About two years ago I’ve read The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream by Andrea Rock. The book central premise is about the role of dreams and the nature of consciousness. The author explains various research tests on dreaming and their goal to find what happens to the brain when we sleep – why do we remember some parts of the dreams while not others, what are the emotions we are experiencing while dreaming, is there an interpretation mechanism, what is the role of sleep during the various sleep stages and dreaming in learning. This post is not a review of the book, but there I read that the author has kept a journal about the dreams the author was writing down throughout the years. Later on Andrea sat down and read some of the dreams and was fascinated by the experience.
And that is how I started keeping a journal of my dreams – I wanted to see what I’ve dreamed about, the general feeling of the dream, characters, and so forth but sometimes it felt a little strange keeping all of this on paper. The problem with recording your dreams on paper is that people might find and read it, but even more importantly is that the recording is linear and once you write down a dream, you cannot cross-reference it, can’t do a quick search or establish who was most often part of your dream.
Nonetheless, I kept going, but sometimes I would wonder whether it won’t be better to do it online because I don’t want those dreams to be accessible for anyone finding the journal to read. So when I discovered a new startup Dreamboard which goal was to record dreams, I was hooked. It focused on privacy, but with a social tools to share your dreams with your social network if you so desire. But the most interesting part is that once you start recording your dreams, you can track your dreams for patterns. In other words you can data mine your dreams, which is amazing.
You can record your dream, set it mood, emotion, color code it, insert people, and places, set a certain theme as well as the level of body presence during the dream.
A problem I found is that the mood and emotions are oversimplified. But other than that it is pretty easy to record your dream for later. Here is part of the analytics board.
Of course the more dreams you record, the better picture of the overall dream characteristics and analysis you will get. I am very happy I can track whether I have repeating characters, themes, moods, places, etc.