Why some people remember dreams and some don’t

I am sure everyone of us dream during sleep. Yet do you often remember your dreams? Or maybe when you are awake, what went on during sleep remains a mystery? Not everyone recalls the mental escapade the next day and also scientists aren’t sure why some people remember their dreams and some don’t. It’s something to wonder though.

To figure it out, researchers examined the electrical activity in the brains of some people and reported that some participants in the research were high recallers, who remember their dreams almost every day, whereas the remaining participants only remember their dreams once or twice a month, them being called low recallers.

A 2014 study found that high dream recallers have more activity in the temporo-parietal junction, which the researchers believe may allow the dreamer to focus more attention on external stimuli, promoting intrasleep wakefulness, which means dreams are better embedded into the sleeper’s memory. The differences weren’t just during sleep, but also while study participants were awake.

The following table will give you clearer characteristics of both types. Despite the differences, it’s not that there’s something wrong with either groups.


This may explain why high dream recallers are more reactive to environmental stimuli, awaken more during sleep, and thus better encode dreams in memory than low dream recallers. Indeed the sleeping brain is not capable of memorizing new information; it needs to awaken to be able to do that.