I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream

By Liz Hornick

I have a dream. Or rather I should say, I’ve been having dreams. I’ve never been one to really remember my dreams after a long night’s rest. Maybe it’s because I’m too exhausted, have no more mental capacity to hold anything else in my brain, or that I like to sleep with Phineas & Ferb playing in the background and it messes with my dream ability, but whatever the case dreaming was rare for me. However, something has changed. Since quarantine was put into effect and I had to move back home from Chapel Hill, I have been having the wildest dreams nearly every night. Sometimes multiple dreams in one night. And it seems like I’m not the only one.

 

In 2016 I started a started a new document in my notes app aptly titled Dreams. During my junior year of high school I was very interested in the concept of lucid dreaming and found research showing that keeping a dream journal was the best way to learn how to do so. Every time my conciseness returned and I had a dream that I could remember, I would immediately write it down in my notes along with the day’s date. Some scientists speculate that everyone has dreams– it all depends on if the individual is able to remember them. Writing down what dreams I could remember was supposed to help strengthen my dream recall ability, but I only ever had about 8-10 entries throughout the course of a year. Nonetheless, I kept up my dream journal. Things started to shift though once I started college, and my ability to recall dreams began to decrease.

Fast forward to 2020. We are currently in the midst of a global pandemic. Life as we know it has been put on pause and everyone is being confined to the walls of their own home. Never in my life have I remembered so many dreams. Throughout the past 10 days, I’ve written down 7 dreams which is already cutting it close to my yearly average. My Dreams document has never been filled with more entries in a single month. As I’m sure anyone would expect, the content of my journal entries vary significantly. Some of my dreams have been very mundane. I write about grocery shopping, taking pictures of pink sunsets (my favorite), going out on trips with my family and visiting colleges with my younger sister. All of these being activities that I would be doing if my summer were to go as planned. Others are a bit more extreme. Some have dealt with living through natural disasters, automobile theft, and even being sentenced to death to secure the hope of humanity. 

But the most puzzling of all is that this isn’t only happening to me. Consistently having crazy dreams seems to have become a widespread phenomenon. Every friend that I talk to about my newfound dream recollection state that the same exact thing is happening to them! All of us appear to be having vivid dreams nearly every night that continue to get weirder and weirder with each night’s sleep. I’m not quite sure what’s causing it. Could it be the sudden change in lifestyle habits? Possibly. A shift in stress levels? Maybe. Or perhaps it’s the need for our brain to find entertainment somewhere since I’m sure most of us aren’t engaging in anything spectacular otherwise. But what I do know is by the time quarantine is over, I’ll need to buy more storage space for my phone. 

 



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