Purpose: COVID-19 pandemic waves have strongly influenced individuals' behaviors and mental health. Here, we analyzed longitudinal data collected in the Spring 2020 and 2021 from a large Italian sample with the aim of assessing changes in dream features between the first and third wave. Specifically, we evaluated the modifications of pandemic dream activity as a function of the general distress variations over time. Also, we detected the best explanatory variables of nightmare frequency and distress.Materials and Methods: Participants previously involved in the web survey during the first wave of the pandemic were asked to complete a new online survey on sleep and dream features available in Spring 2021 (N=728). Subjects decreasing their level of psychological general distress in the third (T3) vs the first (T1) pandemic wave were defined as "Improved" (N=330). In contrast, participants with an unchanged or increased level of general distress were defined as "Not Improved" (N=398).Results: Statistical comparisons revealed that dream recall frequency, nightmare frequency, lucid dream frequency, and emotional intensity show a reduction in T3 than T1. Moreover, the Improved group is characterized by lower nightmare rate and nightmare distress than Not Improved people. Our findings confirmed that beyond the trait-like variables (ie, age, sex), specific sleep-related measures are related to nightmare features. In particular, poor sleep hygiene was one of the best determinants of nightmare distress among Not Improved subjects.Conclusion: Our findings revealed that people experienced an adaptation to the pandemic during the third wave. We also strengthen the notion that nightmares and their variations over time are strongly related to human well-being, suggesting that specific trait-like and sleep-related factors could modulate the relationship between mental health and nightmare features.

Longitudinal Findings on the Oneiric Activity Changes Across the Pandemic

Quattropani, Maria Catena;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: COVID-19 pandemic waves have strongly influenced individuals' behaviors and mental health. Here, we analyzed longitudinal data collected in the Spring 2020 and 2021 from a large Italian sample with the aim of assessing changes in dream features between the first and third wave. Specifically, we evaluated the modifications of pandemic dream activity as a function of the general distress variations over time. Also, we detected the best explanatory variables of nightmare frequency and distress.Materials and Methods: Participants previously involved in the web survey during the first wave of the pandemic were asked to complete a new online survey on sleep and dream features available in Spring 2021 (N=728). Subjects decreasing their level of psychological general distress in the third (T3) vs the first (T1) pandemic wave were defined as "Improved" (N=330). In contrast, participants with an unchanged or increased level of general distress were defined as "Not Improved" (N=398).Results: Statistical comparisons revealed that dream recall frequency, nightmare frequency, lucid dream frequency, and emotional intensity show a reduction in T3 than T1. Moreover, the Improved group is characterized by lower nightmare rate and nightmare distress than Not Improved people. Our findings confirmed that beyond the trait-like variables (ie, age, sex), specific sleep-related measures are related to nightmare features. In particular, poor sleep hygiene was one of the best determinants of nightmare distress among Not Improved subjects.Conclusion: Our findings revealed that people experienced an adaptation to the pandemic during the third wave. We also strengthen the notion that nightmares and their variations over time are strongly related to human well-being, suggesting that specific trait-like and sleep-related factors could modulate the relationship between mental health and nightmare features.
2023
clinical psychology
distress
nightmare
pandemic
sleep
third wave
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/572470
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