If the coronavirus pandemic has triggered some very vivid dreams for you, then fear not, because it seems you’re not alone.
According to a study conducted by The Luxury Bed Co, global monthly average searches have soared, with people frantically Googling what it means if their teeth fall out, they’re being chased or they’re pregnant.
One of the searches seen on the list was from people desperate to find out the meaning behind a dream where they’re being cheated on by their partner.
According to dream expert and wellbeing consultant, Lee Chambers, it could be all down to your emotional balance being out of kilter.
“It can be a sign you are feeling insecure, anxious, or frustrated,” she said.
“It can be borne out of the emotions at play if you have been cheated on in a previous relationship. It can also be a sign that you are not currently having your sexual needs met in a relationship.”
She went to stress that these dreams aren’t unusual at the moment, due to the amount of pressure people are under because of the pandemic.
“We are in a unique situation currently with interdependence between couples being high and anxious feelings stemming from the pandemic causes higher than usual instances of these types of dreams,” she said.
People have also been searching for the meaning behind dreams where they’re caught naked in public, which could all be related to people feeling unprepared for an event or a moment in their life.
“Dreaming of nudity can show you’ve been caught off guard and that you maybe aren’t prepared or ready for something in your life,” dream expert and celebrity psychic medium, Chris Riley said.
“Dreaming of being naked shows you’re exposed and can represent you not having any defense.
“You may also be fearful of being ridiculed right now and maybe you’re worrying too much about what others/someone thinks of you.”
He also said it could be down to you maybe “hiding something right now or not being truthful with someone and you’re being guided to be open about your feelings, if this person respects you then they will listen and understand how you’re feeling and take this on board”.
“You may be holding on to what/how others see you far too much and need to believe in yourself a bit more in being able to reach your goals and desires that you have right now,” he said.
Some other big searches were from people who were dreaming about houses or moving house, snakes, teeth falling out, school and babies.
Why dreams are becoming more intense amid the coronavirus pandemic
A slightly less anticipated side effect of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic and resulting isolation is the psychedelic dreams many of us are said to be experiencing.
The phenomenon has become so widespread, scientists around the world are investigating how a viral outbreak could trigger such vivid – not to mention bizarre – nighttime hallucinations.
Five research groups around the world are known to be investigating the concept of “coronavirus pandemic dreams”.
Preliminary results suggest the nighttime hallucinations are influenced by stress, isolation and disturbed sleep.
“We normally use REM sleep and dreams to handle intense emotions, particularly negative emotions,” Professor Patrick McNamara from Boston University told the National Geographic.
“Obviously, this pandemic is producing a lot of stress and anxiety.”
Rapid eye movement (REM) is a stage of sleep where the eyes move quickly in different directions. This is when dreams are most likely to occur due to the brain being more active.
Dreams are thought to be created by the same signals that get triggered by psychedelic drugs.
Nerve receptors called serotonin 5-HT2A are then activated, which “turn off” the brain’s dorsal prefrontal cortex, the region involved in memory and attention.
The “turning off” leads to “emotional disinhibition,” when emotions flood the consciousness.
Particularly bizarre dreams may be the mind’s way of processing the barrage of emotions so many are experiencing.
This could be why dreams become more common during life changes, like a new job or the death of a loved one.
Scientists from the US and Switzerland previously found nightmares may help people cope with scary situations in day-to-day life.
With extra reporting by Alexandra Thompson