PITTSBURGH (KDKA-TV) — There is no question an attraction for some to watch and do things that give them a scare. But the latest craze is taking that fright to a new level. Squid Games on Netflix has prompted a wave of people going to Google in search of answers for their Squid Nightmares.
Experts warn the show is causing viewers to experience more intense dreams than usual. “There have been a higher incidence of agents reporting nightmares after watching this show or very vivid dreams where they’re reenacting some of the scenes that are occurring,” says sleep specialist Dr. Daniel Shade.
Dr. Shade adds that there have been much more violent shows, but this one is made with a twist. At its core of children’s games that anyone can relate to. “You have a juxtaposition of this childlike game and then this violent outcome in somebody that kind of had to volunteer to do this. So I think that there may be a feeling of helplessness,” he says.
In short the participants in the games are playing kids games to the death as a way to try and have their debts forgiven.
How disturbing is it? Dr. Shade says it’s, “probably on two levels, the show is disturbing and it can be violent.”
Which is why he says keep it away from the kids and adults should be careful when they watch. “When you have something that’s traumatic or or very emotional, you’re trying to process those memories during sleep. Maybe come to peace with it, try to figure out how you feel about it,” he explains.
That “trying to come to terms” is what is disturbing the sleep, adds Shade. “Yeah, I think that there are the terrifying nightmares that people have probably because of the violent content,” he continues. “And then there are the squid dreams where people are imagining them playing one of the games.”
But despite almost PTSD type symptoms people keep coming back for more. “People were watching this they get a little adrenaline rush like how would I respond there? Could I get out of this? Who’s gonna die next?” says Shade.
Some can divorce themselves from the trauma and say it’s only a TV show, others can’t.
Dr. Shade says the best remedy is to quit watching. Baring that, he says try to watch at a time further from bedtime so you have a chance to decompress after the credits roll.