Why We Remember Nightmares More Than Dreams – And What It Says About Our Health

woman lying on ground dreaming Unconscious

Why We Remember Nightmares More Than Dreams

Every night we sleep and we dream. Well, almost. (Sometimes I pull an all-nighter but do not follow me).

Our dreams tell us about our deepest fears and help to shape who we are in the morning.

If a nightmare is something that wakes me from sleep sweating and shaking with fear, we might react strongly.

Nightmares offer deep insight into what’s inside our own heads on any given day or moment; they give significance and meaning to our every day life. And they also tell us something about ourselves that we might not have seen before.

I’m curious, what do you guys dream of? And do you remember it?

Why we dream

Dreams are still not well understood, but we know that they can be triggered by specific behaviors. For example, losing your leg in a dream may be caused by accidentally kicking a stone during the day. Dreams can also be sparked by events or experiences that we encounter while we’re awake.

Some people are more likely to remember their dreams than others. High dream recallers are more likely to be awakened during the night than low dream recallers, and they also have different patterns of sleep. This may reflect how easily they wake up and how focused their brains are when asleep. The brain of a high recaller is more reactive to stimuli, while the brain of a low dream caller may not react as quickly or easily as a high one does.

This difference in reactivity could explain why high recallers remember their dreams more often–they’re constantly noticing things that trigger memories, whether it’s something from their past or something that happened recently. They also have more opportunities to wake up and record their dreams, leading to higher accuracy in dream recalls.

Dreams occur during periods of increased electrical activity in the brain. This means that different parts of the brain are working together to create our dreams. Dreams can be interpreted as a way for the brain to process information and sort through memories.

Role of Serotonine and Melatonine

Neuro-chemicals released when we sleep play an important role in repairing and restoring the body. (There are also non-sleep deep rest techniques to do this). For example, one neurochemical called serotonin helps to regulate mood, appetite, and sleep. Another chemical called melatonin is responsible for regulating the body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm.

What are bad dreams and nightmares?

Bad dreams and nightmares are unpleasant dreams that can often cause feelings of fear, anxiety, or sadness. Nightmares are considered to be bad dreams that occur during REM sleep, while bad dreams can happen during any stage of sleep.

It has been found that nightmares are more likely to be remembered than dreams. This may be because they are more emotionally intense, or because they trigger a response in the body such as a headache or rapid heart rate.

Triggers of Nightmares

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to bad dreams and nightmares, including stress, anxiety, traumatic experiences, and medications.

Nightmares can also be caused by certain conditions, including migraine, sleep apnea, and depression. It’s been found that people with nightmare disorder have recurrent nightmares that significantly interfere with their sleep and day-to-day function. Nightmares can cause intense fear, anxiety, and distress and often affect people’s moods and social interactions.

Improving Sleep Quality

Insomnia has a bigger impact on health than people may think. There are many things you can do to improve your sleep quality. There are several treatments available for improving sleep quality, such as oral appliance therapy, CPAP machines, and laser treatment for snoring. Additionally, there are some things you can do to get a good night’s rest in the comfort of your own home.

  • Sleep apnea is dangerous because it deprives the body of oxygen. Sleep apnea can lead to heart failure and other cardiac problems if not treated. An oral appliance is a small device that is inserted into the mouth to keep the airway open during sleep. This simple device can help to improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of health problems associated with obstructive sleep apnea.Oral appliance therapy can help improve sleep quality when other methods fail or are not an option.
  • A CPAP machine is a common tool used to treat OSA, while avoiding certain medications before bed is an effective way to combat it.The device is not bulky or invasive and can dramatically improve your quality of sleep.
  • Laser treatment for snoring is a great solution if you want to get some well-deserved rest.
  • Nutrition counseling can help you learn about what’s healthy or not.
  • There are several yoga poses that help promote better sleeping habits: Child’s pose, Legs-up-the-wall pose, Supine spinal twist, Corpse pose (Savasana), and Happy baby pose


Mindfulness has become a popular practice in recent years, with people of all ages and backgrounds turning to it for various reasons. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, manage your emotions, or achieve a specific goal, mindfulness can help.

One great thing about mindfulness is that it’s very versatile there are lots of different ways to practice it, and it can be adapted to fit any mood or mind-set. In addition, mindfulness meditation is a great way to train your brain for focus and concentration.

How do you treat nightmares?

Chronic nightmare therapy is a good way to make sleep peaceful and less disruptive to your life. Also weighted blankets help with nightmares, you can use them all night.

Why was I able to remember my dreams while others couldn’t?

When it comes to dream recall, there are two types of people in the world: those who remember their dreams often and those who don’t.

High Dream Recallers

People who remember their dreams are typically light sleepers. In fact, high dream recallers show stronger brain activity while sleeping than people with low dream recall patterns do. The part of the brain that is responsible for responding to external stimuli was found to be active in people with high dream recaller patterns, while they were both awake and asleep as opposed to being inactive in low dream recaller patterns.

High recalled individuals may also be more reactive to stimuli that would otherwise wake them up during the night. Interestingly enough, these people spend more time awake than low dream callers during the night. High dream callers tend to be more reactive to environmental stimuli; this could account for why they remember more dreams than those with a lower rate of recall.

Women are more likely to remember their dreams

A study published in the journal SLEEP found that while men dream equally as often as women do, women are more likely to remember their dreams.

Girls tend to dream more during their teenage years than boys do, but older adults tend to have less opportunity for deep sleep and dreaming. So the dream gap closes as we get older.

It’s simply a matter of social conditioning. Boys are encouraged to keep their emotions bottled up, while girls are taught from an early age to share theirs freely. This may account for why women are more likely than men to remember their dreams – they’re talking about them more often!

Why don’t you remember your dreams?

Studies have shown that low dream recallers do not remember their dreams as often and generally do not respond as strongly to environmental stimuli. In addition, they have weaker brain activity overall.

Some people are more likely to forget because they have obstructive sleep apnea, which means that they have trouble breathing at night. When you can’t breathe properly, it’s harder to remember things. This is because your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, and it can’t function as well as it should.

What does that mean for people who can’t remember their dreams?

People who usually don’t remember their dreams very often don’t react as strongly to environmental stimuli. They have weaker brain activity overall.

Light sleepers don’t remember well

We all know that different people have different sleep patterns. For some, it’s easy to get up in the morning and for others it’s a bit harder. Likewise, some people remember their dreams more vividly than others. What you may not know is that these two factors are related!

It turns out that light sleepers and heavy dreamers have different recall abilities because of how much they dream. People who are light sleepers generally don’t remember their dreams because they don’t spend as much time dreaming as those who are heavy sleepers. Heavy sleepers always struggle how to wake up more easily.

Dream recall feels natural to people with a high activity in their brains information-processing center. This part of the brain helps us make sense of our surroundings and understand what is happening around us–including during our dreams!

The long periods of wakefulness may be necessary for memory formation during sleep. Dreams play an important role in consolidating memories so we can better remember them later on. When we drift off into dark sleep after spending enough time dreaming, our brains encode these memories as long term memories.

How To Get Better at Remembering Dreams?

The best way to get better at remembering your dreams is by paying attention to them right when you wake up and keeping your body in the same position that you were in when you woke up. Additionally, rereading dreams can help trigger memories of the dream later on.

Hit the Snooze button

If you want to remember your dreams more vividly, consider taking a vitamin B6 supplement before bedtime. If you’re someone who likes to hit the snooze button in the morning, know that there’s a small chance it could help improve your dream recall! Just be careful not to overuse it because doing so will likely have an adverse effect on your sleep schedule.

person wearing silver Apple Watch with white Sport Band snooze

Does Sleeping Position Affect Dreams?

There is a lot of debate surrounding whether or not sleeping position affects dreaming. Some people believe that sleeping on your back allows you to dream more vividly, while others think that stomach sleeping results in more nightmares. However, these claims are based largely on self-reported data, which can be inaccurate.

Other research has found that sleep position doesn’t affect the amount of time spent in different stages of sleep. One study even found that sleeping on your back can actually lead to more nightmares (and to snoring as well)! Another study showed that those who slept on their side experienced fewer nightmares. More research is needed to determine if there is a definitive link between sleep position and dreams/nightmares.

What Affects Dreaming Dreams?


Meditation is a technique that has been around for centuries and involves focusing on one point of focus, usually your breath or your body. It can be helpful in reducing anxiety and stress, helping you sleep better and reducing anxiety. You can learn to relax by simply focusing on deep breathing or by listening to guided meditation recordings. There are many different ways to meditate, so there’s something for everyone!

How does sleep apnea affect dreams?

Sleep apnea may cause a profound rebound of REM sleep. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to fragmented REM sleep, but this is not always the case. Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea can make dream recall difficult, but treatment can fix this issue and allow for increased dreaming activity.


Narcolepsy is a condition that can cause people to experience sleep paralysis. Poor sleep habits, stress and psychiatric conditions lead to fragmented sleep and increased dreaming. The body temperature changes during the night when you sleep; if your bedroom is too hot or cold, it might affect your quality of slumber.


Aches may be caused by tension in muscles or joints, physical injury or pain from illness or medications, nerve damage related to injury, or an auto-immune disease or a simple stomach pain when you look for the best position to lay in. Dream interpretation offers insight on the health benefits of dreams.


It is well-known that stress can have a negative impact on our physical and emotional health. There is a correlation between REM sleep and anxiety disorders. While it might be beneficial to have more REM sleep, people with anxiety disorders may not experience that benefit.

Scientists believe that during REM sleep, these areas of the brain work together to condition us so we can better cope with stressful situations in the day time. This is why it is so important for people with anxiety disorders to get some Z’s – because REM sleep helps the brain make connections that could improve our mood and help us deal with stress in a healthy way.

Nightmares and anxious dreams are symptoms of PTSD, but they may also serve as a kind of training exercise for the brain. Dreams may play an important role in dealing with stress or prepping the brain to respond to stress in waking life.

Why Do We Forget Dreams But Remember Nightmares?

Nightmares are remembered because they often occur during the period of REM sleep – these usually occur halfway through our sleep period. As we begin to awaken, memories start to integrate and consolidate. Because we tend to dream on the sleep-wake transition, the vivid, terrifying scenes produced as our nightmare are remembered more easily.

If we are more spiritual we tend to believe that nightmares can be caused by things happening in your waking life, like going through a divorce or losing someone close to you. This is why we remember them more than dreams – they have a bigger impact on our lives.

How Fast Do We Forget Dreams?

In general within a few minutes we forget our regular dreams because they are typically less emotionally charged and less memorable than nightmares. This may be because people are more likely to wake up from a nightmare, which allows them to remember it better.

Why Do We Forget Dreams So Quickly?

People tend to forget dreams more quickly than nightmares because our brain cannot process them and they are not important to our waking life. Dreams are a way for us to process our thoughts and figure out problems we’re having. They aren’t as influential on our day-to-day lives as nightmares are.


It’s interesting to think about it isn’t it? Why do we remember our nightmares better than our regular dreams. While there is still more research to be done on the topic, it seems that there may be a weak connection between our health and the nightmares we have every night.

If you’re struggling to remember your dreams, try keeping a dream journal to sleep better or talking to a therapist about what your nightmares might mean.

And if you have recurring nightmares try to hang a dreamcatcher in your bedroom, above the bed to filter out bad dreams.

You will be surprised!


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.