Forgetting to Remember: Why Do We Forget Our Dreams?

January 10, 2012

119812799You’ll forget around 1,500 dreams this year. Ever wonder why?

You dream four to six times every night, and will have around 1,800 dreams this year. 90 – 95% of them will instantly disappear from your memory, and there’s no final answer as to why.

While dreaming, our brain functions entirely differently to when we are awake. Our dream experiences are not encoded into memory in the
same way our waking experiences are. Part of the reason, is that we are not ‘paying attention’.

When we’re awake and want to remember something, we automatically make a conscious decision to remember. This same technique is the most effective way to remember our dreams.

Studies of dream recall have compared people who remember several dreams a week, to those who recall less than one dream per month. The biggest difference they found was in people’s personal motivation to to pay attention to their dreams. About people with the greatest dream recall, one study concluded, “for some reason, these people have decided that their dreams are worth remembering.”

Recall is particularly increased in those who have had powerful experiences understanding their dreams. And those with low recall remembered more dreams after reading a book or taking a class on dreaming.

So if want to remember your dreams, the best advice is… get motivated! The more dream work you do, the more dreams you will remember.

Dream Book Recommendation: Inner Work, by Robert Johnson


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