August 31

4 Steps to Improve Dream Recall

Sleep & Dreams


Current research shows that dreaming is just as important as sleeping.  Dreaming is one of the ways the Subconscious Mind sorts through all the unprocessed psychological debris of the day. All the stuff the Conscious Mind didn’t have time to deal with and make sense of gets processed while we sleep.  And researchers have discovered that this is when learning and memory consolidation takes place.

We’re really only beginning to discover just how important dreams are to our health and emotional well-being.  But why so some people have a rich and vibrant dream life while others never seem to dreams?  It seems to have to do with attention.

This is a basic principle we rely on in hypnosis – what you pay attention to you get more of, right? For example, if you want to deepen the hypnosis, you increase the focus of attention.  

If you want to amplify a feeling, you increase the focus of attention on the feeling.  

If you want to get more detail in an event you focus attention on a single aspect and build the image from there.

The reason too many people have little to no dream recall is that they don’t pay attention to their dreams.

Pay attention to your dreams and you’ll start to dream more. Paying attention to your dreams is paying attention to your Subconscious Mind.  So working with your dreams can help you improve your skill as a hypnotherapist.  You can use the following four steps to improve your dream recall right away.

1. Pause …

Everybody dreams.  But you won’t remember your dreams if you don’t pay attention to your dreams when you awaken.  You need to give the dream time to emerge. 

The moment you awaken, don’t leap out of bed and dive into the activities of your day.  Pause a moment.  And ask yourself, “Where was I just?”

Imagine you’re standing on a beach watching the waves of the ocean lapping on the shore.  The ocean is the Subconscious Mind where all your dreams are.  The beach is your Conscious Thinking Mind.  The waves coming in and out move across the threshold of consciousness.  From the Subconscious to the Conscious areas of mind.

When we wake, we cross that threshold from dreaming to waking consciousness.  It’s called the Hypnopompic State.  When you wake, focus your attention on that.   And notice what, if anything, is being carried across the threshold.

2. First impressions

Pay attention to the whispers.  At first, when you awaken, it might be that you notice nothing more than a subtle mood.  That’s a whisper of a dream.  If you continue to focus on it, you’ll get more.  So trust your first impression.

Whatever you notice – don’t dismiss it.  Realize this is how the Subconscious Mind communicates.  It communicates through pictures and feeling.  And if you honour your first impressions, more will be revealed to you.  Show the Subconscious Mind it can trust you and it will give you more.

Pay attention for the following.

  • Fragment of an image
  • Song melody or lyrics
  • Sounds
  • A thought or words being spoken
  • Emotions or sensations in the body.

3. Report Exactly

The Conscious Mind has a tendency to want to be in control.  So, it will try to step in.  Don’t let it.  Avoid the temptation to judge or analyze or try to make sense of your impressions.  Just write them down exactly as they come to you.

The key is to record it in your dream journal without Conscious interference.   And recording even the most fragmentary residue of a dream builds rapport with your Subconscious Mind.  It sends a powerful message that says, “This matters to me.  Send me MORE!

You may have to practice this for a week or more.  But once the suggestion has been accepted that your dreams are important to you your Subconscious Mind will open the floodgates.

4. Associate

Once you have recorded your “dream” (fragment, image, sound, etc.) ask yourself this question.  “What, if anything, does this remind me of?”  Remember, don’t think about it.  Just go with your first impression.

If something comes to mind, write it down.  If at first there’s nothing there, that’s okay, too.  Just honour whatever comes.  Paying attention to your dreams is working with your Subconscious Mind to build a bridge into your dream life.

Start tonight!

You’re going to dream, anyway.  So why not start paying attention to your dreams?  Why not start working with your Subconscious Mind?

Set a pad and a pencil next to your bed.  Write down the subject you’d like to have a dream about.  Then give yourself a suggestion that you will have a dream. When you wake in the morning, immediately write down your first impressions.  That’s it.

Get started right away.  If you pay attention to your dreams you’ll start to dream more.  Honour your first impressions and more will be revealed to you.

This is working with your Subconscious Mind.  And working with your Subconscious Mind will make you a better hypnotherapist.

Pleasant dreams!

About the author 

Wendie Webber

With over thirty years of experience as a healing practitioner, Wendie brings a broad range of skills to her approach to regression to cause hypnosis. She combines a gentle, yet commanding way of presenting with a thorough, clear and systematic approach to helping healing practitioners to make sense of regression hypnotherapy.