Dreams Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other staff.


When I was a child I used to remember my dreams all the time, but now as an adult I never remember them. Is this a problem?


It is often frustrating to lose some skill from youth, but not necessarily a problem. In general, dream recall and dreamwork is seen as life enhancing, but not essential. It seems that dreams are already doing what they need to be doing without our helping them along. Dream science says we all have dreams about every 90 minutes during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, so that's about six per night whether we recall them or not.

If dreams don't interest you and you are not recalling them, forget about it. It's very natural as we age to find it more difficult to recall dreams. We often have less REM as we age, and that seems to be the best brain state for remembering dreams, though it's not the only one.

If you feel a loss at not recalling dreams and want to remember more of them, there are many books available, as well as an article in this magazine, on learning how to recall dreams.


Richard Wilkerson is general editor for The Internet Dream E-zine, Electric Dreams, and director of DreamGate, the Internet Communications and Dream Education Center. He writes the Cyberphile column for the Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter.


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