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How to Recall Your Dreams and Why You Might Want To

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Photo: Vanessa Shaushkin / EyeEm / Getty Images

No one likes waking up from a dream and knowing it was ~cray~ with no clue what actually happened in it. But remembering last night's reveries may only require popping vitamin B6, the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills reports. The vitamin, found in beans, fish, and avocado, increases levels of sleep-regulating serotonin, which helps you spend more time in REM sleep (the dreamiest stage) later in the night. (Related: Does Getting Enough REM Sleep Really Matter?)

Put enough effort into remembering your dreams and you may even have a lucid dream—that trippy state where you're able to control your dream without waking up. There’s an entire subreddit dedicated to the topic, where posters suggest everything from setting strategic alarms to thinking about dreams throughout the day and eating specific foods to up your odds. (Related: What Your Girl-On-Girl Sex Dream *Really* Means About Your Sexuality)

Another thing that might help: meditation. A study published in Imagination, Cognition, and Personality found that participants who had experience with meditation were more likely to report having lucid dreams. And a prior study suggested that meditating in the middle of the night can also help produce them The thought: If you're more mindful during the day, that awareness might spill over into dreamland. 

Dream recall is worth the effort, even if you never reach a lucid state. It can promote creative thinking and even problem-solving, says Delphine Oudiette, Ph.D., a sleep researcher in Paris. (Just think about how imaginative your most bizarre dreams have been.) Maximize the benefit by keeping a dream journal on your nightstand and jotting down your dreams as soon as you wake. If nothing else, you’ll have some entertaining narratives to look back on. (Here's the meaning of common dreams and what they say about you.)

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