Living in the middle of a pandemic resulted in a notable increase in mental problems caused by varying degrees of trauma. Traumatization can come as a consequence of many things — healthcare workers, people who lost family members, as well as those who feel pressured to keep their financial stability seem to be equally affected.
Research conducted at the Harvard Medical School looked into over 14,000 dreams across 76 countries. The results show that these dreams, especially nightmares, don’t have to be strictly related to coronavirus; even the ‘usual’ nightmares in which bugs, vampires, or murderers chase us are on the rise.
Women seem to be more susceptible to this, so the reported sleep quality among women declined significantly since the pandemic began. In addition, while both men and women experienced a rise in anxiety or thinking about death, anger and sadness were twice as high in women. At the same time, it stayed the same for men.
By analyzing the dreams, researchers realized that this is due to the fact that some of these dreams refer to problems typically experienced by women. For example, a lot of dreams referenced problems of domestic abuse or homeschooling children, which are problems most women faced during the lockdown.
The research will continue, as there is already a notable change as the world is coming out of the pandemic. The research author stated that it would be especially interesting to see how dreams change as countries lift bans at a different pace.