5 Strange Things That Happen When You Remember Your Dreams


I don’t know why it started, but around the age of 17, I started remembering my dreams more often than not; sometimes I’d wake up and be able to recall up to six different dreams. Today, I remember my dreams every night and lucid dream (consciously dreaming and controlling it as I do so) at least three times a week.

1. Lots of déjà vu.

A few weeks before I flew to New York to meet up with some friends, I kept dreaming I was already there and talking to them about all the things I wanted to talk about. Once I got there and we updated each other on our lives, I had this weird feeling of déjà vu. I even paused a few times and asked them, “Did I already tell you this?” And they’d say, “What? No, dude, we haven’t seen you in months.”

2. NyQuil and other tranquilizers get scary (or fun).

If you can lucid dream, I suggest you don’t take anything that promotes or elongates sleep. At any time in a lucid dream, I’m able to ‘will’ myself awake, but sedatives make that process more difficult and sometimes impossible. I was walking around my friend’s empty house in a lucid dream when my alarm went off and I woke up, hit snooze, and fell right back in, but when I tried to get out I couldn’t. I remember walking around in my dream thinking, “God dammit, I have to wait ten minutes for my snooze alarm to go off,” I started panicking and those anxieties and fears snowballed, turning my friends house into something from a horror movie. I haven’t taken NyQuil since.

3. It can rattle your life.

Sometimes I’ll remember a strange, nonsensical dream and it’ll be on my mind for a couple hours after I wake up, and the more I think about the dream, the more I start to remember, so driving to work is a series of, “No…what?…oh my god, what the fuck…no, no, no…” Worst of all, when someone sees I’m frazzled and asks about it, I have to make something up.

4. Your dreams bring up whatever’s on your mind that week.

The most contemporary explanation of dreams is that they act out an impending fear or anxiety, like a job interview or moving to a new city, so as to desensitize us from the discomfort we’ll feel when we encounter that experience in real life. I think there’s a good reason most people don’t remember dreams and can’t control them, so part of me thinks I should submit to whatever happens instead of willing myself out of a bad dream or flying around a mountain range, both are hard to resist.

5. Sex is weird.

Dream sex is possibly the greatest ‘life hack’ of all time. It’s weird to accept and even more weird to write about, but the sensation alone is multiple times better than real life, so much so that the first time it happened I jolted awake and said, “Holy shit!” I quickly researched this phenomenon and found it’s the #1 reason people learn to lucid dream (shocker), but it’s also the most difficult experience to handle without waking up before it’s over. I know what you’re thinking, and no, this isn’t an animalistic free-for-all. You maintain the same conscience and moral compass when lucid dreaming and experts caution against any immoral transgressions with dream figures as they are presumably representations of your inner self. There’s even an ethical debate on whether or not you should have dream sex if you’re in a committed relationship. Yeah, and your girlfriend was weird about you watching porn.