You might not actually need to keep a dream diary to lucid dream. It’s commonly believed to be the only way to have lucid dreams, but you can do it without a diary. Here’s how.

It’s difficult to keep writing in a dream diary.

It can get boring.

You can lose interest.

Maybe you forget to do it for a few days, and then it becomes a habit and before you know it, you’re just never writing your dreams down. I have periods like this, sometimes lasting weeks, where I don’t write any dreams down. It’s normal!

But, consider why you started writing them down in the first place. It was likely to improve your dream recall, right? To be able to remember more dreams. Well, how often do you read through your dream diary during the day? If you DON’T read through it during the day, you’re missing a trick.

By reading through your dream diary during the day, you strengthen your dream recall in a big way.

Try writing LESS down in the mornings, but making sure you read through it MORE during the day! This will give you a nice quick boost in the detail you’re able to remember.

Once you’ve remembered even just 2 or 3 complex dreams, they’ll undoubtedly start to ‘mix’ with each other in your memory. When you’re remembering complicated detailed lucid dreams every night, how will you know which dream was which?

Mixing up details about dreams will just be confusing, and you’ll also interpret their meaning wrong as well. It’s important to see exactly what you dreamed, when, and in what context.

So dream diaries are important for improving recall.. But what about when you can already remember your dreams? Do you still need to keep a dream journal then?

What about people who can remember dreams naturally?

There are lots of people who claim they can remember dreams without the use of a dream diary. This is all well and good, but what level of detail can they remember?

Sure, it’s all great to be able to remember your dreams and remember details like where you were, what the dream was about and even a vivid memory of a feeling or situation in a dream. But what about when the dreaming gets more intense?

What about when you start really having complicated vivid dreams every night? And what about when they’re lucid and the storylines are getting more involved by the week?

Even people who find it very easy to remember their dreams should still be using a diary to record their dreams, for this reason. It’s just MUCH easier to organise your ‘dream thoughts’ and memories when you’ve got a record of when you had the dream, and what happened.

You can write less if you’re better at remembering

If you’ve got a naturally great dream memory, then you can probably get away with writing a bit less than a beginner in a dream diary. You can get away with writing ‘notes’ about the dream, which will then hopefully trigger the rest of the memories of the dream to come back to you when you read them.

Of course, this isn’t as accurate as writing the details down the next morning, but at least it’s the best of both worlds for people who don’t like the idea of writing their dreams down every morning. A couple of notes takes literally a few seconds to write, but it will help you later on.

When you’re trying to piece together what happened because you need to see how it related to a new dream that’s got you confused and ‘shook up’. Here’s something that happened to me before –

I had an intense lucid dream about a year ago about being trapped in a ‘snow world’. This world was covered in large tables with illustrations, maps, and text on them. Of course they were hard tor read and understand, but at the time I got a CLEAR message from one of the tables in this snow covered planet. It was something specific about ‘life purpose’ and a response to something I’d asked the dream.

Now, just recently (A week before writing this post on 28 September 2015) I had ANOTHER similar dream. I was in the same place! I received another message REFERRING TO THE LAST DREAM which I had a year ago. The dream character as asking me to actually refer to my dream diary! Incredible.. Except, when I looked for that entry from over a year ago, I couldn’t find it. Either I didn’t write my dreams down that morning or I’d lost the notepad.

Hopefully you can see the importance of writing dreams down after that little story, and I can tell you first hand that it’s frustrating not having that record of the important dreams! I was looking for almost an hour for a notepad which might not even exist!

So you can get away with just writing notes, because they will trigger the rest of the dream. However, for important dreams make sure to write down key details such as numbers or messages that are given to you. There is a small chance that your future dreams will actually refer to previous dreams like in my recent dream!

So, do you NEED to keep a dream journal?

You don’t always have to keep a dream journal to lucid dream. If you naturally remember your dreams, you’re set and you can get away with not writing them down. However, by not writing them down you miss out on the chance to do dream work on yourself, and understand your dreams better!

  • Dream diaries help with having more lucid dreams

  • You can notice ‘dream signs’ when you write them down every morning

  • Experienced and more skilled dreamers (with better recall) can get away with writing ‘notes’, but don’t skip important details!

Dream diaries are needed for lucid dreaming, but you can slightly change your approach depending on your skill and experience. I always write in my dream diary, even if it’s just some brief notes. The more detailed dreams I’ll spend a good 20-30 minutes writing down. (They’re detailed, but also I’m a fast writer!) Here’s a video I made about dream journals, for those interested:

Useful tips

Most people find they have more lucid dreams when they keep a dream journal. It’s because it keeps you in the right mindset. That being said, you don’t have to. You might find it useful to use a dream journal app instead. Here are some things to help you with dream recall:

  • Take vitamin B6, it’s a natural memory boosting supplement which can easily be bought over the counter in most countries!
  • Listen to these soundtracks which can help you boost your memory!
  • Try using a dream pillow to anchor your mind to remembering dreams in the morning
  • Write less down if you want, but make sure you read it at least once during the day, and ALWAYS read your previous 2 nights dreams when you’re about to go to sleep!