You’re running over water, holding a baby, your feet have feathers, and the sky looks yellow. Out of nowhere, a whale appears, trips you down, and you fall into a water tornado…
BAM! You wake up.
WHAT A DREAM, right?
Sadly, you can’t remember what happened before that running scene. And you know something weird happened – WHO WAS THAT BABY? WHERE DID THE FEATHERS COME FROM? HOW WERE YOU RUNNING ON WATER?
All these questions are sometimes impossible to answer, given the nature of dreams. But if you learn how to remember dreams you forgot – you may get to the answer, however weird it is.
Here, we want to teach you that: a few practical methods to consider if you wish to remember every dream easily, in the short and long term.
Ready to start this adventure? Then hop on and scroll down!
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How to Remember Dreams You Forgot?
1. Start a Dream Journal (And Use It Every Day)
There’s nothing like writing your dreams down to remember them. It not only works to recall dreams in general, but it also gives you the chance to think harder of details.
Just think about this. Have you ever sit down to write about a concept or idea you’ve had? Doesn’t that push you to think harder to explain and describe whatever you have in mind?
IT WORKS THE SAME WAY FOR DREAMS!
You start to write down as soon as you wake up (even if it means in the middle of the night), and you’ll be surprised at how much you remember right away. More importantly, you’ll eventually end up remembering things as you start writing, playing out all those fading memories before they end up in your brain thrash.
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It is essential to mention that dreams are more easily remembered when you ADD FEELINGS. That is, write how you felt or what senses were involved. Surprisingly, feelings and senses add up to your memory, making it easier to remember your dreams.
As soon as you read or re-read these dreams a few hours or days later, you’ll notice how memories start to come back. Things you thought you had forgotten about the dream may eventually come back.
EXTRA TIP: Use a handwritten journal to remember things more effectively as you write.
ALSO RELATED: How to Start a Dream Journal
2. Try to Remember AS SOON AS YOU WAKE UP
Whether you’re writing the dreams down or not, trying to remember them as you’re waking up will help you enormously.
The thing is, dreams are fleeting memories. Our brains don’t store them because the areas in the brain that are active during dreams are not designed to remember stuff. We experience these weird mental adventures but with little to no hope to remember them.
But that doesn’t mean they’re deleted from your mind as soon as you wake up. There’s still some time to recall what you experienced inside that head of yours. Until your brain starts getting filled with new information, you will have the chance to remember things that just happened.
Recalling within the first 20 minutes of waking up would be ideal. Having said that, you’ll be better off trying to write them down or simply recalling them as soon as you wake up. Don’t expect your brain to go into other places until you’ve tried to remember that dream.
ALSO CONSIDER: Keep lights down as you wake up and close your eyes to remember. Too much light and distractions around could make it harder to remember dreams as you wake up.
3. Meditate Every Day After Waking Up
It is surprisingly effective to give your mind some BLANK space to remember things. Meditation is the perfect path to that.
Meditation is known for having incredible positive effects on alertness, stress, anxiety, and overall motivation. All these positive effects will help you remember dreams more clearly.
And that’s without mentioning the many studies confirming that meditation helps with blood flow in the brain, thus increasing your ability to memorize and recall.
As you start to meditate, you’ll realize how giving AT LEAST 10 minutes per day to that activity gives you a surprising brain boost. You begin to go over things that happened in your life, including your dreams.
Sooner or later, you’ll go over tiny scenes in your dreams that you couldn’t remember before. And as you get better at meditating, your ability to remember dreams will also increase.
PLUS: Meditation helps to understand your feelings and sensations, adding up the extra touch of understanding to your dreams that may aid in remembering them.
4. Create a Perfect Dream-Remembering Environment
There’s plenty of evidence that your environment has a lot to do with how well your memory works. And that often falls into the way noises, smells, tidiness, and cleanliness enhance your brain capacities.
Setting up essential oils in your bedroom as soon as you wake up may help give you a memory boost, for example,e. There’s a relationship between smells, emotions, and memory that you could harness to remember dreams.
The same also happens with white noise and other kinds of noises. Some studies confirm how background sounds can help retain things more effectively while also recall them a lot more clearly – something that adds up to your dream-remembering sessions.
And to make it even better, you can make sure that your environment is clean, tidy, calm, and pleasant. Disorganized, dirty, and noisy environments give you many side effects – like stress, mind-wandering, and memory issues, to name a few. Doing the opposite keeps your mind active for better dream-remembering.
TO ADD UP: Consider relaxing first thing in the morning by not using your phone or turning the TV on. This is essential to keep your mind decluttered.
5. Tell People About Your Dreams
Just like teaching other people about a new skill you just learned, telling other people about your dreams will PUSH YOU HARDER TO REMEMBER.
Also, it creates accountability for remembering each dream. If you can’t write it down or record the dream, you’ll have another person to remind you of what you dreamed.
Sources of accountability could include family and friends (just consider that not everyone will want to know about your dreams). If that’s the case, don’t fret – there’s still plenty of people out there who would love to hear you out.
WORTH KNOWING: The simple fact you’re telling someone is enough to remember better. People don’t have to remember dreams for you if they don’t want to.
6. Sleep as Well As You Can
You wouldn’t believe how having a good night of sleep is so essential to achieving great memory. Without it, your brain functions at a whopping 60% less, which will obviously hinder your ability to remember.
To achieve better sleep for better memory and thus better chances of remembering dreams, consider these tips:
- Sleep Long Enough
It may be helpful to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. For how much you need for optimum productivity, it’s advisable to go with at least what many experts recommend.
Having said that, the optimal number of hours would be between 7 and 9 hours. Some people need a bit less while others will need more. Either way, make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.
The focus is to get rid of the slow memory and increase your focus. That way remembering your dreams will be surprisingly easier.
RELATED: How to Sleep and Sleep Dream Deeper
- Get Rid of Bright Lights at Night
Bright lights from computer monitors, smartphones, or even overhead ceiling lights are all harmful.
Our eyes have specific photoreceptors that activate with bright light. These cells tell your brain to release cortisol which wakes you up. In the best-case scenario, you will have a more challenging time going to sleep, reducing your REM sleep and making it harder to remember dreams in the morning.
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- Relax and Calm Down
Don’t play video games or read stimulating stuff (news or social media) before bed. The best thing you can do is release all your anxieties and sleep as relaxed as you can.
This will make your sleep a lot better, make you fall asleep longer, and increase your REM sleep (where you dream). Thus, you get a higher chance to remember things as well as longer dreams to remember.
- Meditate Before Sleeping
The best way to wind down so you can go to sleep more relaxed and destressed is obviously meditating. This won’t help you remember dreams directly but gives you a considerable boost to elongate your sleeping sessions.
Consequently, your dreams will end up longer and your ability to remember them a lot higher. Plus, meditation has been shown to help with insomnia, so you may go to sleep a lot easier after a session.
- Don’t Exercise too Late
Exercising before going to sleep HELPS with sleep. This adds up to your ability to memorize and remember dreams.
But if you exercise too late (1 hour before going to sleep), then your dreaming gets affected by shorter REM sessions and possibly even insomnia.
- Eat Properly
Last but not least, maintain a whole-food diet, so your brain stays healthy. A healthy brain remembers things more crisply, which will obviously help you with dreams.
Low-quality foods with processed sugars and fats make your brain a lot weaker and thus less likely to remember things well.
Apart from that, avoid caffeine 12 hours before going to sleep. If you want to sleep even better, avoid caffeine at all times and find other ways to get alert. Caffeine affects your REM sleep (thus making your dreams harder to recall).
Learning how to remember dreams you forgot will give you an incredible experience as understanding what you have in your mind is always useful.
Whether you want to interpret your dreams as miracles or premonitions of the future, or simply as a deeper window of your subconscious – remembering them is always the first step.
Use our tips above and you will likely have an easier time remembering dreams (even the shortest one)!
Now you… Tell us – what are your strategies for remembering dreams? Write them down below – we’d love to hear them!
George K has been immersed into the world of myths and dreams for a very long time now, attempting to find the numerous symbolisms and meanings attached to them. He is a prolific writer along with being an independent researcher. Contributing his knowledge and learnings to several magazines and blogs, he has the unique ability to simplify and explain even the most intricate subjects.