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Can dreams make up memories?

And by make up I mean I remember thinking about a real life moment in my dream, but I can't think of the moment, did my brain recall a memory from the real world that didn't actually happen?

1 Answer
Apr 17, 2018


Yes and no.


Whenever we reach the stage of REM sleep, our brains don't just make up random things or people that we have encountered. Our brain uses all of our experiences and kind of connects them in an awkward, unique puzzle. Any person we have seen in our lifetime (even if we don't remember) can be in a dream simply because your brain stores all these memories, but they are not exactly readily accessible to us off the top of our heads simply because our brains are not that powerful. All memories stored in the hippocampus in the brain are reactivated at REM sleep. Sometimes we can recall the dream- most often, we cannot, however. Last, the details that were featured in a dream aren't always readily accessible when conscious.