Let’s Talk About Vivid Quarantine Dreams

 

As COVID-19 continues to dominate news coverage and social media feeds, it’s no surprise that the pandemic has also started affecting people’s sleep routines. Many people are reporting vivid, sometimes stressful dreams…

From Why You’re Having So Many Weird Dreams During Quarantine, According to Sleep Experts

Six clouds digitally altered to spell out the word dreams against a blue sky When I first read that article last month, I didn’t think it applied to me.

My sleeping and dreaming habits have remained more or less the same since this pandemic began.

As always, the dreams I remember are vivid and exciting. The dream version of me often does things that real-life Lydia would never dare to. I’ve heard this is something that’s more common for us introverts, although I don’t know how true that is.

Then my brain decided to kick into overdrive. I should note that I’ve dreamt about various versions of this mansion for at least a decade now. The exact layout of the rooms change, but it always looks Victorian, is filled with heavy, wooden furniture, has poor lighting, and has more floors than I can generally manage to explore before I wake up. Oh, and it’s always haunted, and not by friendly ghosts.

On the rare occasions I make it all the way up to the attic, some pretty exciting stuff happens there involving me getting into long intellectual discussions with various deities and mythological beings. But this dream was typical in that it ended long before I thought to walk up all of those flights.

In the dream, my spouse and I decided to take a long weekend trip to visit this mansion. There were only a few other folks who had booked rooms, so we thought we could adhere to the physical distancing requirements well while still having a nice change of scenery.

A ghostly hand attempting to push through a Victorian mirror.The mansion was as beautiful, dark, and Victorian as ever. There was an old-fashioned library in it this time, and I ached to read all of the books. The problem was that the ghosts made their presence known long before I finished exploring the house, much less settled down to read for a while. 

I was singing “Henry the VIII I Am” when one of them suddenly appeared on a staircase. 

We’re never happy to see each other. Normally, the dream ends with me racing upstairs to find the attic before they catch me since that’s the one place in the mansion they don’t seem to be allowed to go.

This time, I realized there was a second safe place to run to: the bedroom my spouse and I had been given for the weekend.

He and I ran to it, slammed the door shut, and locked it with the ghost on our tails. 

What made this dream unique was that the lock and door kept her out. She could ask us nicely to open it and let her enter, but she could do nothing else without an open door and invitation. We were safe, albeit trapped in a much smaller space than we’d been expecting to enjoy for the weekend. 

Now if that isn’t a quarantine dream, I don’t know what is! Yes, she was definitely a ghost and not a vampire. I wish the story had continued so I knew what happened next.

What vivid things have you all been dreaming about this spring?

8 Responses to Let’s Talk About Vivid Quarantine Dreams

  1. Until 2020 I rarely dreamt at all. Now I dream every night. In the morning the alarm goes off, I press snooze, and squeeze another dream into those five minutes. My brain has way more to offload than I thought could get in in the first place ;P

  2. Up until a few years ago, my dreams were always vivid and frequently narrative; I think the onset of sleep apnea kind of broke that pattern (along with reaching a point where I was chronically underslept, a habit I’m still trying to break). But I started getting some treatment for the sleep apnea about a month before we went into lockdown, and they’re back — some very COVID-related, and some not.

    This morning’s dream was arguably both.

    We were visiting England (or some other dream-country, I don’t think the dream specified) and Jaret Reddick — the lead singer from Bowling For Soup — showed at the same hostelry where we were staying. He was talking about the difficulties with getting their new album out, and the show they were going to be putting on, and like that. It wasn’t anything big; we were just chatting.

    Which, y’know, has nothing to do with COVID-19 or being quarantined, obviously. But I strongly suspect that he popped up in my dream because this was the weekend when I would ordinarily have put in a massive amount of overtime working the big local music festival, at which they’ve headlined several times — only this year, we cancelled the festival, because of the pandemic. (And while I don’t really know the guy, I’ve met him a couple of times and he and the rest of the band are just consistently great people.)

    So, yeah: not a quarantine dream, but in an odd way still sort of quarantine-adjacent.

    • Yes, that does seem quarantine-adjacent. And very interesting! Hope you’ll get to go to the festival in a year or two after we have a vaccine.

  3. I have a tendency to do a continuation of whatever tv show or movie or book I just turned off or read. The stories take on a life of their own, then I wake up and can’t remember where the real and fantasy split.

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