How Can I Remember My Dreams?
One of the most important skills whilst learning to lucid dream is to improve dream recall. Many people claim that they don’t dream. This is in fact incorrect, what they actually mean is that they can’t recall dreaming.
Everybody dreams but our ability to recall dreams varies widely. There are a few good reasons why improving dream recall is important.
Firstly, the ability to remember our dreams gives us a subconscious link between our waking world and our dreaming world. This is exactly what we need when we want to lucid dream.
Secondly, what is the point of having a lucid dream if we cannot remember it when we wake up? We wouldn’t even remember that we’d had a lucid dream!
Thirdly and most importantly, by recalling our dreams we will be able to spot what our Dream signs are. We will come to these shortly.
The good news is that invariably, we can improve our ability to recall our dreams. Even if you are one of the lucky people who have always been able to recall their dreams, the following exercise is still worth doing as you will be surprised just how many dreams you actually do forget.
Keeping a dream journal
The most effective way to remember your dreams is to write them down. This helps in two ways. By writing your dreams down immediately after you wake up, you are securing the memory simply through the process of writing it down.
Also, by having a record of your dreams you can read through them at any time, spotting your dream signs and also reinforcing the waking world\dreaming world link. It’s amazing sometimes when you read through an old dream journal and all the memories of that dream come flooding back.
Your dream journal can be anything from a notepad, to a diary or even just a sheet of paper. Alternatively, you can download this dream journal in .PDF format and print several off.
The best time to record a dream in your dream journal, is just after a phase of REM sleep, as mentioned earlier it is in REM that we do most of our dreaming.
If you wake during the night, before reaching for your dream journal, just lie perfectly still and go over the dream a few times in your head. Only when you are sure that you have remembered the main points of your dream, should you begin to write down your experiences.
For most people you will do this only in the mornings to begin with but there is another method that will enable you to record more than one dream per night.
This is a simple technique that involves using an alarm clock to wake yourself up just after an REM phase.
Remember your dreams
If you recall, we have REM stages after about ninety minutes after sleep onset. It’s better to aim for the later REM stages because these tend to be longer.
Before you go to sleep, set yourself an alarm to alert you after roughly four and a half hours. When the alarm wakes you, hopefully you will either be in a stage of REM or just coming out of one.
Importantly you should be able to recall some sort of dream. Once you have made a record of your dream, continue to sleep normally until you wake naturally in the morning. On waking you will more than likely have had another dream so as before, just lie still for a moment and go through what you can remember before writing it all down.
Already you are being able to record two dreams per night doubling your previous efforts. When you feel confident with this method, aim for more dream recall by waking yourself up during other REM periods during the night.
I would advise against doing this every night because your sleep will be disturbed but if you are consistently recording two or three dreams per night when you try, you are ready for the next step.
Keeping a dream journal should increase your ability to recall your dreams. The length of time this takes varies amongst different people but most people notice some results within two to three weeks of starting their journal. Some take longer so don’t get disheartened, the results are well worth the hard work!
Dream meanings and dream signs
“I awoke in the morning as usual. I lay in bed for a moment and reached over to pick up the phone, as I had an important call to make. I started to dial the numbers and glanced away briefly. Looking back at the phone, I noticed something odd had happened. The object in my hand had now changed into the remote control for the television! What was going on?”
As you may have guessed, I was in fact dreaming. The above extract is from my dream journal. That was my first hint of what was to prove to be one of the major dream signs to occur repeatedly throughout my dream journals.
After spotting this, becoming lucid became a lot easier. Whenever I see a phone in my dreams I almost always know that I am dreaming, and therefore become lucid.
That is exactly what a dream sign is. It’s a common theme that occurs within your dreams that may give you some sort of hint that you are dreaming.
Keeping a dream journal is the key to spotting these because you can read through old dreams and try to spot a common element. Some dream signs can be something as subtle as a flashing light or the appearance of an animal occurring repeatedly in your dreams.
Noticing them and seeing them for what they are is the key to making a dream sign work for you.
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