As a dream worker, I am quite focused on my sleep at night, including the quality and duration of time I sleep. We spend approximately one third of our lifetime sleeping. Depending on the length of time we are asleep, we dream between 3 to 8 times a night during periods of REM sleep. These dreams can last for a few seconds, and up to 20-30 minutes depending on the cycle of REM sleep we are in, and any sleep disruption we may experience. I am asked from time to time, how does one increase their dream recall, so that when they awake, they are able to remember their dreams. This takes practice, an intention and attention to our sleep rituals.
Allow me to guide you through a sleep ritual, so that you may increase your dream recall. Begin by creating a relaxing environment in your bedroom. This may include a bit of lavender essential oil on your temples or a sachet of lavender buds next to or under your pillow to help induce relaxation. Sleep Apps with music, white noise or guided meditations also work to help promote relaxation. The condition of air, including temperature and air flow are also important factors in promoting a good quality of sleep. Consider your bedding as well for the correct coverage. Wear lose nighttime garments with fabrics that promote breathability, such as cotton or silk. Your bedroom should be as dark as it can be. Black out shades are great for blocking out light from your windows. If you sleep next to any electronic devices, make sure they are turned off or in airplane mode with no wifi. Even the ambient light from a TV or digital clock can disrupt our sleep patterns.
In order to promote dreams, begin with a journal, notebook or recording device next to your bed along with a small pen light or head lamp to record your dreams upon waking. Write an affirming statement in your dream journal before going to bed such as, “I am open to receiving a dream for my highest good and am grateful for it.” Next, simply have an expectation that you will have a dream and remember it. This can be done by looking into your eyes in the bathroom mirror before bedtime and say to yourself, “I am going to have a dream tonight and I will remember my dream when I awaken.” Then, thank yourself for the power of suggestion!
Setting an intention for your dreams to arrive at night is also helpful. This can be done throughout the day using I statements about the type of dream you would like to receive from the dream maker. By practicing this form of dream incubation, you begin to bring a conscious waking awareness to your dream life, whereby your unconscious sleeping mind begins to absorb these messages.
When you first awaken, move as little as possible. Lie still and slide into the feelings you have when you first awaken and recall any dream imagery. Working backwards in your dream from your last memory of it can help bring it into conscious light. Try to record your dream in the first 5 minutes upon waking, since 90-95% of dreams are lost otherwise. Don’t worry about getting all the details down or the sequence of the dream. You can also draw a picture or images from the dream. Remembering key imagery or the feeling tone of the dream is important. Later, when you are fully awake you can record the details in first person and present tense, giving your dream a title and include the date the dream was received.
Also, sharing your dreams with others and participating in a dream group or working with a dreamworker will help you to begin to have a relationship with your dreams, which can provide rich insight and meaningful connection to your waking life.
Sweet dreams to you!!
A Little More About Amy
Amy Curran is a certified dreamwork facilitator, who received her two-year
certification from the Haden Institute in 2019. She also has a BA in Marketing
from Western Washington University. A lifelong resident of Bainbridge Island,
WA, along with five generations of family, Amy is dedicated to her community.
She has worked as an organizer, fundraiser and board member with KidsUp!,
Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation, Bainbridge Performing Arts, and The Matt
Talbot Center in Seattle. She is a wife and mother of four grown children.
Amy’s interest in the inner realm of the dream has led her to seek out groups to
help process her own dreams. She has also worked with psychotherapists in the Jungian tradition, both of which have provided her with rich insights. Amy’s
desire as a dream worker is to guide those with curiosity and interest in their
dreams, through explorations of what the unconscious brings forth. Currently,
she offers a ‘safe virtual container’ on Zoom for deepening relationships to
dreams in groups, workshops and one-on-one sessions.
For more information on Amy’s Inner Dreamwork practice,
please visit her at