Don’t you hate it when you’re having an intense dream, filled with sights and sounds so vivid, you’re not sure if you’re asleep or awake? And then all of a sudden…BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, you’re startled by the buzzing of your alarm reminding you it’s time to begin another day. As you rise, your dream steadily fades as fast as you hop into the shower. The pictures that were so clear in your head only minutes ago have dwindled, leaving not a single suggestion of what you were dreaming about. By the time you leave house, your dream is nothing but a distant memory.
Spells of dream amnesia, like this one, are extremely common. In fact, we forget more of our dreams than we retain. And even though remembering our dreams can be difficult, we’ve compiled five unique and effective ways to diminish the overpowering effects of dream amnesia. So click on to the next page to find out how you can wake up remembering your dreams.
# The Window Treatment |
Getting More Sleep Image GalleryGetting More Sleep Image Gallery
Being jolted from a dream by your alarm clock can cause what’s called dream amnesia. See more sleep pictures. Don’t you hate it when you’re having an intense dream, filled with sights and sounds so vivid, you’re not sure if you’re asleep or awake? And then all of a sudden…BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, you’re startled by the buzzing of your alarm reminding you it’s time to begin another day. As you rise, your dream steadily fades as fast as you hop into the shower. The pictures that were so clear in your head only minutes ago have dwindled, leaving not a single s
Suggestion of what you were dreaming about
# Rewrite History! Well, Maybe Just Your Day
If gazing out a window isn’t your thing, there are other ways to help encourage dream recollection. An easy way to get in the practice of remembering is to muse over the events of your day, and then flourish it with dream-like touches. Choose a specific occurrence that you enjoyed and pretend it was a dream. Write it down using the present tense, reliving it as you write. For example, you could write about your morning commute to work, or how you spent your lunch break. You could begin by asking yourself these questions:
What time do I leave and arrive?
What am I wearing?
What’s the weather like?
What day of the week is it?
What is my mood?
Do I speak with anyone?
How do I travel?
Am I alone?
You can extend the exercise for as long as you want while including as much detail as you can. Recalling, considering and recording these real-life details as though they took place in a dream helps train your mind to remember your dreams, and writing out an event mimics writing in a dream journal–an extremely important tool in dream work.
Another effective approach is to frequently suggest to yourself that you will remember your dreams. Select a short, positive phrase such as, “I remember my dreams easily.” Rather than implying success at some point in the future, you will achieve better results if the statement is in the present tense.
You may want to choose a “suggestion trigger” to remind you to repeat your phrase throughout your day. For instance, every time you look at your watch or at a clock, repeat the phrase (either aloud or in your mind) as though it is an established fact. While doing so, visualize yourself writing out or sketching the details of your dreams.
You could also post reminder notes wherever you will notice them often, such as on your bathroom mirror, in your car or on your computer at work. It doesn’t matter if you write your phrase on the notes or leave them blank, as long as they remind you of your intent.
For many of us, it is much easier to remember our dreams when we wake up naturally rather than to the sound an alarm clock. Waking naturally allows our dreams to linger into our conscious mind as we slowly rise out of REM sleep.
Those who simply cannot live without an alarm clock should take advantage of down time in their schedules. The best time to practice dream recollection is during a weekend or a vacation, when you can maximize your opportunity to awaken with your body’s natural clock. You can also take advantage of extended naps. During naps longer than 20 minutes, the brain goes into the REM stage of sleep, so we dream. If you are able to wake soundly from an extended nap, take advantage of this time to also recollect dreams.