HOW TO REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS
TIPS FOR DREAM RECALL. You dream every night and you can remember your dreams, if you want to. Some people easily recall their dreams; others notice only a few. Whether you have trouble or want to remember more, here are a few tips.
Motivation. Enthusiasm starts the ball rolling. Once you show interest in dream analysis, dreams will begin to flow. Be eager to remember your dreams. It tells the psyche (your inner manager) that you are ready to hear its messages.
Relax. A few minutes of quiet time every day helps to forge a path to your inner self. Any activity that lets you unplug will work such as meditation, music, taking a walk, being out in nature, or a creative hobby.
Leaving a Peaceful Oasis. As you awake up from a delicious sleep, if can feel as if you are leaving a lovely oasis of peace. For most people, sleep is a nightly green pasture, a respite from life’s desert of challenge and confusion—and some mornings beckon you to linger a while. Make it a priority to get enough sleep; waking up is easier when you feel refreshed. When overtired, you are less likely to remember your dreams. If necessary, you can catch up on sleep on the weekend to improve dream recall. Six to eight hours of sleep works for most people. Alas, no matter how pleasant sleep feels, life beckons and brings its own joys—including the joy of overcoming challenges with the help of your dreams.
Give Yourself a Pre-sleep Suggestion. If you are new to dreams or have trouble with recall, before falling asleep, tell yourself in a relaxed manner, that you will remember your dreams. A pre-sleep suggestion informs the inner self that you are ready to pay attention to dream messages. However, if the thought dream messages feels scary or intense, it is okay to wait a while; you may not be ready for dream analysis, even if dream messages are positive and helpful. There is no rush. Wait until it feels comfortable.
Make It Easy to Record a Dream. Keep a pen and pad handy. If you don’t have time to record the full dream, jot down the gist and add specifics later to a notebook, electronic or otherwise.
As You Go To Sleep—Notice What's On Your Mind. The few minutes before you fall asleep is called the “Hypnogogic State” as a transition between being wake and being sleep. Notice what you are thinking and feeling. Dreams are responses to the feelings, thoughts and questions (direct or indirect) that are on your mind during the day and can be the first clue, the next morning, about the topic of your dreams.
Find Your Happy Place. Try to enter sleep feeling safe and peaceful. Fill your thoughts with people and activities you love, that make you feel loved and happy. A peaceful sleep helps dreams flow. Put problems and anxieties on hold for the night, knowing that dreams can bring helpful insights, if you stay calm. Dreams happen even in times of stress but are clearer when you remain relaxed.
Relax as You Awake Up. As you dream—the major muscles of your body cannot move. You are immobile as you dream and the last cycle of dreaming often happens just as you wake up. That is why sudden movements like jumping out of bed tend to interfere with dream recall. Lie still for a moment or two and get your bearings. As you inch into awareness, take a breath. A dream wisp may unfold.
A Journey from Pictures to Words. As you fall asleep, the mind jumps through a nightly transition hoop from a waking language of words to a sleep language of images (the mind stores only images, not words). In the morning, the mind transitions back from a language of images to a language of words as you wake up. Take a few seconds to savor feelings and images that emerge as you wake ng up. It helps to bridge the gap.
As You Wake Up—Notice What Is on Your Mind. The few minutes between sleep and waking is called the "hypnopompic state." Some of your most creative thoughts and solutions to problems or questions arrive during these pre-waking moments, so pay attention. Even if you do not remember a dream, notice how you feel and what is on your mind. As you relax, you may remember a dream. Savor the dream and go over what you remember. Other scenes may come back to you. Once you have anchored your thoughts by reviewing them, jot them down.
Record Something. When first starting out, if you do not recall a dream, note the feelings, ideas, or thoughts that hover as you wake up. They may be remnants of a dream message! Record them. That can be a stepping stone to dream recall. In time, a trickle becomes a stream and dreams will flow.
Apply What You Get. Once you have a dream and you zero in on its meaning, apply the message. Like advice from a good friend, dream advice keeps coming if you listen to it.