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  • Writer's pictureMonique Rickard

How to Recall Your Dreams Upon Waking

Updated: May 8

Use these two simple tools to vividly remember your dreams when you wake up.

Why is it important to remember your dreams?

The information received in a dream bypasses the ego. [1]

Your ego is the avatar you've made for yourself to function (relatively) like a normal person in life. It's the information on your driver's license, your opinions about your family, and why you swing left or right at the voting polls. There is nothing wrong with your ego, and we all have one. However, your ego is like the filter on your phone that changes a so-so selfie into a polished, faux version of who you are. The ego is judgmental, resists life, and hides behind fear. Our past experiences and beliefs about ourselves misconstrue intuitive knowledge.

Our dreams bypass these preconceived notions about the world & other people to get right down to the heart of it all. Dreams are a direct link to the subconscious mind, where a hidden wealth of knowledge awaits you.

Symbols help us to understand the psyche/consciousness on a deeper level.

Random objects in dreams are more than they appear. A talking doughnut in your dream could represent pertinent psychic information in your life. Premonitions can take the form of symbols, and so can hidden illnesses and other psychic phenomena.

When you recall your dreams, a line of communication with your internal guidance system opens up.

The best spiritual mentor you will ever have- is within. Our spirit guides and guardians have been with us since birth and frequently communicate through our intuition. Even if you are a skeptic, chances are you've experienced a gut feeling proving that somehow/someway, you knew the truth all along. Your internal guide will visit you in dreams if called upon.

If you need a clear answer from your spirit guide, read this related post: How to Connect with Divine Council and Receive Spiritual Guidance

Let's briefly cover some common myths about dreaming that can make dream recall difficult.

MYTH: I don't have dreams.

TRUTH: While we sleep, we cycle through four stages of brain wave patterns in which dreams may occur. Dreams are thought to happen primarily during REM sleep (The stage where Rapid Eye Movement is observed and the brain's thalamus region is active.) However, neurons in the brain produce melanin-concentrating hormones (MCH) to regulate sleep and can inhibit the ability to store dreams in your memory. [2]

MYTH: Dreams don't affect my waking life.

TRUTH: We process our waking life experiences and emotions in our dreams. Our dreams help us to develop strategies to handle real-life problems that reoccur in our daily life. [3]

MYTH: My dreams are private and only occur in my own head.

TRUTH: Dream telepathy was proven by a chance recording of two dreams, of which the details of dream events matched one another. [4] Sigmund Freud's ideas of 'thought-transference have yet to be scientifically studied in detail, but there are numerous accounts of dreamers that share dream realities.

The takeaway is that dreams are experienced by everyone. Our dreams have a personal and collective significance for everyone too.

Two simple tools to use tonight and remember your dreams in the morning.

1. Keep A Dream Journal

If you commit to recording your dream experiences in a journal upon waking, your subconscious mind will recognize the emotional value of those experiences. Even if you can't remember anything about the dream- but you know that you were dreaming, write down the time and date the dream occurred.

Keep your journal near your bed. When you wake in the morning, while your eyes are still closed, visualize every detail available to you. Then, before you do anything else, write down the people, places, and events of the dream. You may even draw out the dream scene or create a map of places you frequently visit in your dreams.

Another key benefit to keeping a dream journal is heightened emotional intelligence, as you can correlate behaviors in your dreams with emotional reactions in your waking life.

2. Utilize A Dream Pillow

A Dream pillow is a sachet of herbs that you sleep on. While resting your head on the herbal pouch at night, the scent released is incorporated into your dreams.

Your sense of smell is a powerful trigger for memory recall. If asked to remember the scent of fresh asphalt during summer road construction or a favorite Chinese restaurant, most people will quickly remember all the sensations accompanying those experiences.

A dream pillow filled with pleasant scents and placed under your head at night can help prompt your memory in the morning. If you are struggling with a dream's details, simply breathe in the scented pillow upon waking.

Dream pillows come with some added aromatherapy benefits as well. Lavender-filled pillows can ease nightmares. The herbal blend of chamomile and rose petals may aid in falling asleep. Experiment with different dream blends, but always consult your healthcare provider if there is a concern about potential allergens.

PRECAUTIONS: Do not use a potpourri sachet or undiluted essential oils to sleep on.

Try using your dream journal and dream pillow for a week and document your personal growth. Notice how your interactions with dream figures and dream occurrences manifest chance encounters and synchronistic events in your waking reality.



1. Orloff, Judith MD 4 Signs You Might Be an Intuitive Empath April 2017 (Adapted excerpt from The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, Sounds True Publication)

2. Newman, Tim Medical myths: The mystery of sleep August 10, 2020

3. Stanborough, Rebecca J. Does Everyone Dream? |Why we dream| May 12, 2020

4. Farrell, D. "Freud's 'thought-transference, repression and the future of psycho-analysis vol. 64 Pt 1 (1983): 71-81.


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