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Bizarre dreams and bad sleep: Sleep experts say the pandemic could be a factor

Last Updated Aug 26, 2020 at 5:48 pm EST

This undated photo shows Pottery Barn Teen's Amelia bedding collection.(Pottery Barn Teen via AP)

OTTAWA  – If you’ve had sleepless nights and bizarre dreams, even more so than normal recently, you’re not alone and it could be due to the pandemic.

Stress from the pandemic is causing some people to experience acute insomnia or ‘COVID insomnia’, according to sleep expert Andrew Holmes, owner of Sleep Efficiency, a sleep consultation company in Ottawa.

“People have been laid off of work, there are tremendous amounts of uncertainty with regards to paying mortgages, so acute insomnia or transient insomnia is usually due to an external stressor and it’s episodic,” said Holmes.

Holmes says stress can also manifest in your dreams, which is why some have started having vivid dreams amid the pandemic.

He suggests unwinding before bed for a better night’s sleep by doing things like watching TV or movies, or reading a book.

“Maybe after the 6 o’clock evening news, maybe put on a funny movie and focus on escaping the constant bombardment we’re facing with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Holmes also suggests having a constant regular sleep schedule to combat insomnia.