Greater impact of daily Covid-related concerns on daydream quality compared to nighttime dreams: study
The research also discovered a correlation between individuals who generally exhibited greater worry about Covid-19 and a higher incidence of negative dreams during nighttime sleep
A recent study examining the emotional impact of Covid-19-related concerns on daydreaming and nighttime dreaming revealed that individuals experienced more negative emotions during daydreaming on days when they had higher levels of Covid-19-related worries.
Interestingly, the research also discovered a correlation between individuals who generally exhibited greater worry about Covid-19 and a higher incidence of negative dreams during nighttime sleep.
In a collaborative study involving participants from the University of Turku (Finland), the UK and Australia, over a hundred individuals were surveyed regarding their levels of worry, anxiety, and concern during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The participants were requested to record their daydreams each evening and their nighttime dreams upon waking up in the morning.
By meticulously analysing over 3000 reports of both daydreams and night dreams, the researchers uncovered significant insights published in the journal Emotion.
The study sheds light on how the pandemic has deeply influenced people’s internal experiences, indicating a profound impact on global mental health.
They said that the emotional quality of night-dreams or experiencing more nightmares were outcomes linked more to how much a person worried about Covid-19 generally, rather than how much they worried about it on a particular day.
The results suggested that daily fluctuations in worry may play a more significant role in shaping individuals’ inner experiences during the day than during the night, they said.
“These findings do show that our experiences during the day are associated with our nighttime experiences, but our dreams seem to rely more on particular individual differences rather than what exactly happens during the day.
“This is important because these differences may explain why some individuals may have better or worse mental health and well-being,” said Pilleriin Sikka, lead researcher of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University, US.
The researchers also indicated in their study a need to rely less on general questionnaires and to use more longitudinal measures capturing day-to-day variations in Covid-19 worry and inner experiences.
They are now conducting a follow-up study, they said, to try and understand if the pandemic may have some lingering effects on people’s inner experiences.