Ever wonder why some of us remember our dreams while others don't? That’s what a new study wanted to figure out, and it was published in the journal Frontiers In Psychology. For the study, scientists hooked people up to machines that recorded electrical activity in the brain. Here’s what the researchers discovered:
First: ALL of us dream. We know this because all of the participants showed similar changes in brain activity during sleep. That included changes in the brain’s “alpha waves” which are electrical signals linked to activity in our visual cortex, even when our eyes are closed.
But it turns out, only about half of us can remember our dreams when we wake up. In fact, people who report remembering their dreams daily are known as “high recallers” while “low recallers” are people who remember their dreams only once or twice a month.
So how do high recallers differ from low recallers? Basically, they’re light sleepers. Researchers found that, on average, high recallers’ brains were “awake” about 30 minutes during the night even if they didn’t realize it. And experts say being more awake makes us more reactive to sounds like a distant car alarm, music or your cat running around the house at night. In fact, a sign that you’re a high recaller is if you can pick out people saying your name in a crowded room. That means the area of your brain that processes sounds is more engaged, compared to a low recaller’s no matter if you’re awake or asleep. The downside to this is that high recallers are more likely to wake up to sudden noises. But the upside is that you’re more likely to remember the crazy dream you were just having.
So how can you improve the odds that you’ll remember your dreams? Try eating more foods rich in vitamin B6. Things like hummus, tuna and bananas. Research shows that B6 helps your brain become more alert while you’re asleep, so you remember dreams more clearly.