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Study finds dream quality impacted by Covid-related worrying

Study finds dream quality impacted by Covid-related worrying

People reported having more negative emotions while daydreaming more frequently on days when they worried more about COVID-19.

However, a recent study looking at how Covid-related concerns and fears affected the emotional quality of daydreaming and nighttime dreaming in these moments found that persons who usually tended to worry more about Covid also tended to have more negative nightmares.

More than a hundred participants were asked how worried, anxious, and concerned they were during the COVID-19 pandemic, in this study from the University of Turku, Finland, UK and Australia. They reported their daydreams every evening and their nighttime dreams every morning upon waking up.

The researchers analysed more than 3000 reports of daydreams and night-dreams to come out with their findings, published in the journal Emotion, about how the pandemic has shaped people’s inner experiences, having profoundly impacted the mental health of people worldwide.

They said that the emotional quality of night-dreams or experiencing more nightmares were outcomes linked more to how much a person worried about COVID-19 generally, rather than how much they worried about it on a particular day.

The results suggested that daily fluctuations in worry may play a more significant role in shaping individuals’ inner experiences during the day than during the night, they said.

“This is important because these differences may explain why some individuals may have better or worse mental health and well-being,” said Pilleriin Sikka, lead researcher of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University, US.

The researchers also indicated in their study a need to rely less on general questionnaires and to use more longitudinal measures capturing day-to-day variations in COVID-19 worry and inner experiences.

They are now conducting a follow-up study, they said, to try and understand if the pandemic may have some lingering effects on people’s inner experiences.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:covid -19Dream quality
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