What is it about?

This study looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the sleep and dreams of adults in Portugal. We found that people were experiencing poorer sleep quality and recalling more dreams and nightmares, often related to the pandemic. These changes in sleep and dream patterns were more prominent in younger individuals, those at high risk for COVID-19, and those impacted emotionally or professionally by the pandemic.

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Why is it important?

This study distinguishes itself by diving into the largely unexplored relationship between a global pandemic and intricate psychological variables like sleep quality and dream activity. Unlike other sleep research, this study is context-specific, focusing on the adult population of Portugal. It uncovers nuanced insights such as demographic variations and the role of personal experiences in sleep and dream changes during a collective crisis. The timeliness cannot be overstated; given the ongoing mental health ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding its effects on sleep and dreaming can lead to targeted mental health interventions. Therefore, the findings are academically compelling and have immediate practical implications in psychology and public health.


Working with this research team has been a rewarding experience. I look forward to seeing how our collective findings influence mental health policies and psychotherapeutic approaches. Given the urgency of understanding psychological well-being in the face of global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, I am optimistic that this study will ignite scholarly discussion and practical action in mental health care during challenging times.

Prof. Helena Amaral Espírito Santo
Instituto Superior Miguel Torga

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep and dreams: Study in a Portuguese sample., Dreaming, November 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/drm0000231.
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