QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
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 SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I have very vivid dreams often, but my boyfriend says he doesn't dream. Are there people who don't dream or has he no memory of them?

Answer

Glad to hear you are having vivid dreams, and I hope you are writing them down!

It is common in our society for people to not recall their dreams. Dream science tells us we have dream about every 90 minutes of sleep, more towards the end of the sleep period, for about 20 minutes per dream. This makes about six dreams per night that we are capable of recalling if we were to be awakened and asked. But there are other factors.

The main one seems to be what we do immediately after waking up. If our thoughts are trained to immediately start thinking about the future the dream can forever remain lost. Thinking such thoughts as planning the day, what to wear, who we have to contact, what meetings we are going to, what's for breakfast, all lead to loss of dream recall. For some this is a lifetime habit so strong they will swear they never have had a dream, and telling them differently can be irritating and humiliating to the non-recaller. But if the person is interested in *learning* to recall dreams, there are many techniques and they will work over time with most people. See the suggestions in this column.

2/20/98

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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