Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Oneiroi, part II: Dream-Catching Method

How do you catch a dream?


Most importantly, you must:

Write down your dream as soon as you wake up.  If you wait, you will almost certainly lose the dream.

This holds especially true if the dream was good.  Disturbing/unpleasant dreams are easier to remember, whereas good dreams leave only the feeling. 


Some materials to keep within easy reach from your bed.

  • Notebook
For me, the ideal dream notebook is small and spiralbound, with hard covers. That way I don't have to get up to a desk to write the dream down.

  • Pencil
It should be blunt, since when you're fumbling around for your dream-catching implements you don't want to stab yourself.  Eraser is optional - I just cross stuff out.

  • Paperclip  (optional)
This is to hold your page in your notebook.  I used to dog-ear the current page, but I stopped after I wrote one dream right over another.


  • Draw a heavy line after each dream if you want to fit multiple dreams on one page,  - one that's easy to see if you hold the page close to your eyes in a poorly-lit room.
  • Write the date before/after your dream.
  • Don't fret if you lose a dream or two or more.  Your subconscious is not so finite - there's plenty more where that came from.
  • The jury (me) is still out on whether or not it's helpful to collect your memories of the dream before writing it down.  You can still leave things out either way.


This is what works for me.  And, as I am fond of reminding people, not everyone = one person.  Likely the optimum methodology will be different for everyone.  Just keep going and you'll find out what's best for you.


  1. I just devoted a spiral-bound notebook to dreams two weeks ago and have actually managed to write only two dreams down. Still i see you did the same too, i already put a blunt pencil at hand (cause i already had a not-so-pleasant encounter with a sharp one and it was enough for learns from experience) but nice touch on the paperclip to avoid re-writing on something...i hadn't thought of that one so thanks for the heads up!

    I am fascinated with the brain, that's why i finally decided to put a notebook next to the bed...i waited a long time cause at first i thought it was kind of silly, but coming to think about it, it is not silly at all, and just like i like reading old posts i wrote to rememeber what i was thinking in that particular period i'm sure it's going to be lots of fun to read back dreams from a month/a year or more before! It is also great when you dream of something so very complicated that it sticks with you and you simply HAVE TO spend the next few minutes/hrs in bed trying to figure it out, isn't it?

    Nice blog anyways! I'll be sure to come back reading some more soon (here in italy it's about midnight so time to sleep...hopefully i'll dream of something good i'll rememeber - I mention italy cause i see a post with an italian title in june, you studying italian or something?)

  2. I once used pen and in the morning I could see that my fingers were covered in ink. x|

    Yes, it's fun to see how the things you dream about change over time. There are some dreams that really just don't get out of your head.

    Thank you! I'm taking Italian in school (this is the start of my fourth year). The post with the Italian title isn't actually in Italian (though it would be a fun challenge to try translating it...), I just thought it sounded better that way. :D