For as long as I can remember, I’ve remembered my dreams every night without fail. But for a few months, while I was working a nighttime job to make some extra money, I stopped remembering my dreams. I’m sure I was still dreaming because almost everyone dreams every night. But I could not remember my dreams and it was very distressing to me.
3 Reasons I Couldn’t Remember My Dreams
So I started to research why I couldn’t remember my dreams and what the effects of not remembering them would be.
According to professionals, dream recall is affected by stress levels, lack of sleep, and too much caffeine intake.
Stress can cause a person to forget their dreams more easily because it gives them something else to focus on instead.
This made sense to me. I was stressed out to the max and remembering my dreams (as important as they were before) was the last thing on my mind. Things that were stressing me out were what I thought about before bed and as soon as I woke up, so I had no space to remember my dreams.
Our brains need a certain amount of rest in order to properly process memories and dreams are no exception.
Working nights meant that my circadian rhythm was all messed up and was getting half the amount of sleep that I normally get. I was exhausted, and I couldn’t remember what I had eaten the night before let alone what I had dreamt.
3. Too Much Caffeine
Too much caffeine is another factor that can cause us to forget our dreams. It can shift when our REM sleep occurs, and throw our dreams off balance.
Because I was working nights, I was drinking caffeine during times I don’t normally drink, such as morning, noon, and night – and every time in between. I drank coffee whenever I happened to wake up or need a boost.
So for me, all three of these things were causing me not to remember my dreams.
5 Drawbacks Of Not Remembering Your Dreams
I felt very sad not remembering my dreams. They are a big part of helping me understand how I’m feeling in my waking life and what I need to work on.
Not everyone will experience these drawbacks from not remembering their dreams, but it is a possibility. Especially if you are someone like me who puts a lot of value on my dreams and how they impact my waking life.
1. Feelings Of Disconnection
Not being able to remember your dreams, especially when you are someone who usually does remember them and uses them to your advantage, can lead to feelings of disconnection from the unconscious mind and your true emotions.
Dreams are our body’s way of connecting with our subconscious and allowing us to understand what is really going on in our lives. When we don’t remember our dreams, it can feel like there is a barrier between us and our true feelings.
2. Difficulty Focusing
If we have difficulty remembering our dreams, it may be difficult to focus during the day. This is because dreaming plays an important role in helping us to make sense of our lives and the world around us.
Dreams can help us to see things from a different perspective, and they can often provide insight into our own subconscious desires and fears. Without dreams, we may feel lost and disconnected from our own lives, thus affecting our ability to focus and be present.
3. Low Moods And High Anxiety Levels
Dreams and interpreting them can help us understand and release our emotions, so not remembering them can lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety.
For instance, if something is stressing you out, it will show up in a dream. If you remember your dreams, you can figure out what the stressor is and deal with it. But if you are not remembering your dreams, then you may not be able to figure out what the stressor is and be unable to fix it.
4. Poor Memory Recall And Cognitive Function
Dreams help to process emotions and memories.
They also help to consolidate information learned during the day.
Dreams also provide a way for the brain to work through problems and practice different solutions.
For all of these reasons, not remembering your dreams can cause poor cognitive function. Dreams give the brain a chance to rest and rejuvenate, so without them, you may find yourself feeling foggy-headed and unfocused.
5. Physical Ailments
Not remembering your dreams can lead to stress and anxiety which can lead to physical ailments, such as pain and sickness.
How To Start Remembering Your Dreams Again
If you are having difficulty remembering your dreams, the first thing you should do is make sure you get enough sleep. I can’t stress this enough. Without adequate sleep, you cannot expect to remember your dreams. Creating a consistent sleep routine can help to ensure that your body and mind are ready for restful sleep.
Second, try setting aside time when you wake up specifically for dream recall. Spend a few minutes in quiet reflection upon waking to remember any dreams you may have had the night before. This can be done with your eyes closed or by writing down what you remember on paper. If it helps, make sure to keep a pen and notebook by your bed in order to jot down any dream fragments that come back to you while you are still in bed.
Thirdly, experiment with dream journaling. Before going to sleep, write down any hopes or desires you have for the night’s dreams. Also document any particular images that come to mind as you drift into slumber. When you wake up in the morning, record your dreams and any impressions they leave on you.
Finally, make remembering your dreams important to you. Don’t let their importance slip away, even if you are working nights at a job you hate. Make sure to make remembering your dreams a priority and you will be more likely to remember them.