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Dream Journal Benefits

Why a dream journal?

Journalling in general is a great way to express thoughts, feelings, plans and desires that happen throughout the day. A dream journal is exactly the same, except the thoughts and feelings occur in your dreams.

Frequently recalling dreams as you have them helps to further strengthen your dream recall as well as increase the vividness and frequency of your dreams. For those interested in their dreams this is more than enough reasons to start or continue a dream journal. For those not yet convinced, dream journals can become a great inspiration for any type of creative endeavours.

How to dream journal.

This obvious place to begin is just as you wake up. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember anything when you finally wake up enough to start the day. This is why its important to keep a journal close by, so just as you wake up you don't have to move too much to write what you remember. I personally have a dream journal app on my phone, as my phone is always within reach when I awake.

The next step is to write down everything you remember. At first this may be nothing but try to start small. Do you remember where you were just before waking? Even writing down the feeling you felt as you woke up can be a great beginning. As the nights pass you may find yourself remembering brief events or even full dreams for particularly vivid dreams.

When writing down dreams it helps to write in the first-person. Sentences should be structured as-
"I am standing on a long road, when I look up I can see palm trees.", instead of-
"I was on a long road and I could see palm trees.". This helps transport you back into the dream and you're more likely to remember finer details, you should try to remember as much detail as you can when recalling dreams. If you're unable to remember how the dream began, that's fine, just begin writing down what you remember. You may find as you're recalling the dream previous events come back to you.

This is another reason I prefer an app for dream journalling, as it is much easier to make changes to what you write, instead of a physical journal which may be prone to mistakes and out-of-place events. However, writing anything is better than nothing. If a physical book will make you more likely to write dreams than that is what is best for you.

Another way to dream journal is to record yourself saying the dream aloud, which can be later transcribed however you wish. This way is the quickest and easiest method, especially if you're a slow typist. This method however, can be a nuisance to those who share a bed or bedroom with others, as it's best to journal just as you wake- when others may still be sleeping.

One last aspect that I'll mention about dream journalling is drawing vivid scenes from the dream. This is something extra for those who may remember lots of details from a certain part of their dream, or something that particularly sticks around after you've awaken. This can unlock a more creative aspect of dream journalling and is not a necessary step for regular dreamers.

The benefits of a dream journal.

Dreaming has many benefits and the research on sleep and dreams has been growing over recent years. A quick Google search can show many scientific and government articles about the various health benefits of sleep. Sleep is thought to help consolidate and remember events that happened while awake, then when dreaming the brain will try to find new connections between all the new information and your pre-existing knowledge.

For creative types, dreaming can be a major source of inspiration for stories, songs, artworks. Your dreams can be used to inspire a collection of short stories, or individual dreams worked into entire stories. Strange and vivid sightings within a dream could inspire a painting or song lyrics.

Keeping a dream journal can bring more awareness and attention to your sleep schedule. This usually leads to making and remembering your dreams a goal, you'll begin to pay more attention to small things like- when you go to sleep, how long you'll be asleep, and how you wake up in the morning. As you begin to write dreams first thing when you wake up, you get to notice how you feel when you wake, if you feel restful or not.