There is a German saying that goes “Träume sind Schäume”. It means that dreams are not important and that what we experience in our sleep at night is irrelevant. But this is not true at all!
When we dream, we process things that we experience in everyday life and that keep us busy. Our subconscious is active during sleep and can tell us revealing things.
Many people claim that they do not dream at all, but this is also a fallacy. In fact, we go through several dream phases every night – it’s just the memory that is often lacking, which is the most common reason for not even trying to keep a dream diary.
But it’s worth it – here are four good reasons why you should keep a dream journal!
Let’s start with the killer argument of memory. By keeping a dream journal, you’ll also improve your memory for what you dream at night.
Put a notebook right next to your bed and reach for it in the morning as soon as you get up to write down everything that comes to mind. You really can’t remember anything at all? Then write down exactly that. What’s the point? This is how you get your brain used to recalling something in the morning. You train it, so to speak, to remember.
The important thing is to keep at it! At first it may be frustrating to write “I don’t remember what I dreamed last night” every morning, but over time it will get better and you will gradually be able to remember more and more.
Make the unconscious conscious
In everyday life, you are exposed to so many stimuli that you cannot consciously perceive everything that may be subliminally bothering you. If you keep a dream diary regularly, after a while you will have documented enough dreams to recognize possible patterns.
Is there something you dream about over and over again? Do certain scenarios or dream symbols appear more often?
You may even be able to associate dream scenarios with external experiences, such as “the last time I kept dreaming about my deceased grandmother, the grief showed up again in real life.” In this way, you may be able to use dream imagery as a signal.
Have you ever had a lucid dream? In such a dream, you are aware that you are dreaming and can do everything you cannot do in real life – yes, even fly!
Sometimes we have a lucid dream without meaning to. If you’ve ever experienced one and can’t get enough, you can sensitize yourself to have lucid dreams more often. By regularly examining your dreams – which you do when you keep a dream journal – you create the awareness necessary to continue having these dreams in the future.
There are artists who report that ideas for stories or songs have come to them in dreams. You too can harness the creative potential of your dreams for yourself!
If you regularly jot down what you dream, you may eventually find a scenario in your notes that you want to make a story out of. Or you remember doing something in your dream that you can do in real life, and use it as inspiration? Let your imagination run wild!
How can I start keeping a dream journal?
You’re convinced and can’t wait to get started? Wonderful!
As a stationery fan, I can only advise you to get yourself a nice notebook that you’ll enjoy writing in. Don’t necessarily skimp on your choice of pen, either – people much prefer to write when the writing instrument glides across the paper and isn’t scratchy.
There are also separate dream journals that are designed exactly for this purpose. Let yourself be inspired by different variants and see which one suits you best.
Once you have chosen a book, put it on your bedside table so that you can start writing as soon as you wake up. Don’t put off writing – make it your habit to write a few lines about your dreams while still in bed right after you wake up, and only then start your day. Unfortunately, the memory fades all too quickly.
As mentioned above, the key is to keep at it. Only then can you achieve success in remembering better and only then can you recognize patterns as described in point 2.
Do you want to start keeping a dream journal or have you been doing it for a while? Share your experiences with me – I look forward to hearing from you!