The Magical Side Effect of Writing Out Your Dreams

I am a morning person and a dreamwork practitioner, and still sometimes I don’t feel like writing down my dreams.

It’s okay to go through a stretch when you don’t record your dreams, especially if it’s a stressful period, or if you’re struggling with getting high quality sleep. First and foremost, I very much encourage you to protect your sleep.

That aside, writing down your dreams in a notebook or in a notepad app on a device, immediately upon waking (including middle of the night wake ups), is a guaranteed way to remember more dreams.

If dream recall is something you struggle with, this means writing down even a small fragment of a memory: A man’s face, a room inside a building, the one line of dialogue spoken at a gathering.

Write it down.


Often times, the act of remembering and writing down the fragment of the dream leads, like bread crumbs, to more fragments. In the case of writing down one dream, the act itself leads to recall of more dreams.

Once you start diligently writing your dreams, you may experience recall like a chain reaction. The next dream arises in the middle of writing the first one down! It may feel  hard to get it all down, or know which dream path to follow.

I’ve written about how to remember more dreams. Committing to writing them down (no matter what!) is the number one way to remember.

But it’s also a good way for those of us who are already good at recalling our dreams to remember even more dreams.

If you’re someone who is at work trying to remember specific types of dreams, you may find that the first dream or two you remember are not so interesting to you. But the third or fourth is!

* * *

It’s the 2nd day of school for my teens. My sleep routine has had to shift as a result of the move from summer schedule to school schedule. Therefore, I’m really tired in the morning. Consequently, I’ve been a little lazy about writing down my dreams the last few days.

Things I’ve told myself in the morning so that I didn’t write down any dreams (even though I had some):

“The dreams weren’t interesting / important / relevant.”

“The dream didn’t have enough of a narrative to even follow.” 

“I have no words even for this dream. No point in writing it down. I couldn’t if I tried.”

Knowing that my dream practice is important to me, and knowing that all it takes is a few days of stopping a daily practice to get out of the practice, I committed last night before bed to writing down my dreams in the morning.

I did.

The first dream or two were a little “mundane.” They didn’t feel “worthwhile” either for my current healing path or for my research into esoteric topics like time travel, bilocation, astral travel, or past life travel in dreams.

But then … in the middle of writing dream number two … I remembered another dream! This one did feel important. It was vivid. The details were rich (ie. the red fabric of the seat on a train I was riding.) I remembered sensory experiences (ie. feeling lightly nauseous on a train). I recalled details of a museum I walked past; a museum in a city I have never visited in waking life, potentially during a time period I have not lived through (yet or in this current body.)

If I hadn’t written down the first two seemingly boring dreams, I likely never would have recalled the third very interesting one!

As much as we may want to remember our dreams, our waking mind, our conditioned mind, our egos, or our exhaustion can easily get in the way.

This work does take commitment, and an ongoing willingness to believe more in the value of your dreams than in what your (often sleepy) waking mind will tell you about them in the morning.

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