Tips to Remember Your Dreams

I came across this article in the Body Mind Spirit Magazine from May/June 1994

by John R. Aberle, a freelance writer from McAllen, TX

  1. Before going to sleep at night, tell your subconscious what you want to work on. If you are aware of having a master, guardian angel or Higher Power, ask its help to find an answer. Be persistent. Only on rare occasions does someone with no prior training get something the very first time.
  2. Develop the habit of recording something every day when you wake up. All new habits take a minimum of 21 days to develop so commit yourself to recording somethings for 21 days. Even if you do not recall the dream, write something down immediately upon waking.Remember, feelings are as important in dream interpretation as are images and words. In fact, they may save you a lot of work. The ideal is to wake knowing what the dream meant.
    But if you get none of these, then write something even as simple as “I do not recall any dreams today.” What you write is not as important as the act of writing because you are trying to train your subconscious into giving you something to record.
  3. Keep pen or pencil and notebook or recorder conveniently placed near your bed. Especially when you are just starting to develop the skill of remembering your dreams, you need to record them immediately upon waking. Dreams flee from memory rapidly, often within seconds of coming awake.
  4. Train yourself to wake before your alarm goes off . The shock of the alarm clock or the music and talk of the radio can cause you to forget what was happening in your dreams when you woke. By giving yourself the the command to wake up at a certain time, you can actually get your subconscious to wake you several minutes before your alarm turns on.
  5. Try to remember your dreams after a nap set an alarm for 20 to 30 minutes after you lay down for the nap. While this sounds contradictory to the above point about alarms, everyone is different. If several of these techniques do not work for you, this one may.
  6. Command your memory to recall your dreams upon waking. This again is a matter of training. You must work at it before you will master it. Think of your dream memory as muscle which must be exercised to get strong. It rarely happens overnight but only after repeated drills.
  7. Instruct yourself not to remember any dreams. If the above techniques do not seem to work for you, use ‘reverse psychology’. Sometimes your subconscious is perverse and refuses to do as it is told, so tell it not to do what you really want done.
  8. Read something spiritually uplifting before going to sleep. This may help raise your consciousness above the concerns of daily life which are crowding out the very dream messages to help you handle these concerns.
  9. Before going to sleep, sing or chant a sacred word to raise your awareness. Some sounds or words to choose from include “Amen,” “Om,” “Mana,” or “Hu.” The same principle applies as in number 8 above.
  10. If you recall a feeling but no memory of any dream, try to imagine a situation that could create this kind of feeling. In this case, you are trying to draw back to memory more of the dream. Such a ‘mock up’ imagery may prime the (mental) pump.. Something you imagine may thereby bring back a snatch of the dream.
  11. Try to imagine a favorite or common expression for various emotions and experiences. By imagining how you would picture these expressions, you may trigger recall of a past dream. Try picturing the following emotions and experiences: anger, change, fear, love, training or preparation, and work. To spark your creativity, the following are some examples of expressions which can be visually depicted for the above emotions and experiences.
  • Anger – Add fuel to the fire; blew up; bullied his way through; dark cloud of anger; madder than a hornet; “see red”; snorting fire.
  • Change – Death (major change), earthquake; move or trip, as to a new home or another stare; tornado or “wind of change.”
  • Fear – Being all tied up; grizzly hear; suffocating; “Wolf is at the door.”
  • Love – Candlelight and roses; green with envy; puppy love; rose colored glasses.
  • Training or Preparation – Camp; college; school.
  • Work – Military career; field of real estate; construction industry; “A man’s work is his mistress.”


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