Fact One: Paul McCartney claims to have dreamt the tune for the Beatle’s hit Yesterday, which appears on the 1965 album Help!
“I was living in a little flat at the top of a house and I had a piano by my bed. I woke up one morning with a tune in my head and I thought, ‘Hey, I don’t know this tune – or do I?’ It was like a jazz melody. My dad used to know a lot of old jazz tunes; I thought maybe I’d just remembered it from the past. I went to the piano and found the chords to it, made sure I remembered it and then hawked it round to all my friends, asking what it was: ‘Do you know this? It’s a good little tune, but I couldn’t have written it because I dreamt it!”
Fact Two: Our unconscious mind often internalize external stimuli whilst we are asleep, making the stimuli a part of our dreams. This is called Dream Incorporation. It’s beautifully illustrated in the French movie The Science of Sleep (2006) (or La Science des Reves). In the movie the leading protagonist falls asleep in the cold, only to subsequently dream he is skiing in the Alps. I certainly know I’ve woken up having dreamt about bodies of water, only to immediately need the toilet.
Fact Three: In as little as five minutes we forget upward of fifty percent of a dream’s content. After ten minutes we’ve forgotten a staggering ninety to ninety five percent of its content, which kind of makes keeping an aforementioned Dream Journal, perhaps by your bedside, vitally important.
Fact Four: English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge is said to have written his masterpiece Kubla Khan (1816) after a night binging on laudanum (opium). Coleridge claimed hundreds of lines appeared to during in his night of Lucid Dreaming, but the poem is a mere 54 lines. Of course, 54 lines of poetic verse is pretty darn good “Dream Recall” if you ask me!
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan,
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran,
Through caverns measureless to man,
Down to a sunless sea.”
Fact Five: There are a variety of free apps you can get for smart phones which can offer you help in getting to grips with Lucid Dreaming. Many of the apps have useful hints and tips. A Dream Journal is just one and is a vital tool in improving Dream Recall. Remember as noted above we forget our dreams incredibly quickly so noting down your dreams allows you to keep a permanent record, but furthermore trains your mind allowing you as a dreamer to notice patterns and to identify common “Dream Symbols” occurring in your dreams. The apps also suggest carrying out “Reality Checks” during the day; another useful suggestion which will help you to appreciate you are indeed dreaming, further enabling you to take control of your dreams. Finally the use of techniques such as the Wake Back to Bed method, exploiting REM sleep before waking, are incredibly useful too.