Sleep is an amazing thing. It recharges our bodies, re-energizes our minds, and readies us for the next day to come. With sleeps also comes dreams. Dreams in and of themselves are amazing and weird at the same time.
There are countless biological, philosophical, and spiritual explanations for having dreams. We can process our day in our dreams. I also believe, as a Christian, that God can speak to us through our dreams. There are many references in Scripture to dreaming, and even the interpretation of dreams.
Since dreams are often fleeting, often with only the most profound sticking with you for more than a few minutes after waking, I think its important to capture my dreams so I can revisit them later, much like I capture ideas and tasks into my task manager for future review.
What is dream journaling?
Dream journaling is the process of writing down a dream in a specific place with as much detail as you can remember. You can use a notebook, Day One, or whatever other journaling solution makes sense to you.
When writing down your dream, take note of the specific details you remember. Things like the perspective of the dream (am I watching something happen or did it happen to me?), colors (ones that stand out, or if the dream is black and white), and place (school, work) I’ve found can show some interesting patterns down the road.
From my perspective, dreams can be very metaphorical, similar to the parables Jesus taught in the Bible, so keeping track of some of these details can help you work through what might be going on in your dreams.
For example, I had a season of life where I had a lot of dreams with tornados in them. I came to realize these tornados signified swift changes, which, in looking back on them, came after having these dreams.
You will probably have a different experience than me as your thought process and life is unique from mine.
How do I journal my dreams?
I’ve used many formats for dream journaling in the past. Paper, Evernote, Day One, you name it.
I currently use Day One with a journal specifically for dreams. It’s easy to flip through what I dreamt as well as go back and make edits if a future experience lines up or I connect something that previously happened with it.
Two features that have great potential for dream journaling are tagging and seeing previous entries on the same date in the past.
Tagging offers the great capability to organize by topic. If you have lots of dreams about school, you can tag them with “school” for review later.
Being able to see previous entries on the same day is a quick way to review past dreams to see if anything sparks your attention, too.
One thing I hate about Day One for this use is the lack of a dark mode at this time. There’s nothing worse than waking up at 2am and typing a dream on a white screen. Ick.
That’s why I choose to write all my dreams in Drafts! It’s got a dark mode and an easy way to send my dreams to the right place in Day One quickly.
To be honest, I feel a little under qualified to speak to dreams and dream journaling. But it’s been a practice I’ve found helpful. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to hit me up with a PM on the Guild!