Dream Recall


First Catch your Dreams

It may sound obvious, but to dream for fun, you need first to catch and remember your dream. This dream recall is also true for almost anything else to do with dreaming too. If you don’t remember your dream there is not much else to say.

Actually, chasing your dreams can become an exciting end enjoyable pastime in itself. Most people dream on 4 or 5 occasions each night, often during their periods of REM sleep, but few of us remember even one of those thrilling and fun-filled adventures.

It turns out that we can improve our dream capture experiences easily with just a little motivation, some time and a pencil and notebook! It sounds pretty straightforward, but there is a crafty knack to it that takes practice. The benefits of good dream recall are that you get to revel in re-living your fun dreams and get to use these gifts in your waking life too in many ways.

Before Sleeping

Plan to Remember Your Dreams

Before you go to sleep it helps to get excited about the prospect of remembering  the dreams you are about to have. Actions confirm your intentions, so make a ritual of writing down on a piece of paper, or better still on a nice card, a note to your dreaming self, such as, “Tonight I will remember my dreams”. Then you can place this under your pillow as if it’s a post-box. You can also repeat the request to yourself as you go to sleep. This is an example of dream incubation

More Time to Sleep

Dreams are most easily remembered when you wake up naturally and slowly rather than rudely awakened by an alarm clock. So leave yourself plenty of time to sleep a little longer than usual.

Be Organised

Make sure you are prepared for waking at any time either in the middle of the night or in the morning after a dreaming moment. Recording your dream in a notebook is discussed below, but make sure you have a handy a notebook, a pencil, a small light and if needed, your glasses. If you sleep with someone else, make sure you can write you notes without disturbing them.

Maybe… Wake Periodically

This is simply an option to accelerate your learning. It makes sense that if you only record your dreams when you wake up, then waking up more frequently will give you more opportunities to catch your dreams! Since you are more likely to remember a dream if you wake up at the end of it, then arranging to wake up just after each dream would enable to catch more dreams. Dreams occur roughly about every 90 minutes during your sleep period, so it won’t’ help to wake up more often than that. This idea is just for the real enthusiasts and most people wouldn’t bother to disrupt their lives like this.

On Waking Up

Make It a Habit

Let your first thought on every awakening be, “What am I dreaming now?”. You may just catch a glimpse of an image or a feeling in your mind. Don’t rush but just gently hold that image and it will serve as the key to run your dream backward through a series of static images that led to where you are at now.

Don’t Move

It is important to lie still and keep your eyes closed as you run through the dream and find other keywords to help to capture your rapidly fading dream. If you do move inadvertently, try to go back to your original position and that will help to let the dream flow again into your mind.

Beware of Distractions

Many people wake up worrying about whatever in the “real” world they need to be concerned about, such as what they are going to do that day or what to say to their partner about last night, etc These are all distractions and should gently be let go of in favor of recapturing your dream.

Don’t Wait

If you wait more than a couple of minutes after you wake up in order to write down your dream, then you will probably have lost 90% of it already. That’s why your FIRST thought has to be about seeking to remember your dream.

Start Writing

When you have briefly run through the content of your dream and gathered a few key words in your mind then it’s time to move and write down those words roughly in your handy notebook. Write down any names or special words or anything else special first, because you will lose these so quickly otherwise.

Look for Clues

Images, signs, symbols, feelings, etc all play a part in acting as keywords or burst points that generate other associated parts of the dream for you. You can expand these and look for other clues about what happened in your dream.  You will also notice over time that objects or symbols recur in your dreams. Settings and objects like staircases, lakes, bicycles, specific feelings, etc will occur in your dreams time after time. It is particularly important for Lucid Dreaming to get to know the characteristics of your dreams. If you are still having problems connecting with your dreams, then imagine conversing with the dream characters or handling the dream objects or standing in a dream scene, and just say whatever comes to mind.

Say It as It Is

You are recording your dreams for yourself. You don’t have to be an expert author. Just write it done somehow and you can polish it more a little later. Whatever you do, don’t write a politically correct version of your dream because that is not how you dreamed it! If you are worried about what you have just written then keep it safe from prying eyes. Also, don’t worry about trying to interpret you dream just now. What you want is the dream and nothing but the dream without any judgments.

During Your Day

Be Positive

Healthy dream recall starts with your attitudes during each day. It makes sense to foster a positive attitude about your dreams. It also makes sense to go further and honor your dreams by taking some time each day to review what you dreamed the night before. If you decide to interpret your dreams and discover things about yourself, then try to make an action to support your dream interpretation. Meditating on the dream, doing dream re-entry, writing up a polished version of your dream in a good quality notebook, drawing a picture from your dream or simply lighting a candle to honor some aspect of your dream will help.

Dream Interpretation

Start your interpretation by highlighting the recurring features of your dream. Look for vivid dream symbolism and conduct simple word associations. Look for dream signs which are things that happen in your dream that could not happen in real life such as conversing with a deceased person or moving through the air in some kind of flying mode, or being unable to switch on a light successfully. For more on interpreting dreams, look here.

Motivation and Practice

Above all else it will be your actions that make a difference. All the knowledge and reading in the world will not change your dream recall. Only finding the motivation to practice will make a difference.

Whatever you decide to do to honor your dreams and make them feel welcome, make sure you physically do something such as conducting a small ritual for each dream by way of thank you. Examples are to light a candle, to draw a picture, to sing a song, or do any action to acknowledge your dream.


4 thoughts on “Dream Recall

  1. What a fascinating blog! You’ve inspired me to start trying to record my dream tonight. I can sort of ‘steer’ the direction of dreams but I don’t always remember them. You are right – I think it will be fun. I’ll be back to read more soon.


  2. Pingback: Remember Your Dreams – Personal Quest Research

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