Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Remembering Dreams

In The Giant Compass Chapter 3 discusses tips for remembering dreams. This is especially important since people often say that they do not remember their dreams. We know from EEG studies that people dream every 90 minutes while sleeping so dreams are being generated but not always remembered. What are some of the important features that allow people to remember their dreams upon waking?


  1. I would assume vividness, emotional strength, novelty and affective components are helpful to recollection.
    Practice the deliberate cognitive exercises involved in recollection too.
    I'd also assume that being in a healthy cognitive state (not drunk/ hungover, psychotic) would help too.

  2. I think one of the most important things that helps someone remember their dreams is wanting to remember. If someone doesn't really have any interest in remembering their dreams then they probably won't (like it was mentioned in the text and in class). For example, I have a few friends who say they rarely ever remember their dreams but that they don't really mind. Just like someone probably won't do well in a class if they have no interest in paying attention to the lectures.

    Also I think getting enough sleep is important because if you get very little sleep or are woken up a lot during the night then you're less likely to even reach REM sleep where the most dreaming occurs. So having a fairly routine sleep schedule is important, otherwise your sleep cycle can get really messed up.

  3. As stated in the textbook and in lecture, the dreamer must be convinced that dreams carry important messages that are relevant to the dreamer's waking life. I think that just being aware that your dreams are important is a crucial step in remembering your dreams upon waking. Thinking about previous dreams and reminding yourself about dreaming also plays an important role in remembering your dreams.

    Clearing your mind and winding down before you go to bed also helps. I find that it helps if you have your dream journal opened to a blank page on your desk or night table near your bed so you can jot down your dream upon waking up. I find that recording my dreams in as much detail as possible and re-reading them also helps me to remember my dreams.

    I think that people who say they can't remember their dreams either have no interest in learning about themselves or are afraid to learn about how their dreams can provide insight into their daily lives.

  4. agree with both Alexandra and Meagan when they say that wanting to remember and know your dreams is important in recollection, but I find that if you try too hard to remember your dreams it won't work. I have taken the tips of replaying previous dreams in my head along with repeating " I will remember my dreams" before I go to sleep and find that through personal experience that when I tell myself to remember my dreams at night, I often wake up not remembering anything at all. There could be other factors that may prevent this but I find that it is interesting that sometimes when I really want to remember them I just cant. Maybe its being too focused or as mentioned in class I just need to relax instead of being so intent on finding something. But adding to everyone's comments relaxation would be key so that your just able to let the dreaming process occur!

  5. I follow most of what you are all suggesting, and so far I have been relativley sucessfull in remembering my dreams. I follow closley to what the book instructs us to do, and I find it extremly helpfull as well.

    I am having issues remembering conversations and talking from my dreams. Everything else I can recall very vividly, but any form of verbal communication seems to slip my mind in the morning when I wake up. Other then that I remember almost every little detail.

    Is there a specific techniques that any of you find works best for remembering conversations, or will that just come with practise?

    Grace Williamson

  6. I agree with the previous posts on strengthening one's ability to remember their dreams, but do believe that each of those techniques requires practice and commitment to get the full picture of what each dream consisted of, and being able to remember them in their entirety.

    Grace, I also find it difficult to remember specific conversations from my dreams, but can recall with extravagant detail the other aspects within each dream. I think that with more practice and through using dream interpretation methods, we will find it much easier to recall more detail as each dream is remembered more and more vividly.

    As Kimberely suggested, relaxation may also play a role in being able to remember conversational content from dreams - by being more relaxed and meditative in recalling dreams when we wake, I would think that finer detail, such as words spoken from specific characters in the dream, would come to mind much easier than if we think too hard on what was being said, who spoke what, etc.

    I am hopeful that towards the end of the course, through practicing more and more dream interpretation methods, we will be able to remember every detail of our dreams, including conversations!

  7. I definitely agree with Chris that emotional strength and vividness are important components that are helpful to recollection. Dreaming about family/friends has a much heavier impact on how I feel about the dream upon waking than if I dream about strangers. I believe that the best tips that allow people to remember their dreams upon waking are combining both wanting to remember and practicing recollection. Being able to clear your mind before going to bed, I have found, will also help remember dreams. I have also found that it is easier when I wake up without hitting the snooze button (after doing so I find it very difficult to remember my dreams). Does anyone else have this problem? Along with Megan, I think that the person also has to want to follow their dreams. I agree with both Grace and Kelly that remembering conversations is more difficult than remembering the scene/ imagery that appear in them. But I have to ask if we are supposed to remember the conversations? … Using the worksheets provided in The Giant Compass, we are supposed to come up with our own interpretation of what we believe our dream meant … if we were able to remember conversations, would we have to come up with our own story (as we do in Step 4), or would it already be told for us? I do not agree (sorry!) with the notion that people who cannot remember their dreams don’t want to learn more about themselves or are afraid too, though this may be true for some, I do not believe that it is true for all. Someone may know exactly where they are going in life, and not need any further instruction on how to get there.

  8. As mentioned in chapter 3 of The Giant Compass, a key feature for remembering dreams is to consider them important. If a person believes his or her dreams portray valuable information, it is much more likely that he or she will remember them. It seems that when people believe that their dreams are meaningful, it enables them to relate them to things in their waking life, which is useful for remembering them. Personally, I’ve noticed that when I’m awake and carrying on with my day, certain things will trigger my memory of a dream.

    I also agree with Alexandra’s statement about clearing the mind and winding down before going to sleep. This ties in with the section on “remembering to remember” from the chapter, because having a clear mind before bed would make it easier to focus on remembering a dream.

    Recording dreams is definitely useful. Since I’ve signed up for this course I have been recording my dreams and when I read through them they seem more and more vivid each time. Keeping in mind that you want to remember your dream seems like a useful tool, and has been working for me so far!

  9. Assuming someone practices good insight during conscious, waking life (e.g. meditation/ mindfullness), perhaps the necessity for the unconscious mind to have to "grab your attention" through dreams would diminish? Therefore reducing the incidences of remembering dreams?
    Part of the lecture stated that disturbing dream images diminish with insight and therapy... maybe not remembering dreams is a marker of good mental health, rather than cognitive laziness or denial?

  10. I am 100% agreeing with Victoria. I am a person who has difficulty remembering my dreams and it is not due to the fact that I don't want to learn about myself. However I believe it has something to do with how creative and imaginative you are. I find that I am not really that type of person and so maybe that is why I don't recall many of my dreams. On the other hand when I do remember a dream whithout the help of the book then they are very vivid for me.

    The book has helped me to remember some dreams that I have had since starting the course and am looking forward to finding out what they mean however I think because I am so concentrated on them now I think I look into them too much in my dream journal where I actually edit it.

    I have done the exact same thing as Kimberely where I have rehearsed my dream so that I won't forget it in the morning to write in my journal but still know that I have forgotten information from the dream. Maybe if we try too hard to remember then our minds block which is not a good thing either because I know I felt pretty frustrated when I knew I had been trying to keep it to write it down but ended up forgetting.

    I don't know if anyone else has had this happen but I feel like when I am dreaming I am conscious of the fact that I need to record it and I don't think it effects the way I dream but there is that component to it. Maybe its just because I'm really just starting to remember my dreams I don't know.

  11. I agree with the idea that if people are going to bed with too much stuff on their mind they will not remember their dreams. Personally, I know when I have a busy week ahead (whether it be work or school assignments, readings, or volunteering) I go to bed and think of what things I have to get done right away and plan the next fews day out in my head, I do not remember dreaming when I wake up the following morning. However if i relax right before bed, I wake up either remembering bits and pieces of my dreams or the whole dream.

    I also have to agree with the other posts though, if people do not care about their dreams or believe they can't learn anything from them they probably will not remember them.

    Also, certain dreams may frighten or worry an individual which may be why they don't remember their dreams. For instance if they have a dream about their current relationship that may be a "sign" its either not a healthy relationship or one that is not ment to last, the individual may not want to remember it... so they don't.

  12. Sorry, I guess what I meant to say is that maybe "some" people who don't remember their dreams might be fine with not remembering them because they don't want to see how their dreams are connected to their waking life. For instance, I have a friend who says she wouldn't want to use strategies to remember her dreams because she is afraid of what her dreams would tell her about her waking life.

    On the other hand, I am optimistic that the people who want to remember their dreams will be able to by the end of this course with all of the techniques and strategies that we have learned about and will learn about.

    Does anyone else have any unique strategies/techniques they use to help them remember their dreams?

  13. I agree with what others are saying about effort being one of the key components in remembering a dream. I agree with Megan when she said that if a person doesn't have any interest in remembering their dreams, then they probably won't. Through my own personal experiences, I have come to realize the effort needed to accurately recall my own dreams. I find that if I don't wake up and give myself a mental play by play of what I had just dreamt about, then my dreams become fuzzy, and I quickly forget them. Alexandra made an interesting point when she said that some people who don't remember their dreams might be fine with not remembering them simply because they do not want/care to see how their dreams are connected to their waking day life. I feel like this statement is probably true.

    I also agree with Leanna, and her thoughts regarding the importance of relaxation. Similar to Leanna's experiences, I have also found that if I am able to relax before falling asleep, then I am able to vividly recall my dreams the next morning,(or at the very least bits and pieces of them). When I am stessed, or have too much on my mind before bed, I find that I do not get a good "deep" sleep, and I am not able to remember any of my dreams from the night before.

    Therefore, I feel that effort, and relaxation, are both important components to a person being able to remember their dreams.

  14. I think there are many key components to remembering your dream and for everyone it is different. As previously said, things like alcohol or a busy mind before bed will decrease dream recall, where as relaxing, deliberately telling yourself you will remember and having your dream journal beside your bed defiantly helps. Dr. DeCicco and the text did state remembering your dreams comes with practice so with that I do agree with those who can't remember their dreams that it may not be because they don't care but they just need to find what works for them and practice. I have found when I wake up I don't jump up but rather stay where I am and immediately start thinking about my dream (well I've done this since I've been in the class) and that makes it MUCH easier to remember. What I have found interesting is what Sabrina said. I too will have things throughout my day trigger memories of a dream. As soon as that happens I again write it down and again have no problem remembering it after that.
    I do though agree with the text, lecture and most other people, that wanting to remember your dream helps a lot, I was always pretty good at remembering but ever since this course began I feel like I remember a lot more. I even find I'm remembering multiple dreams I have at night, rather than just one.

  15. Attaching significance to dreams, and keeping in mind their importance throughout the day, has certainly helped me in increasing dream recall. Chapter 3 was definitely helpful in that respect. Personally, I find that having a daily chat with a friend where we discuss our dreams of the night before has also helped to make remembering dreams a more important task - if I don't recall a dream, I have nothing to share in our conversations! Has anyone else found that talking about their dreams, rather than only writing them down, has helped with recall?

    While I don't find that how relaxed I am before sleeping plays a large part in my dream recall, as Leanna and Julie do, being relaxed when I awake certainly does. If I am in a frantic state (such as from being late to rise) I find the dream won't be remembered. Being in a relaxed mental state seems to be a much more powerful trigger than anything that may occur throughout the day, for me at least.

    I also wonder if length of sleep has an influence on dream recall? I tend to remember my dreams more clearly if I only have a couple hours of sleep as compared to a full night. Any thoughts on that?

    -Carey-Ann Bette

  16. The textbook talks about the importance of practice in remembering your dreams, and this is the one tip that makes the most sense to me. I also disagree with the idea that people who can't remember their dreams don't care what their dreams mean or are afraid to find out the meaning (while this may be true for some, not all). In my opinion, people who have difficulty remembering their dreams probably never had the tools available to them to know how to interpret them and never knew how to start the practice of remembering them. I strongly believe that you get good at the things you practice. I am still finding it difficult to recall my dreams even though I now have a clear reason to remember them and an interest and curiosity about my dreams. I liked the tip in the text about getting your conscious mind ready to remember. It's interesting how the text talks about triggering your mind to think about dreams at several points in the day. I am going to start trying to look at my dream jouranl at night before I go to bed, as the text suggests this is another strategy to trigger my mind to be thinking about dreams.

    -Jennine Langley

  17. Carey-Ann Bette - I feel the same way. However I also find I only remember my last dream before waking - or so it seems. If we dream every 90 minutes, thats alot of dreams for someone to remember, especially if they are getting their full 8 hours sleep. I actually find that no matter how much sleep I get, I can never remember more then 1-2 dreams when I wake up.

    Its a confusing thought really, because how do I know that the dream I remember was indeed the last dream I dreamnt? Maybe its just the dream that had the most meaning to me, so I subconsciously thought of it upon waking?

    Grace Williamson

  18. Before starting this class I would only recall and clearly remember an estimate of one dream every 3-4 nights. Since Dreams and Dreaming has started and I have started to record my dreams nightly, I am now able to fully remember at least 1 dream every night. As said in The Giant Compass, while "remembering to remember" my dreams, this helped me get into a pattern where I could recall my dreams with less effort. I feel as though remembering to remember your dreams by writing them down before forgetting them completely is very important for dreams analyzing.

    I also believe that by having a dream journal, this could help any individual to start remembering their dreams more efficiently. By writing something on paper while it is still fresh on someones mind, is effective when trying to remember one's dreams. Having a journal used to record dreams will also help that individual establish a habit where he or she will write a dream immediately upon waking.

    I hope that while continuing to practice these methods on how to recall dreams, I will eventually be able to properly analyze and understand the meanings being my dreams.

  19. That's a really interesting point Grace, I guess we can't really know.

    Usually I can recall about 3 dreams from an evening after a full night of sleep, but by waking they seem to start to merge into one long, changing narrative. If I don't write down the dreams straight away, only one of them will become easy to recall. It isn't always the most recent one for me, but that seems to be mostly the case. I usually have more difficulty remembering the middle dream than I do the first and last. The first always seems more vivid, and the last more salient.

    -Carey-Ann Bette

  20. It was said that sometimes the dream is forgotten when our head is turned into a different position than it was when we woke up from a dream, and that if we move our heads back into the position we were in when we woke up, the dream may flood back into our memories, so to speak.

    I personally find that when I go to bed exhausted, I don't remember my dreams as well as when I go to bed just because of the time. I also find that eating fish for dinner makes my brain go into high gear and I dream alot. I find I can only remember the last dream just before waking, or maybe 2 dreams. Or is it just 2 scenes from the same dream? I rehearse the dream I remember in my memory until I get a chance to get to my dream journal to write it down. I remembered one really weird dream for 2 days before being able to write it down! I can still remember it for the most part 2 weeks later, though it is missing some details.

    Melissa Van Grootel

  21. Before going to bed, thinking about remembering your dreams and “wishing” to remember your dreams can help you remember them in the morning. Also, writing your dreams down the moment you wake up helps you remember them in the most detail because they are most vivid then. Once you get into the habit of writing your dreams down upon waking, remembering your dreams the next night becomes easier because you are in the habit of remembering your dreams. Meditating can also help you remember your dreams because your body and mind are in a relaxed state and therefore you have deeper, uninterrupted sleep patterns, which allow you to have more vivid dreams. A dreamer must also believe that their dreams are important for waking day decisions, and that their dreams have meaning in what they do everyday.

  22. The textbook mentions several things that will help the dreamer to remember his or her dreams. The first step is to have a dream journal for recording the dreams beside your bed. Priming the mind is important, and this can be accomplished in several ways, including: telling the mind that you want to remember your dreams, giving value to the dreams you do record by re-reading them at times during the day and reminding oneself to remember dreams just before sleep. Meditation is important to bring the mind into an alpha state more receptive for dream recall. You must write your dreams immediately upon waking, in as much detail as possible. Once your waking beta mind becomes active, it is very easy to forget dream information, although sometimes it is possible to regain dream details if you stay in a quiet state of mind upon waking (as opposed to turning on TV morning shows, checking your email, etc.) The prof even said sometimes if you forget but you return to the same place and position your body was in when you woke, you could bring back some dream memory. I have experienced something in my waking life triggering a dream memory.

  23. I totally agree with Chris on the importance of vividness and emotional strength. From my personal experience, the dreams which I remember in the most detail are a combination of bizarre content with vivid sensory or emotional content. I have in the past often woken up and though that my dreams are totally random and bizarre and ultimately didn’t make any sense. One the other hand I had these overwhelming sensations and emotions associated with the bizarre content which made me think about it well into my waking day. Now that I have started to record these dreams and have gone through a few of them with the story telling method, they are starting to make a lot more sense to me. I hope that by the end of the course I am able to remember more of my dreams.
    I too find that when I wake up on my own versus an alarm clock my dreams are much clearer. There is something about the interruption from the dream that makes at least the current dream inaccessible to me. It is interesting to wonder though if the most memorable dream is in fact the last one, or if it is just the most salient one of the sleep.

    -Colleen Shaw

  24. I think people remember their dreams based on relevance or connection to their lives. The more real is it to them, the more likely they are to remember and learn. Also, sometimes the odd or weird dreams are the ones that are remembered because they leave a person asking, "what?" and since it is so weird, they usually tell another person and through talking (Or story telling) they remember more and more details of that dream. If someone isn't into keeping a dream journal, talking about the dream with another person will surely help keep this dream in memory.

  25. I found reading the chapter on how to remember your dreams very helpful. I usually remember most of my dreams, but after reading that I did think about remembering my dreams before going to sleep. And I was surprised how much more of my dreams I remembered. It was much easier to remember emotions that I was feeling, colours in the scene and greater details than before. I think those are important features that allow people to remember their dreams after waking. The general plot of the dream is usually easy for me to remember but that may not be the case with everyone. We need the plot or story line of the dream in order to complete an interpretation to achieve any discovery.

  26. I've often had trouble remembering my dreams, but as I have been writing in my dream journal it has been easier for me to start remember the events of my dreams.
    I find that it is helpful that when i first wake up the only thing i focus on is trying to remember my dream. Most often my schedule runs through my mind in what I have to do during the day.
    But now i close my eyes, take a deep breath and think of what I had previously dreamt about.

  27. One of the most effective strategies I took from the book was to retrain my brain into realizing that dreams are important. For a really long time I could not remember my dreams, but as soon as I basically told myself "remember my dreams, remember my dreams", I remembered them. I'm not sure if this happens to anyone else, but now that my brain has realized that my dreams are important, I will wake up right after one of my dreams finishes. I guess to help me recall it. Then after I recall a certain dream, I will fall back to sleep and not be able to recall any other dreams the next time I wake up. It's kind of strange. Also, if I go to bed thinking about a problem or issue in my life, then I will usually have a dream concerning that situation and will be able to recall the dream. That might help other people to remember their dreams as well, if they focus on a certain aspect of their life, they may dream about it, and may be better able to recall it.

  28. I agree with the previous comments. before starting the class and reading the books, I usually only remembered one or two dreams every now and again. For me to rememeber now, I try to think about my dreams right before I fall asleep. By taking this class, I really want to learn more about myself and relate my dreams to my waking life to make positive changes and simply understand the meanings behind my dreams. To reitterate, I believe that if you dream about people in your life that you know and circumstances that are vividly portrayed in your dreams, you will have a better time remembering your dreams than if you dream about strangers and situations that do not seem important to you at the time. However, Professor DiCicco said to me that even if you think you know what your dream is telling you, you never really know until you do a dream interpretation of it.

  29. I think people have pretty much all agreed on the fact that to remember your dreams you need to both want to remember your dreams, have a clear mind and agree that dreams hold significance to a persons daily life.
    The problem I have found through the process of attempting to recall my dreams is thinking too much about it. I meditate and focus on wanting to remember my dreams. I then spend the night way too focused on remembering my dreams that I barely sleep.
    I consulted Professor DeCicco about this issue and learned that I need to stop the process for a bit, go at it a little slower. I do believe that a big part about remembering your dreams is having a clear mind before you go to bed. Making to do lists and meditating just for the sake of meditating has helped me do this. It is definitly a slow process for those of us struggling with dream recollection!

  30. As Dr. DeCicco has mentioned simply thinking about dreams and making them a part of your waking day life is important for recall.

    Some things I’ve noticed to help myself remember are…
    -doing the research on dreams and dream interpretation...metanalysis
    -critically thinking about dreams during the day, making connections, and of course the unavoidable personal ‘analysis’
    -the biggest feature that’s been beneficial in helping me remember my dreams is recording them as soon as I wake up, even if in the middle of the night

  31. As suggested by Dr. DeCicco in the Giant Compass, I simply think about dreaming before I fall asleep. I have found that when I make a conscious effort to remind myself to remember, the dream is clear as day when I awake. However, if I fall asleep without thinking about dreaming, while reading a textbook for example, then it's very hard for me to remember my dream. As my day progresses, often there will be one seemingly minute detail that sparks my memory and then I can usually remember what basically happened in my dream. It is also important to fall asleep without any altering effects to your mind (drugs, alcohol, etc).

  32. I think that most of the important factors that I have found have been mentioned already. Alcohol and drugs being in your system I find to be a big one because then when you are asleep your mind and body are not affected or altered in any way.
    Also actually wanting to remember your dreams and finding out about yourself in a positive way is a big factor because you have to care about what you are dreaming about if you want to actually have the dreams and be able to remember them for later to analyze them.
    One point that was made earlier on in the discussion is remembering separate dreams, when I awake I cannot distinguish different dreams until I can write them down and see a direct gap in between two scenes where I am not able to recall how I got from one place to another. I find I have a lot of little dreams but when I am able to remember them in the morning it feels like one long dream to me because I don't remember the gaps, I just have to recognize them when I write them down and that I see I went from a river to a movie theater and have to path from one to the other.

  33. As stated by others, I feel that the most important factor in my ability to remember my dreams is to wake up during them. I understand that is not always possible but for me it is usually a sure fire way to remembrance. Telling myself to remember my dreams before I go to bed and while falling asleep has worked to some degree and it is very possible that my interpretation of the giant compass's methods simply needs a little tweaking but thus far I have been relatively successful in remembering my dreams by setting an alarm and waking up during them, in some detail I might add

  34. I agree with a lot of what has already been said. There are so many things I find that contribute to remembering a dream. Like many have mentioned being in the right cognitive state is a big thing.

    Also it was mentioned that wanting to remember your dreams is a big thing as well. If you have no interest in remembering then you probably won't.

    Also writing it down right when you wake up is important. I find that often when I wake up I often spend another 10 minutes trying to go back to sleep and don't. However since I spend that 10 minutes trying to fall back asleep I forget what the original dream was.

  35. What I find myself having difficulty with is the TSM method. My analytical mind jumps in too fast. I am doing OK with recording my dreams (Step 1). I can usually pick out the or the phrase that jumps out at me (Step 2) -- although sometimes I find a sentence with more than one significant word in it, and other times I can't pick out a word so I leave that sentence out.

    When I get to Step 3 (b) Associations, after a few words, my analytical mind gets involved and begins to block free-flowing association. When I get to Step 4 -- the Story part --- I'm stalling out. I think my Left brain wants to write the story and get in on the action, and not allow the Right brain to have a go. HELP!

    Would working with another student help? -- Step 3(b) and Step 4 -- Someone who could mix up the word association part like the example done in class?

  36. I think waking up with relatively little on the mind and not thinking about the days tasks that lie ahead is an important factor for remembering dreams. Also, being in good health when your sleeping, for instance if you have the flu, your sleep could become so interrupted, dreaming could become near impossible. For example, I've noticed every time I have gone to sleep with a migraine, I wake up and cannot remember my dreams. I've also found that on the days I wake up by self (and not by an alarm) I am much more likely to remember my dreams.
    I don't think it's fair to assume people who aren't remembering dreams are consciously doing that. I think not remembering dreams is a defense mechanism used, either to sleep or wake more soundly. We sleep to get rest and when you dream so vividly about crazy things, often you can wake up feeling not well-rested. So I think maybe people unconsciously try to not remember dreams, and that could take a long time to work on to train themselves to begin remembering. I am interested in seeing how well the meditation works after practicing it for a while.
    A problem I have noticed with remembering my dreams is that when I dream about family and friends and there is much conflict and tension, I wake up feeling negative towards them and find I am actually acting more negative towards them in waking life. It's almost as if I cannot help it. I am a little confused about that...

  37. Upon waking up it is very important to try to remember yours dream(s) right then and there and record them immediately in your dream journal. This way the dream is accurate. I agree that when the dream has a significant emotional component or vivid imagery it will probably be easier to recollect. nonetheless effort and willingness on the dreamers part is needed to successfully recollect and interpret their dreams. In order to get any sort of clarity about your inner self or your waking day issues I also feel the dreamer must want to remember and understand their dreams and believe in the process.
    Relaxing, clearing your mind or even better meditating throughout the day will aid a dreamer in remember their dreams. Actively reminding oneself through their waking life to remember their dreams will also help a dreamer remember their dreams. When a dreamer does remembers their dreams, it is helpful to think about them throughout the day.
    Before bed time, thinking about your dreams, reading your dream journal and just simply engaging your mind with your dreams/dream patterns should help in remembering a dream upon waking.

  38. I think everyone has made some really well thought out points. Remembering your dreams is often hard.. Personally, prior to taking this class, I noticed that I was always able to remember bits and pieces of my dreams, but was not always able to remember the entire story.

    I think that your cognitive state of mind is really the first step to remembering your dreams. I am sure we have all had those nights where you just cannot sleep because your mind is constantly jumping from one thing to another.. "I have to go to the doctors tomorrow" or "I forgot to do my homework thats due".. In order to help stop these racing thoughts, Prof. DeCicco suggested that we meditate to clear our minds. Has anyone tried this and found that it works? What are some other ways you help your mind clear?

    Also, I have noticed that once I wake up, I remember my dreams because they are the first things I think about. Once I get up and around, though, I forget them rather quickly. It is almost as if once you start moving, they leave your mind because you now think you have to go to the washroom or brush your teeth. Trying to remember them later on in the day can often be difficult.

    As suggested in our reading, lectures and from personal experience, writing down your dreams with as much detail as you can before you leave the bed can greatly increase your chances of remembering. I also saw this on an episode of Dr. Oz and the experts that he had on his show told viewers that current research showed if you kept a "dream log" beside your bed and wrote down all the information you could remember prior to leaving your bed, you could slowly begin to train your mind to start recalling more and more.

  39. I usually tell myself that I’ll remember my dreams before I go to bed. I also find meditating before bed to be helpful; I find it easier to remember my dreams before bed if I’m calm. Lauren was asking about mediating to clear our minds and, at least for me, it works. When I do remember my dreams, I usually repeat the dream in my head until I get it recorded down in a journal or file. This has to be the first thing you do in order to remember them or else you will forget the dream. Whenever I have a moment later in the day I’ll go over what happened in my dream.

    I’ve noticed it is very difficult to remember my dreams when I sleep late at night. For me, it might be because I tend to wake up at a set time each day regardless of the day so I imagine it might be my lack of sleep causing it.

  40. I think the best way to remember a dream is to write it down as soon as you wake up (if you remember it). I find that during the first 15 minutes when I wake up, I would remember my dreams but after the 15 minutes, it would start becoming fuzzy and I will eventually forget it. Therefore your drams should be written down. I also found that talking about it in the morning, describing to someone like a friend or a family member would also help in remember dreams.

    Besides writing it down, I have heard in one of my psychology class that telling yourself to remember your dreams before you sleep would help remember dreams.

    A good night's sleep is also very helpful to remember your dreams. Sleeping in an entirely dark room will help people get a better night sleep. From my own experience I think this is very helpful.

  41. As outlined in chapter three there are various techniques that are useful when trying to remember our dreams. One technique is to remind yourself to remember your dreams before going to sleep and reciting past dreams throughtout the day. I tried this technique, however I began to stress too much about trying to remember them and therefore I was waking up not remembering them. In the summer I had no problems waking up remembering my dreams but when I had to start writing them down I was no longer able to remember them.
    One technique that I found to be useful was to relax before going to bed. Relaxing or meditating is found to be very helpful in remembering dreams. Having a notebook and pen beside a bed allows the dreamer to easily record their dreams upon waking.
    My job requires me to work
    shift work, I find that when I work overnight, I am very tired in the morning when it is time to go to sleep. Due to my overtiredness I usually experience very vivid dreams and I am able to easily remember them in the morning.

    Kristina Pasnick

  42. I tend to think that dreams are an important part of the human conscious while you are sleeping. They act as a way for the mind to unwind, so when you are given the chance to sleep, you will dream. As a result, it doesn’t matter whether I’ve slept for 3 hours or 8 hours, because in both situations I have been able to remember my dreams.

    That being said, I have noticed that I am more likely to remember my dreams when there is a real personal connection to my waking life (dreaming of friends and family, dreaming of things I need to do), or when there is a vividness to my dream that really makes it stand out. While I don’t always remember my dreams upon waking, I have found that these personal connections, when something in my daily life reminds me of them, can act as a cue that allows lead me to recollect the dream the personal connection was in.

  43. According to the Giant Compass there is a few things that the dreamer can do in order to make it easier to recall their dreams. One of the tips is paying attention to your dreams. This requires the dreamer to decide that the dream information is important. The information can be brief or detailed but the dreamer must decide that it is important in order for the mind to focus on it.

    Another tip for recalling dreams is remembering to remember. What this requires is for the dreamer to set aside time in the day to think about previous dreams and tell the mind to remember the dreams. The dreamer should also think about dreaming before bed.

    I personally find it difficult to remember my dreams but in order to make it easier to do so I find it helps to record your dreams immediately upon waking and try not to think about it just write down your thoughts whether they makes sense at the time or not. I find the more I think about it the less details I remember about the dream.

    ~Samantha Hall

  44. Like many of my fellow classmates have already stated, reminding yourself to remember your dreams and wanting to remember your dreams is extremely important for dream recollection. However, this has not been the case for me. I have chronic nightmares so I actually always hope I won't remember them upon waking. This never seems to be the case though. I’ve always remembered my dreams despite desperately trying not to. I've come to realise that for me, the most powerful tool for remembering my dreams is to think about them during waking day. I will go through a nightmare over and over in my mind throughout the day and will usually tell everyone that is close to me about every detail. Unknowingly, I have been using the first step in chapter 3. So even though I've tried to block out my dreams from surfacing, I've still trained my mind to remember them. I'm hoping that with what I learn from this course I will be able to change this pattern.

    Alisha Cunning

  45. I agree with everything that my fellow classmates are suggesting. I personally am a huge dreamer. I always remember my dreams vividly and value them. However, now that we are required to record our dreams and keep a dream journal, I cannot remember my dreams anymore.

    I think that it is important for the individual to relax and let if flow. If you tense up or try extremely hard to remember, you probably won't, like me. I think I was too anxious to be able to finally interpret my dreams, so in turn I was unable to remember them, much less feel like I wasn't dreaming. I have been meditating and hope this helps.

    To remember my dreams I usually replay them over and over again in my mind and try to put the pieces together.

    Farah Sultani

  46. I believe that if you want to remember your dreams you need to be relaxed and clear headed when falling asleep. As well i find that if you jot down pieces of your dream when you wake up more of the dream usually comes to you as you write it down, it evolves into more of a story.

  47. Deborah Offei-AnsahOctober 2, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    I also had trouble remembering my dreams in the beginning of the course because I was told to remember my dreams. I realized that I was over thinking them way too much and just needed to relax. I felt like i was forcing myself to dream and in return I did not dream at all, or if i did I did not remember them the following morning. What I did was take a relaxing shower before bed and let myself go. I kept my phone instead of a notebook beside me so that there would be less pressure for me to remember them and write them. So when I was finally able to dream I woke up and typed it into my phone. In all I think the key to remembering your dreams is being relaxed and going about things in the way you are most comfortable with.

  48. As I have read through the book, I think that all the steps listed are quite helpful in having dreams and remembering them, but I think that one of the most important steps is to write them down as soon as possible. I find that for myself, if I do not write them down, I forget them quite quickly and therefore all the prep I had done before was all in vain.

    Beth Boshart

  49. Tara-Lee Upshall:

    Some important aspects of remembering a dream are:
    Waking up and thinking about the dream instead of thinking about the day ahead.
    How vivid the dream is.
    Whether or not the dreamer wants to remember their dreams.

  50. I believe in order to remember a dream upon waking it is important to want to know what it means. If you do not believe dreams carry any important messages or images it would be hard to remember any part of the dream. I personally believe dreams carry lots of important messages that are linked to our waking life. You must want to know and understand a dream upon waking in order to remember it better. As stated in Chapter 3 of The Giant Compass, reciting to yourself before bed that you will remember a dream can help upon waking. I actually used this technique a few times before going to sleep and found that it helped a lot. Something as simple as that can help upon waking which I thought to be pretty fascinating. Another technique I found that helped was running through a previous dream throughout the day. Even if its just thinking about a part that happened or an image that you saw. The more you get thinking about dreams the better. It gets your brain thinking and brings the idea of dreams to your awareness. Since this class started, I found myself thinking about my dreams a lot more than I ever have. I tend to dream more and even remember them upon waking. Therefore, I believe the techniques stated in Chapter 3 are helpful when remembering dreams upon waking.

    - Heather Mackenzie

  51. As previously mentioned, conscious decisions/reminder before falling asleep to remember dreams can help one mentally prepare for recording their dreams upon waking. Also taking necessary actions to ensure dreams can be recorded quickly when waking is just as important. Therefore, a pen and paper to record a dream should be placed in close proximity to where one is sleeping to ensure dreams can be written down before they are forgotten.

    Other internal and external factors might perhaps influence (negatively or positively) whether we even dream or the vividness of our dreams and should be taken into consideration:

    1. Diet
    2. Mental and physical exhaustion
    3. Mental stimulation - Auditory: Listening to music before falling asleep. Visual: Watching a meaningful movie/reading a book before falling asleep.

    As mentioned by Chris, "vividness, emotional strength, novelty and affective components are helpful to recollection". The strength of our dreams in terms of its emotional and affective components (which we have less or no control over) is a big factor in whether we remember our dreams.

    - Farooq Kamal

  52. You should make effort to remember your dreams, but don't stress out about it too much or else you will probably have a hard time remembering them. Try to write stuff down quickly before you forget. I find if there is something distracting like the radio on or if the alarm clock goes on really loud the faster the dream leaves my memory. I try to write them down quickly without distraction. The more you keep up with the dream journal the more you often you can remember your dreams.
    natalie semkow

  53. When I want to remember my dreams I think about something that has happened during the day or something that I am looking forward to or something that I wish to happen. I think about this long enough that I will eventually dream about something similar to my waking thoughts. When I wake up I can remember what I thought about before I slept and I also remember the dream I had which was similar to what I thought about earlier. When I wake up I replay my dream over and over again in my head. Each time my dream is replayed, I begin to remember smaller details of my dream.

  54. For myself, I think the most important element to remember my dreams is to relax. I used to remember my dreams every night and always talked about them however since I've started this class I rarely remember my dreams or only bits of it. I think it's because I am thinking too much about wanting to write them down in great detail.
    Also I think that a feature of the dream that helps us remember is the amount of emotion attached to it, for example an intense fear.