Ital­ian sci­en­tists from the Sapien­za Uni­ver­si­ty of Rome report that dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, the qual­i­ty of sleep has wors­ened on aver­age among the pop­u­la­tion.

The two-week study involved 90 vol­un­teers. The first week (April 28-May 4, 2020) took place under the con­di­tions of a hard lock­down, and the sec­ond (May 5–11) dur­ing the peri­od of par­tial lift­ing of restric­tions. The sub­jects were asked to write down their dreams at home and com­plete a sleep diary every morn­ing.

Accord­ing to the data obtained, peo­ple began to fall asleep worse, wake up more often at night, remem­ber dreams bet­ter and have more lucid dreams than before the lock­down. In addi­tion, par­tic­i­pants also report­ed hav­ing fre­quent dreams about being in crowd­ed places.

The researchers con­clude that the pan­dem­ic has become a “col­lec­tive trau­ma” for the pop­u­la­tion — in line with observed dreams and wors­en­ing sleep qual­i­ty. And the increase in the pro­por­tion of lucid dreams dur­ing the lock­down may reflect the human psy­che’s attempt to cope with the wak­ing expe­ri­ence of the pan­dem­ic.

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