Supposedly, we dream four to six times per night. Remembering, them, though, is a different matter. I’m not talking about remembering them in super details, or a long time. I’m just talking about realizing you had a dream when you wake up, whether you could only say a few words about it like something that was involved, or describe it in detail. For dream memory, the going rate seems to be one or twice a week, though the distribution is rather diverse, which is why the rate is once or twice, a 100% margin of error essentially. That’s all great to know, but it has no context for the individual, like me. As a result, with my daily activities tracker that I use to track my performance towards my many resolutions, I had decided to track my dreaming as well.
It’s a pretty simple method and process. Each day, I record a “yes” or “no” as to whether or not I can recall dreaming during my sleep. The tracker counts up the “yes” and divides by the number of days to get me a percentage rate. I’ll see what the rate is at the end of the year, and will have the data to see if there were periods where I remember more or less of my dreams. With the results being visible as I enter the daily results, though, I should be able to know my trends without the data analysis. I should even be able to interpret it better because I might not remember what happened during certain periods the data might reveal changes later, but in the middle of it, as I enter and see streaks, I can try to take a guess then. It’ll only be a guess because dreaming is, of course, still very mysterious to science, but it’ll be fun to speculate.
Unlike the resolutions kept on my daily tracker, I won’t be setting targets to meet with my dream memory rate, of course. I feel like I remember my dreams on many nights, with gut feel being about half, so I’ll be able to see how that compares to my first year result. It’s at 56% after just 18 nights’ tracking so it’s “on target” for now. However, I’m doing intermittent fasting this year so as not to be digesting food for half of each night’s sleep, so that gut feeling on my dream memory rate, even if accurate, may not be a relevant comparison due to the different sleep conditions I have in 2021. Now, after this first year of results in 2021, if I have any confidence in being able to reproduce the results, I might set targets. It would only be used as a goal to try to ensure I get some good sleep or such, if it seems that helps, and not a performance goal like number of hours in bed per night to help with actual sleep totals.
As for the content of my dreams, I forget the vast majority in no time. This is the norm from the scientific literature I’ve seen on the matter, so I’m not worried. However, I have had a lot of dreams which I remember quite vividly. That’s because my dreams tend to be like virtual reality where I would behave in the exact same way if whatever happened were real life. I am completely convinced of that over a lot of deliberations and analysis of those dreams over the years. The only difference to my behaviour in reality would be that I would question certain things as real in real life, like resolving a mystery with Einstein or working with cartoon G1 Transformers. That’s the beauty of my dreams, though. They’re virtual reality fiction, and quite fun at it some times, though quite traumatizing in other times, like when I kill someone. I know for what I might kill someone, for example!
For all the memorable dreams I can recall, I feel I could put together a pretty neat anthology of them. I’m not sure how many people would be interested, but it might just be fun to have. It’s not high on my writing list at this early point in my two-year writing journey (2021 and 2022), when I have far more ideas for writing topics than I know what to do with, fiction and nonfiction. However, maybe with my writing resolution to post writings on this blog at least 6 days a week in 2021 and 2022, maybe I will get around to posting some dreams I remember in more details… past or “present” (as in recent past). We’ll see!