Some people say they never dream, or they rarely dream. Is it true, or do they just not remember what they dream? Science shows that everybody dreams, so the latter option is more reliable. Scientists say that five minutes after we wake up from a dream, we already forget half of the dream’s content. As time goes by, we completely forget about it. But why? Why do we remember our daily actions but not our dreams?
Simply because our dreams are not recorded in our long-term memory. The hippocampus, a structure in the brain that is responsible for memory, is not active during sleep, so, our dreams cannot be stored in the long*term memory. So, if we want to record our dreams, we must take different actions on our own. Dream recall varies from person to person, or day to day, depending on your anxiety levels, sleep schedule, and other habits.
Some people argue that the dreams that we forget are useless, whereas some believe dream recall is affected by varying levels of some neurotransmitters. In short, there is very little knowledge on dream recall. But what we do know is studies and experiments that show how to increase it
There are a lot of people keeping dream journals to remember their dreams, and it works like a wonder. The first thing you need to do to keep a dream journal is, when you wake up from a dream, close your eyes for a bit and try to visualize as many details about your dream as possible. The next thing you will do is write them down in detail. Studies show that if you regularly keep a dream journal, it will become easier for you to remember your dreams.
Habits Before Bed
Scientists who study dream recall argue that what you do right before bed is extremely important for your sleep quality. And your sleep quality will most likely impact whether or not you remember your dreams. If you eat food or use alcohol right before bed, you will not REM sleep easily, which will cause you to forget your dreams faster.
Why Some Remember Dreams and Others Forget
If you do not have the adequate amount of quality sleep you need a day, you will forget your dreams more easily. When the amount of REM sleep you have is little, you can’t remember your dreams completely or even at all. Remembering dreams is a concept that scientists still struggle to figure out, but what we know is our daily habits and even genetics influence them.
Scientists have found that people who remember their dreams more are usually people with high levels of creative thinking and daydreaming. This means some people naturally could remember their dreams easily despite their habits. However, this is not the only factor that affects dream recall. Stress, depression, and anxiety, for instance, reduce the possibility to recall dreams. If you are dealing with grief or trauma, it will be harder for you to remember your dreams. But there are numerous ways to practice dream recall, and you might consider them before giving up on yourself!