COVID-19 pandemic brings reports of strange, vivid dreams

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!
• I woke my husband up telling someone to stop putting a yellow python snake near me!
• I dreamed I was smuggling ducklings into the U.S. for Donald Trump.

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

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.


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