The Connection Between Memory and Dreams

Memories and dreams go together, but it’s often difficult to know just how they relate to “real life.” Sometimes, dreams feel like memories and sometimes memories feel like dreams.

Take one of my friends, for example. Before she went to Italy, she took some basic Italian classes. After being there for about two weeks, she starting dreaming in Italian, fluent Italian. But, unfortunately, when she “woke up,” she was back to speaking only rudimentary Italian. What was going on here?


In The Afterlife Is To Die For, I write about the startling effect of memories once we pass over. As we do, all of our memories become available to everyone who has gone before us. Just think of that… All the memories of everyone who has ever lived available for your (viewing?) pleasure. While he was alive, Edgar Cayce brought forth the notion of the Akashic Records, otherwise known as the “The Book of Life.” He claimed that they work in a similar way, the only difference being that the memories are available to everyone here on Earth if they are open enough to access (receive) the information through meditation and enlightenment.

Cayce writes: “The Akashic Records can be equated to the Universe’s super computer system. It is this system that acts as the central storehouse of all information for every individual who has ever lived upon the earth. More than just a reservoir of events, the Akashic Records contain every deed, word, feeling, thought, and intent that has ever occurred at any time in the history of the world. Much more than simply a memory storehouse, however, these Akashic Records are interactive in that they have a tremendous influence upon our everyday lives, our relationships, our feelings and belief systems, and the potential realities we draw toward us.”

Some recent scientific studies also shed light on the relationship between memory and dreams. In the July 2014 issue of Scientific American, psychologist Penelope A. Lewis explains that one of the primary roles of dreams may be to assimilate the information from our subconscious so we can be better prepared to live life. Lewis says: “The threat simulation hypothesis suggests that dreams may provide a sort of virtual reality simulation in which we can rehearse threatening situations, even if we don’t remember the dreams.” Lewis reports that sleep studies consistently indicate that approximately 70 percent of the dreams people remember are threatening. Most happen during REM sleep.


What we do and feel in our day lives also seems to show up in our night dreams. For example, if we read about World War II before going to sleep (like I did before my first encounter with the Afterlife), we are likely to “go there.” Sigmund Freud called this day-residues. Recent research indicates that about 65 to 70 percent of single dream reports include elements of the previous day’s activities.

Scientists have coined the term “dream lag effect” to explain what’s happening between memories and dreams. It seems that “after its initial appearance as a day residue, the likelihood that a specific memory will be incorporated into dreams decreases steadily across the next few nights after the memory was formed, then increases again across the following few nights.” Why this is the case is not clear, but interesting regardless.

You have may have heard me mention more than once that what happens in the Afterlife is mind blowing. Some say “impossible.” Yet, that’s the point. Much like our sleeping brain, in the Afterlife, our thoughts are free and unconstrained. Try it sometimes. Let go of your rational thinking, and experiment with a little free association in your waking hours. You might just be surprised.

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Afterlife is to Die For.

Buy the book.

One comment

  1. Hi John, this is Bent from Norway. Your book, though I am only 3/4 through it, really IS something else. I guess many of your readers are already well accustomed to this subject, as I like to think I am. But I still I have to say that your book makes a difference, if not THE difference.

    Though it is the crazieset and wildest afterlife story I have ever read, it also is one where “we” aren’t “dumb” subjects, and “they” possess everything good and are masters and gods.

    To me, you normalized the whole affair! Ok, I don’t swear as much as you do, and I don’t always approve even my own swearing, but your language brought what other authors portray in almost a god-fearing language, you brought it down to earth. In this or that dimension. The wisdom and love of Lyle and Betty are there for everyone to see, but so is the doubt and downright not-knowing. What? An after-life book where there is “not knowing?” Oh my …

    Be they as incredible as your stories are, from reading these 3/4 of the book, I feel I personally have made quantum leaps towards a better understanding already. I only hope I will be able to make it spill over into my life while I am here, in this dimension.

    Being Norwegian I paid particular interest to the Viking feast that Lyle took you to. In Scandinavia, Viking spectacles of various kinds are set up all over, especially in June and July. The plays depend on which king is buried here, which battle took place there etc. It is always something local.
    My little corner of the world hosts the place where one particular minor Viking king in the year 872 AD beat all the other minor kings. This is “the battle of Hafrsfjord,” where his army won, thus gathering all the smaller reigns into one reign. Now one king only reigned over what today is known as Norway. This is a celebrated event. We all feel a little proud of what “Harald Hairfair” achieved.
    I guess the butchering of his opponents, tearing down their homes, torturing and raping the women, the children, humiliating his victims in the worst way thinkable (and then some), only to then feast over it … is not included in our thinking. We really cherish this part of our history, you know, being a small country and all. It makes us feel proud. We probably all need a tour down memory lane with Lyle I guess, to set things straight.

    I so look forward to reading the rest of the book, and will make sure to follow your blog. I will also make sure that I from this day on follow the advice given in the book.

    Thanks and regards,


    And ps .. I love reading about WW2 too. And The Great war. And your civil war :-).

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