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Remembering your dreams is like cultivating a friendship. The more time you spend thinking about and being with your friend, the richer the relationship will become. Often, people start recalling their dreams when they simply make a commitment to do so.

Tell yourself the dream before you get up, if you’re not going to record it. This encodes the information in longer-term memory, but this ability can take a while to develop.

When you wake, try not to move your head very much until you’ve recorded the dream.

Keep a pad and pen next to your bed. There are pens with a light at the tip for writing in the dark.

Keep a voice-activated tape recorder next to your bed.

Use a gentle alarm to wake yourself during the night or an hour or so before your normal waking time (which increases your chances of waking during Rapid Eye Movement sleep). The Lucidity Institute at Stanford sells a Dreamlight, a mask which wakes you with light; a more expensive one registers your eye movements and wakes you during REM sleep.

Recording your dreams on computer can allow you to do searches on particular words and phrases, which can help in exploring the themes of your dreamscape.

Don’t let “dreamwork” become work. We don’t stay committed to any relationship that feels mostly like a chore. Although the dreamscape of many dreams is the best resource, there is no need to obsess. Our dreams will get more insistent or “louder” if we ignore an important message—just like a friend we don’t listen to.