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Keeping a dream journal, also known as a dream diary, is a valuable practice for exploring the depths of your unconscious mind and gaining insights into your dreams. By recording and analyzing your dreams, you can unlock a world of self-discovery, enhance dream recall, and tap into your creative inspiration. Here is a guide to starting and maintaining a dream journal.

Some Reasons to Keep a Dream Journal or Dream Diary

Understanding Your Dreams:

Keeping a dream journal allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your dreams. By recording your dreams, you can identify patterns, themes, and recurring symbols that may hold significance in your waking life.

Enhancing Dream Recall:

A dream journal helps improve your ability to recall dreams. By developing a habit of recording your dreams immediately upon waking, you can strengthen your dream recall abilities over time.

Exploring Your Subconscious Mind:

Dreams provide a window into your subconscious mind. By keeping a dream journal, you can explore the hidden aspects of your psyche, uncovering insights, and gaining a better understanding of yourself.

How to Start a Dream Journal

To start a dream journal, follow these steps:

Choose a Journal or Notebook

Select a journal or notebook that you enjoy writing in and dedicate it solely to recording your dreams. This will help create a special space for your dream journaling practice.

Keep the Journal by Your Bedside:

Place your dream journal near your bed, easily accessible upon waking. This will ensure that you can capture your dreams while they are still fresh in your mind.

Set an Intention for Dream Recall:

Before going to sleep, set an intention to remember your dreams upon waking. This will prime your mind for dream recall and increase your chances of remembering your dreams.

Develop a Dream-Recording Habit:

As soon as you wake up, grab your dream journal and write down any details, emotions, or impressions from your dream. Make it a habit to record your dreams consistently.

What to Include in Your Dream Journal:

In your dream journal, include the following details:

  1. Date and Time: Note the date and time of your dream to track patterns and any correlations with events in your life.
  2. Dream Description: Write a detailed description of your dream, including the people, places, and events that occurred. Be as vivid and specific as possible.
  3. Emotions and Sensations: Record any emotions or physical sensations you experienced during the dream. This can provide insights into the underlying emotions or concerns you may be processing.
  4. Characters and Symbols: Take note of any significant characters or symbols that appeared in your dream. These can hold symbolic meanings that may be relevant to your waking life.
  5. Recurring Dreams: Keep track of any recurring dreams or patterns. Recurring dreams often carry important messages or themes that are worth exploring.

Tips for Maintaining a Dream Journal:

To make the most of your dream journaling practice, consider the following tips:

1. Write Immediately Upon Waking: Record your dreams as soon as you wake up, before the details fade from your memory. This will ensure accuracy and capture the essence of your dreams.

2. Be Consistent: Make a commitment to regularly record your dreams. Consistency is key to developing a strong dream recall habit and gaining insights from your dreams.

3. Use Keywords and Sketches: If you’re short on time or struggling to remember the whole dream, use keywords or sketches to capture the main elements. These will serve as reminders when you later reflect on your dreams.

4. Reflect and Analyze Your Dreams: Take time to reflect on the themes, symbols, and emotions present in your dreams. Consider how they may relate to your waking life and what insights they may offer.

Benefits of Keeping a Dream Journal:

Keeping a dream journal offers several benefits, including:


Dream journaling allows you to delve into the depths of your psyche, uncovering hidden thoughts, emotions, and desires. This self-reflection can help you better understand yourself and your personal growth.

Creative Inspiration:

Dreams can be a source of inspiration for creativity and artistic pursuits. By recording your dreams, you can tap into a wellspring of imaginative ideas and concepts.

Problem Solving:

Dreams often provide solutions to problems or dilemmas you may be facing in your waking life. By analyzing your dreams, you may gain insights that can help you navigate challenges and make better decisions.

By starting and maintaining a dream journal, you open yourself up to a world of self-discovery, enhanced dream recall, and a deeper understanding of your mind. Dive into the realm of dreams and uncover the valuable insights they hold.

Enhancing Dream Recall

To enhance dream recall, there are several techniques that can be employed:

1. Implement a consistent sleep schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day not only improves sleep quality but also increases the chances of remembering dreams.

2. Establish a conducive sleeping environment: it is important to ensure that the bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable. By eliminating distractions that might disrupt sleep and dreams, dream recall can be improved.

3. Practice relaxation techniques before bed: Engaging in calming activities like deep breathing or meditation can help relax the mind and improve dream recall.

4. Maintain a dream journal: It is helpful to write down dreams immediately upon waking up. This trains the brain to remember dreams more vividly over time. It is important to include details such as emotions, sensations, and specific events.

5. Utilize visual cues: Placing dream-related objects, such as dreamcatchers or images of peaceful landscapes, near the bed can act as reminders to pay attention to dreams and enhance dream recall.

By following these techniques, it is possible to enhance your ability to remember and recall dreams. This can lead to a deeper understanding of the subconscious mind and provide insights into emotions, thoughts, and experiences.

Exploring Your Subconscious Mind

Exploring Your Subconscious Mind is a fascinating and insightful experience. Keeping a dream journal allows you to delve into your subconscious and gain insights into your thoughts and emotions.

1. Unveiling hidden meanings: Recording your dreams helps uncover the symbolism and hidden meanings behind the events and images during sleep. Dreams provide valuable clues about desires, fears, and unresolved issues.

2. Recognizing patterns and themes: Consistently writing down dreams helps identify recurring patterns or themes. These patterns offer insights into the subconscious and can highlight areas in life that require attention or exploration.

3. Tapping into creativity: Exploring your subconscious mind through dream journaling ignites creativity. Dreams often contain vivid and imaginative elements that inspire artistic endeavors like writing, painting, or music.

4. Problem-solving: Your dreams can offer solutions to problems or dilemmas. By exploring your subconscious mind through journaling, you tap into intuition and gain fresh perspectives on challenging situations.

5. Understanding yourself better: Capturing and reflecting on dreams leads to a deeper understanding of oneself. Dream journaling allows exploration of emotions, fears, desires, and aspirations, fostering self-awareness and personal growth.

To fully embrace the benefits of exploring your subconscious mind, commit to writing down dreams immediately upon waking. Be consistent in journaling, using keywords and sketches to capture essential dream elements. Reflect on and analyze dreams, searching for connections between different dreams and their meanings.

By exploring your subconscious mind through dream journaling, you access self-discovery, creativity, and problem-solving. Embrace this fascinating journey and unlock the depths of your inner self.

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How to Start a Dream Journal

Dreams have long fascinated us, offering glimpses into the depths of our subconscious minds. If you’re intrigued by your own dreams and want to dive deeper into the realm of dream exploration, starting a dream journal is the perfect gateway. In this section, we’ll uncover the secrets to getting started with a dream journal, from selecting the right journal or notebook to establishing a habit of recording your dreams. Get ready to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery through the realm of dreams.

Choose a Journal or Notebook

When starting a dream journal, the right journal or notebook is important. Consider the following:

  1. Size: Choose a portable journal or notebook that is comfortable to write in.
  2. Paper quality: Opt for thick, high-quality paper to prevent ink bleed-through.
  3. Binding: Decide between a spiral binding that lays flat or a bound journal with a traditional book-like feel.
  4. Cover design: Look for a design that resonates with you and sparks creativity.
  5. Pen-friendliness: Ensure the journal’s paper is compatible with your preferred pen or pencil.
  6. Personal preference: Choose a journal or notebook that excites you and motivates consistent journaling.

By considering these aspects, you can choose the perfect journal or notebook to record your dreams and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Keep the Journal by Your Bedside

Keeping a dream journal by your bedside is crucial for starting and maintaining it. Having the journal within reach allows you to keep the journal by your bedside and capture your dreams immediately upon waking, keeping the journal by your bedside improving your ability to remember them vividly and accurately.

Having the journal nearby also serves as a reminder to record your dreams consistently, helping to establish a habit. As you make it a regular routine, your dream recall skills can improve, allowing you to remember more dreams with clarity.

When keeping the journal by your bedside, set an intention for dream recall before going to sleep. Focusing your mind on remembering your dreams increases your chances of recalling them upon awakening.

Include the date and time of each dream entry in your journal. This helps you track your dreams over time and identify patterns or recurring themes. Recording the dream description itself is crucial for capturing the visuals and events you experienced during the dream.

Note any emotions and sensations felt during the dream, as they provide valuable insights into your subconscious mind. Document any characters and symbols that appeared, as they may hold significant relevance to your waking life.

By keeping the journal by your bedside, you cultivate the habit of dream journaling, making it easier to record dreams promptly and accurately. This practice enhances your understanding of your dreams, promotes self-discovery, and may even inspire creativity or problem-solving. So, always keep your dream journal by your bedside to fully benefit from your dream experiences.

Set an Intention for Dream Recall

Set an Intention for Dream Recall

To set an intention for dream recall, follow these steps:

1. Relax and clear your mind before bed. Focus on your desire to remember your dreams.

2. Repeat a positive affirmation like “I will remember my dreams tonight” or “I am open to remembering my dreams.

3. Visualize waking up and vividly recalling your dreams. Imagine reaching for your dream journal and recording the insights and symbols.

4. Feel anticipation and excitement about exploring your dreams.

Setting an intention for dream recall primes your mind to be receptive to dream memories. It enhances your dream recall abilities and deepens your connection with your subconscious mind.

Remember to be consistent with this practice. Set your intention for dream recall every night before sleep to reinforce its effectiveness. Over time, you will notice significant improvement in your ability to remember and document your dreams.

Setting an intention for dream recall unlocks the hidden world of your dreams, allowing for self-discovery, creative inspiration, and problem-solving. Start tonight and watch as your dream journal becomes a gateway to a rich inner landscape.

Develop a Dream-Recording Habit

Developing a dream-recording habit is crucial for establishing a dream journal. To successfully develop this habit, follow these steps:

  1. Keep your dream journal or notebook by your bedside. This practice facilitates the immediate recording of your dreams upon awakening.
  2. Before going to bed, set an intention to remember and record your dreams upon waking up.
  3. Write in your dream journal right after waking up. The sooner you write, the more vivid details you’ll be able to recall.
  4. It is vital to be consistent in documenting your dreams. Make it a daily ritual, even if you cannot remember any dreams initially. The more you practice, the better your dream recall abilities will become.

By following these steps, you will establish a regular habit of recording your dreams. This habit is extremely significant as it allows you to capture the intricate details of your dreams and gain valuable insights into your subconscious mind. It gradually enhances your dream recall abilities. Always remember that consistency is the key to developing a dream-recording habit.

What to Include in Your Dream Journal

Discover the essential elements to include in your dream journal to unlock the hidden meanings of your dreams. From capturing the date and time of each dream to vividly describing the intricate details and emotions experienced, we’ll delve into the key components that make up a comprehensive dream journal. We’ll also explore the significance of characters and symbols that appear in your dreams and unravel the mysteries behind recurring dreams. Prepare to embark on a journey of self-discovery through the power of dream journaling.

Date and Time

When maintaining a dream journal, it is important to record both the date and time of each dream. This information is crucial as it provides context and allows for the tracking of patterns or correlations between dreams and waking life events.

By including the date in your dream journal, you are able to monitor the frequency of your dreams and any potential patterns that may arise. This is especially valuable when exploring recurring dreams or attempting to decipher the symbolism or themes within them.

Documenting the time of your dreams can provide insights into your sleep patterns and the various stages of sleep during which you experience vivid dreams. For instance, dreams often occur during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage, which typically takes place later in the sleep cycle.

Noting the time of your dreams can help identify potential triggers or factors that may influence the content of your dreams. For example, dreams that occur during daytime naps may be influenced by recent activities or thoughts.

Including the date and time in your dream journal entries enables you to establish a comprehensive record, ultimately enhancing your ability to effectively analyze and interpret your dreams.

Dream Description

When documenting your dreams in a dream journal, it is crucial to provide a thorough and comprehensive account. This approach allows for the true essence of your dream to be captured, making it more convenient for future analysis. Below are some suggestions on effectively articulating your dreams:

1. Specificity is key: Ensure to include intricate details regarding the setting, individuals, and objects present in your dream. Instead of simply stating “I was in a house,” elaborate by saying “I found myself in a Victorian-style house adorned with red brick walls and a grand oak staircase.”

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2. Utilize vibrant language: Convey the mood, atmosphere, and emotions experienced throughout your dream by employing vivid and expressive words. Rather than solely expressing fear as “I felt scared,” consider describing it as “a spine-chilling sense of terror that sent shivers cascading down my spine.”

3. Incorporate sensory information: Pay attention to the various sensory elements such as sounds, smells, tastes, and textures within your dream. This inclusion adds depth and authenticity to your description.

4. Take note of symbols or recurring themes: Make a point to mention any symbols or themes that consistently emerge in your dreams. These recurring elements may hold significant meanings and provide valuable insights into your subconscious mind.

5. Maintain objectivity: Stick to the factual aspects of your dream without adding personal interpretations or judgments.

By adhering to these guidelines, you will be able to capture crucial details and develop a deeper understanding of your subconscious mind. Detailed and precise descriptions of your dreams will facilitate the process of analysis and interpretation.

Fun fact: Dreams can occur during any sleep stage; however, they tend to be most vivid and memorable during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage.

Emotions and Sensations

Emotions and sensations play a crucial role in comprehending and deciphering dreams. While jotting down your dreams in a journal, make sure to take note of the emotions and physical sensations you experienced.

1. Emotions: Take into account the emotions present in your dream. Were you feeling happy, sad, scared, or excited? Emotions offer valuable insights into your subconscious mind and aid in understanding the meanings behind your dreams.

2. Sensations: Record the physical sensations you encountered in your dream. Did you feel hot or cold? Were you soaring through the air, plummeting, or sprinting? Sensations provide a deeper understanding of the actions and events that unfold in your dream.

By documenting the emotions and sensations in your dreams, you can identify recurring patterns and themes. This information sheds light on your thoughts, feelings, and unresolved issues in your waking life.

Understanding the emotions and sensations within dreams fosters self-awareness and emotional intelligence. It enhances your ability to interpret and analyze dreams, leading to a profound comprehension of the subconscious mind.

Fact: Dreams have the power to evoke intense emotions, even if they appear irrational or unrelated to your waking life. Recording and analyzing these emotions offer valuable insights into your subconscious thoughts and feelings.

Characters and Symbols

The characters and symbols in dreams offer valuable insights into the subconscious mind. By incorporating a dream journal and documenting these elements, one can gain a deeper understanding of oneself and inner thoughts.

Characters, which include family members, friends, or strangers, and symbols, such as animals, plants, or inanimate objects, play significant roles in dreams. Characters can take on various roles, such as protagonists, antagonists, or supporting characters, while symbols can be recurring themes, situations, or settings.

The appearance, behavior, and emotions of characters provide insights into the subconscious. Similarly, symbols can encompass colors, numbers, or abstract concepts, offering additional layers of meaning.

The interactions between characters or actions/events that hold personal significance are of great importance. Symbols also hold personal meaning and significance, helping individuals delve into their subconscious thoughts and emotions.

By diligently recording characters and symbols in dreams, one can identify patterns and recurring themes. This process helps uncover hidden emotions, unresolved conflicts, or desires that may not be consciously acknowledged.

For instance, dreaming of a snake may symbolize fear or danger in waking life. Reflecting on emotions and interactions with the snake in dreams can provide valuable insight into the source of these fears, allowing individuals to work towards addressing them.

Interpreting characters and symbols in dreams is a highly personal experience. The meaning of a character or symbol may differ from conventional interpretations. Therefore, trusting intuition and exploring meanings that resonate with one’s inner self is crucial.

Paying attention to characters and symbols in dreams and recording them in a dream journal unlocks a world of self-discovery and personal growth.

Recurring Dreams

Recurring dreams are a common occurrence that happens repeatedly. They often involve similar themes, settings, or characters. Understanding these dreams can provide valuable insights into our subconscious mind and emotions.

Recurring dreams can serve as an indication of unresolved issues or emotions that require our attention. They may also shed light on patterns in our lives that deserve our consideration. By acknowledging and analyzing these dreams, we can develop a better understanding of ourselves and our experiences.

One crucial aspect of recurring dreams is the practice of keeping a dream journal. By carefully documenting the details of these dreams – such as the date, time, description, emotions, sensations, and recurring characters or symbols – we can identify patterns and themes that appear across multiple dreams.

Maintaining a dream journal also allows us to reflect on and analyze our recurring dreams. By revisiting these dreams and exploring the emotions and messages they convey, we can gain insights into our inner thoughts and feelings. This process of self-reflection can greatly contribute to personal growth and self-discovery.

Write Immediately Upon Waking

Upon waking up, it’s crucial to grab that pen and paper and start writing down the vivid images, emotions, and fragments of dreams that linger in your mind. In this section, we’ll dive into the benefits of this immediate and intentional act. Understanding your dreams, enhancing dream recall, and exploring the depths of your subconscious mind are just a few fascinating elements we’ll delve into. So, get ready to unlock the hidden world of your dreams through the power of writing.

Be Consistent

Consistency is the key when it comes to starting and maintaining a dream journal. In this section, we discover the crucial factors that contribute to a successful dream journaling practice. From selecting the perfect journal or notebook to keeping it within arm’s reach of your bedside, we explore the importance of setting intentions for dream recall and developing a consistent habit of recording your dreams. Get ready to unlock the realm of your subconscious and delve into the fascinating world of dream journaling!

Use Keywords and Sketches

Unlock the secrets of your subconscious with a dream journal! In this section, we’ll dive into the power of using keywords and sketches to capture the essence of your dreams. From the date and time to the intricate details of dream description, emotions, sensations, and even the mysterious characters and symbols that appear, we’ll explore how each element adds a unique layer of insight to your dream diary. And if you’ve ever experienced recurring dreams, we’ll uncover why they hold a special significance in the realm of dream exploration. Get ready to unleash your imagination and peer into the hidden world of your dreams!

Reflect and Analyze Your Dreams

Uncover the hidden meanings and wisdom within your dreams as we delve into the section of reflecting and analyzing your dreams. Brace yourself for self-discovery, creative inspiration, and problem-solving as we explore the depths of your unconscious mind. Prepare to unlock the secrets that lie beyond the realm of wakefulness, as we guide you through the enchanted journey of keeping a dream journal. Let’s embark on this adventure and decode the messages that your dreams long to convey.

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Benefits of Keeping a Dream Journal

Discover the incredible benefits that come with keeping a dream journal. Unveil a world of self-discovery, where your dreams become a window into your inner thoughts and emotions. Spark your creative inspiration as you dive into the depths of your subconscious mind. Find solace in your dreams as they become a catalyst for problem-solving. It’s time to unlock the hidden treasures of your dreams and embrace the incredible potential a dream journal holds.


Self-discovery can be achieved through the practice of dream journaling. By recording and analyzing your dreams, you can gain valuable insights into your subconscious mind and uncover hidden aspects of yourself. Here are the benefits of engaging in self-discovery through the process of dream journaling:

1. Gain Self-Awareness: Dream journaling allows you to observe the recurring patterns, themes, and emotions that frequently occur in your dreams. This heightened awareness can greatly assist you in understanding your desires, fears, and unresolved issues.

2. Explore Personal Symbols: Within dreams, symbols are often utilized to convey meaningful messages. By diligently documenting and decoding these symbols in your dream journal, you can unlock their personal significance and gain a greater understanding of your own psyche.

3. Identify Inner Conflicts: Dreams have the ability to reveal internal conflicts or tensions that may be impacting your overall well-being. By delving into these conflicts within your dream journal, you can gain clarity and actively work towards resolving them.

4. Uncover Hidden Talents and Desires: Dreams have the potential to offer glimpses into your untapped potential or undiscovered passions. By paying close attention to the activities, roles, or scenarios within your dreams, you can uncover new interests or talents that you may want to explore and cultivate in your waking life.

5. Enhance Personal Growth: Engaging in self-reflection and thoughtful analysis through dream journaling can greatly contribute to personal growth and self-improvement. By identifying recurring patterns and themes in your dreams, you can pinpoint areas where you would like to develop and set meaningful goals for your own personal advancement.

Incorporating a dream journal into your daily routine can serve as a valuable tool for self-discovery. Actively engage with your dreams and explore their meanings to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and unlock the doors to personal growth and fulfillment.

So why wait? Begin your journey of self-discovery today by initiating and maintaining a dream journal.

Creative Inspiration

Keeping a dream journal can inspire creative inspiration and stimulate the imagination. Here are ways in which maintaining a dream journal can enhance creativity:

  1. Sparking Ideas: Dreams are a source of unique ideas. By recording dreams in a journal, you can revisit them for creative inspiration and come up with new storylines, characters, or visuals for creative projects.
  2. Unleashing Creativity: Dreams often contain surreal and abstract elements that can ignite creative inspiration. By exploring and analyzing dreams in a journal, you can tap into these unconventional concepts and translate them into art, writing, or other creative endeavors.
  3. Breaking Creative Blocks: If you’re experiencing a creative block, a dream journal can provide fresh perspectives and alternative approaches. Reviewing past dream entries may help you see things from a different angle or discover unexpected connections, leading to breakthroughs in the creative process.
  4. Enhanced Imagination: Regularly engaging with dreams through journaling can cultivate a vivid imagination. Becoming attuned to the symbolism and storytelling in dreams can foster a fertile imagination and enhance creative output.
  5. Emotional Exploration: Dreams often evoke strong emotions. Recording these experiences in a dream journal can fuel artistic expression and add depth to creative work.

Whether you’re a writer, artist, musician, or any other creative individual, keeping a dream journal can be a valuable tool for finding creative inspiration and unlocking the limitless potential of the imagination.

Problem Solving

1. Insights: Keeping a dream journal provides valuable insights for problem solving. Dreams contain symbols and metaphors that represent real-life challenges and contribute to problem-solving ability.

2. Creativity: Dreams spark new ideas and solutions. Recording and analyzing your dreams can lead to unique approaches for problem solving, enhancing your creativity in finding solutions.

3. Subconscious processing: Dreams help our subconscious mind process information and experiences. Paying attention to dreams and documenting them in a journal taps into this problem-solving ability of the subconscious.

4. Patterns and recurring themes: Keeping a dream journal helps identify patterns and recurring themes. These insights can reveal recurring problems or challenges in your waking life, allowing you to develop strategies to overcome them through problem solving.

5. Emotional exploration: Dreams evoke strong emotions. Analyzing these emotions in your journal gives a deeper understanding of underlying issues contributing to your problems, facilitating emotional exploration and enhancing problem-solving skills.

By incorporating problem solving into your dream journal practice, you can utilize the power of your dreams to find unique solutions and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your life challenges. Remember to consistently record your dreams, reflect on their meanings, and utilize the insights gained to address the problems you encounter.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I start a dream journal?

To start a dream journal, set an intention to explore your dreams and experiment with different journaling methods. Keep a journal by your bed and record your dreams as soon as you wake up, as they can quickly fade from memory. You can use a notebook, a desktop computer, a mobile device, or even a voice recording app to capture your dreams.

2. What is the importance of keeping a dream journal?

Keeping a dream journal allows you to capture and explore the rich imagery and insights of your dreams. Dreams can influence your waking life, provide personal insights, and spark creative ideas. By recording and reflecting on your dreams, you can make meaning from them and better understand your interior life.

3. How can I improve my dream recall?

To improve dream recall, remain still upon waking and try to reenact dream events in your mind. Writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up helps reinforce your memory of them. Sharing your dreams with trusted individuals can also aid in recall and provide additional insights.

4. Do dreams have intrinsic meanings?

Dream interpretation is subjective, and there is no consensus on whether dreams have intrinsic meanings. Paying attention to your dreams can offer insights into your thoughts, emotions, and daily experiences. Looking for patterns or recurring themes and examining the salient elements of your dreams can help uncover personal associations and meanings.

5. Can I use a dream journal for lucid dreaming?

Yes, keeping a dream journal can be a valuable tool for lucid dreaming. By recording and reflecting on your dreams, you become more aware of the consistent elements and patterns in your dreams. This increased awareness can help you recognize when you are dreaming, leading to greater opportunities for lucid dreaming.

6. Are there any accessible ways to keep a dream journal?

Yes, there are many accessible ways to keep a dream journal. You can use a simple notebook and pen, a note-taking app on your smartphone, or an online platform like the Penzu app. Whatever method you choose, make sure it is easily accessible to you upon waking and that it allows you to capture your dreams in a way that works best for you.

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