But I don’t remember my dreams! Maybe I’m not dreaming….
We all dream. If you are getting any sleep at all, chances are you are dreaming. Dreaming sleep has been linked to learning, memory and overall good mental health (another reason to get to bed on time!). In our culture, which hasn’t paid much attention to or valued dreams, many of us haven’t cultivated the art or discipline of remembering our dreams. We often awaken to a buzzing alarm or clock radio which jars us into consciousness and whatever we were dreaming slips back into our unconscious, sometimes leaving only a vague impression or feeling tone. Then our to-do list springs into mind, front and center, our feet hit the floor and we’re on our way!
Try this: First, have the notebook open and ready, with the pen on top. Before falling asleep, suggest to yourself (don’t demand!) that you are ready to remember your dreams and whatever your unconscious mind may have to communicate to you. If you can, try to awaken naturally, without an alarm clock – it’s too startling. If you must have an alarm consider one that uses softer tones, comes on gradually or uses light instead of sound. As you become conscious in the morning, try to remain very still for a few moments before catapulting out of bed to meet your day. Pay attention to even those seeming random images that float through your mind in that twilight time between sleep and wakefulness. Write those down. They are not without meaning in themselves. Often a whole dream will come up in the meantime. Be patient and persistent in this discipline and soon you will remember more and more. Keep writing them all down – a rich new world has just opened to you!