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DEVELOPING DREAM RECALL AND KEEPING A DREAM DIARY

1. Consider your dreams meaningful and important. If you want to have dreams, your attitude towards dreaming is key. Intend to remember a dream. Practice auto-suggestion before going to sleep. As you fall asleep tell yourself: "I'm going to remember my dreams when I wake up."

2. Keep a notebook and pen beside your bed so you can write notes when you wake up without having to get up. Another option is to keep a tape recorder and record your dreams when you awaken.

3. As you awaken, keep your eyes closed. Go over the dream in your mind's eye and remember as much as you can. Don't dismiss small dream fragments or dreams which seem trivial. Thinking about them can bring back a whole night's series. When you remember a dream rehearse it several times in order to fix it in your memory. If you get up at this point and start your regular activities before reviewing the dream, chances are the dream will vanish.

4. Lie still while you try to remember your dreams. Try to remember your dream in the position in which you awoke, then roll over. Additional dream recall can come this way. When we recreate the original posture in which the dream occurred memory of it often flows back.

5. Write down your dreams in the order in which you recall them. Write out as much as you can remember. Don't worry about the meaning of your dreams as you write them down; the important thing is to get them on paper or on your tape recorder. Even if you recall only a single image record that in as much detail as you can.

6. Give your dream a title. It helps to focus the memory of the dream and can help in understanding it later on. You may also want to create a sketch of your dream or to illustrate in in a visual manner with maps or diagrams. If you have used a tape recorder make sure to transfer the recorded dream to your journal.

7. You may recall fragments of dreams during the day, if so write them down. Remembering such pieces can help you recall other dreams. It also helps to cultivate the flow between the dream and waking worlds.

8. Record emotional responses relating to your dream. How did you feel about the events within the dream, what mood were you in when you woke up, did any emotions or experiences from the dream linger on.

9. What if you can't remember anything? Write down whatever spontaneous images or thoughts occur to you, sometimes this can trigger recall and it also sets a pattern of recording. You can also note descriptions about the night, did you sleep well or badly, what were your thoughts upon going to sleep or awakening.

10. Dream recall is a habit and a practice. If you regard your dreams as important, cultivate an interest in them, they will come to you more readily and more often.

This information was prepared with the help from materials from Patricia Garfield.

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