Improving dream recall is not only important if you want to begin dream interpretation but also a fun and easy thing to do!
Research has shown that dreams are difficult to remember because of changes in brain chemistry occuring when we fall asleep and dream.
According to recent findings, within the first 5 minutes of being awake you will forget 50% of your dream content, and then within the first ten minutes of being awake you will have forgotten 90% of the dream.
So it makes sense that if you record your dreams you need to do it quickly!
Most importantly in the steps to remembering dreams is:
This is the first vital step.
You need to have the motivation to want to remember your dreams and begin the process of recording your nightly escapades in a dream journal.
Native Indians believed in visualising a blue light in the back of their throats as they fell asleep and repeating over and over as they visualized the blue light “I will remember my dreams tonight”.
Whatever imagery you use it will do the same job. It is simply acting as a focus for a memory trigger.
Step 2. Keep a pen and paper or a dream journal close byIt is extremely important for improving dream recall that once you wake up you don’t have to go and find a pen or paper in order to record your dreams.
Remember…the longer you are awake the more information is forgotten. If you have to search around for a pen and paper this will delay the recording process and will result in an incomplete memory of your dreams.
I highly recommend a journal for the specific purpose of recording your dreams. It makes things easier when your dreams are in sequential order, and in a bound cover as this means they won’t get misplaced. Find out all about dream journaling here.
Step 3. Date your page and add a brief summaryIt helps to put the date on the piece of paper on the night you wish to record.
It is also very useful to write a short paragraph describing what you did during the day before you go to bed. This can trigger images that will appear in your dreams.
Step 4. Record
• When you wake up, lie still momentarily and go through the images you just saw in your dreams.
You will remember more if you remain in the same position you woke up in and keep your eyes closed.
But don’t fall back asleep!
If you wait until the morning you will definitely forget a lot of the content if not all.
If you wake up and can’t remember anything try and ask yourself “what was I just thinking about?” “What was just going through my mind”?
Write down everything that comes to mind, anything and everything that you saw and felt.
Even if the memory is only vague.
• Teach yourself to write everything down no matter how trivial you believe it to be. The idea behind this is that after a short while you will teach yourself to be aware of what was going through your mind prior to waking up and it will become second nature.
Don’t just record the dream imagery but how you felt as well.
At this stage don’t pressure yourself to remember everything and try not to get frustrated if nothing is coming.
Practice and patience with your dream recall will enable you to eventually remember and record more of your dreams.
Remember, “Dreams pay as much attention to you as you pay to them”
• Create a title for your dream and place it at the top next to the date.
• If it is easier for you to have a cassette recorder by your bed and verbally record your dreams, do this. It is a very fast way of recording and can be very effective.
At some point in the future you may want to write them down to facilitate analysis.
However, verbally recording your dreams if you are not alone could prove to be a problem!
• When writing it is useful to write in the present tense, as this helps to keep you in the dream.
• And if drawing comes naturally to you draw what you saw as well in order to keep the images alive!
Step 5. Avoid disrupting your natural sleep cycle
If you are really serious about improving your dream recall you have to do everything possible to create the right environment that will help you achieve this.
Firstly, before you go to bed avoid drugs and alcohol.
Medications of any sort do affect your sleep patterns and therefore inhibit your dream recall.
It seems obvious that anything that imposes a change on the natural chemistry within your brain will affect your dreaming and ability to recall your dreams.
If it is possible to avoid an alarm clock waking you up please do.
Let yourself wake up with the natural rhythm of your body.
You will be surprised at how easy this is to attain if you keep a regular schedule. Your body will naturally wake up at the same time every day.
I really suggest you avoid dream dictionaries as these do not take into account the personal nature of your dreams. This has the unfortunate effect of leading you on the wrong path for dream interpretation.
There are significant personal insights to be gained by relying on your own interpretations.
If you follow these simples steps I can guarantee withing a few weeks your dream recall will be vastly improved!