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  • Writer's picturemarti mcginnis

How To Remember Your Dreams Better

Dreams hold a wealth of information about who we are and what we hold important. I believe they provide opportunities where we gain access to other parts of the multiverse, concurrent existences that run parallel or are intertwined with the world we access during our waking hours. I'll say more about this in other posts.

We all dream, but some of us are a lot better at remembering them than others. Happily remembering dreams is a skill that can be cultivated. Yep, you can definitely improve your dream remembering skills if you follow some easy practices.

Dreaming Facts

We all dream every night, about one dream period every 90 minutes. At first our body claims all the sleep for pure rest, but after about 4 hours or so we enter the first REM (rapid eye movement or dreaming portion of sleep) stage.

Usually, the first dream of the night is the shortest, about 10 minutes long.. As we sleep the REM stage gets longer.t, And after 8 hours of sleep, dream periods can be 45 minutes to an hour-long!

Six Proven Tips For Remembering Dreams

  • Set Your Intention - State Your Goal

  • Have a Dream Journal Handy

  • Get Good Sleep

  • Set Gentle Alarms

  • Keep A Dream Anchor Within Sight

  • Practice Your Reporting Skills

Set Your Intention

Tell yourself “I’m going to remember my dreams” three times before you drift off to sleep.

Have a Dream Journal Handy

It can be a notebook and pen or you can use a memo recording app on your phone that you transcribe later into your journal. Writing down what you begin to remember is an excellent way to both improve your dream memory skills and solidify your intention to remember.

Get Good Sleep

Your mind and body need to rest and generally the first 4 to four and half hours spent sleeping will attend only to this. At about 4.5 hours in people typically enter their first stage of REM sleep. The first REM session is often no longer than ten minutes - but get increasingly longer, the longer you sleep.

The Mayo Clinic has some tips for improving sleep in this link.

Set Gentle Alarms

Try To Wake Yourself up during REM sleep. Set your smartphone to wake you after roughly 4.5, 6 or 7.5 hours of sleep. With luck, this will wake you during the first chunky phase of REM sleep and you'll have immediate dream recall. Write down whatever you can remember. The alarm sound should be as calm as possible not to stress the mind while transitioning from the dream.

NOTE: Many lucid dreams occur from 6am onwards,

Keep A Dream Anchor Within Sight

This is an actual object you deem as representative of your intention to remember your dreams. It can be any physical object. It acts as a talisman that holds space for your success at dream recall. When you awaken and your eyes fall upon it, it triggers your thoughts surrounding dream recall.

Practice Your Reporting Skills

Dreams can be very complicated events and feature many scenes and emotions that can be otherworldly. Even a seasoned reporter might struggle to capture the gist of the dream. So it is a good habit to begin honing your aptitude for reporting what you see. You can practice reporting what see out your window, at the park, on vacation and everywhere you go where you might take a moment and jot down some notes. Same too for being able to describe your thoughts and emotions. Practice!

Some Final Thoughts

On waking up, don’t open your eyes, don’t move, don’t say a thing — any sensory perception or movement tends to wipe out memories of a dream. “If you roll over and say to your spouse that you just had the coolest dream, you’re going to lose it,” Stickgold says. “Stay half-asleep and replay what you remember in your mind. As you replay it while awake, it gets stored differently, and now you’ve got it. A whole other chunk might even pop into your mind.” (New York Times, January 27, 2017)

Stay in the same position when you wake up!  Do not move from the position in which you awaken, and do not think of the day’s concerns – if you do; then you will forget most of it or even the whole dream 

Give a title to each dream!

That helps in reference, and some cases are an opportunity for more insight.

It is thought that a number of herbs can provoke vivid, intense, and colorful dreams. 

Some of the dream herbs include:

  • Calea Zacatechichi – ”the dream herb”- increases dream clarity and vividness

  • Mugwort – more surreal and colorful dreams

  • Clary Sage – promotes restful sleep, very effective dream herb

  • Ginko Biloba – enhances your memory, improves your dream recall

  • Blue Lotus – promotes colorful, vivid dreams, as well as memory


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