What is a Dream Journal?
A dream journal is a notebook specially dedicated to jotting down any details or events you remember from your dream immediately after awaking.
It is most effective to keep this journal next to your bed. Instead of jumping straight out of bed, you can take some time to recollect as much as you can and record it.
If you start a dream journal now it will benefit you in many ways.
Here are three of the main reasons to start a dream journal:
1. Memories – Remembering your Dreams
With the fast pace lifestyle of waking up early to an alarm clock and rushing out of the house, many people have accepted that they simply do not have dreams anymore. However, this could not be farther from the truth.
In reality, we all dream every single night. What happens is that people do not take the adequate time to remember their dreams on a daily basis.
These habits also translate over to the waking life where memory seems to waver as well.
Something most people can relate to is getting older and having a hard time retaining certain memories.
They become distant blurs in most cases where the thought isn’t as vivid. By getting in the habit of dream journaling, you will notice that you begin to recall more of your dreams.
If you take care of it and take it seriously you will have memories that you can share and enjoy for a long time.
You can create wonderful enriching dream experiences that can improve mood and teach life lessons.
2. Learning to How to Lucid Dream
Lucid dreaming is a popular phenomenon that occurs while a person is in a deep sleep.
Lucidity is simply having a high degree of awareness. Therefore, a lucid dream is a dream that you are aware that you are having. In this dream, the sensations may seem incredibly realistic.
This means that your sense of touch, smell, sight, hearing, and other sensory capabilities will be amplified and feel very much like it does when you are awake.
Many people can attest to having very vivid dreams where their dreams are very clear and detailed.
While remembering details is important, it is the level of control is that makes the difference in a lucid dream.
Having a dream journal will engage a brain function which will be integral in lucid dreaming. It will create a sense of observation that will eventually be experienced within the dream.
Some of the benefits people enjoy from learning lucid dreaming are:
- Better restful sleep
- Reduced fear and nightmares
- Can help stop sleep paralysis
- Fun entertaining dreams
- Enhanced creativity
3. Stress Relief
Many people find writing to be relaxing. It can be nice to unload the mind and put it down on paper. Having a written account of your dreams can be a very fun thing to have and to share with others.
If you aren’t good at writing, this can be a fun entertaining way to improve that life skill.
Keeping a dream journal along with regular life journal will help you be able to go back and see how your dreams correlate with life events.
When you see your thoughts and ideas down on paper it might also help fuel ideas to solve problems.
What to Write in your Dream Journal
The most important thing is trying to recall as many details as possible.
Here are a few ideas of what to write down when analyzing your dreams:
- What were you doing?
- Where were you?
- What was your mood like?
- List the people, creatures and objects that were in the dream.
- Why do you think you dreamed about these particular things?
- Can you think of any way this dream may be linked to current happenings in your life?
Take your time writing when writing in your journal if you can. Just getting something down, however, is better than nothing.
The goal is to make it a consistent habit and then work on continually improving the quality.
If you are in a hurry in the morning, for example, try an audio recording while your on the go. Then when you have time later you can transfer it to your journal.
Types of Dream Journals
I prefer a journal I can have by the bedside and quickly pick up when needed. It feels like it works better for me when I actually write the words by hand in a real paper journal. It seems more real, and I feel like I really think about the words that I am writing.
As for which one to choose it really comes down to personal preference. You can just use a regular journal, or buy a designated dream journal.
Here are a few high rated nice hard back dream journals:
You can also get a journal that adds extra direction and guidance with a sort of check list for remembering your dreams
Here are a few recommended examples of these workbook style dream journals:
There are some people who just hate writing. If you just really rather not write, you can find a variety of online or downloadable dream journals.
A few good examples:
- Dreamboard.com – DreamBoard is an app that allows you to select simple data points such as type of dream and mood. Over time you will be able to see the frequency of types of dreams and moods for use in your study of lucid dreaming.
- Journey Cloud – A good online journal that can be used for a personal or dream journal. This would be a better option for those who prefer to type.
Whether you use only one of these options or a few together, I know the addition of dream journal to your daily routine will be beneficial.