Dreams are one of the most underappreciated aspects in our lives. We often think that dreams are simply random concoctions of the mind, when in fact dreams are messages from our higher self. Dreams shows us everything we try to suppress from our conscious mind, highlighting recurring patterns in our waking life.
However to tap into this realm of information we first need to start remembering our dreams. Many people claim to not dream at all, or they wake up and cannot remember a thing!
In this guide I’m going to go over how to remember your dreams and have more vivid ones. The more seriously we take our dreams the more relevant they become to our waking life, and the more we are able to apply the lessons they teach to everyday life. Let’s delve right in!
Take Your Dreams Seriously
The number one way to start recalling more of your dreams, before doing any fancy techniques or even starting a dream journal: take your dreams more seriously!
As I talked about in the introduction we tend to dismiss dreams as unimportant when that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s only when a dream appears particularly poignant, vivid, or extreme that we start to pay attention.
We miss out on this consistent communication with our unconscious mind and the benefits that can bring about. There are a few ways to start appreciating your dreams more.
- Research dreaming and its function
- Read books about dreaming and dream interpretation
- Think about dreams as soon as you wake up
- Buy a dream dictionary
- Read a dreaming blog before bed
- Improve your sleep
- Talk about your dreams with friends/family and exchange stories
- Learn about lucid dreaming and its benefits
Whatever gets you thinking more critically about your own dreams and the function of dreaming, the quicker you will start remembering your dreams. When we think about dreaming as we fall asleep and after we wake up, we are telling our unconscious minds that we are interested.
As you drift to sleep affirm: I will remember my dreams tonight. You can also read blogs or books about dreaming before you go to sleep, anything that gets you thinking about dreaming as you fall asleep will help.
Get Good Sleep
Most of our dreams take place in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and so keeping a good nighttime routine is essentially to start working with your dreams.
All the basic rules apply here: drink plenty of water, get some exercize daily, set a time to wake up and go to sleep that you will stick to, and stay well fed. Cut out caffeine late at night, and other stimulants such as sugar and alcohol.
Another thing I have started doing which may sound unrelated is having a filling breakfast. Many of us either have a light breakfast or skip it completely, this leaves us feeling hungry all day and awake throughout the night.
I like to have a breakfast that has a good amount of protein in it, this gives me enough energy to get through to lunch and stay active during the day so that I can go to sleep easily at night.
Spend the last hour or so before sleep away from blue light and technology (if you can). Switch out late night social media browsing for some good old fashioned journaling. This allows you to get all of your thoughts out for the day and calms the mind.
You can also try supplementing for magnesium and zinc, or getting enough of those in your day to day diet. Zinc helps support the muscles and immune system while magnesium plays a key role in metabolism, muscle health and sleep.
Another supplement that can help boost your energy throughout the day and help you gain a good night’s sleep is B6. It has also been theorized that taking B6 supplements can increase the vividness of our dreams by facilitating cortical arousal during REM sleep.
Consult a medical health professional before making any massive diet changes, or supplementing for the nutrients listed here.
Start a Dream Journal
The next step is to start writing your dreams down! I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Many times we will have a dream that we can fully remember upon waking only for the memory to fade after a few days. If you didn’t write it down portion of it are lost forever.
Find a nice journal you would look forward to writing in each day and keep it close to your bed, even better if it’s at arm’s reach. This way if you wake up in the middle of the night remembering a dream you don’t even have to move to record it.
Be as creative as you want when recording your dreams:
- Draw or paint a picture of a scene from your dream
- Use voice memos
- Tell another person your dream
The key is to make it fun and relevant to you. Not everyone enjoys writing, and if you know you will not stick to it perhaps try speaking about your dream out loud and recording it on your phone.
When recording your dreams add as much detail as possible. Think about the predominant emotions you experienced. Think of the dream characters you interacted with. Think about how the themes in the dream link to your waking life. Note how you felt upon waking.
Have sections for each of these aspects in each dream journal entry. If it helps you can title each dream according to the content, this way you can refer back to specific dreams more easily in the future.
These techniques will generally not cause any changes overnight however working together they compound and you will notice massive shifts in your dream vividness, recall and the emotional intensity you feel during your nighttime adventures.
Do you remember your dreams?