The Real Reason You Can’t Remember Your Dreams

What stage of sleep do you dream?

Do you ever wake up to the sound of your alarm and then press snooze so you can go back to dreaming that wonderful dream? Or do you often wake up in a cold sweat, haunted by the nightmares that seem completely real? Or maybe you’re one of those people who never really remember their dreams…and you wonder what’s wrong with you.

Dreams have been an intriguing mystery to humans ever since we started walking the planet. Many have tried to offer an explanation, but few theories seem believable. I mean, come on, Freud, we don’t all have an Oedipus complex.

Surprisingly, even modern science hasn’t given us a lot when it comes to understanding the reason we dream or what our dreams could mean. But there are some studies that have shed some light on the subject, if only slightly.

So why do you wake up feeling like you didn’t dream at all while your partner constantly tells stories about the weird dreams she has? It all starts with the sleep cycle. 

To sleep–perchance to dream

You’ve probably heard of deep sleep and how important it is, but do you know what stage of sleep you dream?

During your final stage of sleep, your eyes actually start moving quickly back and forth underneath your eyelids. That’s why this sleep stage is called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. It’s also the stage when you dream most of your dreams.

Does everyone dream? Yes. Even if you forget your dreams when you wake up, you still dreamed them. The amount of time you spend dreaming is probably about two hours every night, regardless of what you remember when you wake up.

Some studies point to the theory that dreams aid us in emotional processing. Other research suggests that dreams can boost creative problem-solving. This could explain why you sometimes spend hours trying to find a solution to a problem only to think of one immediately after you wake up the next morning.

What makes you remember your dreams?

There are a variety of factors that can cause you to remember (or forget) your dreams. The most significant might be your quality of sleep. If your sleep is irregular or you have a disruptive condition like sleep apnea, you’re more likely to wake up during a dream and remember it vividly–at least for a few minutes.

Waking up suddenly due to your alarm or something else can also cause you to remember your dreams. If you typically wake up before your alarm goes off, you’re less likely to remember your dreams.

Your ability to remember dreams could also hinge on your age and gender. The older you are, the less likely you are to remember your dreams. And men tend to forget their dreams more often than women.

Still, there’s no rhyme or reason for your inability to remember your dreams. Maybe you were simply born this way, babe. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Do you even want to remember your dreams? They can be super weird–or even frightening. That being said, there are some things you can do if you want to become better at recalling your dreams.

The best way to improve your dream memory is to write your dreams down first thing in the morning. This is when you have the best chance of remembering the most details about your dreams.

You can also try staying in bed a little bit longer than usual and drifting in and out of sleep. As you’re lying there, make an effort to remember what you dreamed. After a few days, you might become better at remembering.

How to get enough deep sleep

Regardless of whether or not you remember your dreams, it’s vital to get enough deep sleep each night. In fact, sufficient deep sleep can protect you against Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and other medical conditions.

How do you know if you’re getting the deep sleep you need? If you often wake up groggy or constantly feel tired during the day, chances are you’re not getting enough deep sleep. Here are some tricks for improving deep sleep.

1. Body heating

Taking a hot bath or shower before bed has the potential to increase deep sleep. Studies show that the positive impact of body heating on deep sleep is due to the higher brain temperature necessary for deep sleep. Doing something to raise your body temperature before bed will help you reach deep sleep faster so you can stay there longer.

2. Pink noise

Falling asleep to pink noise has the power to improve deep sleep, according to research. Pink noise is sort of like white noise, except it has more intense lower frequencies. You might find it quite soothing to listen to in bed.

3. Sleep wearables

The best way to increase your deep sleep is to invest in safe, effective sleep wearables. Start with Oura Ring, a biotracker that shows you exactly how much deep sleep you get each night. Once you have a better understanding of your sleep metrics, you can begin experimenting to see which habits positively affect them.
For a device that actually improves your deep sleep rather than just tracking it, check out Hapbee. With 19 unique blends designed to enhance each moment of your life, Hapbee is the perfect way to feel your best at all times. The Deep Sleep blend gives you the restorative sleep you need to wake up refreshed and ready to face the day. What are you waiting for? Order your Hapbee today.