Why You Need to Keep a Dream Journal

Many of us write off dreams as light-hearted (although sometimes horrifying) flights of fantasy… nothing more. But your dreams can tell you a lot about who you are. Actually, your dreams and keeping a dream journal can even help you to improve in real life.

But people are having fewer and fewer dreams than ever. In fact, researchers say we are in a state of ‘dream deprivation’. We simply aren’t sleeping enough. Sleep disorders run rampant due to poor diet, imbalanced lifestyle, technology addiction, and chronic stress.

As a result, quality REM sleep is becoming more and more of a rarity. And that’s where the magical dreams live. If you’re not dreaming regularly, it is important to try healing your sleeping patterns by nixing late night technology, improving your diet and stress management, and trying herbal sleep support.

For those of us who do dream, how many of us actually pay attention? After childhood, a lot of us lose our enthusiasm and awe for dreaming. They get shrugged off as something weird and nonsensical that happens sometimes. But dreams are an incredible key to understanding unexplored facets of yourself. And the more you pay attention, the easier it will become to remember them.

5 Reasons to Start Keeping a Dream Journal

1. Learn to better understand yourself.

We all try to hide things from our conscious selves. Whether it is a deep-seeded fear of failure or an unsettled nugget of wanderlust, everything shows up on the widescreen in 8K in Dream Theater. All you have to do is sit back, watch carefully, and take notes. By keeping a dream journal, you can discover things about yourself that even you didn’t know.

Dreams can help you to detect patterns in your subconscious beliefs. For instance, if you are having the same dream over and over again, there is a good chance your subconscious mind is trying to tell the conscious you something important. And that’s a wonderful thing, so try listening up and taking notes.

2. Boost your creativity.

Countless artistic geniuses have claimed that their inspiration for a masterwork came to them “in a dream”. But it is not some sort of divine intervention that allowed these great minds to access such a surge of creative inspiration–it is their intimacy with their dream state.

Think of your dreaming self as a portal to the wildest thoughts of your subconscious. Creativity thrives in your subconscious. By taking note of your dreams and pondering them, you are able to make a direct link to the fountain of ideas within your subconscious mind.

3. Support your emotional + mental health.

First of all, journaling anything is good for your emotional and psychological health. Period. Fishing as many thoughts as you can out of the swirling toilet bowl of self-doubt that we call the human mind and plopping them sopping wet onto a page is a very healing practice.

But when you fish dreams out of your mind toilet, that’s when things get interesting. You have the ability to understand your rawest emotions and thoughts more intimately when you pay attention to your dreams. It takes understanding yourself through journaling to an entirely new level.

4. Dreams are incredible!

The fact that we experience these vivid non-realities in our heads while we sleep is pretty incredible. Why wouldn’t you want to remember your dreams?!

Humans spend almost one third of our lives in bed. Your dream-life experiences, whether you like it or not, account for a very significant portion of your lifetime. Dream journaling is a way to build a portal into that part of your life; to understand it and to make the most of it. Otherwise, you are just sleeping a lot, which is a pretty boring way to spend one third of your life.

How to Start a Dream Journal

To keep a dream journal, simply keep a pen and plenty of paper at the ready by your bedside table every night when you go to sleep. Any time you wake up–whether in the middle of the night or with your alarm–keep your eyes closed and try to remember what was just happening in your mind.

Once you have a foothold, work backwards. What happened just before that? This can be challenge enough for some people. But, once you practice, you will be able to get better and better at retracing your steps and recalling your entire dream in surprisingly vivid colors.

Once it is fresh and whole in your mind, scribble it out onto the page in as much detail as you can muster with bleary eyes. Don’t give up. Over time, this process will become easier and easier. Plus, it’s rewarding to look at all the wild ideas and stories your subconscious comes up with.

Have you ever tried dream journaling? Are you able to easily remember your dreams? Share your thoughts!

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63 comments

Greta H
Greta H3 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Chad A
Chad A5 days ago

Thank you!

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Paulo Reeson
Paulo R10 days ago

ty

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Anna R
Anna R13 days ago

Thank you

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John W
John W18 days ago

Sounds like a good idea :-)

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Leo C
Leo C18 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Janis K
Janis K19 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Leo C
Leo C19 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I21 days ago

A dream journal is a great idea--for those who dream enough to make it worth the effort. However, that wouldn't apply to me, since I rarely dream at all.

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Leo C
Leo C21 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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