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How to remember dreams

"I don’t have dreams" is the statement I often hear when talking with my clients or friends about dreams.

From a science perspective, our sleep time is divided between different stages. Dreams happen during the REM stage, and it is a normal part of any healthy adult's sleep. Our society doesn’t value dreams as something important, so we have a tendency to forget them. Many science sources describe dream images as random pictures - information garbage which pops up in our mind while our brain rests.

Here we are going to learn a very different attitude towards dreams. We will approach our dreams with great respect and fascination. Dreams could be an inner guru leading you to spiritual realms, or a wise teacher who points out your mistakes. Dreams can show unused resources and give precious advice. Before we learn how to use our dreams, we need to remember them.

To remember dreams let’s follow these simple steps:

1. Make it important. With our upbringing, we learn to consider that dreams are not very important, so we don’t pay attention to them. To change this attitude I usually ask clients to bring a dream to the next session or class as “homework”. This trick makes the person responsible for remembering their dreams, and even by itself often helps them to pay attention and to catch the dream images.

2. Intention. While laying in bed at night before going to sleep, make an intention: “I need to remember my dream. First thing in the morning when I wake up, I will think about my dream”.

3. Careful waking. When you are waking up, and are in the state between sleep and wakefulness, remember your intention about dreams. Try not to move much or roll your head. Remember the small scene, the image or idea from your dreams. Play this part of your dream in your head 5 - 10 times as a movie, till you remember it well. As you replay the scene you can recover more from your night's dream and create a story.

4. Recording. After you've played it in your head many times, you can get up and write it in your journal, or audio record it.

If you are still having problems remembering your dreams, or if you urgently need advice from your “inner guru” you can use dream herbs. I use two of them:

1. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) - 1 spoon for a cup of hot boiled water, you can drink it twice a week, not more.

2. Calea Zacatechichi, Mexican dream herb - 1 spoon for a cup of water. You can drink it three nights in a row, then make a break. It is very bitter, but I get used to it and actually like the taste. It's good for your liver and gives you very visual dreams.

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