Monday, June 23, 2014

Do you remember (and share) your dreams? A sort-of poll.

Still not ready to write a real post, but after Spouse patiently listened to another of my dreams, he offered this: "You know, in talking to various men, they all say that their wives tell them their dreams but that they rarely dream or rarely remember it if they do." Obviously dreaming itself can't be a gender-linked thing, but what about remembering dreams and wanting to tell someone about them?

So, commenters: Do you remember your dreams? Do you tell them to someone or maybe write them down?


Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I frequently don't remember new and/or novel dreams. I do remember my many recurring dreams, though, and will often comment on different nuances in them to my husband. He tells me his dreams, usually. Especially nightmares.

Anonymous said...

1) I almost never remember dreaming at all and 2) even when I do immediately upon waking I generally can't remember it long enough to write it down, much less tell someone (I'm single) and more often just have vague feelings from dreams but 3) I have had very vivid memorable dreams at times but generally they are memorable either for being stress dreams (dreaming I wrote all night on my term paper for grad school) or having famous people show up. That's all. They're generally pretty boring otherwise. Well the kissing contest one with Colin Firth wasn't so boring! But other than that one. In high school I once dreamed I missed a concert by my favorite musician in order to baby sit his kids in the church lobby for some reason... Pretty boring stuff. (Oh and the recurring school/church bus crash nightmare where I could only ever recognize people who were both in my class and went to our church so I didn't know whether to be worried about school trips or church ones...)

Demographics: female, early 30s, single (and somehow now thanks to the Colin Firth dream sounding more and more like Bridget Jones...)

Flavia said...

I remember my dreams with relative frequency, and share them with my spouse. Indeed, I think there's a direct correlation between how often I remember my dreams and whether my spouse is around to be told about them.

Belle said...

I have very vivid dreams, and they tend to haunt me. I find that if I say them aloud to my friends (no spouse or significant other) they fade more quickly. Others remain with me for years.

Z said...


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sophylou said...

I have had extremely vivid and complex dreams since I was a child, and I almost always remember them -- in fact, me not dreaming or not remembering the dream is usually a sign that I'm too stressed/depressed and need to take better care of myself. There's often a connection to whether or not I'm writing poetry, too, and my creative writing has often had starting points in particular dreams or dream themes. I've had very strong recurring themes that have stretched over years, and I also have a funny tendency to create whole neighborhoods and cities in my dreams that I revisit. No partner, so no one to tell, but I often write them down, particularly if they're the kind that stick with me for the rest of the day.

My newest recurring dream has been about going to bookstores, finding beautiful notebooks or blank journals, and then opening them to discover that they are actually old incomplete journals of mine, complete with my handwriting. I've had these often enough now that in the dream I tell whoever I'm with how strange it is to have this actually happen, since I'm always dreaming about this exact scenario.

undine said...

Fie, it's interesting that you share them and have recurring dreams. I always wonder if recurring dreams are telling me something.

Anon--Dreams starring Colin Firth are nothing to forget! The school bus crash one sounds bad, though.

Flavia--It'd be interesting to see whether that correlation holds true. Did you ever try keeping track, out of curiosity?

Belle 2--I can never tell whether writing them down or saying them aloud makes them fade or makes them stick around.

Z--Guessing that there's a world of recalled dreams behind that "yes."

sophylou--The bookstore/journals dream sounds really nice. Do you think it's telling you to go back to the journals for creative writing ideas?

sophylou said...

@undine: Yes, I think that's partly what the dreams are saying. I think they're pushing me just to make sure I'm writing, period, but I think there's something else going on about needing to reconnect with my earlier academic life, where writing was more valued, and my current job, where it isn't so much. Since I still want to write, I think the dreams are meant to support that, and to encourage me to finish the notebooks.

Hmm, maybe I need to write out last night's dream... ;)

I also like that I'm usually talking to someone in the dream-- the first one involved a friend indulging me while I went into multiple bookstores, and found a stack of my favorite notebooks (which in real life have been discontinued), and then... surprise! In that first dream, I kept thinking, "Do I have to pay for this notebook? I mean, obviously it's MINE!!"

vtmima said...

Like sophylou, I also have vivid and memorable dreams. Sometimes I write them down, and sometimes I tell them to a friend or family member. Lately, I've been having a lot of dreams about returning to college. The odd part is, in the dream I actually tell myself, this can't be a dream, this is real. Which is very confusing when I wake up.

I'm female, 50+

Flavia said...

What I think it is, is that I often wake up several times in the morning before I actually get up--and I'd usually forget a dream that I woke up from at 7 (and then fell back asleep after) if I didn't tell it to my spouse. So I remember more dreams by quantity when he's around.

But for as long as I can remember, I've always had vivid dreams (which isn't the same as saying interesting dreams! many are just intricate & interminable anxiety dreams about being late or unprepared or lost). Without someone to tell them to, I'd estimate that I have a dream I remember in detail maybe once every week or two.

sophylou said...

@vtmima I have those kinds of dreams too -- lots of dreams about returning to college. And that sense of "no, THIS time it's real!!!" shows up a lot too. I've always wondered what that's about. (Me: female, 40s)

I noticed that when I was teaching, I had a lot of the same anxiety dreams I had as a student, only with the tables (desk??) turned -- instead of forgetting to take the final exam, I'd dream that I'd forgotten to create the final exam. Or I'd dream that I'd taught the first class, and then forgot to go back all semester. When I was a grad student in history, I once had a completely exhausting dream where I was keeping up OK with my teaching, but forgot that I was taking a math class as a student. In grad school, any I'm-taking-a-class anxiety dream had to do with failing math classes, for some reason.

undine said...

vtmima--I wonder: are you actually going back to college or starting a new venture of some kind? I have had dreams where I think the dream is real.

Flavia--absolutely with you on the intricate dreams that are not interesting. If I fall back asleep in the morning, I am guaranteed to have one of those dreams.

sophylou--That is quite a twist on the forgotten final student dream! As the teacher, though, you could wave your hands and say "No final today is my gift to you!" But I guess in a dream you couldn't, because they don't work that way.