“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us.

And the world will live as one.”

John Lennon


Welcome dreamers,


As a therapist, I always encourage my clients to record and bring in their dreams to work on.  The dreams can often help us to zero in on the core of the issue very quickly, and can give us a quick snapshot to focus on.  I practice what I preach- I have been a member of my own dream circle for over 25 years, and still delight in the dream discoveries we make with each other every month.

So what to do if you have trouble remembering your dreams- or think that you don’t dream?

First off, rest assured that everyone dreams every night- sleep studies that chart our REM sleep (REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, the quick movements our eyelids make when we are dreaming) show that on average, we all have about six dreams per night (There are about six cycles of REM and non-REM sleep each night).  This is predicated on an average of 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  If you are one of the lucky ones who can get by on less, then you probably have fewer cycles.  We generally only remember the dreams that occur in the cycle right before we wake up.

To enhance dream recall there are several things you can do.  First of all, you need to want to remember them.  It seems simplistic, but if you think about it, we tend to remember things better that are important to us, that we put our minds to.  So when you go to sleep at night, tell yourself that you want to remember your dreams; and you promise to pay attention to the messages they are sending you.  After that, don’t trust to memory alone when you awake.  Dreams are like puffs of smoke or wisps of fog- move too quickly and poof! they disappear.

Most dreams are like helium balloons– they need to be tied down to stay with us.  Invest in a journal, and keep it right next to your bed, along with a pen or sharpened pencil.  You can now even get special “night-light” pens that light up in the dark either online, or at most office supply stores.  Try to write down your dream as soon as possible upon waking.  Alternately, you can use a tape recorder to capture it, but you then have to be disciplined to transcribe it later.

Move as little as possible, so that you don’t disturb the fragile dream fabric.  Sit up slowly, or even write while still lying down. If you had a dream, and it slipped away, try putting your body back into the same position it was in when you woke- your body has “positional memory”, and you can often re-capture the dream if you return to the same position.

 Try to write it down in the same order in which you dreamed it-– what happened first, next, last in a dream makes a difference when you are working with it later.  If you are afraid you will forget it if you don’t write down the end first, go ahead and do so, then re-write it in order, or at least make arrows and notations so you know the order in which you actually dreamed the scenes.  Date each entry— that way you begin to have a record of dreams and themes that re-occur, and can check them against what was going on in your life that day or week to get some immediate connections and insights.  Don’t try to analyze while you are recording the dream– it can get confusing to sort out what was your dream, and what were your thoughts about your dream later on.  If I have some immediate associations, I write a section I call “notes” after the dream, and then jot down my thoughts so they don’t contaminate the actual dream material.

Coming soonmore tips on recall, ancient dream temples, and what it means to purposely “incubate” a dream.  Please share this blog and these ideas with others who may have interest.


Sweet dreams,

Linda Yael (www.lindayaelschiller.com)

Date posted: April 29, 2012 | Author: | 5 Comments »

Categories: Remembering Dreams Uncategorized

5 Responses to First Things First: How Can I Even Remember My Dreams?

  1. Hi, Linda, 
        I enjoyed your site, lovely images and good info.  During my 20's in psychoanalysis, my analyst had me remember my dreams and I brought her in the fragments, which we often used  as a starting point. In my studies at that time, I had taken a course on Clara Flagg, who studied and practiced as the Senois did.  
        Recently I had a 'right before waking dream' in which I was doing things with friends, then a woman said to me to let her be with me or help me when Mark dies.  At that moment, I both realized that it was Mark that I had been with in the dream, and as the dreamer, that he was going to die, and I began to cry in the dream.  

    • Linda Yael Schiller says:

      hi lois,
      thanks for your feedback. Sounds like it was a powerful dream. As Jeremy Taylor says: “If it were my dream…” I’d wonder why you had it now? Is it an anniversary time? A birthday time? I would also want to know who that lovely woman was- is she a spiritual guide? How can you let her help you? Does she have anything to do with Clara Flagg? I hope that you receive comfort and guidance from this dream. Maybe Mark sent it to remind you that he is still with you in some ways.

      • Linda Yael Schiller says:

        Hi Richard,
        Thanks for taking the time to write. It would seem that a part of you does know how to feel happy and positive, since that part comes to your aid many nights in your dream world. You may want to try incubating dreams (a detailed blog coming up on this soon). Briefly, that means asking your dream guide to come through with answers to a question or dilemma you have in the dreams, i.e. “How can I share the positive and happy dream self with my awake self as well?” (or any version you like) Write it down in your dream journal, and record the dreams you get on the same page. Try this for a few weeks- you may be amazed at the wisdom that comes thru.

  2. Richard Goldberg says:

    Hi Linda,
    I often remember my dreams and write them down, but I don't
    know where to go from there.  I have depression during the day and usually have happy positive dreams at night.
    I'd like to be able to bring the feelings and optimism of my dreams into my waking time.
    Thanks for having this dream focus.

  3. It took me time to read all the tips, but I clearly loved the post. It proved to be very helpful to me and I’m certain to all of the commenters here!

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