Do you want to learn how to remember your dreams?

Do you want to learn how to control your dreams?
Do you want to interpret them?
Do you want to learn about why we dream? Why we sleep?

Keeping a dream journal

The key to remembering your dreams
Go ahead, start a Dream Journal tonight! All you need is a pen and paper (and the ability to recall a least some part of you dreams, of course!).

A dream journal can be anything from just brief notes on the themes and emotions of your dreams to complete stories based on your dream content.

Starting tonight

Homework
The best way to start is to take a new notebook and pen and place them at your bedside. Use this notebook exclusively as your dream journal (for you high techs out there, you can also use a personal voice recorder).

As you go to bed tonight, take a moment and reflect on how you are presently feeling. Write the date on a new page and one or two brief adjectives describing how you feel, for example: Relaxed, Tired, Anxious, Emotional, Happy, Stressed, Peaceful, etc.

You will come to why this is important in a moment.

If you wake in the night

Dimming the lights…
If you awake from a dream during the night, make sure you immediately write down a few notes about what you were dreaming. What kind of dream were you having? What details can you remember? How do you feel upon waking up? Why can’t you see what you are writing?

Your tip here is to get a small desk/book light.

Bedside lamps are often too bright for a dream journal entry and wake you enough to stop you from diving straight back into your dream.




Waking in the morning

When you wake up in the morning (hopefully in an unrushed, relaxed manner) keep your eyes closed and reflect on what you were just dreaming, then write down the theme, details, your emotions, etc.

Don’t worry if you wake up and don’t remember dreaming at all. Just because you have a dream journal handy doesn’t mean your dreams will instantly be at the forefront of your mind.

But they will be with practice.

Dream habits

Your emotional mindset…
Soon your dream habits will become apparent. You can analyze how often you remember your dreams and to what detail. More importantly (remember writing down how you felt when you went to bed?) you can discover how your emotional mind set at bedtime affects your dreams and dream recall.

This can vary greatly from person to person. Some people have intense and interesting dreams during times of stress, others dream little or have poor quality dreams. You will be able to find out how your bedtime emotions and events in your life affect your dreams.




5 tips to remembering your dreams

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Here are 5 tips that will work brilliantly to help you remember your dreams.

Practice these and you will start remembering something every morning.

  • Maintain good, consistent sleep habits. Not getting enough sleep or going to bed ‘dog-tired’ can dramatically reduce natural dreaming activity.
  • When you go to bed tell yourself that you will remember your dreams. Repeat “I will remember my dreams” to yourself several times as you drift off to sleep. It sounds odd, but this tip has been shown again and again to be one of the most helpful.
  • Try to wake up slowly to remain within the ‘mood’ of your last dream. Buy an alarm clock with a gentle wake setting (sometimes called a progressive wake).
    iHome iPod Alarm Clock Radio – Great if you are an iPod devotee.
  • Awake at least once during the night, many times this will occur around an REM sleep cycle. Set an alarm or drink a lot of water prior to bed to ensure you have to wake up at least once.
  • Think about (but do not dwell upon) your mood/emotions as you drift off to sleep.

5 more tips for remembering your dreams

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Here are 5 more tips that will work brilliantly to help you remember your dreams.

Practice these and you will start remembering something every morning.

  • Avoid alcohol near bedtime. Alcohol reduces the frequency and density of REM sleep.
  • Keep a pad and pencil next to your bed so you can jot down quick notes about your dream if you awake during the night (you may not remember it by morning) or as soon as you get up in the morning. Just the process of writing things down may help you recall more information about your dreams.
  • Start a dream journal. Take your notes and recollections of you dreams (tip 2) and record your dreams in journal or story form. Reading through this dream journal will help you remember your dreams more effectively.
  • Discuss your dreams with friends and family members. Just articulating your dreams can help you remember additional details.
  • If you awake during the night, think about your previous dream as you go back to sleep. This will help to reinforce the dream for improved dream recall in the morning.

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