Does Remembering Dreams Matter?

Interesting research out of France shows that people who best remember their dreams are also people who awaken during the night right after some vivid dreams. Now while this may be good for recalling dreams, it also interrupts the dream-recallers’ sleep patterns.

Of 41 participants in the study, 21 were dubbed “high dream recallers” and 20 “low dream recallers” after being wired for brain activity both while awake and while sleeping. The ability to recall dreams was directly linked to increased brain activity while snoozing (and awake); the more active one’s brain after falling asleep, the more likely one is to be awakened from the “perchance to dream” experience and recall it more vividly than those who, well, sleep more soundly and without wakefulness.

When both asleep and awake, the high dream recallers showed higher levels of activity in the brain’s medial prefrontal cortex and temporo-parietal junction, which is an information-processing hub, according to a news release from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM).

The press release noted that the  “sleeping brain is not capable of memorizing new information; it needs to awaken to be able to do that.” It also postulated that high dream recallers simply dream more at night and thus with the increased activity are more prone to waking up and remembering their dreams.

Dunno which you prefer, but it seems that a good night’s sleep is the best solution to the previous day’s (and life’s) problems, so don’t shortchange yourself if you’re a low dream recaller. You may end up being the better off for it.

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