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Vol. 2 No. 1 (2022): Construction and Destruction of Subjectivity and Social Relations

Dreaming during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic research literature review

May 25, 2022


The aim of this study was to review the available findings on dreaming during the COVID-19 pandemic. We explored the PsycINFO, Cochrane, EBSCOhost, EMBASE, Google Scholar, PubMed, Pro-Quest Medical, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science electronic databases and the,, and preprints servers with regards to the searching terms ‘dream(s)’, ‘dreaming’, ‘nightmare(s)’, associated with ‘COVID-19’, ‘2019-nCoV’, ‘2019 coronavirus’, ‘Wuhan coronavirus’, ‘2019 novel coronavirus’, ‘SARS-CoV-2’, or ‘pandemic’. Thirty-nine papers (for a total of 57,802 participants, from more than 86 countries) contributed to the systematic research literature review of dreaming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results show that: women remember dreams and nightmares thicker and report the longest and most emotionally negative dreams; younger subjects, such as adolescents and young adults, are found to be those whose dreams are most affected by the effects of the pandemic; the dreams of participants who came into more personal contact with COVID-19 are characterized by higher emotional intensity. The most frequently detected qualitative and quantitative characteristics of dreams and nightmares are also described. Taken together, results of this systematic research literature highlight the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on dreaming, by showing how this traumatic event is reflected in dream life.