What’s Up With the Recurring Quarantine Nightmares?

Anna Gragert, May 11, 2020

Unpleasant and strange as these bad dreams might be for those of us having them, sleep experts aren’t surprised. “In a situation like the current one with Covid-19, with an increase in background stress, it makes sense that we might experience more disturbing dreams,” says Alex Dimitriu, MD, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep. “Freud, in his dream analysis, also referred to something known as ‘day residue.’” Day residue describes waking-life events that appear in our dreams and nightmares. These images and scenes typically pop up during the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phase, according to Dimitriu, which tends to take place during the second half of the night.

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