Returning member with a few questions about journaling

Hey, everyone! :smile:

You may or not remember me—I’ve gone by some various different usernames over the past couple of years, and used to keep up a small dream journal on here. Either way, while I am a bit older than when I used to visit here a few years ago, I’ve been looking to get back into trying to lucid dream again—but this time, without simply giving up so easily. Over my past few years of trying as well as my inactivity here on LD4all, I’ve been able to achieve around twelve lucid dreams since I first learned about it—I’ve actually had a few, spontaneous lucids over the past couple of weeks just by thinking about it, which has really motivated me to try again. I haven’t begun to do any techniques yet, but I wanted to ask some questions about my “schedule”, per se, and my journaling efforts before I continue. I’m sorry it’s such a book, but I’m not entirely sure what to do about some things.

As of about a month ago, I finally said goodbye to my phone before bed. I’ve also been trying to keep a solid schedule of sleeping from 8:30 to 4:55 (as I need twenty minutes to record my dreams before “officially” getting up for school). Surprisingly, I’ve been successful with keeping it as well as recalling to the best of my ability—besides waking up later on weekends. I’ve found I can easily write pages in my journal after about a week of trying to write in it, so my recall is pretty good—one of the main issues being that it’s almost gotten too good (as in, not remembering one full dream, but instead a little bit of typically three to four dreams).

I’ve been journaling now for about two weeks and am confused as to how I should continue—or, that is, if I should be doing anything differently. My goal has been to work on achieving at least one full dream a night and to get into a solid schedule. I’ve just got some questions:

1. First off, as I use a written journal to record my dreams combined with a flashlight so I can see what I’m doing in the middle of the night, I’m not too sure what to do about the light itself. As I want to limit myself from getting to be wide awake if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, a big, bad, bright flashlight doesn’t help. I’ve noticed that when I use it for too long (as I usually have a lot to write), it takes me quite a bit to fall back asleep—and I’m also worried it might make me forget my dreams. I’ve tried to use my phone as a journal in the past, but I’ve come to realize that I just don’t have the best recall when I type it out. A voice recorder unfortunately is also out of the question for me. Should I just use the flashlight less sparingly or something (as I’ve found I write way too much, but absolutely need it to write)?

2. To sort of build off of my first question, I’ve found that I write way too much. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I can literally spend up to almost an hour recording pages of my dreams. As such, when I wake up at two in the morning, I’m usually completely unmotivated and decide to forgo writing—and thus forget what I dreamt in the morning. Should I, to save time, only summarize my dreams by their key points so I can come back to them in the morning or afternoon? I had thought of doing this, but I’m worried I might forget a lot of the details if I don’t write down the full descriptions of everything as soon as possible.

3. I keep all of my journaling supplies on a small table beside my bed. I clip my pen to the current page of the journal itself (as well as write the upcoming date in it) so I can easily get the page open and start writing. However, having to individually take each thing and set it up in bed can take me almost a minute—which I know is bad, as making my motor neurons go off can cause me to forget my dreams and wake up more. I also am forced to wake up with an alarm in the morning, which I then double tap to “snooze” for a twenty-minute journaling period before it goes off again. I’ve recently changed the beeping sound to something much softer so that I don’t leap out of bed anymore, at least. Is there a better way I should be doing anything, or will having to move everything in the middle of the night and waking up like this not upset my recall as much as I think it will?

4. Finally, I’ve been trying to keep a solid sleep schedule so I can get at least eight hours of sleep a night. However, as much as I try, the times I go to bed and wake up vary on weekends compared to school days. On weekdays, I go to bed at the same time each night (8:30-8:45) and always wake up at 4:55 to journal for twenty minutes. That’s been working great for me, besides journaling for too long in the middle of the night—which can make me lose quite a bit of sleep. Weekends, however, I’m unable to go to bed at 8:30, and rather retire for the night between 9:30-10:00. Then, instead of waking up at 4:55, I usually get up at 8:30 and journal. So, do these irregularities hurt my consistent schedule, or does it not really matter? To kind of add on to that, to keep my schedule, should I wake up at 4:55 with an alarm on weekends to journal and then go back to sleep, or should I continue what I’m doing?

Whew. Sorry about all this—I just wanted to clear things up a bit before I start to really move on. I’m probably taking this way too seriously, but I just really want to be able to lucid dream—that way, in the future, I’ll be able to reach my goal of having a lucid every week (which would be awesome)! If anyone could offer some advice or help, though, I’d really appreciate it. Other than that, thank you all so much, and I’m looking forward to coming back to the community! :happy:

Welcome back!

I can see how journaling for an hour in the middle of the night is disruptive! It would be difficult for me to fall back asleep after something like that, especially if bright light is involved. Have you tried writing in shorthand, keyword, or making a sketch?

I sometimes get the best LDs if I have taken the night train, gotten up early for a shipment or otherwise disturbed my rhythm. Recall drops for a few days every time the schedule changes, but an abrupt change can actually trigger a LD for me.

You might soon find yourself waking up at 4.55 without an alarm. The body adapts quickly to routines. :cool:

Long post and many questions, I’ll try to keep the answer short

I am a deep sleeper, and fall asleep quickly. However, writing for one hour in full light in the middle of the night causes me problems. My solution: I write just couple of key points of the dream right after the awake, e.g. Paris, meet girl, take undergr.
This is usually enough to recall the details in the morning but quick enough not to disrupt sleep - I’ve taken notes on notepad and also on my phone, both works fine.
Also, if using notepad, try a small reading light or using the cell-phone as lamp, little light is enough.
Heck I’ve even written blindfold in the night, and been able to read it in the morning :cool:

My two cents on sleep schedule: it IS important, but more important is sleeping well, soundly and A LOT
I sleep 7-8 hrs each night, but most of my spontaneous LD come in the morning when I sleep 9-10. The extra 2 hours of sleep is usually lighter sleep, which is a favorable condition for LD
My best suggestion here is: use interrupted sleep e.g. set an alarm after 6 hrs of sleep, do WBTB, your last 2 hrs of sleep will be lighter, it will be easier getting lucid then. For me it’s very powerful. Just at the beginning try and avoid doing it every night, find a good balance instead.

You can look at my topic HERE, perhaps you may find useful ideas

Also, Lucidity Challenge is about to start, think about joining, motivation is the greatest single success factor for me :smile:

Happy lucids !

Thank you, Siiw! Glad to be here :happy:

And yeah, it definitely can be. On one side, I happen to have excellent recall—but, on the other, trying to write everything in the middle of the night actually diminishes it. Go figure, haha. And no, I haven’t tried shortening it yet—I’ve wanted to just summarize each of my dreams by their key points so that I can come back to them later in the morning, but I’m a bit worried that it won’t be enough to help me remember them. At the very least, I’d probably be missing out on a lot of detail, which I like to include when I write them down. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to hear that your schedule being interrupted actually can help you—in my opinion, waking up at different times or having to disrupt it in any way would sound detrimental. But, I guess it really isn’t!

I completely agree with the body-clock-routine, though, I’ve actually woken up unintentionally early on the weekends. In that case, I go ahead, write down what I remember (which can still take a while as I haven’t tried to shorten anything yet), and go back to sleep. I’m just not sure if I should intentionally try to wake up at this time every day or not. :razz:

And yeah, sorry about the length of this—I just had a lot of questions on my mind! :smile: I myself take a little while to fall asleep, so that’s a luxury you and I don’t share, Genghis. :tongue: I agree with the light—I used to use my iPad and type my dreams out, but that didn’t go to well as it hurt my recall. My flashlight isn’t overly bright, but it’s the best I have as I do need it to see—I’ve been thinking of investing in one of those light-up pens on Amazon or such one day.

As for your more simplified notes, how much were you able to remember of your dreams later on? I’m assuming you probably weren’t able to remember every single detail, but did you forget a few major or minor parts? Writing down notes and keeping them too short or summarized is what I’m worried about, as I like to write everything down in full as soon as I remember them. And, if I tried writing blindfolded, I’d end up scribbling all over my sheets with the pen I use (which i have done accidently)! :lol:

Your point about getting a ton of sleep makes perfect sense, though—I feel better overall when I’m able to sleep in on the weekends. Unfortunatly, I can only get that much sleep on weekends—and I’m still not sure whether I should keep waking up early then and going back to sleep. I like your WBTB idea, though—I also thought your post was interesting, but I’m not too sure I want to start with WILD just yet. Would getting up and then going back to sleep interrupt my schedule, or as you said just help induce more lucids? Also, when I go back to sleep, would you suggest that I perform MILD alongside it, or simply just fall back asleep after stopping my alarm?

As for the Lucidity Challenge, I’ve seen that! Are you referring to the LD4all quest or the other one (which I believe is on part 56)? While I’m not really trying any techniques just yet (but rather building up my recall and schedule), I might not be able to specifically accomplish a goal, but I might as well try! Motivation is probably the number one thing I’ve needed over the past few years, so participating in something like that would be awesome. :happy: Where can I find the rules (with information about it), and how do I sign up?

Thank you guys so much!

Usually when I wake up in the middle of the night, recalling a dream, I go through it quickly but thoroughly, then note key points and write those down. It usually is enough to remember quite some details in the morning. However, I do not aim at very high recall because I mostly WILD, so I recommend you taking also other members’ advise here…

WBTB can be used even outside of WILD.
In my experience, if after a good portion of my needed sleep (e.g. 6hrs) I put a period of wakefulness (e.g. 15-30 mins), the subsequent sleep (e.g. 1hr - 1h 1/2) would be lighter sleep with higher chance of attaining lucidity. Indeed adding MILD before going back to sleep can increase your chances
I am just sharing my experience here, I have no way to know what will work for you, everyone is different…

Both are good ! However, as a motivational factor the LD4All monthly quest (LINK) will work well once, while the Lucidity Challenge (LINK) will last more than a month with several tasks declared weekly. You can also declare your personal goal in there, as an additional motivational factor.
The topic explains everything, I am available for additional clarifications, but the rules are actually very simple: just dream, possibly get lucid, do tasks, fill DJ. I’ll take care of the rest :content:

Well, that’s all great to hear—I guess I’m just going to have to try summarizing my dreams and maybe try WBTB out on weekends for myself. :smile: Besides that, I also think I’m going to stop waking up at so early to go back to bed on weekends, and instead just record my dreams and then go back to sleep if I accidentally do. Thanks for the suggestions, though!

And ah, I gotcha. I just saw that it looks like the Lucidity Challenge has started up, but right now I’m really focused on just getting back into lucid dreaming. Next time it starts, however, I’ll be ready—and will definitely be joining it! :smile: Thank you so much for your help!

See ya 'round!

Hi Tyler,

About your first question: maybe you can use a ledlight pen instead of a flashlight. They also go by the name of nightwriter, pilot pen or navigation light pen.

I plan on buying one myself, can get one for under 10 euros, so it could be worth trying.

Good luck :smile:


Yeah, I was actually looking into those on Amazon—they seem great, as they really don’t give off a whole lot of light. If you buy one sometime soon, can ya let me know how well it works for you? At the moment, I can’t buy one just yet, but in the near future it’s a possibility.

Thanks! :smile:

Inspired by this topic I decided to order the ledpen right away. So one of these days it will arrive, and I can test it and report back here.

Actually I have neglected my dream journal for the past few months. Maybe this gadget will help somehow to pick up the dedicated writing again :tongue:

Oh, alright! Hope it works well for ya. And good luck! :smile: I just started journaling again this morning, and I can already remember why I’ve lost my motivation to write in it the past couple of years—it can be a real pain in the neck sometimes! This time around, though, I’m looking to stay persistent and keep it up. So, best of luck with your journal!