“I Don’t Dream When I Sleep…”

Man giving thumbs down sign.

Here’s why you think you’re not dreaming when you sleep

…and how you can start dreaming again.

“I don’t have dreams,” you say.

Or is it that you haven’t had any dreams when you’ve slept—at least it’s been a while?

Do you feel like you’re being shut off from creativity, making you feel dull?

That’s probably not true, at least as far as the part about not dreaming. You’re probably just not remembering your dreams.

There are a couple of areas you can look at to see if you can start remembering your dreams again.


Nutrition has an impact on your ability to remember your dreams. It’s another reason why eating a well-balanced diet is essential. Vitamin B6, in particular, has been shown to promote dreaming. It’s found in high quantities in commonly consumed foods like chicken, potatoes, onions, and bananas. You don’t necessarily need to take a supplement for the sake of dreaming. You definitely need to get a balance of different food groups, in your diet. If you do that, you’ll probably have this area covered and that will benefit you in more ways than simply having more dreams.

Not enough sleep

If you don’t allocate enough of your day to sleeping, you’ll not remember your dreams. Remember to allow yourself enough time to fall asleep naturally.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you can often remedy this situation by prioritizing it. Doing so will help you feel more rested. Feeling more rested will prevent you from falling asleep at inopportune times throughout the day. It’s important.

Are sleepy people known as dynamic, creative people? Of course, not. They’re known more for dozing off. You probably need from six to eight hours, although everyone’s different.

Something different about when you’re in bed

Maybe you do not remember your dreams because everything feels the same as when you’re awake.

Are you spending all day sitting around in the same clothes you sleep in? What about your undergarments? Are you wearing the same underwear to bed that you spent all day in? If that’s true, all it might take for dream success is wearing something different to bed than what you wore during the rest of the day.

Something should change when it comes to what you wear to bed. Wear a bracelet on the opposite wrist from where you wear your watch during the day. Maybe wear a sleeping hat. Something. If you do, your subconscious and body are more likely to know you’re sleeping. That’s the first step to remembering your dreams.

Dream collection notebook

Maybe you don’t want to keep your dream journal by your bedside. Perhaps this is because you feel like your dreams are personal, even embarrassing.

Some people feel this way. Maybe you can write your dreams in another notebook and transfer them to your actual dream journal later in the day?

To keep a useful dream journal, you might have to do this anyway. It’ll probably be hard to read when you scribble something down in the middle of the night.

Nevertheless, having a notebook or an index card or something handy and ready to capture your dreams is vital to helping you remember your dreams. By making sure this paper is prepared, you’ll indirectly set the intention to remember your dreams, typically making you more successful at doing so. Preparing for success equates with an increased probability of success. That’s true in dream journaling and in practically any other area.


Are you on call?

Do you worry about being woken up in the middle of the night?

Do you sleep with a partner in a new or newer relationship?

Are you worried about your baby waking you up?

Are you subject to being woken up randomly throughout the night by barking dogs, neighbor’s car alarms going off, or something like that?

If these or other situations apply to you, you might be too distracted to remember all your dreams. If this is the case, many of these situations are only temporary. They change on their own, or you end up changing them, or you get used to them. In the meantime, do the best you can to get as much sleep as you can when you can. Or try to fix the particular situation.

You’re having extremely bland dreams

Wild, surreal dreams are much easier to remember than bland dreams, especially banal or insipid dreams from your daily life. Dreams that come through on only one sense are also remarkably flat.

For example, you can dream about one sound that continues at length or repeatedly, and it’s still a dream, even if you can’t recapture it precisely on paper.

You can have a dream about one phrase repeated over and over again.

You can have a dream where there are just some swirling colors in the air or on a wall.

You can have a dream, or you did the same thing that you did all day long, and it’s just a continuance.

You can have dreams that nag.

These boring dreams that nobody typically talks about to anyone else because they’re so unmemorable and unexciting are worthwhile to remember. You get to answer the question why did you dream this? There’s a reason. Why didn’t you dream something else? Why did your subconscious bring it to the forefront while you were asleep? Doing so keeps you from falling into a rut and keeps you questioning. It unleashes your creativity.

The dream gave you nothing, in particular, to easily remember. Being sure to set your intention to remember your dreams is essential for remembering these bland ones otherwise they’ll slip right out of your memory.

Lack of courage

Deep down are you afraid to remember your dreams? Is there something you’re avoiding? Trying to remember them gives you an incentive and reason to face up to them and heal from incidents you’ve experienced. Perhaps therapy might help. Perhaps reading self-help books about the concern might help.

Take a look at these common reasons for not remembering your dreams and be ready for some surprises.


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


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