1. Spend some time before you go to bed relaxing and getting ready to dream. You might want to spend a little time meditating or just sitting with your breathing to become more aware of what it important for you at the moment. Try having an hour or two with no TV, newspapers, radio or internet.
2. Set an intention to remember your dreams. Even just saying in your head that you would like to remember your dreams can help.
3. Keep a journal by your bed with a pen so you can write them down when you wake up.
4. Write them down regularly.
5. As you wake up, spend a bit of time remembering the dream before you write it down. This way, you will remember it for much longer and the half-awake processing can make the dream more vivid.
6. Write without censoring. As we write our dreams down we can start leaving out bits that we don’t like and changing things to make our conscious minds happier. Just treat it like a story and write everything down. If you really can’t stop yourself, include your censoring as you write it down i.e. “I buried my friend’s book in the garden, but I really wish I hadn’t”. Leave all the original detail in place. Its often what we find harder to look at that has more information.
7. Also include the boring and mundane. These dreams and details can also yield a lot of info.
8. We dream in 45 minute intervals. Set your alarm at a 45 minute interval after you go to bed and you will be more likely to wake up while dreaming or towards the end of a dream phase.
9. Take the pressure off. Anxiety and pushing can inhibit your memory so don’t worry too much if it takes a while before you start remembering.
10. I was reading today that an old wives’ tale used to suggest baking bread and setting your intention as you knead the dough. I love bread making as a metaphor for the dreaming process – kneading something physiacally and emtionally, letting it inflate, heating it so it transforms into something we can eat and digest. There might be a seed of truth in this myth as the physical act of kneading connects us with our bodies and stirs up buried energies and emotions. So maybe rather than baking bread, gentle exercise, a walk, a long bath an hour or so before you go to bed may be just as effective.