Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Home Lead Story Pandemic Infects Majority of Distressed Dreams, AI Finds

Pandemic Infects Majority of Distressed Dreams, AI Finds

About 800 respondents also contributed information about their dreams during that time - many of which revealed shared anxiety about the pandemic

Scientists have used artificial intelligence (AI) to help analyse the dream content of close to 1,000 people and found that Covid-19 had infected more than half of the distressed dreams reported.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the research team crowdsourced sleep and stress data from more than 4,000 people during the sixth week of the Covid-19 lockdown in Finland. About 800 respondents also contributed information about their dreams during that time – many of which revealed shared anxiety about the pandemic.

Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world.

“We were thrilled to observe repeating dream content associations across individuals that reflected the apocalyptic ambience of Covid-19 lockdown,” said study lead author Dr Anu-Katriina Pesonen from the University of Helsinki in Finland.

“The results allowed us to speculate that dreaming in extreme circumstances reveals shared visual imagery and memory traces, and in this way, dreams can indicate some form of shared mindscape across individuals,”

Pesonen added.

The research team transcribed the content of the dreams from Finnish into English word lists and fed the data into an AI algorithm, which scanned for frequently appearing word associations. The computer built what the researchers called dream clusters from the “smaller dream particles” rather than entire dreams.

Eventually, 33 dream clusters or themes emerged. Twenty of the clusters were classified as bad dreams, and 55 per cent of these had pandemic-specific content.

AI finds Covid-19 infects majority of bad dreams
More than half of the study participants reported an increase in stress levels, which were more closely linked to patterns like fitful sleep and bad dreams. Unsplash

Themes such as failures in social distancing, coronavirus contagion, personal protective equipment, dystopia and apocalypse were rated as pandemic specific. The study also offered some insights into the sleep patterns and stress levels of people during the pandemic lockdown.

For instance, more than half of the respondents reported sleeping more than before the period of self-quarantine, though 10 per cent had a harder time falling asleep and more than a quarter reported more frequent nightmares. Not surprisingly, more than half of the study participants reported an increase in stress levels, which were more closely linked to patterns like fitful sleep and bad dreeams. Those most stressed-out also had more pandemic-specific dreams.

Also Read: Actor Sayani Gupta Talks About Skewed Portrayal of Women in Cinema

The research could provide valuable insights for medical experts who are already assessing the toll the coronavirus is having on mental health.

Sleep is a central factor in all mental health issues, according to the researchers.

“Repeated, intense nightmares may refer to post-traumatic stress. The content of dreams is not entirely random, but can be an important key to understanding what is the essence in the experience of stress, trauma and anxiety,”

Pesonen said. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,779FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Women Experience Depression Even After 3 Years of Giving Birth

Researchers have found that approximately one in four women experienced high levels of depressive symptoms at some point in the three years after giving...

Lack of Monitoring Stations to Quantify Air Pollution in India

With Delhi facing another tryst with air pollution, several environmental experts believe that the problem goes beyond the national capital and that the country...

Nutritious Snacks for the Virtual School Breaks

The pandemic has forced children to go back to school with virtual learning having swapped classroom teaching. Although school in 2020 may look way...

Books that Address Children’s Mental Health

In these unprecedented times, when isolation fatigue, gloom, and the fear of losing a beloved has also come to grip children, taking care of...

Air Pollution Linked to 15% of COVID Deaths Worldwide

In a major global study, researchers have revealed that long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to 15 percent of COVID-19 deaths worldwide. According...

Ketogenic Diet could Prevent or Reverse Heart Failure

Heart problems? A special diet might help as researchers have found that the popular and controversial ketogenic diet could completely prevent, or even reverse...

Technology to Produce Psychoactive Drugs by IIT Guwahati

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) on Tuesday said its researchers have developed a low-cost membrane technology to produce psychoactive drugs and anti-aging compounds...

Fashion Hubs Burgeon into Fresh Farm Outlets

In recent days, people passing by some of the biggest fashion hubs in Mumbai rub their eyes in disbelief at what they behold. Instead of...

Recent Comments