More than just a technique, a dream journal is a core component, a fundamental, of lucid dream practice. A dream journal acts as one's personal "map" of the dream world and is an indispensable tool that every lucid dreamer should posses.
Dream journals can come in many forms; from a physical notebook to a digital record. More important than the medium used is the data that it collects and the regularity of record keeping.
A lucid dreamer without a regularly updated journal finds themselves in a position no less impaired than a cartographer without pen and paper, or a scientist without a means to record data.
The process of keeping a dream journal is simplicity itself, although, as with many things in life, is often much easier said than done.
Purchase an attractive notebook that will act as your journal (or decide upon a particular app or recording medium).
Each morning, shortly after waking, transfer any dream memories and relevant factors from your night's sleep into your journal.
If required, one can either use a voice recorder or shorthand system to quickly record key points that can be transferred, in full detail, at a more convenient time later in the day.
The more data collected the better, beyond a record of just your dreams, additional recorded data can (and should) range from: sleep times, sleep quality, distractions, level of health, techniques used, sleep environment, hormonal cycles, diet, sleeping arrangements (partner/alone etc.), and any other relevant factors.
Before sleep use your journal to note any dream goals or intentions for the coming night.
Regularly assess your dream journal for recurring patterns, clues to any lucidity triggers (either from within the dream or external factors), and to become familiar with the nature of your dreams. These assessments are a time to categorize and update your list of dream signs, improve your familiarity with the dream world, search for recurring patterns in your sleep, assess the effectiveness of different techniques, or to be creatively inspired by your dreams.
Lucid Dream Type:
DILD & WILD
Hints & Tips:
Keeping a dream journal is a vital aspect of dream exploration and research.
Feel free to be creative with your journal, it can be good place for sketches and artwork.
Consistency and regularity is key, even if one doesn't remember a dream, still record this and any other details in your journal.
A voice recording device or app can greatly ease the process of early morning journaling, just be sure to transfer these details to your dream journal later in the day.
Regularly assess your dream journal for patterns.
Consider carrying a small additional notebook (or use your smartphone) during your waking hours, to capture any fragments of dreams that may return throughout the day.
Yes, it's hard work but it is vital. Remember you are creating a map of another reality. Try to remind yourself of this regularly and find ways in which to enjoy the process.
The act of consistent and observant dream journaling, without the need of a single other lucid dreaming technique, has been demonstrated to lead to regular lucid dreams.