COVID-19 pandemic, sleep quality, and emotional tone of dreams: A model to look into how psychological stress affects sleep quality, dream and emotionality
The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has impacted the health and welfare of people globally. As sleep plays a major role in health and wellbeing, the impact of COVID-19 on sleep quality, dream content and emotionality has not been studied among Indian population. The present online survey was carried out to understand whether such stressful life style during the COVID-19 pandemic affect sleep quality, dream contents and the relation between sleep quality and emotionality. We used Mannheim Dream questionnaire (MADRE), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The study signifies that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the sleep quality and emotional stability as the dream content were more of emotionally intense pandemic related suffering and trauma with increased occurrence of nightmares, negative dreams and emotions. The study found reduced sleep quality, and altered sleep durations with day time dysfunctions. Both positive affect and negative affect are significantly correlated with sleep quality. While positive affect showed a negative correlation in the PSQI score, negative affect showed a positive correlation. The subjects who suffered from COVID-19 showed no significant difference in sleep parameters and affective changes when compared to subjects whose neighbours or immediate family members were suffering from COVID-19. Our study highlights the impact of psychological stress on human sleep, and emotionality. Such models would help in developing effective measures towards reinstating the sleep quality and affective behaviours in conditions of psychological stress.