How to remember your dreams
May 10, 2009
Based on personal experience. Nothing scientific, really.
- You generally remember vivid details of a dream only if you wake up immediately after it. So early morning dreams are easier to remember than midnight ones.
- Details start slipping from memory the moment you wake up. Towards the afternoon, you’ll only remember that you had a dream and what it was about. You won’t be able to describe it.
- All but the most memorable dreams are completely lost within a day unless reviewed at least once after waking up.
- Best way for dream retention:
- If you wake up and realize you just woke up from a dream:
- Do not open your eyes
- Do not try to get up or shift your position in bed
- Stay in bed and try to imagine the events of the dream
- Once you’re bored with that, get up (I’m usually able to continue the dream for a few minutes in a semi-lucid state)
- Try to recall the events in your mind, back-to-front: recall the most recent event and keep asking yourself ‘and what happened before that?’
- If you do this at least once, you’re likely to retain the dream for at least a day or two without having to write it down. But as conventional wisdom goes, it does help to write it down.