Whether is is an unlikely adventure, a befuddling mess or a total shock to the system, a dream can be a great break from reality. Here’s a few tips on improving your ability to remember your more interesting dreams the next day.
Get Plenty of Sleep
The most important thing in dreaming in general is to get a healthy night’s rest in which you will enter the REM stage of sleep. While the amount of sleep a person needs varies with their lifestyle, age and health, most people need about 7 to 8 hours of rest to awake refreshed and have the best chance of dream recall.
Don’t Assume You’ll Remember
We’ve all those dreams that were so far out that we figured that there’s no way that we’ll forget about this one when we get up. Naturally, the whole meat of the dream is out our heads by the time our feet hit the floor. There is a gray area between dreaming and waking where we make a decision on whether to get up and moving or to take a moment a remember what we’re waking up from. Take time while in this state to consider whether the dream is important enough to make a conscious effort at remembering. If it is, then try the three tips below.
If you’ve decided that you want to make an effort at remembering the dream in the morning, the first thing to do as you continue to wake is to stay in the same position that you were in while sleeping. I’m not sure what it does neurologically when you begin to shift, but the details of dreams seem to evaporate quickly once a dreamer is roused. Instead, review as many details of the dream as you can from beginning to end. Go through what you have recalled of the dream 000
Pick Brief Cues
Although it’s not too tough remember a portion or two of your last dream of the night, it’s much more difficult to recall earlier dreams in your sleep. The easiest way to over come this and still get a good nights sleep is to pick one or two cues from your other dreams that will help you remember them in the morning. After lying still until you’ve gone through the dream a couple of times, pick one or two visual cues that will help you remember scenes or story lines from your experience. Before drifting back to sleep, make a quick note of your cues. Keep either a voice recorder or pad and pen at easy reach so that you can jot down the cues quickly and fall back to sleep. The faster you do it, the easier it is to go back to sleep, but light sleepers might have to weigh the costs of totally waking up on this one.
The dream journal is the most highly recommended method of learning to recall your dreams and is probably the most effective. The more that you get up and write down your recollections, the more you will remember. On the other hand, the more you learn to recall, the more time consuming the process becomes. I’ve heard people say that their dream journal has been invaluable to self-examination, but I save it for the rare occasions that I have a real monster of story to tell. Either way, it’s the number one method to improving you ability to remember your dreams.