How To Keep A Dream Journal To Remember More Dreams And Interpret Them


🌙 Written by Stefan Zugor, international lucid dreaming expert and teacher. Learn how to lucid dream in 7 days or less.

Writing your dreams down in a notebook or diary every morning makes it MUCH more likely you’ll have lucid dreams. There are some tips and tricks for writing your dreams down, which we’ll go over here.

Do you struggle to remember your dreams?

Never write them down?

What IS A Dream Journal?

A Dream journal is a small notebook which you use to record your dreams every morning. It’s very important to your lucid dreaming success, and will help you to increase the number of Lucid Dreams you have, and how well you remember them.

You may not remember all of the dreams when you first start, but it’s a notebook in which you write whatever you can remember about your dreams, every morning. It can be an online dream journal, but the best option is to just have a physical notebook. This is because when you’re tired in the morning it’s going to be tricky to load up a laptop, log in etc, by which time you’ve forgotten the dream.


Why you need to keep a dream diary

There are several benefits to keeping a dream diary. Think of it like your logbook of your dreaming progress. You can use it to record your adventures, because there’s nothing worse than having an amazing lucid dream only to forget it all a few days later.

Not only will this enable you to wake up and instantly have something to do in the mornings, but it is the main way to actually learn how to lucid dream. It’s training your mind to be more involved with your dreams, instead of just forgetting them and sleeping through the fog. Here’s some benefits of keeping a dream diary.

  • It increases your dream recall so you’ll remember more dreams
  • Your lucid dreams will become more vivid. (You’re training yourself to remember them, so the details become clearer and more defined)
  • After just a week or so, you’ll hopefully have several entries, and you can start looking at your dream signs.
  • You can use the entries to decode and translate your dream symbols and what they mean.

How to Keep a Dream Journal To Boost Dream Recall

The first step is to actually get yourself a physical notebook or diary. There are many options you could go for here, and it’s down to personal taste and style. As long as you can easily write in it, and ideally draw images and diagrams as well, you’re set! Here are some dream journals you could have a look at.

Remember, it’s more about the functionality of the diary: can you easily write in it when you’re tired, and can you easily annotate the pages and notes afterwards. Leather bound just makes it look nicer.

‘Believe In Yourself’ Magnetic closure Dream Journal. So this is probably the nicer end of the dream diary spectrum, but why not? It’s not expensive so treat yourself, after all you’re going to be writing in it every morning, so it’s pretty important!

Leather Dream Journal. This is probably one of our favorites, as it shows a level of class and has a ‘valuable’ feel to it. It looks important and ‘secret’. It’s a great little diary to start recording your dreams! This is the perfect starter diary!

Our custom made lucid dreaming journal

We created a custom made dream journal ESPECIALLY for lucid dreamers like you. It lets you write down exactly what technique you used, whether you were lucid or not, and also comes with loads of lucid dreaming tips, quotes and tricks in the front and back sections. There’s also a space to draw images!


So, when you wake up each morning, the first thought you have should be ‘What did I just dream about?’. Practice thinking only about this when you wake up. A little tip here, is to use a ‘Dream anchor’. This is an object in your room that you see when you first wake up. Tell yourself, ‘Every time I see ….. I will remember my dreams’. It trains you to remember your dreams first thing.

So whatever you can write down, put that in your dream journal, underneath the date of the night before. You could also use today’s date, but it’s easier to organise when the date of the dream is of the night you actually had it, instead of the morning you remember it. Make sense?

Try and be very descriptive

Write down all of the details. Don’t miss anything out, as the finest detail could be a sign of a nightmare, a recurring dream, or your mind trying to tell you something by using a dream sign. Here are some things you should try and write down when you write in your dream journal..

  • Colors and Shapes. What colours are in the dream? Are there various lighting effects?
  • People and Places. Who’s there? Is it people you normally speak to or interact with? What are they doing, think about their behavior, is it normal for that particular person?
  • The weather. Might sound strange, but think about the weather, does it change when you are with certain people, or at certain places? Really think about what this could mean. (This will be explained in a second)
  • Location. Look around you, and think where you are. (Of course when I say ‘look around you’ I mean try and remember the dream by visualising it).
  • Your emotions and feelings. What were you feeling at the time, and did this feeling change throughout the dream? Maybe it changed when you went to certain places or said/did certain things. Write it all down!
  • Even if it’s just speculation or your thoughts about the dream, write it down. (More on this in a minute).
  • Dream signs? Can you remember any dream signs. This is things that reoccur in your dreams, every week or so. These are important, highlight these.

And any other details you can think of. Write it all down.

So, as you can see it’s important to get a lot of detail in the dreams, as this will greatly help you with dream interpretation, and controlling them further. It’s good to get the range of details in there, for example, the feelings, temperature, location etc. It all adds up to the dream which your brain is creating.

Even tiny details like the weather changing when you see a certain person could indicate your ‘deep-down’ feelings for him/her. Imagine if you’re walking down the street, you see a person briefly, and then walk on. Seconds later, it starts raining! Could this indicate that maybe you have negative feelings for said person? Of course.

Using a dream anchor

NLP (neuro linguistic programming) shows that by using a physical object to link to a thought or intention can make it more likely you’ll DO the thing, in this case, remember your dreams.

What I mean by that is this. Pick an object in your room, and decide that it’s going to be your lucid dream anchor. Tell yourself, ‘Whenever I look at this object, I will remember my dreams’ and keep practicing saying that every time you look at it. Within a few weeks, you’ll be able to remember MORE dreams, just by looking at the object.

Write in present tense!

Dream diaries are all about recording your dreams, right? So write the entries as if you’re still in the dream. Don’t write ‘I walked down the path’ instead, write ‘I’m walking down the path’. By writing in the PRESENT tense, you’re more likely to be able to remember more, because your brain thinks you’re still in the dream experiencing it!

Highlighting important parts of the dream

It’s a good habit to highlight the important parts of your dream entries. This lets you easily see what happened when you look back at old dreams, and also helps you identify ‘dream signs’.

Dreams are complex, and yes, small seemingly unimportant details could be profound when understood properly, but for the purposes of the dream journal, we’re talking about key events, places, people and events.

Sure, it’s important to write down that the temperature changed when you entered a room, or that you felt slightly adventurous when you heard a certain song in the dream, but there are things more important than that. The things you’ll want to highlight would be:

  • Where you are
  • Who you’re with
  • What you’re doing

Try and use a purple or green highlighter, as the yellow ones are a bit hard to see sometimes. If you don’t want to use a highlighter, that’s fine, just underline the important bits, or circle them with your pen.

Dream Journal Examples (Journal Entries Explained)

Here are some dream journal example entries for you to look at. They’re not perfect, but they’ll give you some sort of idea about the detail you want to try and include. Everyone’s different, and some people won’t be able to remember much detail, but this will always improve with practice.

13/5/2014 – The Running Market – NORMAL

It’s a cold day, probably sometime during winter of last year. I’m walking around an open air market in a large unknown city, and I notice a small man running one of the stalls looking at me. He shouts out ‘What are you doing here?’. Confused, I walk on, not really having understood why  I shouldn’t be here, as it’s a public market. The temperature drops a little as I approach a large red tent like stall. Underneath the tent ‘dome’ I see my old boss, Pete, from several years ago.

He’s wearing a suit, and looks angry. (Maybe this is because I never got on with him, and he always seemed stressed about something). I say ‘Hey’ to him, and carry on through the market. Suddenly, I hear a loud noise of footsteps. A large rustling noise, as if people are all moving together like a herd. I look behind me and see right the way down the street that everyone has started running towards me. I panic, and sprint ahead, trying to outrun them.

That was a short entry, but hopefully you get the idea. It helps to include more detail than that example. Notice how I named the entry with the key event that helps me remember the dream. That’s a great habit to get into, as it makes sorting through the entries much easier. Have the date, then a hyphen, then the main event that defines the dream action.

Make it something which instantly reminds you of the situation. The running market, is pretty easy to remember as the dream where I was in a market, and everyone started to run towards me. Get it? Also notice in the above entry how I included my waking thoughts on the dream in brackets. ‘Maybe it’s because I never got on with him.. ‘. It helps to do this, as it will aid you in understanding the dream meaning.

Notice also in the above entry, and the one below, the description in the title. It either says LUCID or NORMAL. This helps when reading through old entries and trying to remember if you were Lucid or if it was just a normal dream.

It makes a difference with dream interpretation as well, because if you’re in control of the dream, the things in it mean something different, compared with a normal dream. Here’s another dream journal example..

19/5/2014 – The Frozen Birthday – LUCID

I wake up, which is weird to do in a dream. I had to do several Reality Checks to make sure it was real. I walk around, knowing that it’s a dream for sure now.  After having my first dream for a few days which I can control, naturally I start playing around and having some fun before I go into more advanced stuff. I lift a few objects around the room with Telekinesis, before walking out of the front door of my house.

At least, I thought it was my house. As I exit what I thought to be my front door, I find myself in a vast baron landscape covered in snow. The house is in the middle of nowhere! I fly around for a bit before concluding that this house is in the middle of nowhere. Then, I hear a faint noise in the background, and see a small house lit up. There seems to be smoke coming form the chimney, and singing coming from inside.

As I approach, I hear people singing happy birthday! I knock on the door, and as I go inside, I look around, still completely aware and lucid at this point, trying to work out what’s going on. There are some people in the house, people I didn’t know, and they seemed to be drinking from ‘ice glasses’. Glasses made from ice! They also had ‘crowns’ of icicles pointing upwards, and frosty ‘mist’ was coming from their heads.

A dream about snow

See, in this entry, I made it clear that I was Lucid, and highlighted the important parts in a different colour. Of course, in a real dream journal, you can write in between the lines, you can draw pictures, annotate, and much more. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this guide to keeping a dream journal, it really is a great way to start learning how to lucid dream.

Does Keeping A Dream Journal Help With Lucid Dreaming?

Keeping a dream journal can help with lucid dreaming, because you will be able to remember your dreams better – and the more you remember your dreams, the more chance you’ll have of realizing that what’s happening is a dream, and then you’re in a lucid state.

A dream journal is a way to remember your dreams and see if you can interpret them.

You can also track any patterns or symbols that might mean something. Studies show that people who keep a dream journal are more likely to have lucid dreams.

Does A Dream Journal Help You Understand What Your Dreams Mean?

Signs and symbols are tools to help people get better at understanding what they dream about. Symbols are pictures, words, or actions that represent something else. For example, the word “apple” would be a symbol because it represents an apple. Symbolism is when symbols represent feelings or ideas.

For example, if someone dreamed of eating bread without any bread on their plate, this might mean that they’re feeling happy but not getting the recognition they deserve.

Often a dream will have a symbol in it that is a sign for SOMETHING.

Sometimes people might not understand the symbols they are seeing and interpreting dreams might not be as easy as it seems. For example, if someone had a dream about being at a party then some symbols that could be seen would be things like balloons, cake, cake-pops, birthday hats. It could mean that they want some attention from others or they need to celebrate themselves more.

So by writing your dreams in a dream journal, you can actually interpret and analyse these symbols, instead of just forgetting about them instantly, every morning.

Useful tools and tips

To start writing your dreams down, as mentioned before you can just use a notebook or diary. (or you could get our custom made lucid dream journal). Also, have a read through our dream recall guide to make sure you’re improving your ability to remember your dreams. Here are some other things you’ll find useful.