Remembering Dreams - 10 Tips
Maintain good, consistent sleep habits. Not getting enough sleep or
going to bed ‘dog-tired’ can dramatically reduce natural dreaming
activity. The Mayo Clinic offers a list of tips if you are having
trouble getting restful sleep.
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
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.
5. Think about, but do not dwell upon your mood/emotions as you drift off to sleep.
6. 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
8. Start a dream journal. Take your notes and recollections of you dreams and record your dreams in journal or story form.
9. 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.
How To Remember Your Dreams
your dreams is the starting place for learning to have lucid dreams. If
you don't recall your dreams, even if you do have a lucid dream, you
won't remember it! And, in order to be able to recognize your dreams as
dreams while they are happening, you have to be familiar with the way
your own dreams work. Before it will be worth your time to work on
lucid dream induction methods, you should be able to recall at least
one dream every night. Getting plenty of sleep is the first step to
good dream recall. If you are rested it will be easier to focus on your
goal of recalling dreams, and you won't mind so much taking the time
during the night to record your dreams. Another benefit of getting
plenty of sleep is that dream periods get longer and closer together as
the night proceeds. The first dream of the night is the shortest,
perhaps 10 minutes in length, while after 8 hours of sleep, dream
periods can be 45 minutes to an hour long. We all dream every night,
about one dream period every 90 minutes. People who say they never
dream simply never remember their dreams. You may have more than one
dream during a REM (dream) period, separated by short arousals that are
most often forgotten. It is generally accepted among sleep researchers
that dreams are not recalled unless the sleeper awakens directly from
the dream, rather than after going on to other stages of sleep.
can be useful while you are developing your dream recall to keep a
complete dream journal. Keep the journal handy by your bed and record
every dream you remember, no matter how fragmentary. Start by writing
down all your dreams, not just the complete, coherent, or interesting
ones--even if all you remember is a face or a room, write it down.
you awaken in the night and recall what you were dreaming, record the
dream right away. If you don't, in the morning you may find you
remember nothing about the dream, and you will certainly have forgotten
many interesting details. We seem to have built-in dream erasers in our
minds, which make dream experiences more difficult to recall than
waking ones. So, whenever you remember a dream, write it down. If you
don't feel like writing out a long dream story at 3 AM, note down key
points of the plot. Also write down the precise content of any dialogue
from the dream, because words will almost inevitably be forgotten in a
very short time.
all you will need to do to increase your dream recall is to remind
yourself as you are falling asleep that you wish to awaken fully from
your dreams and remember them. This works in a similar manner to
remembering to awaken at a certain time in the morning. Additionally,
it may help to tell yourself you will have interesting, meaningful
dreams. A major cause of dream forgetting is interference from other
thoughts competing for your attention. Therefore, let your first
thought upon awakening be, "What was I just dreaming?" Before
attempting to write down the dream, go over the dream in your mind,
re-telling the dream story to yourself. DO NOT MOVE from the position
in which you awaken, and do not think of the day's concerns. Cling to
any clues of what you might have been experiencing moods, feelings,
fragments of Images, and try to rebuild a story from them. When you
recall a scene, try to recall what happened before that, and before
that, reliving the dream in reverse. If after a few minutes, all you
remember is a mood, describe it in a journal. If you can recall
nothing, try imagining a dream you might have had--note your present
feelings, list your current concerns to yourself, and ask yourself,
"Did I dream about that?" Even if you can't recall anything in bed,
events or scenes of the day may remind you of something you dreamed the
night before. Be ready to notice this when it happens, and record
whatever you remember.
you find that you sleep too deeply to awaken from your dreams, try
setting an alarm clock to wake you at a time when you are likely to be
dreaming. Since our REM periods occur at approximately 90 minute
intervals, good times will be multiples of 90 minutes after you go to
sleep. Aim for the later REM periods by setting the alarm to go off at
4.5, 6, or 7.5 hours after you go to sleep. Once again, when you wake
up, don't move and think first of what you were just dreaming before
remind yourself of your intentions and get yourself into the spirit of
your dreams, read through your dream journal at bedtime. Learning to
remember your dreams may seem difficult at first, but if you persist,
you will almost certainly succeed--and may find yourself remembering
four or more dreams per night. Of course, once you reach this level,
you probably won't want to write them all down--just the significant or
compelling ones. And, the more familiar you become with the style of
your own dreams, the easier it will be to remember you are dreaming
while you are dreaming--and explore the world of your dreams while
still on the scene.