Tips to Help You Remember Dreams
Here are some dream recall tips that can be used on their own or work synergistically with Brilliant Dreams to help you better remember your dreams. These are especially helpful and can help align your sleep and dream habits.
Tips to Help You Remember Dreams
- 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 progressive wake). Here is one idea:
iHome iPod Alarm Clock Radio - Great if you are an iPod devotee.
- 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.
- Think about, but do not dwell upon your mood/emotions as you drift off to sleep.
- 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 dreams.
- Start a dream journal. Take your notes and recollections of you dreams and record your dreams in journal or story form.
- 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.
Keeping a Dream Journal
Go ahead, start a Dream Journal tonight! All you need is a pen and paper (and the ability to recall a least some part of you dreams, of course!). A dream journal can be anything from just brief notes on the themes and emotions of your dreams to full fledged stories based on your dream content. You decide! Find out more below or feel free to skip ahead to our dream journal tips.
The best way to start is to take a new notebook and pen and place them at your bedside. Use this notebook exclusively as your dream journal (for you high techs out there, you can also use a personal voice recorder). As you go to bed tonight, take a moment and reflect on how you are presently feeling. Write the date on a new page and one or two brief adjectives describing how you feel, for example: Relaxed, Tired, Anxious, Emotional, Happy, Stressed, Peaceful, etc. We will come back to why this is important in a moment. Oh yeah, don't forget to take your Brilliant Dreams!
If you awake from a dream during the night, make sure you immediately write down a few notes about what you were dreaming. What kind of dream were you having? What details can you remember? How do you feel upon waking up? Why can't you see what you are writing... (tip turn on a bedside lamp, or, better yet get a small desk/book light).
When you wake up in the morning (hopefully in an unrushed, relaxed manner) keep your eyes closed an reflect on what you were just dreaming, then write down the theme, details, your emotions, etc. Don't worry if you wake up and don't remember dreaming at all, just because you have a dream journal handy doesn't mean your dreams will instantly be at the forefront of your mind (hint you need Brilliant Dreams for that).
Soon your dream habits will become apparent. You can analyze how often you remember your dreams and to what detail. More importantly (remember writing down how you felt when you went to bed?) you can discover how your emotional mind set at bedtime affects your dreams and dream recall!
This can vary greatly from person to person. Some people have intense and interesting dreams during times of stress, others dream little or have poor quality dreams. You will be able to find out how your bedtime emotions and events in your life (are you recently in love? stressed at work/school? on vacation?) affect your dreams. Other factors to consider would be dreams when you are having your period or are pregnant (sorry guys, but these are hormone intensive activities; both are well known to affect dream habits).
Find a Dream Journal
Find a Book Light
Dream Journal Tips
- Use a notebook exclusively for your dream journal. Fancy or plain doesn't matter, it's whether or not you use it that counts.
- Keep your journal and pen next to your bed and turned to a blank page for tonight's dreams. Just place them next to your bottle of Brilliant Dreams!
- Maintain a consistent format for writing notes about your dreams. Make sure you date each page. An example format may be the date, your bedtime emotions, an area for quick middle-of-the-night or wake up notes and then another are or subsequent pages for your dream in a more detailed or story format.
- As you are writing down details, ask yourself what these dream symbols, themes or emotions may mean, add your thoughts about that as well.
- Don't worry about grammar or punctuation when you are quickly writing down details. The goal is to get the ideas on paper before they fade. You can then incorporate these quick notes done in your own shorthand into well written dream documentation or stories if you so desire.
- Title your dreams. Just pick something that fits well or is interesting or amusing. You can be the highlight of the cocktail party with lines like "...well, if you want to talk about wild nights, let me tell you about my 'Trying On Bathing Suits With Cleopatra And Kramer From Seinfeld' dream... ...oh, and you should check out Brilliant Dreams" (endorsements from happy customers are our best form of advertising!).