Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Do you have nightmares?

Lately, I rarely remember whether or not I have dreamed at all. If anything, I may wake up laughing or else seething in anger, but I won’t remember what the dream was about.

Not long ago, a fellow blogger talked about dreams, fears, and the fear of dreaming. Her post made me think back to years ago when I learned how to have lucid dreams, meaning I knew when I was dreaming and was able to control what happened in my dreams. I haven’t done this in a while but I remember how I did it. So, I’m going to share those techniques here. They may sound crazy but they do work if you put in the time. Mastering them may help you get a grip on your fears.

First of all, you must

1. Remember Your Dreams

This may sound simple and even silly: Every time you lay down ready for sleep and you are sure you will not be talked to or interrupted, close your eyelids and roll you eyes upwards and back are far as they will go–as if you were trying to look at your brain–and say to yourself, “I am going to remember my dreams.” Say it over and over again until you think your brain hears you. Then go to sleep.

This is a case of mind over matter. It’s a reminder to yourself to be aware. If you are not used to remembering your dreams, it may not work on night one. It may take several days or even a week or two. But if you do this consistently (and you have to remember to do this before every sleep session) you will eventually remember your dreams more often. Soon, as long as you continue to “remind”  your brain, you will remember your dreams all the time and they will become more vivid.

2. Solidify the Memory

As you are going through this process, keep a notebook near your bed. When your dream is over, if you happen to wake up, write down everything you remember from your dream. If this is not comfortable for you, then at the very least keep your eyes closed after the dream and replay it in your head.

Going a step further, analyze your dreams, make the connection between what happened there and what it may mean in the real world. Pay attention to how you feel. Did the dream remind you of a real-life situation on a gut level, even though the events may seem unrelated on the surface? Our dreams may seem to be mysteries but they are easier to interpret than we think.

Get good at remembering most of your dreams consistently. Then you’ll be ready for the next step

3. Realize You Are Dreaming While Inside the Dream

The time will come when you are so in tune with your inner world that you will recognize when you are dreaming. The realization will surprise your at first but you will not necessarily wake up. If you do, just try it again next time. Soon you will anticipate what people are going to say in your dream. Eventually, you will be able to make them say what you want them to say. When you become good at this, you are ready for the final step.

4. Change the Course of the Dream

Here’s the thing about dreams. As real as they may seem, they are simply thoughts in your head created by you. Once you can tell if you’re dreaming, you can chose to do or not do things while in your dream. If you want to pick up an object you can; if you want to say something, it’s your choice.

So what about nightmares? Nightmares represent our real-life fears. I used to have a variety of nightmares but the ones that terrified me the most were the ones where something was chasing me. As fast as I might try to run, I always felt as if I were running through quicksand. I was barely able to pick up my feet and the thing behind me kept gaining ground.

So here’s what I did. I would realize that I was dreaming. then I would decide to stop running. That’s as far as I dared at first. I fully expected the thing I was running from to pounce on me but it never did. I would just wake up.

Soon I worked up the nerve to not only stop running, but to turn around and confront whatever was chasing me. Once, it was a couple of robbers. When I turned around, they just stood there looking at me, saying nothing. Another time it was a monster that looked strangely like an alligator. It did nothing. I decided to beat it up. I have not had a nightmare about being chased since.

If you have enough patience you can get to this point. I hope this helps.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011


Comments on: "Have Fun in Bed: Control Your Dreams" (45)

  1. This was very informative Sweepy. I’m definitely going to try some of these techniques! Thanks!

  2. My scariest dreams have been of my teeth decaying. Terrible! And somewhat prophetic, as I’ve had a horrible time with my teeth!

    I suppose the interpretation might be about powerlessness (toothless). I’m not sure what’s worse. Dealing with dental woes or lacking control overall!

  3. Lucid dreaming is somehting I have worked on since I was a tiny little girl. I used to have nightmares…of all things about mickey mouse LOL Now I could watch Dr. Who and be ok but Mickey mouse…yeah…I don’t even want to know what that means to my mind…anywho…While I don’t have many nightmares anymore I find my dreams plagued with worry for others many nights. I may take this and try to take control of my dreams again ❤

  4. Never tried this. Wonder what stories can come out of it. Thanks Adriene.

  5. Oh yes I remember doing this, a little differently but the same really. Something I need tostart practicing again. Thank you for the reminder!

  6. I am terrified of being chased and not being able to run fast, in fact I can barely move when I am being chased in my dream. Will try the techniques mentioned here. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Sweepy how very interesting.. I will follow the directions tonight and let you know…I really enjoyed this post of yours. Thank you

  8. The closest I have come to lucid dreaming (and I can’t consistently repeat this, though I can do it often) is to be able to wake lightly from a dream, realize I have awaken, then purposefully enter back into the dream with some ability to redirect its flow. The interesting aspect of this (to me, anyway) is that it isn’t always a good dream that I wish to renter and that I can successfully go back. I’ll give you a for instance. Here is one dream that use to reoccur years ago:

    I am my being chased by a T-Rex through an abandoned city. I keep running away, ducking and covering as anyone would. Just when I would think I was safe, I would slowly peek over a window sill or around the corner of the building and find the creature looking right at me. Then I would be on the run again. No matter how hard I ran or hid, I was always found, barely able to keep ahead of its wanton jaws.

    What I found interesting is that I was not only scared, I was thrilled, alive and terribly excited, as if the adrenalin was a rush I enjoyed instead of wished to avoid.

    There have been others where I was able to go back into them at will, but it usually happened only right after lightly awakening from the dream. Once I was fully awake, I would most always forget the dreams within seconds thereafter.

    • Wow, it seems like you enjoy a challenge! It never happened often but I loved it when I managed to continue the same dream after waking up slightly. Those dreams seemed to have a special significance.

  9. Whenever I try teach my Intro Psych students about lucid dreaming, they are skeptical. It will be nice to say that I know someone who has learned to do it and says it works.

    Dreams are the final frontier.


    • Yay! Finally I will be taught in the classroom! ;p Really, I’m glad for the vote of confidence that I’m not crazy. I wonder where the debunkers are and when will they comment on this post?

  10. I don’t always have bad dreams, but when I do it feels like I am in an ‘Inception’ type place. When i am struggling with a story I bring it to bed with me and where I go that night is anybody’s guess. Sometimes I find answers but not always. I found this an interesting read but still wondering about last nights hike around London. What the heck was i doing there…

  11. I loved this, Sweepy Jean! I have difficulty remembering my dreams, so am interested in trying these techniques.

  12. Penelope J. said:

    Loved this post and I fully intend to follow your first step from now on – remind myself to remember the dream. In the past, I have learned to control the dream and to recognize that I’m dreaming so that I can sometimes continue with the same dream after waking and/or cut off a bad dream. I think that writing about dreams can be a great exercise in self-discovery and analysis. May also answer some questions that the awake mind resists facing up to.

  13. Some interesting tips lol I have had bad dreams where I have just thought this is a dream I’ll just wake up and I do!!! My wife says that even in my sleep I want to direct lol


  14. Thank you Sweepy that was very helpful. I have had recurring dreams and my son and I drowning. I must try this.


  15. After I wrote my post on Oneirophobia, fear of dreaming I spoke with my mom who is taking classes about dreams. She did some research and sent me a link. That night I read about half of it before falling asleep. Some of the things you have mentioned she did as well. She said, if you are reading or thinking about dreams before falling asleep you will remember them. I have been remembering quite a few since then.
    As a little girl I learned to change my dreams mid-sequence after my first encounter with ghosts. My grandmother thought I dreamt them up when in all actuality they were standing at the end of the bed talking. Not only did I see them clearly, I heard them.
    I usually know when I am dreaming, the fear I have comes in not because of what most people fear though. I fear my reaction towards dreams where my loved ones visit me and premonitions. The hardest thing to deal with is knowing it will happen and you cannot stop it. I guess it’s the universe’s way of telling you be prepared because it will bring you to your knees.
    Thanks for posting this Adriene, I enjoyed reading it.

    • It must be disorienting to see ghosts and have premonitions. I’ve had prophetic dreams once in a while and dreams of dead loved ones, and on rare occasions the dreams that actually feel real. But I can’t imaging what it would be like to have such dreams all the times. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I bet there is so much more to be learned in this area.

  16. Sweepy, I had no idea one can do this. I do not have nightmares often but sometimes wake up feeling heavy and depressed because of some vision/dream I had – the feeling lingers for most part of the day. THis happens seldom though and I of course I will never know when it is about to make its appearance : (. Your theory is great anyway – and I really do want to give it a shot. Is this control over dream technique something you discovered yourself? Cause I really want to applaud you for it. Thank you!

  17. This sounds fascinating! I had no idea dreams could be controlled. And being the curious person I am, I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing such interesting information Adriene. 😀

  18. This is so interesting! I have very vivid dreams that I very often remember. I do keep a notebook next to my bed because I only end up remembering them for a short time. I don’t know though that I would want to control my dreams. Part of the fun of waking up and remembering is figuring out what it all means.

  19. Love this! Old dream expert here has journals all over the house, filled with every dream I could capture and record. I also used to have a recorder by the bed.
    I’ve had my share of lucid dreams too.

  20. Wow, I’m going to start practising today!! This was a wonderful piece Sweepy….thank you for sharing!!

  21. How did I miss this? Oh the dreams that get me are the ones where you wake but in actuality are still dreaming That’s ok once but not 3 times in the same dream AAARRGGHH!!

    Scary stuff when it is a nightmare


  22. I am definitely going to be using your tips to help move me beyond Step 2 (farthest I’ve gotten so far)! Very interesting (and somehow seemingly fun) process 🙂


  23. It really is fun, Lakesha, and all around refreshing! /-)

  24. […] since I wrote the blog post about how to remember your dreams, I have been remembering mine consistently. Until that point, there had been a very long period […]

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