‘Pillow talk: Dreaming during the pandemic’

Jan 01, 2021
Since Covid-19, dreams have become more intense, colourful and action-packed for May Green. Source: Getty (model posed for photo)

Last year – 2020 – was a year of change. So much change. International travel ceased, domestic travel was seriously curtailed, we updated our tech skills in order to catch up with family members over the internet, and we fought over toilet paper in the supermarket aisles. Indeed, in the early days of the pandemic I was posting parcels to my daughters scattered across the country – as had been my normal practice – which included treats to remind them of home: books, sweets and now toilet rolls.

There’s no need to recount the plethora of other changes we’ve witnessed. Some were big, some small, some good, some otherwise. A collective pat on the back for manoeuvring them all.

With our lives returning to a semblance of normality, with live performances, travel and meals at restaurants all back on the agenda, there is one thing that I find lingers like a bad smell from those bad ol’ days of lockdown. I cannot stop dreaming. Wild, colourful, bizarre dreams that when I wake make me think that I need to retain the memory of them because they would make a great novel – or even a movie with Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. Sometimes my dreams are so exciting that after waking up during the night I’ll fall back asleep and continue the storyline with part two. It’s like intermission without the ice-cream.

My dreams these days aren’t like the dreams of old where your teeth fall out or you’re falling off a cliff naked. Apparently these are common fodder and dream interpreters have been analysing them for years. No, I’ve been at war with the Japanese in the Pacific Islands, built zoos around the world, and have even been to Mars and back. I’ve woken up exhausted after a treacherous train journey across the tundra and, folks, be prepared for the movie remake ‘Bonnie and Clyde and May’.

Sometimes after a dream that starts one night and concludes the next with a satisfying ending, I’m left feeling totally chuffed with the whole experience and just bathe in the glow. Is this odd or what? Alternatively, I’m left too baffled by the situation, and just sit and wonder about my mental health.

I’m not aware of feeling anxious though, and my dreams aren’t generally frightening – although wearing jungle greens during World War 2 wasn’t much fun. They are just busy and sometimes exhausting. And it’s not that dreaming is something new for me, rather that it is now done with so much gusto and clarity.

From my reading, it appears many of us have been indulging in more dreaming throughout the pandemic. Someone said, “Dreams are normal. It’s our times that aren’t.”

The love of my life no longer wants to hear a step-by-step breakdown of my dream each morning. He’s far too busy with his own.

So what about you? Have you been experiencing vivid dreams lately?

Have you been experiencing more intense, vivid dreams since Covid-19 came into our lives?

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