Not Dreaming or Not Remembering Your Dreams?
by Susan Harkins, AKA Rabbit
Many people insist they don’t dream and it’s hard to convince them that they’re wrong. The truth is, they just don’t remember their dreams.
If you think you don’t dream, take the short test below:
- Are you in a mental institution?
- Are you in the psych ward of a state or federal prison?
- Do you have an ax in your hand, but don’t know why?
Chances are, if you answered No to at least two of the questions above, you DO dream. You see, mental health experts determined long ago that individuals who don’t dream are psychopaths and unable to function in society. So, if you entertained guests in your own home this holiday weekend, instead of in the prison or hospital “family” room, chances are you’ll dream tonight, even though we admit, you probably won’t remember doing so.
Want to remember your dreams?
If you’re still with us, you’re probably wondering how you can become conscious of your dreams. Well, we can help you. Before you undertake this process, we have to warn you, the process isn’t for the weak-willed. Training your conscious mind to remember your dreams takes patience and commitment (no pun intended).
Below is a list of things you can do to remember your dreams:
- Keep an open notebook and pen next to your bed. Date it before retiring.
- Set your alarm for 4 hours after your bedtime, or half way through your normal sleeping cycle. (We know it’s awful, but you have to do it.)
- When you first lie down, get comfortable, go about your normal “getting sleepy” routine. But before you drift off, state your intent to remember your dreams. For instance, repeat to yourself, “I will dream and I will remember my dream.” at least 10 times – more if you can manage it.
- When the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, don’t move. In fact, a clock radio is probably better than an alarm clock, so you don’t have to turn it off. Just allow the music to play. Don’t move if you can help it. Lay perfectly still and ask yourself what you were dreaming. Don’t force the memory, relax, but don’t go back to sleep, not just yet. If you don’t remember anything, repeat a few action phrases like, “I was driving, I was swimming, I was flying, I was talking”. One of the suggestive thoughts may spark a memory. If it does, continue to relax, allowing the dream to flow past the front of your mind. Don’t try to force it. As soon as you have a good grasp of your dream, sit up and write it in your notebook. Reset your alarm for the time you normally get up, and go back to sleep.
Chances are you won’t remember this episode the next morning, so always check your notebook the next morning, to be sure. This process may take several nights or even weeks before you actually remember a dream. You will – with patience and diligence.
Once you remember that first dream, continue to awaken yourself in the middle of the night until you find yourself remembering dreams upon waking normally in the morning. Once you reach this point, you can dispense with the middle of the night wake up call.