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Why Do Some People Remember Dreams and Others Do Not Essay

Does this Affect Mental Health?

In general, every individual has various dreams in the course of his or her life. However, not everyone is able to remember those mental visions the following day. Individuals who tend to recall their dreams are also prone to respond strongly as compared to others when their names are called out (Greene, 2016). The ability of individuals to remember their dreams depends on various factors, namely: age, gender, and neurological processes in the mind during the process of sleeping. Nevertheless, there are factors which hinder the ability of an individual to remember dreams. These factors include health conditions and the destruction of the individual’s attention when they wake up. The ability to remember or not to remember dreams fully depends on the operation of the brain and storage of all dream aspects in the memory.

Why Some People are Able to Remember Dreams

Neurological processes play a vital role in the ability of an individual to recall dreams. It is pointed out that those activities that involve a heightened blood flow within some parts of the brain can help in understanding why some individuals remember their dreams while others do not (Edwards, 2014). Generally, the act of remembering dreams seems to require a certain degree of wakefulness during the night for the vision to be basically encoded in the long term memory part of the brain. In the event of comparing and contrasting two groups of dreamers in terms of recalling the spectrum, the brain maps of activation used by a group of French researchers showed that the temporoparietal junction, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for collecting and processing of the information from the outside world, was considerably active in high-recallers (Weiten, 2016). Hence, such individuals are able to hear noises from the environment during the night and get out of sleep momentarily. Consequently, they store memories of dreams they have had for the future recall.

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This hypothesis can be evidenced from the medical cases, when the temporopariental junction has been destroyed by a stroke, there is a loss of the ability to recall dreams by patients despite the fact that they still can achieve the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep leading to a conclusion that the process of dreaming basically occurs (Osborne, 2014). The sleeping brain is not able to encode the new information into the long-term memory. The arousal-retrieval model explains why individuals are able to remember their dreams. In this regard, when an individual is awakened during the night, he or she is able to recall their dreams in the morning as the dreams were encoded in the long term memory part of the brain as explained earlier (Harvey, 2016). Dreams temporarily exist in the working memory, the kind of memory that holds and manipulates a thought fragment.

However, the emotional content as well as the logical consistency of a dream also have influence on the level at which dreams are remembered. In this respect, dreams that are less coherent are harder to remember as compared to the ones with the content that is strongly felt in addition to plot lines that are organized (Sayan, 2014). Dreams that have the increased rate of being retained include nightmares and dreams with vivid emotions which lead to a certain degree of arousal of both the body and the mind and, hence, eventually making an individual wake up. The ability to remember dreams is very essential to the health of an individual. This is because remembering dreams helps in terms of the self-analysis or rather conflict resolution (Edwards, 2014). Remembering dreams is also crucial for the mood regulation. Furthermore, it is significant as it helps in dealing with depression, whereas individuals might recover from it when they dream about an exciting thing as far as the depressive issue is concerned.

The Role of Personality in Remembering Dreams

Due to the fact that different individuals have a varying genetic material, there is an evidence that supports the notion that traits of a particular personality contribute largely to an individual’s ability of recalling dreams (Weiten, 2016). Personality traits, including creativity as well as openness to various experiences, might be affiliated with a more frequent remembrance of dream. In addition, individuals who are more imaginative and have high instances of daydreaming are more likely to recall their dreams. Apart from this, there are other concrete factors that contribute to the ability of remembering dreams. Particularly, the frequency of remembering dreams reduces with the age as adolescents have a higher rate of recalling dreams as compared to the elderly (Greene, 2016). This is because younger individuals tend to have more frequent phases of deep sleep in comparison with the elderly, hence increasing the chances of recalling their dreams. In addition, in line with the gender differences in regard to the ability of recalling dreams, it is crucial to note that various studies suggest that women tend to frequently recall their dreams as compared to men. Moreover, individuals who have an increased number of recalled dreams probably have a larger number of overall dreams. The reverse is true as the individuals who have the lowest number of dreams eventually have few dreams to recall.

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Why Some People Do Not Remember Dreams

There are various factors that might result into individuals not being able to remember their dreams. To begin with, health problems might hinder the ability of recalling dreams. Certain medications, such as the ones that help in treating depression, can lead to the suppression of a dream sleep (Osborne, 2014). In addition, sleep apnea, a condition that is basically affiliated with short pauses in the process of breathing most of the time while sleeping, might reduce the chances to remember dreams. Furthermore, there are other additional factors that are related to the external environment of an individual that might hinder the chances of an individual being able to remember a dream. There are some external factors that immediately catch the attention of individuals when they wake up. For instance, when a person wakes up and instantly shifts his or her attention to a television program, high chances are that they might not be able to remember what exactly they were dreaming about (Harvey, 2016).

In this respect, there are various activities in which individuals can engage leading to the eventual increase of the ability of remembering dreams. In this sense, when an individual wants to go to bed, it is good for him or her to put in mind that dreams ought to be remembered. Hence, it is crucial to keep a pen and a notebook at the bedside, so that they can write down what they have dreamt of the moment they woke up (Edwards, 2014). Furthermore, when individuals wake up, it is essential not to shift their attention to other things as this might increase the chances of remembering what they have dreamt of.


In conclusion, the gender and age factors highly contribute to the ability of individuals to remember dreams. However, not everyone is able to recall their dreams as there are certain health conditions, such as depression, that hinder the ability of remembering dreams. Additionally, remembering dreams is substantially crucial to one’s health as it helps in recovering from certain medical conditions, namely depression. Therefore, it is essential to engage in activities that lead to the remembrance of dreams as it contributes to the general wellbeing in line with the health factor.

Literature Review

Edwards, S. (2014). Remembering dreams. On the Brain, 20(2), 1-9.

This article primarily highlights the manifestation of sleep science. The brain plays an instrumental role in facilitating the remembrance of dreams. A key aspect that leads to the abovementioned recalling is the significance of those dreams in terms of rewarding their lives or not. This article is crucial in regard to this study because of its in-depth explication of the contribution of the brain to the dream remembrance.

Greene, A. (2016). Dreams. Raleigh: Lulu Press, Inc.

This book brings out the view that the remembrance of dreams relies heavily on the brain and psychology of an individual. Dreams are psychological, and the variance of psychological orientation among individuals plays a vital role in their remembrance and non-remembrance of dreams. This book is crucial to this discussion because of the psychological background, which it offers to the understanding of dreams.

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Harvey, C. (2016, July 11). The tricky science of remembering dreams. Van Winkle’s.

The article reveals that it is tricky to gauge the remembrance of dreams among individuals. However, it emphasizes that the amount of time taken by the brain to fully switch from one mode to another helps in recalling of dreams. The article is significant to this research because of its illustration of the variations in brain functioning.

Osborne, H. (2014, February 17). Why do some people remember their dreams while others forget? International Business Times.

The article explains that people dream as a result of the brain processing the information with the aim of getting rid of the data that is not crucial. Individuals remember dreams because of the focus on external stimuli, the promotion of intrasleep wakefulness that lead to the embedment of dreams in their brains. This source is significant in regard to this study because it highlights the cause of dreams and the way to remembering them.

Sayan, E. (2014). Dream forgetfulness. International Interdisciplinary Journal of Scientific Research, 1(3), 84-91.

The source explains that dreams are remembered when individuals wake up in the course of their dreams. Usually, dreams are always erased from the memory, except for instances, when such dreams are interesting. The deep storage portions facilitate the remembrance of dreams. This source is crucial because of the manner in which it explicates the significance of dreams and factors that push individuals toward remembrance.

Weiten, W. (2016). Psychology: Themes and variations. Boston: Cengage Learning.

The book opines that some people have the capacity to remember all their dreams, while others do not have the ability to remember anything because of mind operations. A stronger memory ensures dreams are easily remembered. This source is vital to this work because of the explanation it gives on the nature of dreams and reasons for remembrance and failure to recall.


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