Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Last Visit: 19 Dec 2013
LD count: 200+
Location: PA, USA
|Improving Dream Recall|
|Posted: Sun 11 Jan, 2009
The single most important part of learning to Lucid Dream is Dream Recall . As you most likely know by now, you dream every single night and it is absolutely critical to have adequate dream recall. I mean, what good is Lucid Dreaming if you're not going to remember them ? How horrible would that be if you had your first LD only to awake and not remember a thing ?! Remembering your dreams is useful for finding your personal dream signs as well. Bottom line: You need good dream recall.
What you Need:
First off, you need to understand the stages of sleep. In a nutshell, there are 4 stages of sleep and REM. The first stage is where you are just beginning to drift in and out of sleep, therefore being awakened quite easily. The second stage is where all eye movement stops and brain waves slow down. Stages three and four have extremely slow brain activity and cause you to enter a very deep sleep. What happens next is REM. This stands for rapid eye movement. It is in this stage where most of our dreaming occurs. REM sleep gradually increases as the night goes on and then the cycle starts over. One whole sleep cycle lasts about 90-110 minutes. That's why it's crucial to get lots of sleep: the longer you sleep, the longer your “dream sleep” is .
Next, you need to start a dream journal. This article explains everything you need to know about them. Study it well because dream journals are absolutely crucial for your success.
The last thing you need is motivation and desire . You've got to want it. This desire actually fuels your mind into realizing that dream recall is important to you and actually helps you. Don't be lazy . Slacking off can set you back. Trust that in time, your recall will just keep getting better and better. Never Give UP !
1.Have your dream journal close-by and ready for action. Re read some of your previous dreams to get your mind in “dream-mode”.
2.Use auto suggestion(telling yourself) or an alarm clock to wake you up 4-5 hours after you go to sleep. Then have the alarm go off at intervals of 90 minutes(so you get waked up near the end of an REM cycle). It is preferred that you use auto suggestion because the alarm clock wakes you up harshly.
Use mantras like: I will awaken after each dream.
3.When you are ready to fall asleep, tell yourself that you will awaken from your dreams with full memory. This is the key. Make up a mantra to say and say it until you fall asleep. If you can't fall asleep while repeating it in you head, just stop and fall asleep. You have to really FEEL it . You must expect and believe it. Know that what your saying is true.
Use mantras like: When I awaken, I will remember my dream fully. I'm going to remember my dreams. (Make up your own if you want) Visualize yourself being sucessful. Feel the meaning of your words.
4. Then when you eventually wake up, stay still(in the position that you awoke) and replay the entire dream in your head. When you're confident, write it down in your dream journal, even if it's just a little scene or emotion. Every little bit that you write helps you.
The key here is to expect and believe in it . It will happen for if you give it time. Never give up! Keep at it and write down every single dream that you remember. In time, you will have magnificent dream recall and will be well on your way to a Lucid Dream.
1.How many dreams would I need to remember a night?
That question is a matter of opinion I think. So, I find that if you remember at least 1 a night, you can move on to a Lucid Dream Method. 2-3 complete dreams a night is superb.
2.Is a dream journal really all that important?
YES ! It is a key to dream recall and it shows yourself that dreams matter to you. They also give you insight into your dreams, showing your specific dream signs. Habit making is a very good skill that comes with the use of a dream journal.
3. Why should I wake up at certain times at night? Can't I just wait till morning and write down all my dreams?
The goal is to wake up at 90 minute intervals(because a sleep cycle is about 90-110 mins.) so you wake up during a dream. Once you leave REM, your mind starts erasing the dream you just had. The sooner you awake after your dream period, the better recall you will have.
4. Do I have to use an Alarm clock?
No, some dreamers find them disruptive to recall. That's why there's auto suggestion. Just tell yourself to wake up after each dream. You have to train yourself though. I've also heard of people using a clock that 's hooked up to a light that gradually gets brighter. This way you're awakened more peacefully.
5. Are there any foods that aid dream recall?
Yes, some foods are believed to aid dream recall and should be eaten about 30 min. before bedtime....such as:(from LD4all guide)
milk and diary products
pickles and mustard
fresh fruit juice
6. What is vitamin B6 and what does it do?
B6 is a vitamin that is believed to aid dream recall by many dreamers
I've read that most dreamers take 10-200 mg of it in a pill form and either have extraordinarily vivid dreams or not any at all. WARNING:
"Too much vitamin B6 can result in nerve damage to the arms and legs. This neuropathy is usually related to high intake of vitamin B6 from supplements, and is reversible when supplementation is stopped. According to the Institute of Medicine, several reports show sensory neuropathy at doses lower than 500 mg per day. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has established an upper tolerable intake level (UL) for vitamin B6 of 100 mg per day for all adults. As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases." - Medical college of Wisconsin website
This vitamin can be bought at your local pharmacy.
7. I'm doing everything that i can to increase my dream recall, but nothing seems to happen. Why?
Well, there are some things that occur in real-life that have an effect on dream recall. Stress at work, or school is a big problem when it comes to remembering dreams. Also, you need a regular sleep schedule to make it easier. Some foods that you eat also hinder your ability to recall dreams. So just relax and don't worry, recall will come to you soon enough.
8. What other substances affect dream Recall?
a. In R.E.M sleep, your body needs vast amounts of Amino Acids
b. The neurotransmitter in use during dreams is called “Acetylcholine”, which is made from the B-vitamin, Choline, and Vitamin b-5
c. In order to synthesize Choline, you need B-12, folic acids(B-9) , and the amino acids, Methionine and Serine
d. B-12 helps produce “ Acetylcholine" which is made from the B-vitamin, Choline, and Vitamin b-5
e.The amino acid Tryptophan can be metabolized into Serotonin and Niacin (B-3).
(NOTE: all of the above help Brain Function while asleep. I'm not trying to confuse you! I swear! )
f. Caffeine(makes you sleep lighter; thus increasing recall...may even induce LD)
e. Lack of sleep
So, I hope I answered many of your questions about this crucial step toward lucidity. To sum everything up, you must
a. Desire and want to remember dreams(*this is key!)
b. Keep a dream journal of some sort
c. Use aids such as repeating mantras or eating “dream foods” before bed.
In no time at all, you will be remembering and recording countless pages of dreams that will be filled with your personally unthinkable adventures. I hope there will be bunches of lucid ones too! Catch ya next time!