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Why Am I Having Weird Dreams Lately?

  • Category: Coronavirus, Sleep
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Baton Rouge General
Why Am I Having Weird Dreams Lately?

Having weird dreams lately? You aren’t alone! Since the coronavirus outbreak, we’re hearing about lots of sleep issues, including strange dreams. So, what’s causing it and how can you finally get a good night’s sleep?

Your dreams may be more vivid for different reasons, including lifestyle changes like a disruption in normal daily activities, exercise routine, eating habits and sleep pattern. Increased levels of stress or anxiety – especially with the constant COVID-19 news cycle -- can cause your brain to keep you alert, making it difficult to fall asleep or have more intense dreams.

What’s the science behind dreams? They occur during REM cycles, and the more REM sleep you get in a night, the more dreams you’ll typically experience. As your night of sleep progresses, your REM cycles get longer, which is why most of your dreams occur during the latter part of the night.

Most people dream for about 2 hours each night, but not everyone remembers their dreams. And while we don’t know exactly what causes dreams, we do know that the right amount of quality sleep is essential for the body and affects everything from your brain and heart to your immune system and mood. Research shows that once the main stressor is eliminated, most people easily get back into a routine and sleep normally. In the meantime, there are several things you can do to get a better night’s rest and keep the vivid dreams away:

  • Be mindful of what you're eating and drinking throughout the day. Eating a big meal or having too much caffeine or alcohol in the hours before bed may disrupt your sleep.
  • Stick to a schedule.
  • Avoid activities like working, watching TV or playing video games in bed -- this will help your brain associate lying in bed with going to sleep.
  • Establish a pre-bedtime routine to wind down and help your brain relax.
  • Use calming fragrances, aromatherapy, soothing music, etc. to help you fall asleep
  • Try reading a book to help you fall asleep.

If you’re experiencing repeated stress or anxiety about sleeping or recurring nightmares, there are treatments that can help. Contact your healthcare provider to discuss your options.