If you have been having strange dreams lately, you’re not alone.
South Central Florida residents are among those reporting an increase in strange, vivid dreams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An Okeechobee woman has a recurring dream in which she is at a party where there is a buffet table overflowing with food. When she approaches the table and picks up a plate, all of the food disappears.
Other dreams reported by local residents include:
• I had a dream that my dog went and played my lottery numbers. He hit the Fantasy 5 with my numbers, but refused to share the money.
• I had a night where I was aware of sleep paralysis. It was scary!
People from all over the country are sharing their nightmares on Twitter #panemicdreams.
Researchers have taken notice.
A study by the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center found a 35 percent increase in dream recall and a 15 percent increase in negative dreams.
Dr. Deirdre Barrett, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, is collecting COVID-19 dream stories on surveymonkey.com.
Why are people having strange dreams? Dream researchers have a number of theories. Stress is a likely factor. The fact that people who are not at work due to the pandemic are home more and may be sleeping more could also be a factor. The schedule change may just make it possible for people to remember more dreams.