Getting enough sleep and ensuring that you’re enjoying tranquil dreams is an essential element of leading a happy, successful life. Nonetheless, many people struggle to get in the recommended amount of sleep they need every night, with countless others reporting that they dream infrequently and can seldom remember the details of their nighttime hallucinations.

For many who are struggling to sleep and recall their dreams, keeping a dream journal can be a life-changing event. From helping you keep track of your circadian rhythm to enabling you to bolster your memory, here are some reasons why you should keep a dream journal.

We’re undergoing a sleep crisis

Across the country, we’re dealing with an unprecedented sleep crisis. According to information compiled by the CDC, at least one in three American adults aren’t getting enough sleep, a worrying statistic that diminishes our national productivity and collective wellbeing. When people don’t get enough sleep, the consequences are dire; you can suffer from diminished control over your motor movements, a lagging memory, and a ruined mental state if you go without sleep for a long enough time. For those who struggle to sleep, it’s often a matter of improper scheduling and a dreaded approach to nighttime that needs to be replaced with a more positive mindset.

Why should we stand idly by while a sleep crisis besets the nation and increases our collective stress? With literally millions of people suffering from sleep deficiency, it’s obvious that common sense solutions that can be applied to everyone are sorely needed.

Dream journals stand to be the best tool available to most people to improve their sleep. A dream journal is simple – it’s literally any book or diary you find sufficient to record your dreams with each night. By keeping an admired dream journal and a trusty pen or pencil by your bedside as you sleep, you can record your dreams the moment you wake up. Delaying any longer can cause you to forget your dreams, because you will probably have a million things on your mind, such as paying your bills or getting cheap insurance. Writing them down as quickly as you can is an imperative part of successfully maintaining a useful dream journal. Sometimes, dreamers prefer to use numbered bullet points rather than story formats when keeping their journals.

As you’ll soon discover, keeping a dream journal helps you recall your dreams more vividly overtime, and you’ll soon detect an increased amount of details in your journal entries as time goes on. The benefits of maintaining a dream journal, sometimes called a dream book, go beyond improving your memory, too; by giving yourself increased control over your dreams, you can reduce the amount of nightmares and unpleasant fantasies you suffer from in the midst of the night.

A dream journal helps you be mindful

Mindfulness is a trend that’s growing in popularity for good reasons; practicing mindfulness can help you be more socially conscious, more comfortable in your own skin, and more relaxed and stress-free. According to the CDC, mindfulness practices are growing in prevalence across the U.S. workforce as employees and workers alike realize that such practices as meditation can be great for your brain.

Keeping a dream journal helps you be mindful, as it enables you to be conscious of what you’re thinking about in your sleeping hours, which will in turn make your waking hours more creative and insightful.

Dream journals also help you determine what’s making you upset or plaguing your thoughts. Sometimes, we suffer from bad dreams but can scarcely recall what happened when we wake up. A dream journal can help you detect consistent patterns and trends in your nighttime hallucinations, however, so if you’re struggling to remember your dreams then jotting them down is the natural solution.

It’s a proven fact that your brain needs to dream, so don’t think that you have to put up with nightmares and unhealthy sleep as a natural part of life. We don’t know much about sleeping or dreaming in general, but we can be confident that it’s an important part of memory management and keeping yourself stress-free after long periods of going without rest. More and more, it’s becoming obvious that people who want to maintain robust physical health and mental wellbeing need to be conscious about what they’re dreaming of and how it’s impacting the waking moments of their life.

Keeping a dream journal is immensely cheap, very easy, and produces results almost immediately. Be sure to take extra time when picking out a journal, as you want something that’s aesthetically pleasing and distinct, so that you can use it to determine if you’re still dreaming or not. Other than that, keeping a dream journal is literally as simple as writing down what happened, be it in a story format or numbered list of events. Before long, you’ll discover that keeping a dream journal helps you get better sleep than ever before.