The process for learning how to remember dreams more often isn’t very difficult or complicated. However, it does take a little bit of practice, and the longer you practice, the better you’ll get at it.
With that said, you need to understand that you will never be able to remember them 100 percent of the time. That’s just not realistic because of how our brains work, and there’s not much to do about it.
The good news is that you can start remembering them a lot when they’re important, and the ones that aren’t as important will tend to be the ones that you don’t remember. This means you aren’t really losing anything overall when it comes to the dreams that you forget.
Remember Dreams the Easy Way
Anyone who has tried to remember dreams can tell you that you may remember parts of them here and there right after you wake up, but those memories are very fleeting. This is because the chemicals that your brain produces when you dream have a side effect of making it difficult to store those memories for very long. As a result, you absolutely must shore up your memory of your dreams right after waking.
The easiest way to do this is with a basic dream logging technique. It doesn’t take any special equipment, and it doesn’t require spending a lot of time on this process. A minute or two right when you wake up will be plenty, and it can drastically increase your chances of remembering what you were dreaming about.
Step 1: Choose Your Dream Logging Medium
You basically have two choices when it comes to how you log your dreams. The first is to use something like an app on your smartphone or something like Google Docs. Setting up a dream journal online is really as simple as opening a new document that’s saved somewhere on the cloud. Tons of free services are available for this, and they allow you to access your log from all of your devices or a computer.
Your second option is a dream book diary on paper. You don’t actually have to buy dream journals specifically, but if you want to, that’s okay. Any regular notebook will do. However, we suggest having something small like a 5 1/2″ x 8″ notebook (also called an A5 size) because it’s easier to manage and doesn’t take up as much space.
When you pick how you’re going to set up your dream journal, you need to keep these three things in mind. Without all three of these points being taken care of, you won’t have very good results.
- It needs to be something you can reach for an access immediately after waking. Putting a dream logging journal on your nightstand in smartphone, tablet or notebook form is our recommendation.
- You need to make it personalized for yourself to some degree. While you can use a simple blank document to do this on your phone, having a set way that you format your journal entries will make it feel more personal and important for you. This can make it easier to really let your thoughts flow and get it all logged down before those memories become fleeting.
- This journal has to be something that you’ll use regularly without a problem. This means you need to avoid it being cumbersome, aggravating or irritating to use. If you have any type of unnecessary resistance like this, then you’ll use it less often, and when you do use it, you won’t be able to make your thoughts flow as well.
It’s worth taking a little bit of extra time to make sure you have all three of these points completely covered. While it does take a little bit of setting up, you’ll save time in the long run by making things that much easier on yourself.
Step 2: Take Down Anything You Can Remember Immediately After Waking
From here, you need to pick up your journal (digital or paper) and use it as soon as you wake up. Even if you can’t remember anything right then, that’s okay. Take a minute to just sit and let your mind catch up. You’ll often find that it takes a moment before your mind suddenly “hits you” with something that you were dreaming about.
When you’re learning how to remember your dreams, this is a critical part of the process. What’s happening is twofold. First, you’re training your mind to make those thoughts and ideas you had in your dreams conscious. Second, you’re taking a log of those dreams so that you won’t have to worry about forgetting them due to the chemicals released during the process that causes those dreams in the first place.
Step 3: Analyze Your Dream Journal Online or on Paper
After you get a few dreams logged in your journal, you’ll want to take a few moments to look back and see if you can make any connections. One important benefit for people who want to practice lucid dreaming is that this gives them things they should be mindful of in dreams. However, it also helps you to develop triggers for the DILD technique that can lead to you to make certain aspects of your dreams more conscious.
The end result, whether you want to extend this into lucid dreaming or not, is that you’ll remember aspects of your dreams more easily when you make the common themes conscious. With that said, you’re obviously not going to dream about the same things over and over, and that’s fine. Taking a small amount of time to analyze the contents of your dream book diary will still help you to remember these dreams more often as well.
It’s worth noting that analyzing these dreams can be very useful and rewarding on a personal level. Your brain can use symbolism that you’ve learned in your lifetime to try to communicate the problems it’s working on. Learning to interpret dreams is the process of learning what those symbols mean, figuring out what they’re about in your own life and using that to not only remember your dreams better but have a better understanding of where you’re at in life.
Learn How to Remember Dreams on a Whole New Level
The dream logging method we’ve outlined here is super simple, but don’t let that fool you. It’s still very effective considering the low amount of time and effort it takes. This type of logging can also be used with simple astral projection techniques.
However, if you’re interested in really diving in and getting much better at remembering your dreams, then you’ll want to start learning about lucid dreaming. A great place to start is in our list of Common Questions About Lucid Dreaming that will give you an idea of what to expect and what to look out for.
Jesse G. is a long-time fan of the esoteric in all of its forms and its effects on performance, happiness and stress in a variety of people. His work centers primarily around allowing people to use a variety of areas to figure out what works best for them as individuals.