A new habit that I've taken up recently is writing my dreams down in a notebook as soon as I wake up so I can remember them for the future. I used to chronicle my dreams when I was in middle school but I stopped after a couple of weeks of inconsistency. I find dreams and the dreamworld very fascinating. It is so intriguing to me how our brains can conjure up such odd concepts and twisted realities from memories and experiences we already have. Writing my dreams down gives me a chance to reflect on them and take another look at the complexities of my own mind.
Dreams occur mostly in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep, which is when we are deepest into sleep. REM is characterized by quicker breathing, faster heart rate, and rapid eye movements. There is not a clear purpose to dreams, but rather a variety of proposed theories. Scientists believe dreams can serve many different purposed including dealing with emotional issues, creative stimulation of the brain, helping to restore memories, etc.
Regarding dream recall, we forget 50% of the dream's content five minutes after the end of the dream, and ten minutes later, we've forgotten 90% of its content. The fact that dreams are so forgettable is so frustrating to me, and it is part of the reason why I write them down. I want to remember all my dreams and all the details because, for me, nothing is insignificant. I believe that even the smallest details have some meaning to them.
There are several things I do to make sure I remember my dreams after I wake up. When I wake up, I make sure I grab the nearest thing to write in whether that be my phone or a notebook. I also try to remain in the mood of my most recent dream so that the details will come to me easier. I believe that dreams are pathways to an alternate reality inside our brains, and it truly amazes me to see what the brain can do.