Facts About Dreaming

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Can Dreams Predict the Future?

There are many examples of situations where a dream came true or was telling of a future event. When you have a dream that then plays out in real life, experts say it is most likely due to:

  • Coincidence
  • Faulty memory
  • An unconscious tying together of known information

However, sometimes dreams can motivate you to act a certain way, thus changing the future.

Why Are Dreams Hard to Remember?

Researchers don't know for sure why dreams are easily forgotten. Maybe we are designed to forget our dreams because if we remembered all our dreams, we might not be able to distinguish dreams from real memories.

Also, it may be harder to remember dreams because during REM sleep our body may shut down systems in our brain responsible for creating memories. We may only remember dreams that occur just before we wake, when certain brain activities have been turned back on.

Some say our minds don't actually forget dreams, we just don't know how to access them. Dreams may be stored in our memory, waiting to be recalled. This notion may explain why you may suddenly remember a dream later in the day -- something may have happened to trigger the memory.

Tips for Dream Recall

If you are a sound sleeper and don't wake up until the morning, you are less likely to remember your dreams compared to people who wake up several times in the night. But here are some tips that may influence your ability to remember your dreams:

Wake up without an alarm. You are more likely to remember your dreams if you wake up naturally than with an alarm. Once the alarm goes off, your brain focuses on the annoying sound and turning it off and not your dream.

Remind yourself to remember. If you want to remember your dreams and make a conscious decision to do so, you are more likely to remember your dreams in the morning. Before you go to sleep, remind yourself that you want to remember your dream.

Dream playback. If you think about the dream right after waking, it may be easier to remember it later.

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