Four Tips for Dream Recall

Related: Interpreting Dreams

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

How to Remember Dreams

I have paid attention to my dreams for many decades now. The dreamtime has so much to teach us about what is going on in our lives at the moment but many times, those messages fade quickly from consciousness on waking. Over time, I developed some tips to help myself remember dreams in those fragile first moments between dreamtime and the waking world. Perhaps these tips can help you recall your own dreams, if it is your wish to learn from them.

1. Ask for Dreamtime Guidance. When I was first attempting to remember dreams, I decided to start asking for help. Before I would go to bed at night, I’d ask for dreamtime help. I might ask for assistance with a certain area of my life, or guidance with an upcoming decision. I might also, as a healing facilitator, volunteer to go out and work with others who might need help. The bible says “Ask and ye shall receive.” Once I started asking, and made the commitment to give attention to what I was given in my dreams, remarkable changes began to occur in all areas of my life.

2. Be still on waking. I noticed that, after a particularly strong dream, there would be a few seconds on waking when it was vivid and fresh. However, if I started moving around and stretching it seemed to fade rapidly. It took a while to break that habit of going so directly from sleeping to waking state. When I was able to stay still, just a few seconds more on waking, the dream could often be captured in memory.

3. Program a dreamtime intent. Again, as I lay in bed before going to sleep, I started programming my mind to receive. I used affirmations to set my dreamtime intent. Your own affirmations may be different than mine but should include the result you want to achieve. Some of mine, which all helped increase dream recall, included statements of intent such as “I am going to remember my dreams” or “I understand the meaning of my dreams”. For me, this simple focus increases my recall.

4. Review dreams IMMEDIATELY on waking. This is the most important tip. If you notice, as mentioned in tip one, that you are waking from a strong dream, take time right there to speak out loud or write down elements you remember. I find that speaking aloud helps pull the dream forward but in cases where you might wake a sleeping partner, have a pad nearby to jot down important notes. Some put a pad by their bed for times when a particularly strong dream might wake them in the middle of the night but I have never been able to read my own writing when that happened. Each morning, I review whatever I can remember of my dreams, as a way of honoring the gifts and understanding the meanings. Before getting up and moving around, I just take a few moments to see what is there from dreamtime. When I first began this work, I journaled my dreams and found it very valuable, until it became automatic to review on waking.

If you will practice just these four things, I believe you will begin to understand the spiritual messages within your dreams, gain more clarity on your lifepath, and increase your intuitive sensing.

Jung and Freud on Dreams