual environments and daily stimuli has left dreamers with a dearth of “inspiration,” forcing our subconscious minds to draw more heavily on themes from our past.

So, if you dream, for instance, that you are playing war with Barbie dolls and G.I. Joe, as they parachute into town with one of those N-95 masks, that really isn’t that bad. In fact, this might mean that you are simply taking in what you see and hear at home, regarding COVID-19 and your home-life, smattered with some childhood activity of yours.

The New York Times also weighs in:

The question has been posed with increasing frequency. Local news personalities in particular appear uniquely susceptible to wondering if anybody else is having strange dreams, with meteorologists and anchors in, for instance, TexasConnecticutNorth CarolinaWashingtonWisconsin, and New York, having recently posed it on their public Facebook pages. And the Google query “why am i having weird dreams lately” has quadrupled in the United States in the past week.

So. What can we do about the weird dreams, if anything? Dr. Deidre Barrett, a Harvard psychologist who has been studying dreams for the last 40 years, suggests this.

Dr. Barrett recommends attempting to “program” your dreams as you fall asleep. So-called “dream incubation,” she said, “has a pretty high success rate.”

Choose a category of dream you’d like to have — for instance: flying, although the intended dream subject need not be abstract. At bedtime, remind yourself of it.

“If you’re a good visualizer, imagine yourself soaring aloft,” she said. “If images don’t come easily to you, place a photo or other objects related to the topic on your nightstand to view as the last thing before turning off your light.”

Repeat to yourself what you want to dream about as you drift off to sleep. The technique, she cautioned, works “much better than chance, but not reliably every night anyone is trying it.”

Whether or not you end up with some mastery over your dreams, you can take heart in the fact that even vivid, strange ones are good for you.

“There are certainly some biological things that R.E.M. sleep is doing, certain neurotransmitters are shut down and being restored,” said Dr. Barrett. “There’s some theory that simply activating the brain every 90 minutes may be good for it in some way.”

At the very least, it may help to know: Other people are having weird dreams too.

So, what’s YOUR weird dream? We’d like to know.

Maybe I can stop dreaming of snakes biting me now…..

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