The most common reasons for bad dream-recall
* Your parents soothed your nightmares by telling you they were ‘only dreams’ so you learned not to bother remembering them.
* You have blocked dream recall because you had a series of scary dreams.
* You jump out of bed in the morning when the alarm goes off, jumping straight into your conscious world – not giving yourself time to bask in the twilight zone and remember your dreams.
* Deep down you don’t want to look at, let alone change, anything about your life.
To remember your dreams
* Tell yourself your dreams are important. Buy an exercise book or another special book to use as your dream journal and expect to remember your dreams.
* Keep paper and pen by your bed and jot down a couple of words of the dream you have had as a memory jogger to read in the morning. Or keep an audio recorder by your bed to record your dream in the middle of the night.
* When you wake up in the morning, lie in the position you usually dream in. Your body muscles hold memories of your dream so lying in the same position often triggers your memory.
* Set two alarm clocks. Set the second one for the time you must get out of bed. Set the first one for about twenty minutes before. When your first alarm goes off, lay in your dreaming position and float along in the twilight zone. Banish any thoughts about the day. Think of the first alarm clock as waking you up to your dreams and the second alarm clock as waking you up to your day.
* Write something in your dream journal every day, even if you can’t remember a dream. Write about your waking feelings. These are often a hangover from the feelings in your dream, so writing about these gradually triggers your dream recall over several weeks.
* Read Dream Alchemy. Reading about dreams is likely to bring back your dream memory because it emphasises the importance of your dreams.
Extract from Dream Alchemy by Jane Teresa Anderson, 2nd ed pub Hachette.