According to Carl Jung, dreams are "a spontaneous self-portrayal, in symbolic form, of the actual situation in the unconscious."
Most folks who are endeavoring to develop greater self awareness benefit from paying attention to what their dreams are telling them.
Unfortunately, you can not pay attention to dreams that you don't recall.
Dreams naturally fade quickly upon waking
The exact reasons why dreams are quickly forgotten are not fully understood. However, some things that clearly affect dream recall are:
Here are three simple tips for how to improve your dream recall.
1: Simply decide that you want to recall your dreams
Set your intention to try to remember your dreams. Without this step, none of the others matter.
Your subconscious seems to be influenced to speak louder by your spoken desire to hear from it. Verbalize this intention as you are falling asleep.
2: Record your dreams and dream fragments in a dream journal
Have a specific notebook to write down what you recall of your dreams. It is preferable to do this as close to awakening as possible.
This act not only makes your intention concrete but exponentially increases your chances to recall your dreams before they fade.
3: Share your dreams with someone else
In certain indigenous cultures where dreams are highly valued they make it a practice every morning to share their dreams with the tribe.
Part of what makes this practice so powerful is that the telling of a dream often triggers further recall.