Delve into Dreamland: How to Keep a Dream Diary
Calling all big dreamers: find out why you should keep a dream diary with our expert tips and tricks on how to keep one
It's said the average person has around 4-6 dreams per night, each lasting anywhere between 5-40 mins apiece. As there's nearly eight billion people on earth, that's an estimated (and rather astonishing) 40 billion dreams between us every 24 hours. That’s a lot of lost teeth, fish playing the trombone, and imaginary meetups with your celebrity crush. With this in mind, here's a fun-filled and potentially reflationary proposition: learn how to keep a dream diary - a reflective, intuitive and reportedly stress-reducing log for recording nocturnal imaginings.
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Why Keep a Dream Diary?
Dream diaries have been used by everyone from artists and writers to psychologists and mathematicians, to unspool the potential hidden meanings of the unconscious. A memory-strengthening exercise that can also provide insight into the psyche, diary-keeping helps to capture and fix the elusive details of dreams before they are faded by daylight.
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Recording these recollections as part of your morning routine helps to strengthen your dream recall over time, with the conscious and unconscious mind gradually learning to work together as one. Because they aren’t constrained by everyday logic, dreams can offer a method for creative problem solving – famously, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was sparked from a dream he had about cows
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Top Tips For Keeping a Dream Diary
1. Keep a notebook by your bedside (and don’t forget a pen)
Venture to our in-store stationary department where you'll find all your dream diary essentials, from leather-bound notebooks to pens and pencils patterned in iconic Liberty prints. Ultimately, the aim is to make it as easy as possible to get scribbling while the dream is still fresh in your mind, so keep your diary and writing utensil by the side of your bed, ready and waiting for when you wake up.
2. Let instinct take the lead
This isn’t the time to be prescriptive, but instead to do whatever feels right – whether that’s jotting down key words, free-writing in a stream of consciousness, or sketching out the details. Write in the present tense, to better capture the emotions you felt in real time.
3. Look for patterns and recurring motifs, to compare them with your waking life
As Aristotle said: “The most skilful interpreters of dreams are they who have the faculty of observing resemblances.”
4. Track your sleep cycles
You dream most deeply during REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep). Gaining an understanding of how long it takes to cycle through the different sleep stages makes it easier to record dreams immediately post-REM, when your brain has returned to a more alert state.
5. Wear your finest pyjamas
Take it from us: for a full eight ours in dreamland, wearing a cosy pair of PJs or a comfort-bringing nightdress will help you drift off in an instant.
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