My Not So Secret Diary


I have been having the weirdest dreams since the start of this whole Corona Virus business. None of them are virus related, but they are all strange!

So, the other night I was climbing Everest with my husband and three of our employees. Our son who also works for us wasn’t there, but I’m not sure if that has any relevance. It was very deep snow, but I was preoccupied with paperwork and was trying to work out pay while we were there. Weirdly we had to collect American looking number plates from cars, to send home so that people knew where we were. I was frustrated because I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me, and there was some debate about whether we should send the number plates home as we passed other mountaineers, or save them all until the end. It was decided that we could talk about it when we stopped for a break at a restaurant. We descended a few steps to find one that sold Scotch Eggs and not a lot else, but it was very warm, like an outdoor space in Spain.

If anyone feels able to unpick that and tell me what it means, that would be great!

Apparently many of us are dreaming a lot more at the moment, with the lockdown having a direct influence on us. It’s not just that our sleep patterns are probably different due to the affect it has had on home and work life, but also what we are actually dreaming about.

A survey carried out by King’s College in London suggests that we are getting the same, if not more sleep since the introduction of lockdown, with additional time being found where we are not currently commuting, etc. According to an article I read, this means that not only our time dreaming, but also the recall of our dreams is increasing. The longer we sleep, the more rapid eye movement (REM) sleep we have, and this is the state from where most of our dreams are recalled. It is thought that modern life causes less sleep like this, which is why normally many of us don’t remember our dreams. Alarm clocks are also thought to disrupt our dreams, as a natural wake up seems to result in longer dreams. Interestingly it is also suggested that anxiety can cause us to have a more disrupted sleep which means we are more likely to remember what we were dreaming of when we woke up.

Outside influences such as memories, and events in our waking life are thought to influence our dreams, which is strange as I haven’t watched anything about climbing mountains recently. I wonder if it’s more subtle than that? It is thought that dreams are our brains way of making sense of things, but also that it’s a way of helping to prepare us for perceived threat. I’ve also read about the allostatic load recently, which basically is our awareness of coping with a crisis such as the pandemic, where we are largely helpless to do anything, besides wash our hands and stay home. We are aware of it, but it isn’t a threat we can fight, and that is what our bodies are wired to do. So I wonder whether this awareness of an unreachable threat adds to our, or at least my, crazy and illogical dreams?

The brain is an interesting thing isn’t it? Even when we don’t understand it completely.

Thanks for reading.
Claire x


Photo credit to my daughter Katie Hatwell.

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