“But… did it really happen or was I only dreaming of it?”
If you happen to ask these questions sometime in your life, do not panic: you are not the only one!
How does the brain distinguish between the dream and reality?
There are several theories that try to explain the way brain distinguishes real episodes from dreams. According to some experts, the mind activates systems that “tag” dreams to identify them as memories of oneiric episodes; but other experts say that, extremely realistic dreams include confusion; there are others though that believe that it is the so called “paracingulate sulcus” (PCS), a part of the brain, that distinguishes reality from the rest of our memories.
The “False” Memories
Also called the “confabulation“, false memories are absolutely plausible but nevertheless they refer to episodes that… have never happened. Be aware that a false memory can also contain elements of some already lived reality or even a “fictional version” of a single particular episode connected to an experienced episode.
The role of sleep in the confusion between reality and dream
Sleeping continuously and profoundly for a long period of time makes you more serene; this helps the mind to be more alert and better develop those tools that allow you to distinguish between a dream and a reality. For this reason, a good mattress, a high quality pillow and a comfortable bed linen can help make your life better and your memory stronger.
If this phenomenon becomes continuous and in some way embarrassing, you should better consult a specialist. In all the other cases, well… enjoy your dreams!