We all know how awkward it can get to suddenly run into an ex. Some avoid past loves like the plague, while others consciously stop themselves from reminiscing memories, both good and bad. But it turns out that ever since coronavirus quarantine started, people have been getting more surprising “visits” from former flames. Those of the dream variety, that is.
In the United Kingdom, Google searches for “Why am I dreaming about my ex?” increased by 2,450 percent since the country's lockdown measures started last month, compared to the same time last year, digital marketing agency AGY47 found.
If you believe in deciphering the meaning of your dreams, this could mean multiple things, from linking current struggles with past unhappy relationships, to a deep yearning for something you have lost.
Meanwhile, internet searches about dreams of falling have also increased 600 percent, while dreams of losing teeth or of hair falling out each increased 400 percent, according to AGY47.
“People tend to attach more importance to dreams and dream more at times of transition and in times of crisis,” psychotherapist Matthew Bowed told Dazed.
The unusual times we live in has given us a cornucopia of coronavirus dreams that range from horrifying to bizarre or just plain hilarious.
The blog I Dream of Covid is dedicated to recording coronavirus-related dreams, while the Twitter account @quarandreams serves as a public dream journal where people share their wildest dreams in the time of coronavirus.
According to psychotherapist Martha Crawford, who has been documenting people’s dreams since Donald Trump became president, these dreams could be linked to “a very intense cluster of very primal, existential anxieties right now.”
“We’re trying to keep our lid on and contain ourselves during the day and so at night, [dreaming] is the way we release that repression mechanism and start processing how we are making sense of these things,” she told UNILAD.
The dramatic rise of coronavirus dreams could also be related to collective changes in sleep schedules that accompany shifts to working from home.
Trying as times may be, we can find some solace in knowing that we’re not alone in this.
“There is something reassuring about our data, as it shows we’re all going through similar emotions and experiences during what is undoubtedly a challenging time,” said Bethanie Dennis, senior content and digital PR manager at AGY47.
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