Controlling dreams is one of the most exciting experiences a human can have. Have you ever wanted to re-dream your most imaginative dreams, or become the master of your subconscious while you sleep?
Method 1 of 3: Recording Dreams
Step 1. Buy a small notebook
This will be your dream journal, or dream diary. In a dream journal you will write down what you want to dream and what dreams you remember.
- Keep your journal near your bed and have a pen ready so you can quickly write down what happened in the dream you remember after you wake up. If you let it stay any longer, the memory of the dream will quickly disappear.
- You can write a dream journal in a word processing program on your computer, but handwriting is recommended. You'll spend more time writing on paper, which creates a greater connection in your brain between your dream and your memory.
Step 2. Write down what you want to dream in a notebook
Call this the target of your dream. Do this every night before going to bed. Imagine the environment you want to experience when you fall asleep.
- Draw pictures and write instructions with lots of detail. Give as much detail as possible to the point where you think you may have added too much detail. Even trivial things matter.
- The trick is to tell yourself what you are going through when you dream so that you are aware of the state you are dreaming of at the time.
- Don't watch television or movies before going to bed, or you may dream about them instead of your dream target.
Step 3. Every morning, as soon as you wake up, write down your dream
Even if the dream isn't what you planned, write it down. See the “Tips” section below for recommendations on what to write about.
- Just like an athlete who trains regularly, you are training your mind to remember the dream. The more consistently you train your mind to remember your dreams, the sharper and better your dreams will be.
- Write down any similarities that you remember between the dream target (desired dream) and the dream experienced. Write as specifically as possible. Think about similarities and differences. When interpreting dreams, remember that dreams do not offer the exact same picture or answer to your question in the way that your waking brain does. The brain communicates figuratively.
Method 2 of 3: Cultivating Mindfulness
Step 1. Carefully read your dream target
Every night, right before bed, read as much as you can so that it flashes in your head.
After reading something once or twice, the brain will think it knows what the words mean and become lazy: it will only see the written words but not the meaning. So make sure you really understand the meaning of your dream target so that you feel fully understood before going to sleep
Step 2. Lie down, close your eyes, and think hard about your dream goal
Relax. Think about the details in particular.
- Imagine the image of your dream target as it appears in your subconscious. Your subconscious will produce a lot of images that are not related to your dream goal, so skip the unrelated images and try to focus on the related images.
- Imagine the sounds and dialogue in the background of your dream target. Try to really hear it in your mind. Try to feel sensations related to your feelings, moods, etc.
- If no sound or image is clear, try re-reading the dream target in your dream journal.
Step 3. Follow your dream target
Do this in first person, from start to finish. Imagine as if you saw it through your own eyes.
- Try to live the dream goal in the order you expect it in the dream.
- Think hard, but act calm. Don't get tensed, just relax.
- Sleep with those images and sounds in your mind. Remember, record your dreams, whatever they are, when you wake up.
Method 3 of 3: Gaining Control in Dreams
Step 1. Try a “reality check” throughout the day
A reality check is when you ask yourself, “Am I awake right now, or am I dreaming?” This will eventually help you to know the difference between your dream world and reality while you are sleeping.
- A reality check examines the basic differences between dreams and reality. In a dream, things are fickle. In reality, things remain the same. In a dream, the writing will change to different words, the trees will change color and shape, the clock will go backwards instead of forward. In reality, the writing remains the same, the tree remains rooted in the ground, and the clockwork moves in a normal clockwise direction.
- A good reality check to do, in reality or in a dream, is to stare at the writing. Suppose the poster in your room has the words "Jimi Hendrix". Look away for a minute, then look at the poster again. If it's still the same, reality check says you're awake. If you look away and see a poster and the writing changes to something else, a reality check will tell you that you are dreaming.
Step 2. Master your reality check
When you are dreaming and realize that you are dreaming, you begin to be able to control most of what is happening in your dream.
- When you have successfully controlled your dream and realize that you are dreaming, try to calm yourself down. If you are too excited about your success in controlling your dreams, you may wake up inadvertently.
- Try small activities first. Again, it's about staying in control of your excitement and avoiding accidental awakenings. Even mundane things like cooking, climbing stairs, or skateboarding can be fun when you realize that you have complete control.
Step 3. Gradually start doing bigger activities
Many people enjoy dreaming of flying, swimming deep into the ocean, and traveling through time. Try moving large objects, walking through walls, or even moving objects from a distance. The dreams you can have can only be limited by your own imagination!
- If you feel that you are dreaming, look at your hands and try to physically count your fingers. In a dream, you will not be able to physically count (by touching) your fingers, whereas in real life this can be done easily.
- Make sure you plan on getting plenty of sleep. Too little sleep can reduce your chances of having lucid dreams (a state in which you are aware that you are dreaming).
- In the dream, if you are afraid of spiders, don't say, "May there be no spiders." This actually causes your subconscious to think of spiders and put them in dreams. However, it can also be useful if you want to conquer your fear of spiders.
Record the following in your dream journal:
- Did the dream occur in the past, present or future?
- Whoever is in the dream, known and unknown
- Your feelings and mood
- What happened
- Anything flashy, such as various colors, shapes, numbers, people
- Is there a conflict?
- Did you solve any problems that arose?
- Is there anything in the dream that has appeared in your dreams before?
- The end of the dream
- Sleep in a quiet place without any distractions (no laptop or iPad!). Focus completely on the dream you want.
- Try not to dream about future events (competitions, tests, etc.). This will only make you more restless later in real life if your dreams are not good.
- Make a symbol on the bedroom ceiling or near the bed that you can easily see. Look at it for a few minutes before going to bed, and look at it for a few minutes when you wake up. This will help you remember your dreams more clearly.
- Another way of realizing that you are dreaming is to draw a symbol on your hand. As you fall asleep, think "When I look at my hands, I'll realize I'm dreaming." If you wake up and it doesn't work, keep trying. Eventually, you'll think briefly, "My hand!" in the dream and you will begin to control the dream.
- Another way to control dreams is to look at the analog clock and try to make the hands of the clock move backwards. It won't work when you're awake, but try the same thing in your dream. If the hands of the clock move backwards, you will realize that you are dreaming.
- Imagine you are in a dream, while still awake. Draw a picture of your vision. It doesn't matter whether you are a drawing expert or not, just draw what you think before going to bed every night. This will help you think and fantasize about it!
- Set an alarm at 3am, which is most likely your bedtime. As soon as you wake up, think hard about what you want to dream about, look at a picture, or play a song, and lie down. Most likely you are already half asleep.
- Controlling dreams is not the same as lucid dreams even though the two have similarities. For more information, check out the article on how to have lucid dreams.
- If you try to concentrate while falling asleep, you may stay awake. The purpose of the activities mentioned in this article (writing dream goals, etc.) is to keep your attention focused on your subconscious mind instead of your conscious mind.
- Think over and over again about what you want to dream about and count down from a high number before going to bed. Repeat this process every night.
- You won't be able to control your dreams right away. This usually takes a few tries for beginners, and it may even take several months before you can fully control your dreams. If you are impatient, you may not be able to succeed. Relax!
- If you don't move and stay still for a long time, you may experience sleep paralysis, which is the inability to move while you sleep. This is normal. There are even people who experience it every night. Obesity can also lead to WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming), which is having lucid dreams after waking from sleep, but in general, being overweight is not something to worry about.
- Don't do anything inappropriate or really stupid in the dream. This can happen in your real life. Believe it or not, there are people who think, “If I could do it in a dream, I can do it now!”