A lot of us have trouble remembering our dreams. If we don't wake up during a dream, the dream is often lost. However, there are a few things you can do to get better at remembering dreams.
Animals dream. When you watch your dog sleep and see his feet moving or his ears twitching, he is probably dreaming. Research suggests that animals go through the same sleep stages as humans and so do indeed dream. In one study, a gorilla that had been taught human sign language actually signed while asleep and dreaming.
It is possible to control some dreams. You know those dreams where you are aware you dreaming? They are called “lucid dreams.” Research has shown that it is possible for people to influence or control what happens in a lucid dream. Give it a try next time you know you are dreaming...
Everyone dreams. Some people may not remember their dreams, but they do dream. According to dream studies, we usually dream multiple dreams each night. No one knows for sure why we dream or exactly what our dreams mean.
After we enter our seasoned years, memories of the past increasingly fill our dreams. In fact, research suggests that people in their later years have more dreams about their earlier life than any other age group.
Here are a few more interesting things you may not know about dreams and some tips for remembering your dreams.
The brain is awake while we dream. Some areas of the brain are just as active while we are dreaming as they are when we are awake.
Be proactive. Before you fall asleep each night, consciously remind yourself that you want to remember your dreams.
Wake up on your own, whenever possible. If you wake up to an alarm, the sound can be like a jolt to the brain and cause you to lose all recollection of your dream.
Keep a bedside dream journal. Make sure it is by your bed whenever you sleep so you can write about your dreams before the memories and images have a chance to fade away.
Take your time. If you wake up in the morning with no memory of dreaming, stay in bed, close your eyes, and quiet your mind. Dream images may unfold for you.
Don’t wait for morning. Write about your dreams as soon as you wake up. If you wake up in the night during or right after a dream, write about it immediately. Even if your memory of the dream seems so vivid you are sure you will remember it the next day, do not wait.
Use the power of suggestion. Come up with a mantra like “I remember my dreams” or “I do not forget my dreams.” Repeat it with conviction every now and then during the day. You may also want to write the mantra down repeatedly.
Dreams are mostly visual. Although dreams can involve sounds, taste, and smell, the majority tell their story in pictures.
We all experience certain types of dreams. Although our dreams may not mirror each other exactly, there are dream themes that are familiar to almost everyone. Common themes include falling, being unable to move, being late for something important, and reliving our school days.
Carry a pocket-sized dream journal with you all day. You never know when an image or sensation from a dream may pop into your head. If you write it down, you may remember more of the dream.
Dreams may help us figure things out. What we see, hear, and experience in a dream may seem far from realistic, but the emotions attached to whatever is going on in the dream are often very real. Some researchers believe dreams reflect our thoughts and emotions and are actually a continuation of our minds working on an issue we are dealing with in life.