This Dream Guide introduces tips and tricks on how to recollect your dreams more consistently, and offers different practices on what to do with them.
Part 1: Setting the right conditions
1. Everyone dreams. Up to six times per night even. So the question is not whether you dream or not, but whether you are able to remember them.
2. It might sound obvious, but sleeping is the single-most important condition for dreaming. Make sure that you sleep enough! As you progress in your sleep cycle, the REM phases (during which you dream) become longer and the intervals between them become shorter. Cutting your natural sleep cycle by 2 hours can mean to reduce your dream material by 50%.
3. Reserve at least half an hour before you go to bed for relaxing your system. Use meditation or relaxation techniques (such as progressive relaxation) to calm down. No screens and ideally only dim-lights during that time.
4. The closer you get to your bedtime, avoid substances that unnerve your system, i.e. coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, and do not eat nor snack before going to bed.
5. Aim for a stable sleep rhythm, meaning that you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Eventually you will be able to wake up without an alarm clock.
Part 2: Recollecting your dreams
6. This is probably the most important tip of all: Keep a dedicated dream journal beside your bed. As soon as you wake up, write down as much as you can remember from your dreams, even when it is just two lines. Sometimes writing down a couple of words can help you remember more of your dream(s).
7. Before you go to bed or as you are falling asleep, remind yourself that you want to remember your dreams during the night and in the morning.
8. As you wake up, do not move and do not open your eyes. Remain motionless and let the memory of your dreams come back to you. Even when you think that you have lost the connection to your dreams, waiting a couple of minutes and letting the mind wander lightly can do wonders.
9. As you practice, you will remember more and more and your memory will become more vivid. Don’t despair if your start is slow or you remember little to nothing. Every night you have a new chance!
10. Enjoy! Yes, really enjoy the strangeness and unrealistic logic that your dreams have to offer — even if some of them feel scary or uncomfortable. Their beauty is beyond any piece of culture out there, and you are creating them each night by yourself.