Dreams are the road to the unconscious. They can show you what is hidden from you. Dreams can direct you to your desires. They can warn you of danger. Your spirit ancestors and helpers can speak to you through your dreams. You can solve problems in your dreams. So, if you’re not dreaming, you may want to know how to dream more.
Everyone dreams every night. The problem isn’t that we don’t dream. It’s that we don’t remember our dreams. Dreams have always been present. They are wired into the DNA of humans. They come whether we want them or not. It doesn’t matter to dreams if you are sleeping on a train, doing a sleep study, or are writing them down for your own personal use. They are just there. Dreams do require something of the dreamer if they are to “show up” consciously and consistently. Let’s take a look at how to make it more likely that you remember them.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Those who have good sleep hygiene tend to be better dreamers. If you have insomnia, hypersomnia, work third shift, or have an irregular sleep schedule, your dreams will be negatively impacted. To dream more, sleep 8 to 9 hours per night. Be in bed by 10:00 p.m. Have a wind down routine to program your body to know that when you get in your pajamas, brush your teeth, and get in bed, it’s time to sleep. This will help you fall asleep faster. Don’t watch tv, eat, or talk on the phone in bed. Use the bed for sleeping and having sex.
When you have a good sleep routine, you may be able to awaken naturally without an alarm. This is also going to help with dream recall. When you’re jarred awake, your brain may start thinking immediately. When you awaken slowly and naturally, you will be in a hypnopompic state where you have awareness of ideas, inspirations, and dreams that come from your unconscious.
Practice Good Self Care
A person who eats healthy food, has good water intake, and engages in mild daily exercise is going to sleep better. Better sleep means more dreams. Your self care routine creates the baseline for your life. If you have a good self care routine, everything flows better. You’re more mentally alert, you feel more social, your mood is better, and your body functions better. Better dream recall is just another way that your life improves.
Turn Off the Lights
Before the dawn of electricity, there was more darkness. Darkness is required for melatonin production and healthy sleep. The body needs it to restore itself at night. When you spend more time away from light pollution and turn out the lights within your own home, your body goes back to a natural rhythm. If you live in the city, this could mean that you spend more time in the country or woods. It could also mean that you use more candles or use candles after a certain hour.
Get Away From the Computer and TV
Screens like computers, tvs, and digital readers emit a blue light that interferes with sleep. In fact, it makes you stop producing melatonin! This can also impact mood. If you’re not having great sleep, you’re not having great dreams.
We’re all way overstimulated. Our bodies are not designed to endure the amount of noise, thinking, activity, and sound that we’re all subjected to daily. Meditation gives your body some downtime to shut all this out. If your brain is subjected to so much stimulus, how do your dreams compete with that? Will you even recognize them? The more contrast (quiet, stillness) that you have, the more easily you will be able to remember your dreams.
Pay Attention to Your Dreams
If you ignore or dismiss your dreams, they will stop coming into your awareness. It’s like everything else. If you don’t think pink roses, gerbils, or Porsches are important, they will pass beneath your notice. If you’re really into those things, you will start to see them everywhere. The frequency of them doesn’t change. We just see more of what we pay attention to.
One way to pay more attention to your dreams is to write them down. Do this first thing in the morning. Dreams are fragile. Details disappear rapidly. If you wait a few hours to do this, you may only end up with a fragment. Once written down, don’t just file it away. Think about it. Play with it. Get curious about any messages within.
Another way to pay attention to your dreams is to tell them to someone. Children tell others their dreams instinctively. It’s as if they had an adventure that they want to share. When they are told, “it’s just a dream,” this behavior stops. This desire to share doesn’t go away though. It just goes underground. When most people know they have an interested listener, most willingly share that strange and important dream that just doesn’t go away. Speaking your dreams into the world gives them life outside your unconscious.
To do this, you have to let go of your fear and judgment. Having a sex dream with your brother or boss doesn’t mean you’re a pervert. Dreaming about being a mass murderer doesn’t mean you’re a mass murderer. People can get self conscious about bearing their soul to another person. Dreams are really personal. But so what. Vulnerability the cost of admission to learning and growing. It’s what you need to have any real connection to yourself, other people, and the world. I think it’s a bargain. If you don’t have a place to share your dreams, feel free to join my Facebook Group.
Use Your Dreams
The more use that you make of your dreams, the more they will show up for you. How? By heeding their messages. If your dreams seem to be telling you to slow down, slow down. If you get a sign that you need to get a check up, do that. Keep in mind that dreams don’t dictate the future. For one thing, you may not be a great interpreter of what you are seeing. Your dreams may also be a reflection of your fears. There is also not one “right” interpretation for dreams. You could have ten messages from a single dream fragment because dreams are like art.
This is another reason for sharing your dreams. Don’t trust a dream dictionary or the “expert” to unravel your dreams for you. Share them. Play with them. Look at them from different angles. An expert, or even just a good listener, is there to bounce ideas off of. This feedback can transport you to new ideas. So always approach dream sharing like an intimate, yet playful, conversation. Don’t take it too seriously or too lightly. Dreams can dissipate under too much scrutiny.
We all have a natural therapist within us – our dreams. The more we use it, the better quality of guidance that we will have. It’s like anything, the more skilled you get, the better the outcome. You can’t do that if you’re not remembering your dreams. So make some easy changes and see if you don’t dream more.