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Remember Dreams: How to Improve Dream Recall

Dreams can tell us so much about ourselves. When thoughts or fears are lurking just under the surface of the subconscious, they’ll often manifest in dreams. This is a good way to know what we have to work on in our lives to find a healthy balance.

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Sometimes dreams can be prophetic, warning us of the good or bad to come if we keep heading down the same path. Other times, our deceased loved ones and spirit guides try to communicate with us through our dreams. Unfortunately, if we don’t remember them, they can’t do us any good. If you don’t have very good dream recall, there are ways to improve it.

Plant Suggestions

Sometimes improving dream recall is as easy as reminding yourself to do so. When you lay down to go to bed, say to yourself, “When I wake up, I will remember my dreams”.

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Say it a few times just before going to sleep. It may take time before the suggestion takes hold, but if you are persistent, eventually recall will increase.


Meditation improves mental discipline and helps you learn to control the state of consciousness. This is especially helpful if your problem is that you’re usually a deep sleeper.

Put yourself into a meditative state before going to sleep. Tell yourself to remember your dreams. You can essentially teach your brain to not fall too deeply asleep— to hover in a lighter state of consciousness so that, when you wake, the memory of your dream will still be close to the surface.

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Give yourself a signal to remember. This signal could be a very soft alarm- one that is enough for your subconscious to pick up, but not loud enough to wake you. Another option a red light bulb in a lamp set on a timer. You’ll see the red light right through your lids, but it won’t be so strong that it will disturb your sleep.

Tell yourself before you go to sleep to wake when you get the signal.

The trick to this method is timing. It has to be done when you are in REM- Rapid Eye Movement— sleep. REM is the cycle of sleep where you’re dreaming, so named because a person’s eyes move rapidly under their closed lids when in this stage. Usually it takes up to 90 minutes to get into REM, but for some people it will occur sooner or later.

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If someone you know can watch you sleep, they can tell you about how long it will take you to get to REM. If they are with you at night, they can make the sound or turn on the light when they see you enter that state. Otherwise, all you can do is guess and adjust your timer until you start having successful recalls.

Record Them

When you wake up in the middle of the night after having a dream, or first wake up in the morning, dream recall is on the decline. The clock is ticking, and with every passing minute more and more of that dream memory is slipping away. To remedy the problem, record the dream immediately.

Keep a small recording device on the night stand, or even a pad and pencil. As soon as you wake up with the memory of a dream, record what you recall about it, or jot it down.

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When all else fails, seek the help of an expert. Your waking mind may not remember the dream, but they’re still filed away somewhere in your subconscious. A trained hypnotherapist can help you dig up any buried dreams that may be upsetting you.

Whatever methods you employ, persistence will eventually bring success.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.