Ways to improve dream recall, awareness, depth, and engagement
When I was 15 I heard about lucid dreaming and I wanted to try it. I had a watch that beeped every hour and I checked if I was awake every time I heard it. After a month I had a lucid dream, but I woke immediately after realizing I was dreaming so I thought that lucid dreaming wasn't for me and I stopped trying. After reading this I might try it again.
Also, the thing about trying to remember dreams as soon as you awake sounds similar to trying to remember the content of your distractions while meditating. In both cases you are training your brain to pay attention to something it usually ignores.
"You’ll probably feel like you’re dying or disintegrating as you fall back asleep—just stay calm and breathe. If all goes well, you’ll transition continuously from the waking world into a dream world, without losing consciousness."
i was on vybriid (an antidepressant) some time back and i had to wean off of it because this was every. single. night. i would transition from wakefulness to sleep, lucidly, while feeling like i was falling endlessly through sandpaper (disintigrating). it was awful, but if it wasn't that then it was brain zaps keeping me awake all night. the worse part is that i didn't even get to play much in my lucid state because it was the beginning of the night and deep sleep was right around the corner.
I second what Ernesto said, super interesting! I have been working on lucid dreaming ever since reading Castaneda as a kid but haven't been diligent about in quite a while, this reignited the flame :)
A question -- have you heard about and do you have any experience with dream mapping? If not, AFAIK all that it consists of is mapping out the places you have visited in your dreams when you write them down. It seemed to serve a dual purpose role in both boosting recall and also making you more aware of your surroundings and thus more aware of anything weird happening in them.
Since there is a strong link between space and memory on both neurobiological and psychological levels, I have been wondering if it might be a particularly useful method for boosting recall. And, from what I remember, it also often seemed to show a structure to your dream space after people have been mapping for a while: different reoccurring places connected to one another and created a more general map of the dream space, one's home was often in the center of it, and at the edges there was a very unstable and fluctuating territory. If that is indeed true (I never reached that level), I wonder if this map can be interpreted as a network of symbols as well.
(I haven't read anything about this technique in years though, so please take everything above with an appropriately sized pinch of salt).