We all know the scenario; we lie down, ready for a good night’s kip, but inevitably the cellphone comes out, and before we know it, we’re scrolling on TikTok until 2am. As anyone could have guessed, this pattern isn’t exactly good for our health, but did you know it could affect your dreams too?
That’s right, while it can often be challenging to identify the connections between real life and our dream state, it’s safe to assume that the ‘castaways’ song constantly soundtracking your slumber is a direct result of TikTok.
TikTok can make your dreams more intense
Each time you flick through a little video on TikTok, your body releases a little bit of dopamine, creating a cycle of reward-seeking scrolling that allows for very little shut-eye. As a result, you’ll find yourself up into the wee hours of the morning.
This Tik-Tok induced insomnia can actually result in some very vivid dreams when you do manage to sleep. Neurologist Mark Mahowald of the University of Minnesota and director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis explained toThe Scientific Americanback in 2007:
When someone is sleep deprived, we see greater sleep intensity, meaning greater brain activity during sleep; dreaming is definitely increased and likely more vivid.
Basically, when you let TikTok keep you up at night, you disturb your body’s natural sleeping patterns, resulting in some bizarre dreams about sea shanties and WAP dances.
Emotional responses can trigger TikTok themed dreams
Another theory is that if TikTok videos trigger an emotional reaction from the viewer, then this content could also pop up in the person’s dreams. The same concept is also demonstrated through dreams of old breakups and rushing to work.
Dr Guy Leschziner, M.D., consultant neurologist at London Bridge Hospital and clinical lead at Guy's Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, elaborated to Bustle: ‘Essentially if you have experienced an event with very strong emotion associated with it, dreaming facilitates the deposition of the memory of that event.’
What’s more, clips you see today are more likely to pop up in your dreams than the ones you saw last week. A study published in Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory Consolidation in 2017 showed that recent experiences are more likely to feature in your dreams, even more so if the incidents could be considered to be of ‘personal significance.’
So, if a TikTok made you cry today, you can expect it to haunt your dreams tonight.