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We all have dreams at some point in our lives and wonder how to remember dreams. Some people can have more than one dream during the night but do not remember dreams1 very often. We all want to recall dreams that we have but can’t as we are disturbed during our sleep or after being awake likely due to an alarm clock or by familiar people. Dreams are said to be a reflection of things one wants to experience or is running away from them. It makes one keen on knowing how to remember dreams.
1. What Do Dreams Mean?
So, let’s know what dreams mean. A dream is a state of mind in which a person consciously or unconsciously is aware of the things happening in their surroundings and reacting to those situations. The dream can be a happy dream or a nightmare that does not allow a person to relax fully.2 We all go to the dream world at least once a night. We have dreams that do not make sense as per logic, but even then, we want to remember them and know that every dream has some meaning behind them.
Dreams are not always joyful; some can even have nightmares that they would like to forget but cannot forget, so they should be careful when they decide to remember their dreams. When a person is tired, they need to rest, but if they have some trauma, they cannot relax fully, leading to bad dreams. A good dream recall would be winning a lottery or vacation holidays. A bad dream would be seeing yourself falling off a cliff or your teeth falling off.
The dreams we can remember are typical of two types vivid dreams3 and lucid dreaming4. Lucid dreaming is a state in which the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming and can feel every emotion he experiences in the plan. If anyone takes sleep medicines that put them in a trance, they are more likely to experience lucid dreams.
There is no telling if you will have a good or bad dream when you sleep, but if you need to recall these dreams, let’s see some of the reasons why we cannot remember dreams and how to remember dreams.
2. Reasons Why You ForgeYourur Dreams
We all have a dream we do not recall. During sleep, we have two sleep stages: REM sleep and Non-rem sleep. REM means rapid eye movement. The rem sleep lasts for 70 to 100 minutes; otherwise, there is no eye movement. There are approximately 3 – 5 rem cycles one experiences during the night. We are focused here on knowing how to remember dreams. Before learning how to remember dreams, let’s see why we cannot remember them.
Most dreams occur during rem periods; you have many dreams during the night but can only remember the last. So, the main reason for not remembering dreams is less rem sleep. The dream is less likely dependent on the sleep quality and more on the waking up of a person as there are different sleep stages one experiences throughout the night. There are also other reasons other than the rem sleep.
2.1 Other Reasons
The other reasons are stress or anxiety level of an individual before they sleep. Stress and anxiety cause our brains to overthink, and we cannot remember our dream. They can also be taking any medication if facing some health problems. The drug will lead to more sleep, and the brain will focus more on recovering than remembering the dream. Also, if they do not have a proper and healthy diet, it would affect their good night’s sleep. So, these are some reasons you cannot remember your dreams, and let’s see how to remember dreams.
As humans, we face many challenges that are difficult to process and can be turned into a trauma that makes us unable to recall our dreams. Also, many people have difficulty getting sleep without their sleep medicine as they suffer from sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, or narcolepsy. Neglecting these problems can be fatal as a sleep disorder 5slows recovery.
There is also the gender difference that leads to remembering a dream or forgetting the dream. Girls are more likely to remember dreams than boys. Alcohol is another example of forgetting your dream; it makes your brain go all foggy, so you cannot remember your dreams. Dreams are also associated with a person’s creativity; if you have more dreams, you are creative. Now, let’s talk about some ways and share tips on how to remember your dreams.
3. Ways for Remembering Dreams
3.1. Going to Bed on Time
Dreaming occurs and can be recalled by maintaining a schedule of your sleep. I6t is said that sleeping early is a good habit. But do you know that it is also helpful for remembering your dreams and recording them by writing or voice recorder? If you maintain your sleep schedule and have a proper diet, you are more likely to remember your dreams.
A good night’s sleep helps memory consolidation of the dream as it helps to recall a dream easily. It also aids in retaining a long-term memory of the dream. If one sleeps on time, he wakes up without an alarm clock. It helps to develop a habit of having enough sleep during the night to avoid sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, or narcolepsy. So, if you wish to know how to remember dreams, you should start sleeping on time.7
3.2. Sleep Exercise
To recall dreams, you can try to do some exercises to help you relax your mind and body.8 When we do some sleep exercise, it could be in the form of meditation or light night exercises. These exercises aid in paying more attention to the detail surrounding the dreams. It is the answer to how to remember dreams.
Exercise has a calming effect on the body; an individual can also do this in bed. In most cases, people do not like to do exercise as they quickly fall asleep when they hit their bed, but it does not help if one wants to remember their dream. Also, exercise has an important role in keeping the brain active. So, from not before going to bed, make your bed arrange the pillow, and try to relax and rest for some time.
3.3. No Getting Out of Bed Immediately
You should not immediately get out of bed if you want to remember your dreams, as it will lead to losing the memories relating to the dream. If you just wake up in the morning and stay in bed for a few minutes, you may be able to recall the dream. But if you get up abruptly, you will have no memory of the dream for some time. If you stay, you can have answers to how to remember my dreams.9
So, if you wish to have a memory of your dream, try to process the dream you had and remember it. But if you have nightmares, you should not try to recall them as it would be difficult for you to experience them again. But it is said that nightmares can be used for emotional problem-solving that one does not want to acknowledge.
3.4. Intention to Remember Your Dreams
If you want to remember dreams, then you need to tell yourself that “I will try to remember my dreams it acts as a stimulus and your brain then tries to keep the memory of the dreams you have, and it will help you to recall them quickly. It is believed that our brain is the most powerful of all our systems, and if we command it properly, we can either recall or forget the things we want.
So, you can start remembering dreams by setting an intention that you will recall the details of the dream when you wake up. But to do so, try not to wake up by an alarm clock but on your own; if you wake up to an alarm clock’s voice, it will disturb your rem cycles, and you may lose the ability to recall the dream. So, if you wish to answer how to remember dreams be sure you intend on remembering them.
3.5. Water Before Sleeping
A shared tip is that having 3 or more glasses of water aids in remembering your dreams as most of the dreaming happens during the rem cycle. So, if we drink water, then we wake up in the night to pee, mostly after the rem sleep is completed, and after waking up, we can write our dreams.
Drinking water aids in waking up after completing a sleep stage of rem sleep and the images and details of the dream are accurately recalled. So as you wake up, record the dreams through any medium, and you can get more insight into your dreams in the morning by practicing this daily. Water is useful and aids in answering how to remember dreams.
3.6. Journaling Your Dreams
It is said that writing a dream journal is a good practice for remembering dreams, as most people forget their dreams as soon as they are awake. So, it is good practice to write the details of the dream you can recall. It helps to have more memory of the dream and improve the quality of remembering your dreams.
Having a dream journal can write the latter half of your dream during your last rem sleep. Through regular journaling, you can have the ability to recall not only the last dream you had but also the others. So, keep a pen and a notepad beside you to write your dreams in the morning when you wake up. Journalizing the dream is a good way to know how to remember dreams.
3.7. Slow Process
In your sleep, you are dreaming continuously during your rem sleep. But you cannot remember your dreams as habits one needs to develop and cannot attain easily as we need to be patient and consistent with ourselves. As it is not easy in our daily lives to try and maintain everything, but it is needed to be done if you want to know how to remember dreams.
The best example would be that we need to reduce the stress level in our life and when waking up in the morning, try to give us some time before starting the day. Try talking to someone, relax, and rest in the morning to dream recall afterward. It’s a slow process for having a good night’s sleep and a solution on how to remember dreams.
We all live lives that are not stress-free, and dreaming something and not remembering what we were dreaming can be frustrating. So, in this article, we got to know some ways to help us remember dreams. We can dream recall, but for that, we need to get a good night’s sleep which is adequate sleep for our body.
Dreaming is not effective if we cannot recall the details of it. We now know the various reasons which lead to forgetting dreams. So, if you want to remember your dreams, try vivid dreams or lucid dreams. But avoid stress, anxiety, alcohol, and sleep medicine which will not let you have a dream recall. How to remember dreams resonates with being stress-free.
The ways to remember dreams are keeping a sleep schedule and not taking any sleep medicine if you want to recall your dream. You need to wake up on your own without the help of the alarm clocks. Do some exercises before bed as our brain becomes active and can recall dreams. The other ways are intending to remember the dream we are dreaming, drinking water before going to bed, and maintaining a dream journal to write the details of the dream you remember.
Be patient and consistent with yourself as it is a slow process, and we need some time as you cannot adapt to changes immediately and need time to achieve the desired goal of remembering the dream. So, now you know how you can remember your dreams, and you need to be careful of what you dream as it is not always happy dreams. The key to knowing how to remember dreams is within a person.
5.1 How Soon Can Dream Recall Be Improved?
Each person experiences dream recall improvement differently. Some people could show gains in their dream recall within a few weeks with constant effort and patience, while others might take longer. It’s crucial to persist and continue using alternative methods, such as dream journaling.
5.2 Do Some Sleep Disorders Have an Impact on Dream Recall?
A few sleep problems, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, might interfere with sleep cycles and lessen dream recollection. The management and treatment of several sleep problems may enhance dream recollection. Consult a healthcare provider for a diagnosis and the best course of action if you think you may have a sleep condition.
5.3 Do Anxiety or Stress Have an Impact on Dream Recall?
Having trouble remembering dreams might result from stress and anxiety. Your mind may be preoccupied when you’re upset or concerned, which makes it more challenging to recall dreams. It may be possible to increase dream recollection by using stress-reduction approaches like relaxation exercises, meditation, or counseling.
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