Have you ever had a dream that was so amazing and vivid that, as you woke up, you immediately forgot about it?
Those are the worst, I mean, why can’t we relive it for just a tad bit longer?
You see, the exact amount of dream information that is forgotten after you wake up can vary from person to person and can also depend on factors such as the length and intensity of your dream.
However, it is generally accepted that dream recall tends to decrease rapidly after waking.
Research has shown that within a few minutes of waking, you can only recall a small percentage of your dreams.
This can be due to a process called "sleep-dependent memory consolidation," where memories formed during the day are consolidated and strengthened during sleep, but the ones from your dream state are not as well consolidated and tend to fade away.
Let’s break it down even more to really understand it.
See, dreams occur during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, which is when your brain is highly active and your body is paralyzed.
During this stage, your brain processes and organizes information from your day and creates a narrative using memories, emotions, and experiences.
When you wake up, your brain shifts out of the REM stage and into a state of alertness, which makes it harder to recall your dream narrative. In addition, your brain may prioritize the processing of new information and tasks for the day, which can make it difficult to remember the details of your dream.
Another reason why we forget our dreams is that our neural circuits that are active during REM sleep differ from those active during waking, this means that the memory traces that are laid down during sleep are not as well consolidated, making it harder to recall them.
In general, some people may be better at remembering their dreams than others, and some people may have more vivid and memorable dreams, but the process of dream recall can be influenced by a variety of factors, including stress, age, and sleep quality.
You should also note that not everyone dreams every night, and some people may not remember their dreams at all.
This is probably a sign for you to start dream journaling, you might be shocked at how crazy most of your dreams are, looking back at them.