The ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is the cause of any number of negative things going on in the world right now from a global health crisis to a financial meltdown the likes of which we've never seen.

If you think this sounds like the stuff nightmares are made of - you're right.

National Geographic has looked into the connection between COVID-19 and increased restless nights thanks to bad dreams and they say the pandemic is certainly to blame for many of us.

According to the magazine, no fewer than five different studies are underway worldwide looking at how this health crisis is having a negative impact on us, even when we're sleeping.

At Boston University School of Medicine, they're calling it 'emotional disinhibition' where our rapid eye movement (REM) state of sleep is overwhelmed with all of the emotions we're struggling with during these unprecedented times.

The research shows something else quite unusual, because of the intensity of the things we're all dealing with on a daily basis, we're actually remembering our dreams more.

The Lyon Neuroscience Research Center in France has actually attached some numbers to the problem. They say COVID-19 is pushing dream recall by 35 percent more than average, with nightmares up 15 percent.

Meanwhile, the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine says a number of these dreams are consistent with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

So the next time you wake up in a cold sweat after a very vivid encounter with Napoleon riding a flaming unicorn while you're drowning in a river of nacho cheese, it could be your 'social distancing diet' is relying a little too heavily on frozen pizza or that you're just having a hard time processing these unusually stressful times we're living in.

Here's to sweeter dreams hopefully sooner rather than later.


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