The best way to remember your dreams, like anything else in our world, is to practice.
How do you practice remembering your dreams? By creating a system to do it.
Go to sleep with pad of paper and pencil or pen next to your bed; really. It might sound stupid, but try it. It works.
Immediately after waking up, write your dream as best as you can. After writing that part, if you remember something else, write that down too. Indicate whether it came before or after the first thing you wrote down.
Try to always put the time and date on the corner of the page. You will find interesting patterns later when you review them.
If you wrote half a page of your dream, that’s great. If it didn’t make any sense when you read it back the next day, that’s just fine. Don’t worry about it. You have to start somewhere.
Eventually you will be able to write more and remember more. Today I can write about 6 full pages of notes after waking up, for 3 or 4 “chunks” of memories, in reverse time order. For whatever reason I always write down the most recent memory that’s freshest in my mind. Then I often harken back to the memory before that, and write that one down too. Then I usually remember the thing before that, and sometimes the thing before that.
I could never have reached this point without having my pad of paper and pencil nearby when I sleep. I always use a mechanical pencil to write with because ballpoint pens give me trouble, especially when I’m groggy and my eyes aren’t fully open when I wake up. I can’t afford to spend 5 minutes figuring out why my pen isn’t writing – I’ll lose too much of the dream that way. With a pencil, if you can see the lead, you know it will leave a mark on paper. That’s why I prefer pencils 10 times more than pens. Yes the lead sometimes breaks, and I have to click it a few times to get a new lead. A good pencil reliably provides a new lead after 8-10 clicks. Mechanical pencils just work.
In order to see what you’re writing, you need a light next to your bed that’s easy to turn on. That’s why I built a lamp with a touch-circuit from Home Depot in the base of it – I just touch any metal part of the all-metal lamp to turn it on. Actually each touch cycles thru a different level of brightness; 4 levels total (including “off”). Stabbing my whole hand in the general direction of my lamp is much easier than having to grasp at a tiny hidden twist-knob or slide-switch up and under the lampshade, right next to the burning-hot light bulb! There’s no need to spend $$$ on a touch-lamp; you can just find a regular metal lamp at a garage sale, buy an $8 touch-circuit from Home Depot, and wire it up yourself. I’ve done it many times.
I don’t write down dreams every night. I only really experience maybe 2 or 3 interesting dreams a month, or so. But those are often pretty amazing. Way more creative and interesting than anything I could have produced with my “creative imagination”. That’s one of the many ways that I can tell my dreams are real experiences, not just brain-short-circuiting hallucinations or whatever scientists think is going on when a human being is asleep. Another way is, I’ve learned new things from my dreams – things that help in the real world. There’s no way THAT came from my subconscious mind or past experiences.
Writing down your dreams helps you study some interesting things you never observed before:
- what is the pattern to when you have your most memorable / recordable dreams? Once a week? Once a month? a bunch grouped together or spread out? what’s the pattern?
- what time of the night do you have the most interesting dreams? what time do you wake up and record them? What is the hours, and the minutes? (I found that when I wake up, the minutes are ALWAYS either on the hour or the half-hour. That is not random.)
- What kind of dreams did you have this time last year? The year before? Is there a pattern? Why do you think that is?
- Do you dream more during full-moon periods? new-moon periods? before the full moon? after the full moon? any particular time of the year?
- When you review your past dreams from the last few months during the middle of the day, how does that make you feel? Is it a good feeling, or a bad feeling?
- Do you find yourself remembering the feelings of a dream in the middle of the day, for no reason? What is that connection?
There’s something to this dreaming, and experiencing. It feels like such a relief to experience the higher worlds, it feels like freedom, more than we have in our earthly lives today. You don’t have to take my word for it. I’m asking you to experience it for yourself. What is it like for you? And does it change, now that you’re writing things down?
You don’t have to disturb your partner, if you sleep with someone else. Just tell them that you like to write down ideas you have, any time of day or night. The touch-switch-lamp thing has a “low” setting the first time you touch it, so that’s perfect for low-powered light to write by. Then you can touch it 3 more times to turn off the light. That’s what I do. It doesn’t disturb my spouse all that much, most of the time.