Thursday, December 15, 2011

To Remember or Not To Remember?

Art by Ada Zdanowicz
        How many times have you heard someone say or you yourself say:  "I don't dream." or "I can never remember my dreams."?

         Though it is not uncommon to not remember dreams, studies show that everyone dreams during sleep and dreams frequently throughout the sleep cycles.  Sleep research studies have indicated that sleep deprivation can lead to serious physical and mental consequences including confusion and hallucinations.  In essence, if we are not permitted to dream during sleep our minds will begin to "dream" in wakefulness through what is termed lucid dreaming.

          Some of us prefer not to remember our dreams and possibly create a subconscious mental block that makes us believe we have not dreamed.  Yet research indicates that even those who consider themselves to be non-dreamers will show changes in brain activity during certain sleep cycles that suggest dream activity is occurring.

           Remembering dreams can be achieved through self-training which requires time in the morning that most of us are not willing to set aside.   We are too busy trying to get ready for the day ahead, eat breakfast, or whatever it is we do in the morning.  However, if dreams are not remembered immediately they will typically be forgotten very quickly.

           Keeping a pen and notebook close at hand can help dream memory training.  One should write down their morning thoughts that may be related to something they were dreaming.  If there are any dream memories write those down as well.  Focusing on these memories for a few minutes might begin to evoke the memories of what had been dreamed prior to awakening

        These actions may allow one to begin to develop a greater consciousness about what they might have dreamed.   However we typically don't have the patience or put aside the time to develop dream memory.  A drive to develop dream memory must be present.  It is a discipline that must be practiced on an ongoing basis in order for remembering ones dreams to become easier.

          You do dream whether you remember or not.  People who don't remember dreams may have had a traumatic childhood memory that has created a fear of remembering dreams; may be trying to repress troubling thoughts that recur in their dreams; may have merely conditioned their minds not to remember; or any number of other reasons.

          If you want to remember your dreams but can't, it might require extensive self-examination or even analysis by a professional such as one trained in psychology or sleep study.  Remembering your dreams is not crucial to getting by in life, but it can be enlightening to study them to try to understand what they are telling you.   If you are not experiencing dream recall, you might be missing some important messages that your mind or body are trying to tell you.

         Have you ever kept or do you now keep a dream journal?   If you are one who believes you don't dream, can you recall a time when you did or do you remember a traumatic dream event that frightened you a great deal?   Have you ever experienced hallucinations due to sleep deprivation?

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. I know I do dream but sometimes I remember other times I don't. It don't particulary worry me unless it's a nightmare of a dream.


    Yes, for some years I kept a "Dream Journal" which I still have, and it is filled with some of the wildest, most outrageous "stories" imaginable. (Or at least that I could "imagine" while my conscious mind was stilled my subconscious mind took flight.)

    Many of those dreams were filled with incredible spiritual imagery. And often, after typing out the dream, I would attempt an interpretation of the dream while it was still so fresh in my mind. As a result, I believe I actually acquired a fairly decent ability to interpret dream symbology.

    One question, though, Brother:
    Unless the term has more than one meaning (which is certainly possible) and I'm not aware of that fact, I think you have inadvertently misrepresented "lucid dreaming" in this blog bit.

    If I understand it correctly, "lucid dreaming" is not a situation in which a sleep-deprived person begins to dream or "hallucinate" in their waking, conscious state.

    Lucid Dreaming is when one is asleep and dreaming, but while asleep and dreaming they are also aware of the fact that what they are experiencing is indeed a dream.

    And, yes, I have had a few Lucid Dreaming experiences, too. In fact, when I was a child, I was able to utilize that knowledge to "cure" myself of a recurring, terrifying nightmare. When I became aware that I was actually dreaming and could end the dream at any point I wished, I began taunting the evil being who was after me, and at the moment he was about to grab me, I'd open my eyes and end the dream.

    I only had to do that once or maybe twice before the dream simply ceased to occur. (I guess I'd taken all the fun out of it for the Bogeyman, who just HATES to be taunted.)

    And... just to throw out a little teaser and run... when push comes to shove and we get right down to the bottom line, I actually believe that our present lives are essentially dreams - more accurately, "nightmares" - and the deepest message of The Holy Bible is that we are, in a sense, "asleep". And Jesus was the Cosmic Lucid Dreaming Savior who came to show us the way out of this "nightmare".

    Seriously... where would one be most likely to find someone else walking on water? In dreams. But only a Lucid Dreamer - realizing the water is really just made out of dream "material" - could actually walk upon it.

    To me, no act of Jesus found in the Bible screams out "This is a dream, people!" like His walking on water does.

    This has been my personal slogan for years:
    "We have fallen asleep in God's embrace, having a nightmare that we are elsewhere."

    Just sumpin' to think about, Brotherman...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  3. BOIDMAN ~
    I just did a Google search, and according to Wikipedia, there is a second form of Lucid Dreaming that I was not aware of:

    A dream-initiated lucid dream (DILD) starts as a normal dream, and the dreamer eventually concludes it is a dream, while a wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD) occurs when the dreamer goes from a normal waking state directly into a dream state, with no apparent lapse in consciousness.

    So I retract my question about your use of Lucid Dreaming in this blog bit; it seems one of the two definitions does fit your explanation of it.

    My correction of your "mistake" stands corrected.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  4. Yvonne -- Some people are more interested in dreams than others.

    StMc -- I'm glad you looked up lucid dreaming to clarify--saves me from explaining.
    When I was keeping my dream diary in high school and college, most of the time I was aware of any spiritual themes, though I think they were probably there.
    I have had lucid dreams but usually they were not willed or anything that I had much control over.

    I like your dream/wakefulness theory. Don't know that I'd agree, but it does make for interesting discussion. Is there anything that you can cite from the Bible that might support this theory?
    Maybe that's why I like to be in a dream state so much of the time.


  5. I've never kept a sleep journal, but I am a vivid dreamer and tend to remember quite a few. Probably nowhere near the number I actually have, though. I have vivid nightmares, as well. The novel I'm working on was born in a dream!

  6. Oh no! I never knew dreams could be this complicating. But I did jot down three of my dreams which is still fresh in my memory. But I have never thought of keeping a dream journal. That sounds a real cool idea..

    Wonderful blog, Sir...

  7. I have at times tried a dream journal and have had some success, but as a whole I don't usually remember dreams unless they are the kind that happen just before waking and/or when I set my mind with a suggestion upon going to sleep to consciously remember.

  8. 'Sleep research studies have indicated that sleep deprivation can lead to serious physical and mental consequences including confusion and hallucinations.'

    I have always wondered about this, Lee -- intimating that reliable, periodic sleep is no luxury, but essential to health and functionality.

    I bought a dream journal several months ago and have not jotted a single thought into it. It is in my night stand drawer, nice and empty.

    Last night, I had a very vivid dream that a friend was calling me on a toy phone floating in a bath. How weird is that!?

  9. I do not need to keep a dream journal. Once in a while I have a particularly poignant dream I type out in detail to a good friend of mine for analysis. She is always amazed at the details I can recall.

    Curse or blessing? My dreams tend to towards the disturbing and chaotic, ever since I became ill, so I am not sure about that.


I'd love to hear your comments or to just know that you were here. Please let me know what you think. And if you'd be so kind, please click on the Friend Connect button. It's nice to be joined on my dream journey with others who want to explore the mysterious world of the subconscious mind.
Sorry, due to too much spam I no longer allow anonymous comments on this site. If you want to comment and aren't registered yet then please sign up. It's not all that difficult and I'd really like to hear what you have to say. Comment away!

The Dreamer