4 Ways to Remember Your Dreams
by Jordan Rosin
However, we quickly discovered a few tips and tricks that had everyone remembering their dreams in no time. Here are a few that you might try yourself...
- Journaling Believe it or not, journaling about your dreams (no matter how well you remember them) actually increases your ability to remember other dreams later. Like anything, it just takes practice and the commitment to get started. You can write your entries by hand in a journal or record yourself speaking on a camera or voice recorder. PRO-TIP: Try also to remember to record how you felt about the events of your dream, both while it was happening and after you woke up. The feelings can be just as much a key to triggering your memory (and interpreting the dreams later) as the actual content of the dream itself.
- Physical Tokens If you leave a journal or note by your bed that says "I will remember my dreams" or which somehow embodies your strong intention (that's key) to recall what you dream, you might find that you're ready to remember your dreams by the time you wake up. Sometimes becoming aware and externalizing your intentions is all it takes.
- Wake up mid-REM cycle. Research has shown that people are most likely to remember their dreams if they are awoken mid-way through or immediately after a REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep (when dreaming takes place). Some people can do this in the dream-state itself by somehow becoming lucid and either telling themselves to wake up or telling themselves to remember their dream, but for less experiences dream-explorers you might try the help of an alarm clock or friend. The alarm clock might take some experimentation to find the right timing (REM cycles get progressively longer the longer you stay asleep), but a friend might be able to notice the bodily paralysis and/or the actual "Rapid Eye Movements" associated with REM Cycle dreaming and be able to gently wake you after a pre-determined period of such sleep. You can also check out some iPhone apps like "DREAMZ" which use your phones accelerometer to track nocturnal movement and wake you after the dips in movement which correspond to your REM Cycle.
- Get more sleep. Whether you're allowing yourself to sleep for longer periods of time and experiencing the benefits of longer REM cycles (which means more dreaming) or supplementing your regular sleep by taking naps in which you're unlikely to experience a full sleep cycle, getting more overall sleep is a hugely critical part of remembering your dreams. Some of our most interesting dreams actually happened during naps, or by hitting the snooze button on weekends. Granted, one of our cast members did also experiment with sleep deprivation to quite dramatic effect, but generally we recommend the healthier approach of resting more. (Remembering your dreams can actually be quite exhausting.)
About the Author
www.jordanrosin.com //@JordanRosin //www.theumegroup.org
Early Bird Registration for our Dream Dances Physical Theatre Intensive ends March 1.