Chapter Four - Remembering Dreams
It is important to know specifically how to recall your dreams because there is no point in having lucid dreams without remembering them. It is worth getting your dream recall up to a few dreams per night for exactly that reason.
Becoming familiar with your dreams will also increase your chances of becoming lucid in one.
First, a quick reminder about how often and for how long we dream. We have REM dreams approximately every 90 minutes of sleep, and while they start off at about 10 minutes, they increase in length to over 45 minutes. If you wake up while you are dreaming, you have roughly an 80% chance of remembering your dreams. Therefore, try setting an alarm clock to 4½, 6, or 7½ hours after you think you will fall asleep. This should wake you up directly from a dream.
The most important part of remembering dreams is keeping a dream journal or dream diary. You could use an office notebook, artist’s sketchpad, an online journal, a sheet of paper, or even an MP3 recorder — whatever seems natural to you. Here are some general tips for keeping your journal:
Write all your dreams and only your dreams
Ritualize your diary
Throughout the day
You can try remembering dreams by “back-tracking” — start from the moment when you woke up, and try to remember what you were doing before that. You may even be able to reconstruct your dream to the beginning.
If you find that many of your dreams are about certain items, such as cars and painting, then, if you’re finding it hard to remember your dreams in the morning, think about whether any contained your specific dream signs, in this case, cars and painting. You can even make a “dream lexicon” — a piece of paper with common dream items written on it, so you can read it every time you wake up.
Also, use the autosuggestion technique to improve your dream recall (see the full description of the autosuggestion technique in the next chapter).
Once you have a lot of dreams in your diary, you can start looking through it for dream signs. Common ones include flying, running to chase something, and being in an old house. However, it could be anything, such as crouching, skateboarding, or having one shoe missing! Try to look for these dream signs in real life and always do a reality check when you notice them.
“I Sometimes Remember More Dreams Than The Time I Was Asleep Could Allow. How Is This Possible?”
You may have had several dream scenes within a single dream period or some memories could be from past nights. It is also possible that dream time doesn't strictly correspond to real time. Days may pass in a dream during a single night's sleep. Dreams which seem to last for hours while you have them have sometimes been found to actually have a duration of only a few minutes.
“In What Order Should I Write My Dreams?”
It is usually very hard to tell if the dreams you dreamt happened in the order you recalled them. Generally you should write them in the order you remember them, or in a random order. If you dream that you told somebody about a previous dream that happened the same night, then that previous dream probably came before the other one (though the “previous dream” could have been a false memory)
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