Why Can’t You Remember Your Dreams?

Everyone dreams when they sleep, but not everyone recalls their dreams the next day.
When it comes to remembering your dreams, everyone is different. Some people show great interest in their dreams and often have vivid ones while other people do not pay very much attention to their dreams at all. Although scientists aren’t sure why some people remember more than others, there are some theories that can help explain why we can’t remember our dreams.

High Dream Recallers

Researchers studied the brain patterns of “high dream recallers” and “low dream recallers” and found that the “high dream recallers” showed stronger brain activity. High dream recallers can recall their dreams almost every day. This brain activity included while they were both, awake and while they were asleep. They studied the part of the brain that is responsible for responding to external stimuli. Their research concluded that people who remember their dreams are light sleepers. They wake up throughout the night which could allow them to easily memorize what they were just dreaming about. Scientists also discovered that high dream callers may also produce more dreams.

The research also showed that the individuals who tend to remember their dreams respond better than others when they hear their name while awake. This suggests that high dream recallers are more reactive to environmental stimuli.

Low Dream Recallers

Researchers have discovered that “low dream recallers” remember their dreams only once or twice a month. These individuals do not respond as strongly to environmental stimuli and typically do not have strong brain activity in comparison to the high dream recallers.


There are a few theories about what happens to our brain while we are dreaming. One theory is that the neuro-chemicals in our brain during sleep are very different from when we are awake. These neuro-chemicals don’t allow us to consolidate our memory which could be a reason why some of us do not remember our dreams when we wake up. Research has shown that the sleeping brain is not capable of memorizing new information because it needs to be awake in order to do that. In general, dreams are easily forgotten once we wake up. If we do not transfer them from our short-term memory to our long-term memory as soon as we are awake, our dreams will most likely be forgotten.

Are You Paying Attention?

Another theory suggests that we do not pay attention to our dreams or that we are unable to do so as we sleep. If you find yourself relating more with a “low dream recaller” than a “high dream recaller”, it is very possible that you just do not pay close attention to your dreams which is why you have a harder time recalling them.

Time Spent Awake at Night

Researchers discovered that high dream recallers spent more time awake during the night than low dream recallers. On average, high dream callers are awake for about 30 minutes during the night while low dream recallers are awake for about 14 minutes during the night.

The research suggests that high recallers are awoken easier than low recallers. The brain of high recallers may be more reactive to stimuli like sounds, which might make them wake up easier throughout the night. This could also explain why a high recaller remembers more dreams because it is more likely to remember if they wake up immediately after a dream.

Treatment With Dr. Shukla

Whether it is remembering your dreams or dealing with sleep troubles that don’t seem to be going away no matter what you do, you don’t have to live with them. Don’t be one of the millions of adults struggling with untreated sleep problems.

Let the experts with Dr. Mayank Shukla help you get a good night’s sleep. Doctor Shukla and his team have years of experience in pediatric respiratory medicine, allergy treatment, and sleep apnea therapy to finally get you the rest you want and deserve. Contact our offices today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Shukla.

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