COVID-19’s effect on your dreams

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — More people are reporting strange and vivid dreams during the coronavirus crisis, according to one local sleep study doctor. He says everyone dreams, although some people may not remember their dreams. But right now, more people are remembering.

“Rapid eye movement sleep. They occur every 90 minutes in adults. So you get one about every 90 minutes and most times you get one right before you wake up in the morning and you awaken from it. That’s why you would actually remember things,” said Dr. William Broughton, Professor of Internal Medicine, USA Health.

Dr. Broughton says since many people don’t have to get up and go to work due to COVID-19, their sleep isn’t being quickly interrupted by an alarm — and they’re sleeping later, and the final REM period is the longest of them all.

“They have time to develop a very complex dream and then awaken from it. So they’re remembering more of them,” said Dr. William Broughton.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are worried about COVID-19, and it’s affecting them even while they sleep.

Dr. William Broughton said, “People in COVID-19 may have feelings of anxiety or concern or worry so that is being peppered over old memories so they wake up with content that is disturbing to them.”

He says anti-depressant medicines can suppress dreaming in some cases, but the best thing we can do is remember — they’re just dreams.

During his interview with Cherish Lombard, Dr. Broughton also mentioned people with sleep apnea who use CPAP machines. He said if you use one and there are other people living in your home, you need to let your doctor know. Because the machines spray aerosol, if the person using the machine gets coronavirus, using one could spread the virus to everyone in the house very quickly.

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