How to remember your dreams
Everyone dreams, every night. In fact on average we dream about every hour and a half. The longest dreams last between 30 and 45 minutes. And yet many people say they never dream. What they actually mean is that they cannot recall their dreams. If you would like to remember your dreams, there are some simple things you can do to make it happen.
Keep a dream journal
There is a time between beginning to wake up and being fully awake. This is the ideal time to record your dreams. It has been shown that the best way of remembering your dreams is to keep a dream diary. All you need is something to write on that you keep other side of your bed. It's probably best to get some sort of notebook. That way it keeps all the dreams together, in sequence, and you are less likely to misplace it.
When you first wake, think about what you were dreaming about, and immediately write a description of it it in your dream diary. Make a habit of doing it every day. Even if you can't remember the dream in detail, write down a word or a phrase that comes to mind.
As soon as you start, write down as much as you remember. Usually after you put down a few lines, you will recall more of the dream. Write that down, and you'll get more of the dream. Keep writing it until you think there is no more. Don't worry about spelling, grammar, or sense, or anything else. Don't worry about how weird it seems. Just write down whatever you remember. If you do this every day, over time you will be training your mind into recalling your dreams.
Tell yourself that you can dream
If you never, or seldom, have dreams then you need to tell your subconscious mind what you want. All you have to do is, when you go to bed, gently bang your head three times on the pillow, and say "I will wake up when I dream". It may take a couple of nights to have an effect but for most people this form of gentle self hypnosis allows them to become much more aware of their dreams.
Give your dream a name
After you have written down your dream, give it a name. If you don't have time right now to go over the dream in detail, then the name will remind you later on. You'll also find that when you go back and look over your dreams for a few weeks, you will probably find the same themes appearing in the names of your dreams.
Draw a rich picture
It is often useful to draw a picture of your dream. Just do a little drawing of one of the symbols in the dream. Then do another and link the first one to it, and then just keep adding more and more things which will remind you of your dream. You can also add in words and anything else you think will remind you. As you draw more and more of the dream will come into memory.
Use a mind map
If you don't have time for a written description, you just don't feel like writing it out in sentences, then use a mind map. A mind map has one or two words as the central idea. Write it down and draw little oval round it. Then draw three or four look little curvy lines coming off that circle. At the end of each line draw another oval. Then add more words which are the relationship to the central word. Draw more lines either from the second of also from the original oval. Eventually you end up with a a map of 'bubbles' containing the keywords of your dream.
The habit of writing down your dreams as soon as you have them will remind your mind how important it is to you. That will encourage your mind to waking up when you are having a dream. Eventually, you will find that your wake up several times a night immediately after having had a dream. Then you know down your dream in as much detail as you want to, and just go back to sleep.
Very often when you wake up fully in the morning you'll be surprised to see two or three dreams described that you don't even remember writing down.
He is highly regarded in the hypnotherapy community. He is Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (NZAPH).
He is regularly consulted for advice by other hypnotherapists around the world. He is known for the quality of his published scripts. He presents at international conferences and has published on hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy.
He lives in Wellington New Zealand with his wife Trish and a cat called Parsnip.