Simple tools for remembering dreams
If you have trouble remembering your dreams and if you are interested in discovering what your dreams have to tell you – the first thing I would suggest is practice dream incubation and follow these suggestions for improving your dream recall (anybody can do this):
1) Before going to sleep, spend a little while thinking about why you want to remember your dreams. At this same time spend about 5 minutes ‘daydreaming’ an imaginative scenario where you are the star of your own short story. This can be something as simple as visualizing yourself going out for an ice cream cone, or taking your dog to the park, or riding your bike down the street. Imagine and picture in your mind exactly how that would transpire in as much detail as you can muster. More than likely - in less than 5 minutes you’ll be fast asleep, but you will have begun the process of teaching your brain to value your visual imaginations - which will strengthen your ability to recall your nighttime dreams.
2) Get yourself a notebook and a special pen or pencil (it helps to have some attachment to your writing tools for this exercise) and put them next to the bed. Before going to bed write yourself a note saying you intend to remember your dreams and feel like you really mean it. Every time you wake up, no matter what time it is, write down everything you can remember about your dreams, even it’s just a short snippet, a feeling or emotion. NOTE: if you wake up in the middle of the night and it’s dark, don’t turn on the light. Light will reset your brain into waking mode - and make it difficult to remember your dreams and make it more difficult to go back to sleep. So, scratch out a few notes in the dark (or find a low light to work with) - just note the highlights, and these simple words or phrases will be enough for you to remember your entire dream once you’re fully awake (it’s a thing).
3) Sometimes if you set a gentle alarm to wake yourself up a few minutes earlier than normal, you may have a better chance of recalling a dream (loud alarms won’t work). But whether with an alarm or by waking up naturally DON’T MOVE when you wake up. Wake up slowly and try to stay in the same position for a few minutes while you ask yourself what you were just thinking about, what did you just see, where were you, what were you doing? This will help improve your chances of capturing a glimpse of a dream.
And repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Over time you should have some real dream gems to write down and ponder. And as a bonus you’ll have begun building a healthy relationship with your own inner counsel, a strategy that will help lead you to becoming the best version of yourself.