Normally, five minutes after the end of a dream, we forget 50 percent of the dream’s content. Ten minutes later, we forget 90 percent of its content. We forget our dreams because they contain our repressed thoughts and wishes and so we should not want to remember them anyway. We are forward-thinking by nature, and remembering something back when we first wake up is difficult. Several things contribute to our not being able to remember dreams. Many things are quickly forgotten when you first wake up, such as physical sensations. Many dream images are not very intense and would therefore be easy to forget. Another reason, and probably the strongest is that we traditionally learn and remember both by association and repetition. As dreams are usually unique and somewhat vague to begin with, it stands to reason that remembering them could be difficult. Since we can not go back to our dreams to experience something again, details that are out of our realm of experience often escape us.
There are many tips on how to improve our recall of dreams. Those who believe we have a lot to learn about ourselves from our dreams are big proponents of dream journals. Here are some steps we can take to increase your dream recall. When we go to bed, we have to tell ourselves that we will remember our dreams. Thinking about dreams before we fall asleep will make us remember having them.
We can set our alarm to go off every hour and half so we will wake up around the times that we leave REM sleep, when we are most likely to remember our dreams. We can drink a lot of water before we go to bed to ensure that we wake up at least once in the middle of the night. We must try to wake up slowly to remain within the “mood” of our last dream.