Coronavirus Slumber: Nearly 9 In 10 Adults Experiencing Strange Dreams During Lockdown

UNDATED — If you’ve been waking up each morning lately and remembering some abnormal dreams from the night before, you’re far from alone. A survey of 1,000 American adults reveals that 87% of people have been experiencing unusual dreams since the pandemic began.

The survey of 1,000 adults, commissioned by SleepStandards, found that in addition to having unusual dreams, many Americans (16.7%) feel their dreams are more vivid now than they were before the pandemic. Researchers note that more than three-quarters of participants fell in the 18-39 age range, which makes the results largely a reflection of millennials and young adults in the Gen Z segment. 

What Are People Dreaming About?

For starters, it seems like people are really missing their offices and workplaces. Nearly half (49%) of respondents say they have dreamed about situations at work. It’s almost as if they escape the coronavirus lockdown and live their regular lives in their sleep.

Only one in five are having coronavirus-related nightmares about hospitals or sick people (19%). Still, the coronavirus social distancing and isolation restrictions have entered almost one third of people’s dreams. About one quarter of those surveyed have been having “scary movie” type of nightmares with ghosts, monsters, zombies or demons.


Many people have been having sexual or romantic experiences in their dreams. Forty-percent admit they have had a fantasy while asleep. Perhaps shockingly, three in ten (29%) have even dreamed about an ex of theirs, and more than one in five people have dreamed about an ex — while sleeping next to their current partner.

The Effects Of Vivid Dreams On The Body

People have noticed that they wake up feeling differently after having a vivid dream. Seventy percent report feeling an emotional change like anxiety or confusion when they wake up. Three in ten feel physical changes like sweating or a headache.

Researchers found it’s unlikely to experience a vivid dream during a short sleep. Only 2% of adults who sleep less than four hours a day have experienced vivid dreaming. In contrast, 61% of respondents who are getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night have experienced vivid dreaming during the coronavirus shutdown.

One last thing the survey inquired about is the association between sleep disorders and abnormal vivid dreaming. 90% of people that have been diagnosed with a sleeping disorder over the last 3 months have experienced unusually strange and vivid dreams. There might be some relationship between sleep disorders and vivid dreaming, but further research is needed to investigate this.

Like studies? Follow us on Facebook!