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  1. #1
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    Improving Dream Recall?

    Hi,

    Does anyone have any tips for improving dream recall? I'm just getting back into dream studies after about 9 months of break. I used to remember an upwards of 6 full dreams a night, and for some reason I haven't been able to remember anything from my dreams for the past 3 nights. If I recall, mugwort tea greatly intensifies the vividness of dreams... But if anyone has any other tips, I'd appreciate it. And, for the record, I'm getting plenty of sleep and waking up naturally (which is rather important.)

    Thanks!


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  3. #2
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    You've probably already read this, but I feel the number one method is to keep a dream journal. What I did, way back when I was trying to get lucid, was to always keep a diary on my nightstand, but before I wrote anything I laid for a couple of minutes in bed with my eyes closed and tried to remember as much as possible. It seems that something as simple as opening the eyes can interfere, as you start looking and thinking about the things around you. I'd try to be as detailed as you can, also mentioning feelings, smells, colours etc.

    But on the days I didn't have much time in the morning (mainly school), I still gave myself a couple of minutes to recall, wrote down the key themes and concepts and when I got home it was enough to see those words to immediately recall the rest of the dreams.

    Honestly, I know there are many "tricks" out there, like drinking special stuff, taking special vitamin (I've heard B12 helps), but I feel this one is absolutely the best. I was doing this for months, always keeping my diary and still to this day I have amazing dream recall, even though I stopped the diary years ago. I'm sure doing other stuff couldn't hurt, of course, but I say you should still keep the daily journal. Good luck
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  4. #3
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    ^ Yes, I have been doing exactly this. And better yet, with a tape recorder so I don't actually need to open my eyes.

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    Dreams are stored in your short-term memory, which means they'll be forgotten shortly after you wake up (and if you don't wake up shortly after a dream ended, you'll have forgotten them by the moment you wake up). Writing dreams down helps you train the short term memory ánd makes it easier to recall after.

    Another method is to disrupt your REM-sleep, waking yourself up while you're dreaming. Basically, set your alarm clock 1 - 2 hours before you usually wake up.

  6. #5
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    I just woke up from 4 consecutive lucid dream, through the DEILD - Dream Exit Initiated Lucid Dream technique. This technique has made my Lucid Dream count skyrocket, unbelievably. It's also helped with dream recall.

    I always hear "record you dreams as soon as you wake." But I think this could be disruptive of both recall and attaining lucidity. When I wake, I do NOTHING; I do my best to slip back into unconsciousness, while thinking very deliberately about the dream I was just having - then BAM! I'm back in it in an instant, and have full control - and wake with better recall from thinking about it in a more relaxed, almost sleep paralysis state.

    This is just my recent experience - It's a really fun technique to practice, and has really made me want to continue the practice a lot more than I used to.

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  8. #6
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    Try texting it to yourself or relaying it in story to somebody who you know would be slightly amused. Maybe we should start a dream thread.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretentieuse View Post
    Try texting it to yourself or relaying it in story to somebody who you know would be slightly amused. Maybe we should start a dream thread.
    A "Share You Dream From Last Night" thread would be cool. Especially on an artist's forum. (Someone go do it )

    Transcribing dreams to a second place furthers your intent to Lucid Dream and to better recall.

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    When you wake up, first thing: don't move a muscle. Once you move, reality starts to set in, and you lose the dream world you came from. And cling onto whatever remnants that remain. Keep focusing on those remnants, no matter how small, and the rest tends to come in bits and pieces. At least, that's how it works for me. Then you can log it in a journal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroyue View Post
    When you wake up, first thing: don't move a muscle. Once you move, reality starts to set in, and you lose the dream world you came from. And cling onto whatever remnants that remain. Keep focusing on those remnants, no matter how small, and the rest tends to come in bits and pieces. At least, that's how it works for me. Then you can log it in a journal.
    Also if you can't remember anything, start with how you feel upon waking, or how you think you felt during the dream. This is likely to stir up a memory that you can build on.

  12. #10
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    The problem is that I know all of this stuff... What I'm looking for are herbal remedies I guess.

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    Isn't lucid dreaming something one would want to do only with moderation? I'm not an expert on that, but I guess that when we're having a lucid dream, the part of the brain that is responsible for the lucidness when we're awake isn't really "sleeping", so it may not be resting as much as it should. Now I'm just making a really huge wild guess here, but it could turn out in that part having to sleep when we're awake, and then we'd have an "dreamy wakefulness", hallucinations or whatever. Or just something more mundane as difficulty to get focused, perhaps.

    I had a bit of hallucination once when I was awake for too much time, I guess that whatever is the brain part that is responsible for sanity decided to go to bed irrespective of my body, not without unleashing the crazy goblins in my head before doing that. I went to sleep right after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danniel View Post
    Isn't lucid dreaming something one would want to do only with moderation? I'm not an expert on that, but I guess that when we're having a lucid dream, the part of the brain that is responsible for the lucidness when we're awake isn't really "sleeping", so it may not be resting as much as it should. Now I'm just making a really huge wild guess here, but it could turn out in that part having to sleep when we're awake, and then we'd have an "dreamy wakefulness", hallucinations or whatever. Or just something more mundane as difficulty to get focused, perhaps.

    I had a bit of hallucination once when I was awake for too much time, I guess that whatever is the brain part that is responsible for sanity decided to go to bed irrespective of my body, not without unleashing the crazy goblins in my head before doing that. I went to sleep right after that.
    For your hallucination part, I'm guessing you were already asleep or at least on the verge of sleep and just thought that you were awake. It happens all the time to those attempting a wake-induced lucid dream and is a result of hypnogogic reverie.

    For the first question, nope... There's nothing bad for you at all with lucid dreaming. The only thing is that some emotionally challenging and deep stuff can emerge and it can be hard for some. That's what happened to me, at least. I wish I wasn't so "emo" about shit because, looking back on it, it wasn't so bad.

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    I did an experiment with myself last night which involved:

    waking up before i wanted to physically wake up 8AM and turning on TV on some mindless blabbering channel like BBC news then passing out as i wanted to continue sleeping
    I dreamt till 1PM about a lot of stuff.

    This could not work with everyone as i've got the weirdest sleeping patter of all people i know, i'm well aware of anything that is happening around me, any noise can kinda wake me up, but i just chose to ignore it and continue sleeping anyway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    For your hallucination part, I'm guessing you were already asleep or at least on the verge of sleep and just thought that you were awake. It happens all the time to those attempting a wake-induced lucid dream and is a result of hypnogogic reverie.
    I guess it may well be the case. I once dreamed about not being able to sleep, which is somewhat usual to me (taking long to sleep, not dreaming about that), but adding to that, there were appearing lots of insects on my bedroom. But at some point I realized that the insects and arthropods that were appearing in my bedroom didn't even exist, then I sort of realized that I was dreaming, so I got alleviated that I was in fact sleeping and just ignored the "insects" and went to bed in my dream. I don't remember what happened after that :lol:

    But something more similar to hallucination related with sleep happens with me in a regular basis, but these are only auditive "hallucinations". I put them in quotation marks because I know they are not real, I don't get fooled by them at anytime. It's like a crowd of voices talking and eventually yelling in a seemingly random manner, mostly unintelligible stuff among themselves (fortunately, no one is commanding me to do anything :lol: ). Somewhat as if I had super-man's super-audition and I could hear lots of people talking around the other houses, but in a very messy manner, not being able to single out specific voices.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    For the first question, nope... There's nothing bad for you at all with lucid dreaming. The only thing is that some emotionally challenging and deep stuff can emerge and it can be hard for some. That's what happened to me, at least. I wish I wasn't so "emo" about shit because, looking back on it, it wasn't so bad.
    I've tried to search on google scholar for potential harmful side-effects, and I couldn't really find much. Actually I've almost found more interesting stuff, such as the possibility of improving physical abilities somewhat as athletes do with just more mundane visualization (but with dreaming it may be even more effective, I guess, as it is more realistic). The only thing I found on the bad side was this book which lists a few possible problems:

    Lucid Dreaming By Wikibook Contributors, et al

    I'll put some items of the list, each is covered in a paragraph or two, which I'm not reproducing here:

    Possible dangers of lucid dreaming

    - addiction

    - alienation

    - dissociation

    - controversial: exhaustion

    - controversial: inability to stop

    - controversial: undesirable false awakenings



    But it's actually just a wikibook, but for some reason it appears on google books with limited preview. Besides these items, it's probably largely "pro" lucid dreaming, with instructions and whatnot. I'm still curious to read more about that on proper peer reviewed literature though. Unlike most articles on wikipedia, this book does not seem to be heavily referenced on peer-reviewed papers, but just something a bunch of people who have had a few lucid dreams decided to write collectively.

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danniel View Post

    I'll put some items of the list, each is covered in a paragraph or two, which I'm not reproducing here:

    Possible dangers of lucid dreaming

    - addiction

    - alienation

    - dissociation

    - controversial: exhaustion

    - controversial: inability to stop

    - controversial: undesirable false awakenings
    All of these are EXTREMELY personal issues that have nothing to do with lucid dreaming as a whole. I had none of these issues while lucid dreaming. I just slowly loss interest in LDs so addiction is a stupid risk to list. Alienation & dissociation... well that certainly depends on the person, doesn't it? I fail to see how dreams could create alienation, especially seeing as you're actually practicing social skills as you sleep. Exhaustion? Certainly not... I was always EXTREMELY well rested after lucid dreams and filled with positive energy throughout the rest of the day! Inability to stop? Like to be not be able to stop having lucid dreams? Um... What is this topic about again? Or not being able to stop dreaming? Has anyone EVER been enslaved by their lucid dreams???

    False awakenings, yeah they happen, but why are they an issue, really? And they can lead to other lucid dreams...

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    False awakenings, yeah they happen, but why are they an issue, really? And they can lead to other lucid dreams...
    Because! You might pee your bed on accident thinking you actually awoke to go to the toilet in your dream!

  19. #17
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    For dream recall, definitely keep on recording your dreams when you just wake up. Try thinking about what it could mean and what is on your mind.

    Have you ever seen the movie Waking Life? The same guy that directed Slacker and Scanner darkly made it.
    In the movie he says you should ask yourself even when you are awake if you are dreaming, and try flipping the light switch (you cant control light in your dreams) so eventually you will start asking yourself in your sleep if you are awake, and become lucid! You can have all sorts of insights and problem solving abilities because you are directly thinking with your subconscious on a whole brain level.

  20. #18
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    From what I hear, vitamin B12 is essential for recalling dreams. Some have suggested using meditation to clear your head and make it easier to recall certain memories, if you're into that sort of thing. And of course writing them down is always good

    I remember a lot of my dreams, they're usually very short, and there's at least 2 of them. Sometimes I just attach a specific part of the dream, to something significant I know I'll remember. For example, if I have a dream that one of my friends is playing a guitar, I'll just picture my guitar in my head so when I wake up I'll see the guitar and remember, it's sort of akin to tying a string around your finger
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  21. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamz1e View Post
    Have you ever seen the movie Waking Life? The same guy that directed Slacker and Scanner darkly made it.
    In the movie he says you should ask yourself even when you are awake if you are dreaming, and try flipping the light switch (you cant control light in your dreams) so eventually you will start asking yourself in your sleep if you are awake, and become lucid! You can have all sorts of insights and problem solving abilities because you are directly thinking with your subconscious on a whole brain level.
    Yeah Waking Life is one of my favorite films and that is indeed how you become lucid. The key to lucid dreaming is living a lucid life...

    I've got this shit figured out, by the way. I've been taking St. John's Wart which allows you continue releasing serotonin while your sleeping and it messes with your dream and sleep cycle. A lot of people who take SJ'sW or other similar drugs have problems with insomnia and such. SO, I'm going to take a break away from the stuff and see what happens... Even if I fall back into depression.

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    Whenever I feel like, I put myself induced half-awake mode. I lay on the bed and relax, let the mind calm down. Most of time, I see things and hear voices, sometimes series of images.

    I practice meditation regularly. Good meditation is bliss. I studied hypnosis myself a little bit and learned how the hypnosis work.

    What I've learned, the unseen world mostly dictates our lives which are interesting. Many people believe in or caught up by 5 senses reality with brain, but our sensory organs' range of receiving information are so limited. For example, human eyes can barely cover 5% of electromagnetic waves.

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    For some reason, telling my dream to something the second I wake up helps a lot in keeping it stick in your head. If you've got the basic outline still there then the details and images come back in the end too. (poor housemates and online buddies who have to hear my strange adventures every morning.)

    One thing I remember being told ages ago was to at least drink something before you go sleep, and when you're lying down don't just wait for the dream to happen but just let yourself slide away already in all sorts of funky fantasies and adventures before you're asleep. Daydreaming, of a sort.

    Also, once you get the hang of it, turn around in your dream sometime Crazy stuff happens when you're doing something your subconscious didn't expect it. Or did it....

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