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Why do I remember my dreams so vividly?

by Annette Handelsman
(Crystal Lake, IL)

I have very specific dreams which sometimes come true at another time. Why and how is this happening?

Kevin: There are a number of different schools of thought that would provide you with different explanations for why some of your dreams may or may not have some "predictive" quality. Some would suggest your subconscious is at work, some would suggest a self-fulfilling prophecy type explanation, while others would suggest merely coincidence. If you care to provide some more details on some of your specific dreams someone may be able to suggest some more specific answers, but in the field of dream interpretation any solidified answers are near impossible to come by.

You can begin your search for answers perhaps though by reading this article highlighting different philosophies addressing the question of why we dream.

Also, if you're a vivid dreamer you may want to check out lucid dreaming if you don't already practice it--it's an absolutely incredible thing.

Comments for Why do I remember my dreams so vividly?

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Feb 15, 2015
I'm the same way NEW
by: Anonymous

I can remember my dream down to the smallest detail it's pretty amazing just like the movie with Leonardo decaprio inception it's like a world that you create I've become so good at remembering that while I'm in my dream im almost fully conscious I know it a dream I know I can change things and I do and I know what happens next in my dreams because for my whole like Ive had the same dreams Over and over again almost like a series of episodes of dreams so once I start dreaming I'm aware of what's going to happen in my dream because I can remember it , it's like every dream is a episode and my life or myself is the series , omg how do i explain it ok I remember at least 30 different dreams they repeat over and over again each dream it's like an espiode different occasion different setting different theme , I can't decide what episode/dream to choose but once I start dreaming I know what happens next because I remember it and sometimes something that I see in the dream does come true in reality like one time me and my visited Miami for a vacation while on the driving on the highway I kept predicting what we would see next for example I told them that we was going to pass a hotel with light up letters on top a circle size entrance a Parking lot next to it which would have a line bushes on the right side ect ect and once we turn the corner that's exa what we saw everyone thought I was crazy or that it was a prank but it wasn't I remember it from my dream but on those rare dreams where they kinda come true I never have then again after it coincides with reality and it kinda suck but oh well lol but yea that's my story I swear I'm not making this up

Dec 21, 2015
Extremely vivid NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm only 13 and as long as I've lived my dreams have been VERY vivid, I can remember the dream I had last night in perfect detail, and I can remember a dream I had last year in perfect detail. I find myself liking the worlds I create more than reality. I even write stories about my dreams, and it's creepy how much I remember when i take the time to.

Feb 06, 2016
I remember mine, Differently NEW
by: Wolfie

I don't always remember my dreams the following morning or the days ahead ( but I do remember them a lot ), but I can tap into my dreams whilst awake and then remember them all way back to my early teens ( I've not actually tried further ).
It sounds strange I know, but I use a dream I remember ( I have a dream I never forget that I use most times ) as a 'Trigger' dream. Once I am re-watching that dream I can then 'jump' to other previous dreams and then so on and so on. A weird thing to note, whilst this is happening, my closed eye lids vibrate/flicker/shake ( not sure how describe it ) like crazy and I think my eye's feel like they are looking upwards.
It is like replaying them all again like a movie, strange, weird, I know. Just wondered if anyone else had the same experience.

Apr 13, 2016
Remembering NEW
by: Kay

Finally, people who can relate about vivid dreams. But i have searched everywhere and noone explains why I remember dreams from years ago, like when i was 7. Im 18. But heres the thing I'll be living my daily life and bam like deja vu an old dream weasles its way to my train of thought. And i remember all of it, even the way it made me feel when i woke up years ago. It happens very often that these dream memories deja vu things occur. Aside from that i have very vivid dreams, and they arent a problem i absolutley love them. I accept my active mind as a gift because you can control it and it can take you places youd never go. Agreeing with a comment i read, it can make you feel down or longing to just sleep again because these dreams are unfathomably better than real life. I wish i could expain more but its hard to put into words, dreams.

May 31, 2016
Meduim training NEW
by: Anonymous

I rember my dream clearly I was sat round table with three others meduim handed us note pad pen I rember glancing at the clock and read 10 past ten she asked if we could all sense anything about a book that was on the table the book had evil feel round it the other people name where Scott and jonhthan Scott begin to scrible across the book

Jun 04, 2016
Bridge dream NEW
by: Anonymous

I can also remember my dreams so vividly! My friends actually give me weird stares because I can tell them the whole dream I had. I can remember every details of the dream. I remembered having a dream about a bridge. It was very creative and complicated. There were like many steels and irons but i can remember the design of the bridge. It was something like this [] but more complicated and there's no floor for people to walk. There are steels and irons only but in my mind I know its a bridge

Jul 26, 2016
I lived my dreams and remember as well NEW
by: akbshk

Hi, As a kid I use to dream places where I never went, had seen sights which I never saw, but sooner or later, a kind of trigger happens in active life and my entire dream passes right in front of my eyes,sometime exactly as I saw in my dreams. I call it living my dreams, Once I saw my future wife riding pillion on my bike, exactly 3-4 years after that dream, I lived that dream it I don't remember my dreams but a trigger happens in my active life and right then I knew whats going to happen next!

Aug 04, 2016
Vivid Dreams NEW
by: Anonymous

I occasionally had these very vivid dreams. Most of the time I don't even remember my dreams but when I do, I can remember every single detail in there. And I have something called eidetic memory. Eidetic memory is often confused with photographic memory. Eidetic memory is the ability to remember images and sounds without any reminders whereas photographic memory uses all 5 senses. And eidetic memory people sometimes can recall the images and sounds so vividly that they sometimes don't know the difference between reality and illusions. But in my dreams, familiar people appear in them, every facial feature, every scar, everything about the person is in the dream. Even how they would act too and what they would say. But the eidetic memory may be what causes the vivid dreams. But I also what I call deja vu dreams. Sorry if I spelled that wrong. But those are I dream something then when I know when I am awake, I see something that I never saw before in real life but know that I saw it in my dream before. And I have never been to the places I have the deja vu experience.

Aug 18, 2016
Dream Interpretations NEW
by: Sumaira Rasheed

In this website, you can find more explanation of dreams. And also interpretations of dreams.

Oct 15, 2016
Deja Vu NEW
by: Anonymous

I've been looking for answers everywhere and I'm glad to know some people have the same kind of vivid dreams as I do I have more deja vu then anything though I'll dream of something that happens years ago and I Remeber for some reason that day I couldn't stop thinking of what I had dreamnt and it was completely insane that it would ever happen and then years later that exact thing I dreamnt about all those years ago actually happens and it's nothing big at all like me accomplishing something or something bad happening it's usually something as simple as someone saying something to me or I'm doing something random with a certain background and setting. I also have began to feel in my dreams I physically feel me grabbing something pulling the trigger of a gun to shoot hundreds of zombies chasing me to dragging a life less body and feeling the weight of that person I can feel when I get stabbed or shot all of it it's really scary sometimes and I wish I had more answers :/

Nov 06, 2016
Hello NEW
by: Anonymous

Very rarely I have dreams, but I can remember most of them.The ones I can remember the most are the nightmares, though. I have one question, does anyone get that feeling when you know your going to dream a nightmare, so you try to keep awake, but it's like your body is trying to make you fall asleep? I get that feeling every time I dream about a nightmare. It's really scary, and you wake up only about three minutes later, I think. (I've never really counted, who does?) Anyway, when your inside the nightmare, it usually takes place in an area that your familiar with. Even if the nightmare is really silly, it still scares you so much that you want to wake up no matter what. Like, my last dream I had was a long time ago, but it was a nightmare. It took place on my school, and I knew it was a nightmare. Anyway, everything was normal and I was walking to my bus, and the usual teachers were there. But suddenly everything turned dark and the teachers turned into vampires! (Silly, I know) Then I fell into a hole and woke up. But, the important thing is not my dream, it was what happened before it. I got that strange, scary feeling, and I don't know what it is. Does anyone get this feeling before nightmares or can somebody help me with my problem?

Nov 09, 2016
Vivid nightmares NEW
by: Anonymous

I had a recurring nightmare when I was little and ever since then I've been able to remember my dreams. It's like I know I'm dreaming when I'm asleep but I'm just watching it like a movie. I can't interact with anything even if I try unless it gets too put of hand. Then I can rewind it and change the outcome. I always thought I was crazy because I never met anyone else who could remember their dreams. Also if I think of that first nightmare I can remember more of the dreams that happened a while ago. I have insomnia too so I only sleep an average of 2-3 hours a night. Most of the dreams I have are nightmares linked to my anxieties.

Jan 03, 2017
you remeber because you have an extraordinary brain NEW
by: cabe

well not too many people around the world can do what you do. i do too and as i have seen in this page few people do and i think thats a special gift you have . since i was a kid i could remember my dreams that i had, nice ones and bad ones . one night i reconected to a nice dream i could tell that i was dreaming because it is the same situation and your brain just puts you aware of whats is happenning and then you become the movie star you take control and i tell you i enjoyed the dream more and i continued to have it everytime i could, in this case i had a nice girl in my dream and i guess she became my dream girlfriend i thought it was crazy no one i know but she was pretty , one thing i could not make her go into my dream at will, but eventually she appearedonce in a while . the thing here is that after that i learned to manage most of my nightmares and dreams , i turned nightmares into better things i fought the nightmares , but you have to be in a vivid mode to do that , and also go trough lots of scary episodes and find the way out of every nightmare and enjoy the dream . for example i used to dream with my dead father and be very afraid of him , one day instead of running away because verytime i saw him i ran i stood there and talked to him , he told me , that he was on vacation and that he was living in another place after that he wasnt scary at all , i talk to him now everytime i see him and is very nice my nightmare about my father is now a pleasant dream. i have lots of dream stories and nightmares too. sometimes i have 3 dreams or nightmares on the same night different ones and sometimes i reconect with one nightmare and continue the fight. i can of enjoy that its a scary feeling but is challenge . use a warm long shower into your head after waking up , it works for me close your eyes and you may have a nice vivd picture of what you just dreamed it has to be done after you wake up, then you might get some answer to those dreams you have. good luck.

Jan 21, 2017
Long for dreams NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 16 and for a long time I've been having dreams about someone that I miss. I've been told that remembering dreams might mean that they come true sometime in the future, and as much as I wish that was true, it could also mean something else.

Mar 20, 2017
Vivid Dreams NEW
by: Raimon

hi there. been searching for an explanation why i could remember the colors, numbers and place so vividly in my dreams. the funny part of it is, it is as if i am awake, for instance, i dreamt that i am in a class and the teacher is conducting a recitation, that she asked a question, and no one could answer her, and i myself struggled to think the right answer, raised my hand and gave her the correct answer, so am really amazed how could i think during dreams? also, there are places which frequently occured in my dreams and i can remember exactly during my dreams that ive been into these crazy analyzing why this happens. every dream i could recall it the following morning. thanks for reading. God bless everyone.

May 16, 2017
Dream study anyone? NEW
by: Anonymous

Mkay....In a nutshell; I'm a 35 year old female, I am able to reiterate every one of my dreams in a very acute and incredibly detailed way from around the age of 6 to present, 90% of my dreams are in a night setting, I "emerge" in these familiar only in my dreams "worlds" with a predisposed disposition already instilled for that particular place. Example: the big city, my grandparents are enjoying different forms of entertainment, eg. performing arts, casinos, touristy things, etc, has a very bismol and sketch vibe to it. I usually begin looking for them the minute I "arrive". I've had many 'whoa wtf' moments there. The same set of people that are and have been close to me in my reality are designated to these different "worlds"(for lack of a better word to explain this unexplainable anomaly). There are now mainly about 5, there used to be A few more but it has been a while. A few are very familiar in my reality. The others I've never seen in real life. My recollection of these dreams are identical in near everyway to my reality collected memories, in the way of retaining. They store and relive/replay the same, with every detail/emotion/hopes/fears attached, as my real memories. These dreams will sporadically replay at random times, unprovoked, daily. I was brushing my teeth this morning and a dream i had when I was probly 14, full length like a movie, or a memory of an experience. These dreams aren't "the same". They are all different outcomes, conversations, etc. Just the same world. Please.....someone tell me they experience this also.

May 16, 2017
Check you haven't got an underachieving thyroid NEW
by: Anonymous

People, if you're having vivid dreams and piling on the pounds, go get your thyroid checked. When it's low you get crazy vivid dreams. This is a good early warning system, it literally tries to send you a message.

Aug 23, 2017
I can relate NEW
by: Mystic

The past week I been remembering my dreams to the smallest detail its soo weird like I remember whos in my dream, the surroundings, and the type of iteam in it, even make believe animals to like an owl and a cat combined together. Its soo weird but at the same time it's pretty amazing I can remember my dream so fluidity.

Oct 17, 2017
Bizarre dreaming? NEW
by: Kat

My dreams are strange. I remember a lot of them, including ones from years ago. The one thing that still puzzles me is why the dreams come to the surface. What I mean is that I dream in pieces, if that makes sense. One example is I had this dream about a girl living in the future. There were MANY people I knew in the dream. I have had up to 5 or so of these and it has been going on for years now.

Another example are, what I call, seasonal dreams. Around this time of year (fall) I dream of this grave. It belongs to a young girl. Every time I visit the grave in my dream I meet Death. He challenges me to a game. If I win I get to live. If I lose I die. The strange thing about this one is the first time around I lost.The second time I won and that's all I remember.

And what about aging in dreams? Many years ago I dreamt of a circus. My family snuck in and there was a man. He was a lion tamer of sorts. All you had to do is sit in a chair and he would whip the air around you and you'd be done. Well, this lion tamer, accidentally killed me.
Second time around everyone was older, even the man. When I sat down he recognized me and killed himself out of guilt. Is this normal?! Help?!

Nov 13, 2017
Haunting recall. NEW
by: David

I have the same problem but it's getting to the point where I don't feel like am asleep. I feel like I go to sleep and am awake somewhere esle. I just want to sleep and feel asleep. Too many adventures, and emotional things. It feels like am living a double life. Only one is random and haunting since some dreams can be emotional. :/

Nov 24, 2017
all my life! NEW
by: Anonymous

i’ve always has very vivid dreams, like i can remember a dream that i had when i was 3, that’s crazy. my mom has always told me that i should write them down and i’m starting to do that because i think it’s pretty cool that i can tell someone every detail of my dream and they look at me dumbfounded haha

Jan 04, 2018
Remembering everything NEW
by: Anonymous

The earliest dream I can remember was roughly at 2 years old, as my dream related to a holiday I went on at that age; pictures to support the events. From then, I can remember nearly every significant dream I've ever had- with the right memory cues. The memories lie accessible for years. It never really amazed me, until in later years when I met people who told me they could hardly remember anything. I didn't believe it was true for quite a long time, until i was told I could have autism from a professional. I don't have autism, I was just born with the burden of remembering practically everything. Sometimes it's alright, other times it gets frustrating. After I studied mathematics at college, and played minecraft for too long, my dreams transformed into a visual complexity of numbers and 3D understanding. For example, in a dream I could understand and manipulate the physics around me. I could see the exact distances, the magnetic field, gravity, dense gravity, unseen attraction between objects, etc. Years later, and when I go to sleep, it's a visual and emotional playground where I can create anything I want. Although, mostly I sit back and let my subconscious take over. The smallest detail in my imaginary world I can never forget. However, I do tend to exercise memory clues through chronology. If anyone else experiences this, it's pretty f*cking cool right?

Mar 07, 2018
So detailed! Down to the scent of something. NEW
by: Rae-Lynn

For as long as I've known, I've been able to remember the majority of my dreams. The weirdest part is that I remember each color, each smell, how someone's hair was done, how the sun felt on my skin or the rain felt... it's so vivid and detailed it almost freaks me out because at times I will be somewhere or pass by something and I smell the same smell from one of my dreams and it's like massive deja vu.. I will see a sign with a color, but not just any color, the same exact shade and brightness of this color and I feel like I've been there before. I've never drempt about places that I've already been and I don't think I have ever been to any of the places I've drempt about. It's just so odd...

Mar 29, 2018
skeleton at the morgue NEW
by: Anonymous

The dream:I saw a skeleton on a gurney in the morgue.His right collar bone stuck way out, I knew it was my brother because he had shown me this protrusion the last time I saw him. Startled by the dream I got out of bed immediately after my husband receive a phone call-he held my shoulders and said your brother is dead.

Jul 05, 2019
Me, too!
by: Anonymous

I'm 45, and can still recall dreams I had as a child. They're as detailed and clear as my memories of real events. When I was young my vivid dreams and high recall of them was frightening and confusing, and it took years for me to learn to separate dreams from reality in my memory.

I've never dreamed in black & white, and I'm always a full participant, not just watching the action. Like a previous poster said, it's as if I don't fall asleep so much as slip into a second life. The weirdest to me is the amount of new information I've gotten in dreams that has turned out to be true. Not predictive, but facts unknown to me until someone in a dream tells them to me. When I check the information after waking, I find that it's true. Two examples are the marriage of an old friend I had lost contact with, and the gender of a distant relative's baby.

I've never admitted this before because I know it stretches credulity, but I've learned new skills in dreams. I dreamed that I was knitting, and upon waking, realized that I still remembered how. It wasn't awkward at all. It was as if I had been knitting for years, even though I had never done it before. Dreams also taught me to drive a stick-shift, and speak a smattering of French, among other things.

I know how insane this all sounds. It sounds just as impossible to me as it does to others. I'm as confused, incredulous, skeptical, and freaked out as anyone else is by this. Maybe it's my subconscious brain assembling scraps it's picked up here and there? Maybe it's logical extensions of things I already know? I really don't know what's happening, or why, but after decades of this, I've learned to live with it.

I don't think I'm unique or special. There are probably a surprisingly large number of us. I think we just learn to keep it to ourselves.

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