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Why am I having such vivid dreams in lockdown?

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Welcome to our new series where, each week, we’ll get experts to find solutions to your lockdown problems. Send yours to kate.lloyd@timeout.com and we’ll try to get you an answer. In this instalment: sleep. 

Katie from Walthamstow says: 

Since we went into lockdown I’ve had the most vivid dreams. One involved me running a big-cat zoo like in ‘Tiger King’! When I wake up it feels like I’ve lived them. Loads of my friends are experiencing the same. What’s happening?

Sleep behaviour expert James Wilson says:

I get this. I had a very vivid dream last night that I was attacked by a spider. I reckon it’s probably down to two things. There’s more stress for our brains to work through in the REM stage of sleep (which is the bit you dream in) meaning wilder dreams. Plus, while we actually dream every night, if we’re not getting good-quality sleep then we’re more likely to remember dreams. This could be down to stress and the change in routine. Think about creating a new one that works for your new normal rather your previous patterns. If you’re working from home, try planning bedtime and wake-up times that fit more with your natural inclinations and new work-life needs. Whatever bedtime you pick, start winding down an hour before. Don’t read or watch anything stressful in this time (get your news in the daytime). Maybe use the Headspace app. Hopefully that will help. 

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