When I woke up this morning I had one small memory of a dream. No idea anything else about it but that one image stuck with me. I’m not one who will remember dreams often and I’ve always wondered why that is. So I decided to find out and share that information with you, in case you had the same questions.

What are dreams?

According to WebMD “dreams are basically stories and images that our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid. They can make you feel happy, sad, or scared. And they may seem confusing or perfectly rational.”

When do we dream?

We dream between 4 and 6 times a night according to experts. Dreams typically take place during the REM (stands for Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep which occurs multiple times a night. Our brain activity during this cycle is similar to that of when we are awake, leading to dreams.

Does everyone dream?

Yes, whether or not you remember your dreams everyone has them. Dreams are an essential function of the brain. In fact, most species, not just humans, dream.

Then why doesn’t everyone remember dreams?

“While some may suggest that dreams are a window to the subconscious, other theories posit that dreams are a nonsense result of the activity that takes place while we sleep and restore our brains,” Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert, told Healthline. “And, if our need to dream is any indication of the brain participating in a restorative process, our inability to remember our dreams may simply be due to the sorting of essential and nonessential information during sleep.”

This essentially theorizes that dreams are our mind’s way of processing information, and therefore the ability to remember them could be related to our ability to memorize and recall information while awake. It is also possible that our brains could intentionally block the dream from our memories so that we don’t confuse them with our conscious memories.

Other possible reasons are sleep deprivation or not getting enough REM sleep or differences in personality. Those with more creative brains seem to have a higher frequency of remembering them compared to those with more logical brains. It’s important to keep and mind that dreams are particularly difficult to study. Technology can determine the presence of dream activity but it can’t tell us what those dreams are about. Dreams are one of the last frontiers that scientists are still trying to understand fully.

Hopefully this answered some of your questions about why some people don’t remember their dreams.