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Do you sometimes ask yourself: Is it normal to remember dreams from years ago? How often do you remember your dreams, and how well do you remember them? Some people appear to be super-dreamers, recalling their dreams in vivid detail easily, even those from years past. Others have trouble recalling even a bit of information.
Increased blood flow activity in specific brain areas may help explain the great dreamer gap. Dream recall is assumed to necessitate some level of waking up during the night for the vision to be encoded in long-term memory. However, it is unknown why some people wake up earlier than others. The maps revealed that the temporoparietal junction, a location involved for gathering and processing information from the external environment, was more intensely engaged in high-recallers when comparing two groups of dreamers on opposite extremes of the recall spectrum (1). This enables these people to detect environmental disturbances in the night and wake up briefly, storing dream memories in the process .
High-recallers had increased activity in the temporoparietal junction during REM sleep and alertness, suggesting that they are more reactive to sounds or movements in the night and awaken briefly. The medial prefrontal cortex, linked to self-referential thinking, was another area of the brain that exhibited increased activation in high-recall people. Previous medical instances have discovered that when these similar parts of the brain are affected by stroke, patients lose their ability to remember their dreams. This happens even if they can still reach the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep, which is when dreaming happens.
So, to answer your question, it is completely normal to remember your dreams, even the dreams you had years ago. This just means that your brain functions differently, in some aspects, better than others. You are a high-recaller, meaning you have increased alertness and consciousness of your surroundings at all times. You may think it is a bad thing to remember a traumatizing dream you had years ago, but just know that this means you’re a high-recaller and a better thinker.