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Dream Series: How to Remember Dreams

When I was a teen, I developed curiosity about the functions of dreams. With just a little exposure to dreamwork, I began writing them down. I noticed that the more I logged my dreams, the more I seemed to be dreaming. The act of writing them down seemed to help me remember them better, with more detail and frequency. I learned a little about dream interpretation and attempted to make meaning of them. But it wasn’t until adulthood that I experienced the power and psychological benefits of dreamwork.

Today, I encourage my clients to bring their dreams to therapy sessions to support their inner work. But what if you don’t dream? (Or, more accurately, you don’t remember what you dream.)

But the first step in dream work is to learn how to remember them. Here are a few things you can do to improve your ability to remember dreams.

• Before falling asleep, set the intention to remember your dreams.
• Before going to sleep, read any dream or dream fragment you wrote down last, inviting your unconscious to continue communicating with you.
•Drink a big glass of water before going to sleep. The urge to use the bathroom may wake you in a few hours when you are dreaming.
•Write down dreams as soon as you wake, even if it is the middle of the night. ( I don’t turn on the light. I just write with my eyes closed, allowing me to hold on to the images/story. In the morning I read over my messy scribbles and rewrite it more clearly.)
•Keep journal and pen next to your bed with a bookmark so you can open to new page even if it is dark.
•Keep a voice recorder next to your bed and record your dream to be transcribed later.
•Write or draw anything you remember – an image, feeling, words, scenary – even if it doesn’t make any sense.
•Be patient. Opening the pathway between the conscious mind and the unconscious takes practice.

Come back later for tips on dream interpretation.

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