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New research shows that pandemic-related “shared images” are invading our dreams

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Toronto-COVID-19 has invaded every aspect of our awake life-and according to new research on dreams, it’s also in our sleeping minds.

Release Last week’s journal Frontiers of PsychologyIn this new study from Finland, computer modeling was used to track the similarities in pandemic-related dreams of hundreds of people.

Dr. Anu Katrina Pesonen, lead author of the Sleep and Mind Research Group at the University of Helsinki, said: In a press release.

“The results made it possible to speculate that dreaming in extreme situations reveals shared visual images and traces of memory.

More than 4,000 participants reported on sleep quality in the sixth week of the COVID-19 blockade in Finland, and 811 further reported on their dreams at that time.

One-quarter of the participants reported having nightmares, and more than half of the dreams rated as nightmares or bad dreams were directly related to the pandemic.

To look for similarities in the hundreds of dream descriptions written by participants, researchers extracted keywords from each dream-summarizing description. Translated from Finnish to English, these words were computer-classified into 33 dream clusters, a collection of dreams with similar motifs.

“For example, a pair of words in a dream cluster labeled” Ignore Distance “would hug mistakes, hug, shake hands, limit shaking hands, shake hands distance, ignore distance, distance. Included were crowds to put, crowd restrictions, and crowd parties. A description of the release.

The most common type of dream for all respondents who explained them was to have some form of overcrowding travel difficulties.

The second most common nightmare was a “ignore distance” cluster. In this cluster, other people, or the dreamers themselves, intentionally or accidentally ignored the physical distance. Surgery and medical complications with COVID-19 came in third.

Other common COVID-19-related nightmares include dealing with quarantine, concerns about personal protective equipment, elderly trouble with COVID-19, event cancellations, and dreamer COVID-19 symptoms. ..

Even some of the dream clusters that weren’t classified as nightmares were influenced by COVID-19, including those who dreamed of the concept of touch and homeschooling.

More than half of the respondents showed an increase in stress due to a pandemic, and this study shows that women are more likely to be stressed and have more frequent nightmares.

Comparing the frequency of specific words in the dream description with the levels of stress reported by the participants revealed a variety of concerns.

The top five words that emerged in the dreams of the most stressful participants were coronavirus, death, work, friends, and crowds.

The top five dream words for those who said stress didn’t change were crowds, friends, coronaviruses, work, and escape. Death was the seventh on their list.

Sleep patterns outside of dreams were also influenced by the pandemic. Participants reported sleeping twice as long, but many were more likely to wake up at some point in the night.

Researchers acknowledged that the study may have attracted more people who had sleep problems and wanted to vent because participants were discovered through crowdsourcing.

However, previous studies have shown that large-scale social struggles such as wars, natural disasters, and outbreaks of illness cause increased nightmares due to increased overall stress and fear.

In a press release, Pesonen said researchers are excited not only about the meaning of “shared images” in dreams, but also about the results of their computational approach to dream research.

“I look forward to more AI-powered dream research in the future, and I hope our research has opened up a development in that direction,” she said.

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