Why do some people not dream? Why is it that some people can remember all of their dreams and others are incapable of remembering any? The most commonly accepted theory in regards to why we dream is that, during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, our brain relays and records memories, and transfers them to different areas of the brain, which are what we see as dreams. Dreams are a result of memory consolidation. Memories are stored within the hippocampus region of the brain during moments of wakefulness, and are thought to be transferred to the cerebral cortex whilst sleeping. So why do some people say that they never dream? Continue reading to find out.
Why Some People Never Dream?
Those who have never woken up with memories of a dream they were having before waking from their slumber can be forgiven for assuming that they never dream. If, after all, every morning you wake up with zero recollection of any dream occurring, then surely you didn't dream at all, right?
When answering the question – why do some people not dream? The answer is usually that they do. In fact, almost everybody dreams during deep sleep (REM), whether they can remember them vividly, vaguely, or not at all. That being said, the science is not concrete on the issue and there is the somewhat philosophical argument that states if one can't remember their dreams then surely they are not dreaming.
If some people do not dream, then there is no clear scientific studies or research to suggest why such an inability is apparent. What one can be sure of however, is that an inability to dream is unlikely to have a negative affect on your conscious life, and is certainly not something to worry about.
Whilst every human experiences REM sleep, many say that they do not dream. Is this just because they can't remember their dreams? Or are they actually incapable of dreaming? The exact answer is still unknown, though the former is generally accepted as true, which begs the question – why can't they remember?
Why Do Some Remember Their Dreams?
Scientists are still searching for an answer to the question – why do some people not dream? There are, however, many theories that attempt to ascertain exactly why some people can remember their dreams and others can't. As mentioned, many scientists believe that everybody dreams even though some have no recollection of them, the reasons as to why an individual may remember their dreams more than another are detailed below.
Some research has shown that individuals who state that they recall many dreams have higher activity in the area of the brain known as the temporo-parietal junction (which is integral for information precessing within the brain), when compared to those who state that they never dream. It is believed that this increased activity can better facilitate the storing of dreams into memories.
Another reason as to why some individuals can recall their dreams and others can't is due to the amount of time one spends awake throughout the night. One study showed that those who stated they could recall most of their dreams spent, on average, twice as much time awake throughout the night than those who rarely recall their dreams. Waking up mid-dream, even only for a few seconds, can store that dream into your conscious memory, and therefore means that you will remember it more when you wake up fully.
The speed in which one wakes up can also determine one’s likelihood of remembering what they were dreaming about. When awaking from a slumber, the brain goes through various states of consciousness until being fully alert and awake. This causes sections of the brain to activate to facilitate consciousness, which can push the memories of one’s dreams to “back of the mind” as it were, and possibly cause you to forget them entirely. Waking up gradually may allow you to remember your dreams more fully, though this is not guaranteed.
When answering the question – why do some people not dream? There are many reasons as to why an individual may not remember their dreams, though little evidence to suggest exactly why some people may not dream at all. Just remember that if you don't dream, or can't remember your dreams whilst sleeping, it doesn't mean you can’t live a happy life, and follow your dreams whilst awake.