I’m a recovering insomniac. Every once in a while, I’m not so recovering. Sometimes I forget to take my meds, put my head on my pillow, and remember I was supposed to take them a couple of hours ago. That always sucks because I get angry at myself for being awake when I should be sleeping—which makes the sleep come that much slower.

Suffice to say, I’ve learned a lot about sleep, been fascinated by it even. I’ve pursued deeper and deeper rest, but always wondered why we hallucinate for brief periods as we sleep. Once or twice a year, I would stumble into a lucid dream. It was almost magical when that happened.

Unfortunately, the techniques used to lucid dream also insert a certain amount of wakefulness into sleep. To an insomniac, that’s a fate worse than death. There’s nothing I’d love more than to lucid dream on command like the main character of my novel, Dreaming Alejandro. Probably ain’t gonna happen. That being said, I’m still going to write in my dream journal every morning, and perhaps you should too

I haven't quite gone nuts like this dude, but good on him for the effort.

5 Reasons to Write a Dream Journal

#1 Mindfulness

A full third of our time on this Earth is spent unconscious, yet there are entire worlds in each of us. Becoming aware of our dreams is the best way to kickstart your mindfulness. The longer you continue your dream journal, the more unconscious connections you’ll be able to make, the more insight into the previously hidden reaches of your mind you’ll have.

#2 Emotional Issues

Life is an unending string of slings and arrows. Even with our complex minds, we can’t process it all. When you remember something happening in a dream, it may indicate there may be other issues you need to work on. Writing a dream journal will help your recall. It’s an opportunity to put some conscious thought into something that would only reside in your subconscious otherwise.

#3 Inspiration

There are times I woke and had the entire premise of a novel ready to go. Dreams are an excellent source of inspiration, and not only stories but images, music and whatnot. You might be sleeping but your mind still gears up that engine of creation. How many novels have you forgotten because you simply didn’t care to remember your dreams? There’s a goldmine in the depths of your consciousness, but it needs to be mined.

#4 Lucid Dreams

Maybe the best reason of all! The more you recall your dreams, the more importance your consciousness will put on your dreams. The more importance put on your dreams, the more you’ll recall. It’s an upward spiral. As this process takes place, you’ll be making inroads into your own subconscious. When lucidity strikes, that lightning bolt of awareness, you’ll be ready.

#5 Turning Off the Internal Editor

Granted, this one is more for the writers. The first draft of my book took nine months to write its initial length of fifty thousand words. I would warm myself up by editing the previous days work. Having that internal editor on all the time dragged the process down so much. I wasn’t unleashing my creativity during the divergent phase. That internal editor was like driving the nose of the plane I was piloting into the ground when it should have been taking off. I wasn’t making those crazy connections that could have launched something that really worked. The dream journal is my exercise in turning that internal editor right off. I write and don’t edit because there’s nothing to edit.

This Week’s Question

Are there other reasons to write a dream journal?

We’d love to hear from you at the reading group.

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