How to Remember Dreams – 101



When I was a kid I used to have fantastic dreams and my favorite was when I got to fly in them.  As I got older though I found that I could not recall them as easy when I got up in the mornings.  Now though I am working on improving that skill and would like to share with you today the simple steps I learned on how to remember dreams.

Dreams open up a whole other world for us to learn from.

Why Bother Remembering Your Dreams?

First off, why would you want to remember your dreams?  Sometimes they can be scary or just have things in them that we would rather avoid, but there is a good reason too.  There is so much that you can learn from your dreams and they often play a vital role in helping us deal with the stress of life.

Dreams for the most part often do not make a lot of sense.  Things in your dream world are often very different from the real world, for example I often dream of our camp in the mountains though it is never the same as it is in real life.

Another important note with dreams is that often you may not understand why at the time, but later on with hindsight you realize how important it was.  Dreams can often help foretell important moments in our life or to help us with important decisions.  In many ways they can be the road signs that help direct us through life.

Setting Intentions

Setting intentions is extremely important.  Just think of it like setting your alarm for the next morning.

In my experience the most important step in learning how to remember your dreams is to set the intention of doing so.  Much like we set the intention to wake up with our alarm clocks in the morning, we can do the same for dreaming.

It is important to remember that this is a skill and just like any other skill out there, you need to work at it and develop it.  Just setting the intent is not going to make you a dream recalling expert right off the bat.

In light of that I would advise to set your intentions in a step like pattern.  So first start with the simple intention of just remembering that you were dreaming.  Then build up to the intention to remember what you dreamed about.  From there you can continue to build if you would like to explore things like Lucid Dreaming.

The Importance of Writing Them Down

Writing down your dreams can help in a variety of ways.

Keeping a dream journal helps in a variety of ways, from helping set your intent to figuring out the meaning of them.  Writing down the dream itself can also be an important tool in remembering the finer details as well.  There is a certain power in writing things down that really helps most of us with the experience.

  • Back to Intent:  Having the journal at your bedside with a pen ready to write is telling your mind that you want to remember your dreams so that you can write them down.  These two things go very hand in hand with each other.
  • Finding Meaning:  Once your dreams are written down and you can review them, you will start to see patterns or synchronicities that will help you to understand the things that are going on in your life.
  • The Finer Details:  When you first wake up dream memories are fresh but will quickly dissipate as the day goes on.  While writing them down I have often found that I tend to remember more of the dream.  This just goes to show that as soon as we wake up our dreams begin to evaporate, thus why it is important to chronicle them.

I would like to share with you an overview of something that happened in my life, the dreams that followed and now looking back with hindsight, how it all fit together:

Several years ago during the fall, my wife and I bought a fire bowl for the back yard as the neighbors and us had talked about doing it a lot over the previous winter.  For whatever the reasons where this ended up causing a rift between us and our neighbor lady that lasted through the coming winter.

During this winter was when I first chronicled my dreams and in looking back I can see where I had several dreams where I was talking to her to resolve the issue so that we could move forward as friends again.  From arguments, to just being able to feel the friction, to being discussing wanting to be friends again, all the dreams were there.

My dreams showed me that we would be friends again.

When spring and the warm weather broke in that next year the kids started playing outside more and our two little girls were best of friends.  That helped bring us back together and we were able to bury the hatchet and move on in life as friends.

By writing down my dreams I was able to track various ones to this situation and in the dreams I saw the relationship healing and that really helped me to move on with the situation.  Looking back now I am half amazed at how often that theme popped up over that winter in my dreams and I am thankful that the end result came to fruition and that we are friends again.

Online Course Available

We all learn by different methods and I know I tend to be a very hands on type of learner.  I want to do it until I can learn it and do it right.  Others want to take notes and study, some just pay attention and apply the lessons they learn and so forth.

In light of that I would like to recommend an online course, How to Remember Your Dreams, provided by Udemy.  They have a ton of different courses available for all kinds of different things.  I and several of my friends have enjoyed the courses from them as they are generally pretty affordable and provide excellent information on the topic of interest.

Udemy Online Course: How to Remember Your Dreams

Please Share What Works for You

Before you go today I would ask that you please share with us what methods you have used successfully in your life to help remember your dreams and or what journaling your dreams has helped you with.  The more we share the better the picture we will all have and the better that we can all learn.

If you have any other questions, concerns or general comments please feel free to share them in the comment section as well or shoot me an email.

Lastly, if you enjoyed this article here are several others that tie in very well with the subject:

Thank you for stopping by today I hoped that I was able to shed some light on life for you and to provide some new perspective.  Please stop back by another day and say hi!

James W D

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14 Replies to “How to Remember Dreams – 101”

  1. I love the idea of your article to begin with. Not many people attach importance to dreaming and to attempt to remember. I agree with you, from my experience, I can also say that 90% it’s all about intention. Writing everything down as soon as you wake up also makes a huge difference. A lot of excellent advice overall, thank you.
    Have you ever practiced Lucid Dreaming.?

    PS I love you tagline “Changing the World One Person at a Time.” It’s brilliant!

    • I have had lucid dreams before, but have not worked on that skill.  I have friends that do and many that have suggested that I try.  However for whatever reason, I do not think it is time for me to play in that area.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your kind words.  Peace!

  2. I never – very rarely anyway – ever remember any dreams I may have had throughout the night. People are always telling me about their dreams and I never have anything to share. I was beginning to think that maybe I just don’t dream.

    Do you really think dreams actually mean something? I’ve had a few friends dream the winning lotto numbers and I’ve latched onto that and played these numbers religiously, but they have never come up unfortunately.

    • Darren, First off I go through spurts where I remember dreams like crazy and then times where they are very few and far apart. Often I think it is something that if not focused on, just will not be as prevalent in your life then.

      Do they mean something? Almost certainly! I have had all kinds of dreams and when you start to chronicle them you will start to see the meaning over time. Can you foresee winning lottery numbers? Well, I don’t think that is quite how it works, but at the same time it could very well happen for you. I would doubt that others would dream about numbers for you to play though still.

      My simple advice is to set your intentions to remember your dreams. Have a pad and pen ready at your bedside to help reinforce the notion in your mind. When you first wake up, don’t try to remember the dream so hard but rather grab your pen and let it flow out onto the paper.

  3. interesting points. I’ve heard before about setting an intention to remember a dream, but it didn’t work for me. One time I had very important dream as I was talking to my guides and they were explaining to me why my life is the way it is, what I came here to do and why they brought me together with certain people, and I remember saying to myself – remember the dream when you wake up, remember the dream, I awake and could recall only a few details about it, was so disappointed. But maybe I should be persistent and practice every night. I also liked step by step module, first remember you were dreaming, second what you dreamt about..

    • Irina, First, thanks for sharing your dream experience with us. That is so awesome that you had a dream like that with your guides, I would cherish that one!

      Remembering your dreams is a skill, which means that there will be practice involved and that over time you will get better at it. Prior to restarting my journal I has having a tremendous time remembering anything of my dreams at all. I had a good solid year plus of nothing. As soon as I got the journal though, I had almost immediate results.

      You see I wanted to remember again and had for a bit. By getting the journal and keeping it bedside, I not only reinforced that intent, but it was also a sign to the universe. You see the universe does not like vacuums and will attempt to fill it. So having an empty journal at my bedside helped as the universe saw that and said we better fill that up!

  4. awesome! Thanks, James, I will be practicing some of the suggestions you offer here to help me remember my dreams…I only hope I can recreate those flying dreams from my childhood! ha ha Those were my favorites, too, and I can still see them so clearly in my head…and FEEL them. I think it’s important to note how are dreams make us feel, too, when journaling the next morning.
    Thanks so much!

    • When it comes to journaling write down whatever it is that you remember and that does include feelings as well. I have done that with several of the dreams that I have written down already.

      I think it is amazing how many people have had dreams of flying when they were a kid but have since outgrown that somehow. I think that it part in part of how we drift fully behind the veil as we grow up.

  5. HI there,

    Great site and a very interesting article and indeed topic. Thanks for creating and sharing it with us. Appreciated.

    When it comes to dream, I tend to mostly remember mine, quite vividly at that. But one obscure and reccuring thing is that of flight where I can fly..easily and often at free will. No effort and uhh no wings!

    I can’t seem to find a meaning to that any where. Can you shed any light on the matter?

    • Derek,

      Flying in dreams is certainly awesome as I remember from my childhood! What does it mean though? Well, in my recent research I have found that Flying is often a sign of lucid dreaming (where you are in control more). What I would recommend is to get a journal to your bedside pronto so that you can start writing down these vivid dreams.

      Once you start doing that it is like putting together a puzzle. With each dream that you have, another piece comes into existence and allows you to see a better picture than before. I would love to hear how this works for you, so I hope you give it a whirl and let us know how it goes.

  6. I can barely remember my dreams these days. And I have far and few in between. Perhaps there are too many things going on in my mind? I’m not really sure.

    But I know the frustration of knowing that you dreamt but you just can’t recall what is it about a couple of hours after you woke up.

    • Kenny, this is why I wrote the article as I was in a similar situation as you state here. I was barely remembering any dreams for the last year or so and I love dreaming. I wanted to get back to where I could remember them frequently and thus I started following these simple steps. Within 2 weeks of starting the process I already have several pages full of dreams that I remembered. It is just a matter of applying your focus and intent and from there you will see the results that you want.

      Get a journal or notebook, put it beside your bed and make sure you let the universe know that you intend to remember your dreams. Write down whatever you do remember even if it is just a small fragment of a bigger dream.

  7. As silly as this may sound, dreaming is one of my favorite things. Like you, my favorite dreams were always the ones where I could fly. Such an amazing experience.
    I’m glad you address the problem of difficulty remembering dreams as we age. Further you put some good steps in place to help with remedying that so thank you for that. I think this was a great read with some great suggestions. Thank you.

    • Robert I am in agreement with you in that I love dreaming. I always have and I will even more now so that I have researched into the subject. This is why I got back to journaling my dreams as it is really cool to go back and read about them at a later time. I am always amazed at the clarity that I can remember them when I do this and often new insights to life come through as well.

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