IntroductionDreams are a powerful window into our subconscious mind. Every night our brains become active during REM sleep and start weaving bizarre dream sequences. During this period of sleep our brains are just as active and burn as much fuel as when awake, but many people have difficulty recalling their dreams in the morning. What follows are a few steps to help you become more adept at remembering your dreams. Put that 1/3 of your life to use!
Things You Will NeedNotebook
Getting StartedBuy a dream journal and a nice pen you feel comfortable writing in bed with and keep them by your bed. Don't underestimate this step. A dream journal is a powerful tool not only in recalling your dreams in the morning but it is also a comprehensive catalog of recurring dreams for later interpretation. Make it a journal or notebook set aside specifically for recording your dreams. This simple act is a way of telling your subconscious that dream recall is important to you.
The Power of SuggestionAs you are falling asleep, confidently assure yourself that you will recall your dreams when you wake up. This may seem superfluous but it works. Our dream recalling capabilities are extremely susceptible to suggestion. Try not to pressure yourself into it, simply say it to yourself a few times and fall asleep.
Record Your DreamsWhen you awaken in the night or in the morning from REM sleep, keep your eyes closed and stay perfectly still. For whatever reason, our dreams fade rapidly upon opening our eyes or upon activating our motor neurons. Take a few minutes in silence trying to unravel what it was you just dreamt. Sometimes you may only remember a phrase or a scene from the dream. Focus on that and see if you can untangle the rest of it. Once you have transferred the dream to your conscious memory, open your eyes and directly record it in your journal. Write down any details you recall, scenes, people, how you felt, and so on. Be as specific and as thorough as possible. Date each entry and write a title for it if you like.
Closing Thought" . . . when we make good use of the dream state, it is almost as if our lives were doubled: instead of a hundred years, we live two hundred."
-Tibetan Buddhist Tarthang Tulku
(From Stephan LaBerge and Howard Rheingold's "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming").
Tips & Warnings1. Don't get discouraged if you continue having difficulty in dream recall. The more you practice, the better you will become.
2. Set goals like, "I want to remember one dream a night."
3. Melatonin is a natural sleeping aid that can extend the length your REM cycles, which in turn can increase the frequency and vividness of dreams.