Keeping a Dream Diary
A dream diary is like a daily diary except that in it you record your sleeping instead of your waking adventures. You should keep paper and pencil by the side of your bed and record your dreams upon awaking, otherwise, you will forget your dreams easily.
But what kind of detail should you include in your dream diary? The answer is, the more detail the better. As you gain practice and train yourself in a dream recall, you will find more and more details come back to you. Write them down. They may be important when it comes to the later business of analyzing your dreams. Don’t start off with any one theory of what dreams ‘mean’ too firmly entrenched in your mind. Such a theory can lead you to ignore as of no value things which may in fact turn out to be very significant.
The following are some points you should bear in mind:
- Write down the dream events in their proper order. This may seem unimportant if the events appear unrelated to each other. But once you begin the process of analysis, relationships often become very clear.
- Keep a careful note of the dream characters. Who was in your dream and what did he or she do? If they remind you of someone you know in waking life, write this down. Don’t trust to memory.
- If well-known scenery appears, record any differences between it and the same scenery in waking life. Were the bookshelves in the right places? Were the books the same as real life? And so on.
- Similarly, record any differences between well-known people in the dream and in real life.
- Record any non-human characters that appeared in the dream (animals, ghosts) or any inanimate objects that behaved as if alive.
- Make a special note of any recurring events, themes or characters. Do they always occur/behave in exactly the same way?
- Note down all the colors you see.
- Note down your emotional responses to everything.
- Note what time you typically dream.
Your assignment is to keep a dream diary for a one week period. You will do your own dream analysis. What you will turn in for credit is an analysis of what your difficulties and successes were in keeping your dream diary. Submit your analysis.