Have you ever wondered why some people remember their dreams while others do not? So why do we dream? Here are the details.
Perhaps you have always been able to remember your dreams. There are people who, almost without exception, can recall what they have dreamed months or years later. If you belong to this group, don’t think that this is the case for everyone. In fact, you are rather an exception to the rule.
For most people, dreams are something that do not last long in their memory. Some people forget them when they wake up, or at best, if they do remember them, they fade after a day.
So if you have just discovered why you are able to remember your dreams while others can’t, maybe now new questions arise for you Is this a good or bad thing? Does it mean that you are not sleeping well? Don’t worry because here we are going to give you many of the answers you are looking for.
Why do we dream?
Let’s start with the why and when of dreams. There is what is called REM sleep, which can occur several times a night. This stage of sleep is characterized by rapid eye movement (the acronym REM stands for this), a greater degree of body movement and faster breathing.
Dreams tend to occur during this period because our brain wave activity more closely resembles that of when we are awake. This stage usually begins about 90 minutes after falling asleep, and can last up to an hour.
Sleep specialists say this with conviction. Whether they remember it or not, everyone dreams in their sleep. It is an essential function for the human brain, and one that is also present in most species.
The question then is: if everyone dreams, why doesn’t everyone remember it?
The answer may vary depending on which theory you want to believe, because there are quite a few. Dream research is a broad and complex field, and dreaming is something that is difficult to study in a laboratory.
Brain activity cannot tell us exactly what dreams are about, so we have to rely on people’s accounts, which are subjective.
Some suggest that dreams are a window into the subconscious, while other theories postulate that they are a mindless result of activity that takes place while we sleep and serve to restore our brain.
If this were true, our inability to recall may simply be due to the sorting of essential and non-essential information during sleep.
Basically, what this theory is saying is that dreams occur when our brain is processing information, eliminating unnecessary things and moving important short-term memories into our long-term memory.
So, in the case of people who remember dreams it may be because they have a difference in their ability to memorize things in general.
A person’s brain may block a dream so that we don’t remember it the next day. This is a sort of defense mechanism so that we don’t slip into confusion or insanity.
Dream activity can be so real and intense that our brains mask or hide them so they don’t intermingle with the waking experience which could truly be a problem.
Have you ever had one of those dreams so realistic that you’re not sure if the events actually happened? It’s really unsettling and strange, isn’t it?
That’s why the brain helps us to forget, so that we are able to clearly differentiate between the dream world and the real world without falling into the bewilderment of confusing what has happened with the imaginary.
On the other hand, brain activity can also allow someone to more easily remember their dream. There is a region in the brain called the temporoparietal junction, which processes information and emotions.
This region can also put you in a waking state during sleep, which in turn allows the brain to encode and remember dreams better.
At least that’s what came out of a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology that claimed that people who were able to maintain a high level of dream recall had more activity in the temporoparietal junction than those who didn’t recall their dreams often.
Why do some people remember them and others don’t?
If someone does not get enough sleep, the amount of REM sleep they experience will be reduced, making it more difficult for them to remember their dreams the next day.
Personality traits may also be an indicator of whether someone will be able to remember their dreams.
Researchers have observed common personality traits exhibited by people who can remember their dreams.
In general, these people are prone to daydreaming, creative thinking and introspection. At the same time, people who are more practical and outwardly focused tend to have difficulty remembering their dreams.
This may mean that some people are naturally more likely to remember their dreams than others, regardless of the quality of their sleep.
Other factors, such as stress or experiencing trauma, can also cause people to have dreams or nightmares that they are more likely to remember the next day. For example, a person dealing with grief after losing a loved one may dream of death in vivid detail.
This intense experience will, upon recalling the dream the next day, affect mood and may cause even more stress or anxiety.