There are many reasons that we don’t remember our dreams. I have done some research on this and what I can tell you is that lots of the information out there is patchy and vague. The fact is – dreams are nearly impossible to study. No one can understand what the next person dreams. Dreams are like feelings, they are particular to the individual and no one can say for sure how someone experiences something.
Dreams are a window into your subconscious
For example. We often feel sad. Who is to say that my feeling of sadness is more or less intense than yours? Is it possible for one person to be more upset at losing a job than another person is at losing a loved one? Of course. Dreams are personal. Dreams are particular. Your dreams are truly a window into your subconscious.
Or are they just gobbledygook? Many studies show that dreams are just our subconscious ‘sounding off’ and making sense of the day. When I try to tell people how I experience my dreams – I let them know that it is comparable to how I experience random thoughts or ‘chatter’ in my head – some of my thoughts are significant, profound…others are simply ‘processing’ and ‘filler’. My brain, and more so my consciousness, is a deep and complicated thing. I will not take any information that I discover as read – I must investigate the true meanings of messages I feel to be significant.
Spiritual help when dreaming?
We do get messages in our dreams. Nearly everyone I know has had some experience of this.
Over a period of more than forty years, researcher Calvin S. Hall collected more than 50,000 dream accounts from college students. He found that one of the most common emotions experienced in dreams is anxiety. I often have anxious dreams – and these are often the ones I remember most clearly.
That is not to say that I have a high amount of anxious dreams. Often the dreams that stay with us the most are the ones that leave a lasting impression on us. Often these are dreams where we experience distress, anger, strong emotions or pain. This is not unusual. We continue to learn in our sleep as humans.
Do animals dream?
There are studies that indicate that animals dream as often as us but as humans we have a higher level of consciousness and we have the opportunity to direct and learn from our dreams, in a such more coordinated way than animals can. No one knows for sure that animals dream – of course we don’t – but we understand anecdotally that they do and we can measure brainwaves and watch the animal dreamers’ expressions. This leads us to believe that animals do dream.
Do dreams have function or a purpose?
Funnily enough – the scientific answer is either “no’ or “we’re not sure’. How does that sit with you? I believe that our dreams do have a purpose. Human being spend about 25 years of their life asleep. You will dream away about a third of your life. That is a guarantee. Is this wasted time?
No, it is not.
There are many faculties and components to your being and you continue to exist while you are asleep. You do not simply “check out” and fade into nothing. We continue to experience emotions, gain messages, learn lessons and rejuvenate ourselves when we are not conscious. I am telling you this, but it’s likely that you experience this to be true on some level.
In one study: researchers found that participants remembered dreaming in their sleep about half the time and there was great variation in the degree of dream recall. Overall, the students recalled dreams about three or four days per week.
What to do if you do not remember your dreams
You need to practise
Keep a dream diary
Spend tine every morning before you get out of bed trying to recall your dreams. Even if it just a feeling, a single picture or a single word – jot it down into your dream diary and keep it there. Often meditating on this during the day can provide further insights.
Abstain from drugs and alcohol
These things can hinder the dream-remembering process. If you think that you never remember your dreams – this could be the reason why. Most people love drugs and alcohol – in their various forms but often they can hold us back spiritually.
Have a positive attitude
These are your dreams. No one else will ever decide them for you. If you don’t take the time to remember and learn from them, no one ever will. They might provide a tapestry of learning, who knows? Perhaps with a bit of work, you will get somewhere new.
Get regular sleep
I am a bit of a stressed sleeper. I get anxious around bedtime and have a strict routine that I like to adhere to. This is not a great thing – as I can get upset if I am in a noisy place or an unfamiliar bed (such as on holidays). However, I prioritise my health and sleep routines and I don’t often burn the midnight oil. I have never pulled and ‘all-nighter” in my life, but I have occasionally done shift work where my hours of operation were midnight to 9am. Not ideal.
Read books on dreaming
Want to know more? Then you need to study. Start with Charles Webster Leadbeater if you like, or even Carl Jung. Both believed that dreams were a window to our subconscious. But remember – no one will care about your dreams if you don’t. Start the work today.