why do we not remember our dreams
SIOUX FALLS, S. D. -
Most of the time when people dream, it happens during rapid eye movement sleep, which is also known as REM. According to the lead sleep technologist at Avera, most people dream even if they don't remember them. But why is it that we only remember some of our dreams? People cycle through the stages of sleep about four to five times per night. That means we dream about four to five times each night as well. The first stage is a light sleep. Stage N2 is where we spend majority of our night sleeping. "Really nothing spectacular happens during Stage N2. It's just the timing of sleep that our brain tends to spend the most time in," said Darla Klinger,the lead sleep technologist at Avera. Stage N3 is when our brain and body systems are the least active. "It's when our body is resting, getting the most restful period of sleep so that we can rejuvenate," said Klinger. After Stage N3, we get into dream sleep which is also known as rapid eye movement sleep or REM sleep. "Rapid eye movement sleep is because our eyes are moving frequently, watching the visions and the images that our brain is throwing out at us," said Klinger. "Dream sleep is actually where the brain is as active in dream sleep as we are awake. It's a very active time for the brain. " The brain is actually saving memories during dreams. "Whatever things throughout the day that we've been exposed to- news reports, met up with friends, things like that; the brain is putting away those memories," said Klinger. "If you can think of it as a filing cabinet and it's filing them away, deciding what we're going to keep, what we're not going to keep. " Klinger said the majority of people dream unless they're on a medication that suppresses dream sleep. "But the only way we really remember our dreams is if we awaken immediately from the dream and think about it," said Klinger.
All stages of sleep are necessary and just as healthy. "Getting all of those important stages of sleep in an entire sleep period is what it takes to make your brain feel ready to function the next day," said Klinger. She also said that it's recommended people get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. If you have a question you'd like answered, email Vanessa. Her email is vgomez@ksfy. com. Dream research indicates that all people have about 4 to 6 six dreams a night. Some people remember all six dreams while others donБt remember any. One might wonder why there is such a drastic difference. б There isn t one answer, of course, but here are seven common reasons why people donБt remember their dreams. 1. б Dreams are Weird Inб DreamTimeб magazine, dreamworkerб mentions that dreams are frequently unusual, not resembling anything from our waking life, and therefore sometimes difficult to express in thought and word. Also, dreams may reveal new information and are multi-layered in meaning. As a result, dream images are, as Taylor describes, not yet speech ripe. He goes on to say that over time, with practice, we can learn how to remember those odd dreams and grasp them long enough to be able to record them. 2. б Disinterest in Dreams Sometimes all you need is a little encouragement to jump start dream recall. Whenever I teach dreamwork, someone inevitably says, БI never remember my dreams. How can I participate in this class? Б Usually within a few weeks the same student shares with me that sheБs started to remember her dreams. If you donБt remember your dreams, but want to do dream work, chances are good you will start remembering simply by paying attention.
If not, offers several techniques you can use to enhance dream recall. 3. б Stress, Too Much on OneБs Mind, and Lack of Sleep Stress, no matter the reason, can wreak havoc on a dream life. For some, stress causes nightmares or anxiety dreams. For others, it causes dreams to slip out of consciousness immediately upon waking. There are techniques for minimizing the impact of stress on dream recall. Please see the section. 4. б Alcohol and Drug Consumption Alcohol and drugs affect the REM cycle and therefore our dreams. If I have two glasses of wine I have a hard time remembering my dreams. I know others, however, who can drink an entire bottle and have no dream recall problems whatsoever. Every bodyб is different. Drugs have similar effects. People on various medications have shared in dream groups that their dreams change in unusual ways when they start taking prescriptions. б I m not suggesting you go off any medications to improve dream recall. Consult your health care practitioner before making any changes to your medication. 5. б Moon Phases and Biorhythms Phases of the moon can affect dream cycles. I tend to remember more dreams around the full moon and less around the new moon. We have natural biorhythms that can also affect our dream recall. Notice if there is a cycle to your dream recall. If you remember dreams sometimes and not others, be grateful for the dreams you remember and donБt worry about the times you donБt. 6. б Traumatic Events or Soul Loss Disclaimer:б I am not an expert on trauma and dream recall. The following thoughts are based on experiences IБve had with people in dream groups. It seems to me that there are times when a traumatic event can cease dream recall, the ability to remember ones dreams.
Regardless of whether or not we have a conscious memory of a traumatic event, we always retain an unconscious memory. In other words, the memory lives in our mind somewhere, even if we donБt remember it. Since dreams can help us heal our lives, if we are not ready to heal we may not remember our dreams. Psychotherapy, or some type of counseling, may be required to begin the healing process before dream recall can return. б If soul loss is involved a soul retrieval may be necessary. 7. б An inability or unwillingness to wake up Dreams help us Бwake-upБ in the Buddhist sense of the phrase. That is, during waking hours we can fool ourselves into believing weБre something weБre not. For instance, we may be miserable, settling for less than we deserve in life, but trick ourselves into thinking weБre happy. Dreams help us wake up from our illusions so we can see whatБs really going on. Consequently, if there is something the dreamer doesnБt want to recognize about herself, it might be difficult to wake up from sleep or remember dreams that help us see ourself in a new light. Looked at metaphorically, there may be resistance to Бwaking upБ to a new awareness about a personal dilemma. The question to ask is this БIs there something I donБt want to see in my life that is keeping me asleep or preventing me from remembering my dreams? Summary If your dream images slip away before you wake there may be any number of reasons why you are forgetting them. To get started remembering your dreams sometimes all it takes is the decision to remember. Others times a bit more effort is required. Read Next:
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