By Brigitte Mars
Dreams are a way of clearing the subconscious and can help give us insight about what lies deep in our psyches. It is amazing how in a few seconds we traverse years of experience in these “fantasies of the night.” At the very least, dreams can be an opportunity for adventure and entertainment. Dreams can last from a few to over forty minutes. We all dream, yet often quickly forget what occurred. Paying attention to dreams can be an opportunity for exploration and even insight.
Alcohol, some medications and recreational drugs can disrupt dream patterns. Should you want to explore the dream realm more, before sleeping, tell yourself that you wish to remember your dreams. You may even have an intention about what you want to dream about, or ask for guidance on a particular issue. Keep asking. Your final thoughts of the day will often have an influence upon your life. It may be helpful to read something spiritually uplifting before bed to put you into a state of exploring consciousness. Beware of watching the news before bed if you are wanting pleasant dreams.
When we are awakened to the adrenaline rush produced by a shrill alarm clock, the opportunity for dream recall can quickly dissipate. Try waking to soft music or The Zen Alarm Clock™, so that you can slowly wake up and have time for reflection. It is also possible to mentally program yourself to wake up a few minutes before the alarm ever goes off. Practice telling yourself, I want to wake up at say, 6:55 before bedtime and see what happens.
The best time for dream memories is when you first wake up. Lie still with eyes still closed, and let the images drift across the veil of your mind. Rolling over can help you remember even more.
Keep writing implements, a pen and a notebook that can become your dream journal by the bed to record those flashes of recall. Every morning, write down something about your dreams, before getting caught up in what you need to do that day. If you lack any recall, write, “Nothing remembered, ” or simply what you do recall, even if it is a simple word or mood like “happy,” pink” or “ocean.” The important thing is to get in the habit of writing something daily. Some of you may prefer to use a tape recorder to record impression. If you can remember a feeling, but not the actual dream, try to think of what situation could bring up that feeling. It may facilitate remembering. The more you practice dream recall, the easier it becomes.
A dream pillow has an aroma that connects directly to the brain via the nasal passages. Make a 4×4 inch sachet, using a natural breathable fabric such as cotton, and fill it with dried lavender, marjoram, mugwort and/or rosemary, then sew it up. Adding a few pinches of ground orrisroot will help the fragrance last longer. Lemon balm in a sachet or as tea helps make dreams more vivid. Place the sachet in your pillowcase when going to bed. Make a new pillow or refill the original every six months. A few leaves of cinquefoil put under the pillow is said to stimulate restful sleep, dreams of the future and attract love and good fortune according to folklore.
A tea of eyebright before bed is said to help inspire prophetic dreams. Kava kava can help induce epic length dreams that are more easily remembered. Damiana can be smoked or taken as a bedtime tea for vivid dreams. Since damiana is also an aphrodisiac, do not be surprised if your dreams are of an erotic nature. St. John’swort is recommended in Europe to promote lucid dreams and helps dispel nightmares. Burning jasmine incense before bed may help transport you to the Land of Dreams .
Try sleeping with your head facing north to be in tune with the planetary force fields. The amethyst is regarded as the stone for dreaming. Place some around the head of your bed and see what happens. Vitamin B complex (about 50 mg.) before bedtime and 15 mg. zinc are reputed to help dream recall.
For those prone to nightmares, herbal teas and sachets to use include basil, chamomile, dill seed, rosemary, and wood betony. These herbs can also be hung as sprigs over the bed. Avoid eating after dinner, if prone to frightening dreams. Excess rich and spicy or oily foods that are hard on the liver, as well as foods one is allergic to can provoke nightmares. The flower essences Aspen , Rock Rose and Rescue Remedy help calm terror, panic and nightmares and can be used as needed.
Nightmares are a way of getting your attention and you may want to explore what their significance is. Dreaming of drowning or suffocating may indicate the lungs are overactive and need to be calmed. Dreams of crying can indicate lung problems. Dreams of failure, such as being unable to complete a task, or rejection may mean imbalances in the spleen/pancreas. If the heart is stressed, dreams of fire, explosives and heat may occur. A person with deficient heart energy may have dreams where they are unable to talk or scream. Kidney problems may manifest as dreams of water and snakes. If the kidneys are depleted, the dreams are more fearful such as being pursued by snakes or swept away by water. Liver imbalances can result in dreams of impatience, anger, violence and danger. Of course, an occasional weird dream happens to everyone, but if there seems to be reoccurrences and patterns, it may be wise to look deeper and look up the significance in a good dream book. Telling your dream to a friend may give you a bit more insight.
May all your best dreams come true!