The two easiest ways to help recall your dreams are -
Making the most of your sleeping environment;
Make your bedroom a sanctuary that facilitates restful sleep.
Avoid clutter and use your bedroom for only sleeping (no TV as it keeps your mind active)
Make your bed as comfortable as possible.
Maybe change the direction in which your bed is facing (experiement)
Have curtains that fully shut out the light, so you sleep more deeply.
Wake up gently, not a loud alarm clock, this will ensure your dreams are not banished instantly.
Before you go to bed take a few minutes to unwind, have a hot bath, play soothing music or meditate and review the day in your mind.
Scent your bedroom with essential oils or pot-pourri.
Hang a Native American dreamcatcher above your bed, too keep out bad dreams.
If you need clarity about something write your question or problem onto a piece of paper and place it under your pillow with any thoughts you have about it too, ask for a dream to answer this.
Eat lightly a good while before bed.
If you drink alcohol before sleep you dream less.
Keeping a Dream Diary;
Keep a dedicated book beside your bed, so you can write down your dreams before you wake.
Before you go to sleep write down the day and date for following day in your diary, this will act as a trigger for your dreams.
If you wake from a dream during the night, jot down the details in brief and then add to it in the morning. If you find it difficult to go back to sleep after this then use a taperecorder.
Write down ALL aspects of your dream;
who were the characters? are they known to you or strangers or animals etc? were you actively present in your dream or an observer?
Write down the events of your dreams in sequence;
what was happening? where did it take place? what were you doing? how did you feel? was the light in your dream diffuse or clear? was it a particular season?
Now examine what each of these elements mean to you personally.
Your dreams are rich in symbols, the subconscious mind makes it's presence felt through imagery and symbolism. So your personal interpretation is vital to understanding your dreams.
Take an overview and analyse your dream according to current situations in your life.
You may be being shown a sollution to a problem, or that your dream reveals your true feelings about something.
If you do not remember your dreams write down how you felt upon wakening, it will help you develop a habit of keeping your dream diary or trigger memories of your dreams later on.
Buy yourself a DREAM DICTIONARY ... this will help you interpret the different aspects of your dreams.
On lucid dreaming, personally, I've matured quite a bit w/my dreams, meaning when I was young, and first learning to fly in dreams, I'd do this running start & kind of peddle like on a bike then go up. I'd have to remind myself I can do that when I wanted to get out of situations in dreams. I believe my lucidity matured as well, I use to only be albe to jump in for a second, like to tell myself to fly away from a bad dream. Now I have a lot of lucid dreams and I know in the dream I'm lucidly dreaming. Once I was flying around this Asian looking school/museum type facility, actually it was more like floating, I was close to the ground. I wandered around the place, admiring the beauty, I saw rooms that looked like college class rooms, and there was a "center" of the building w/a spiral walk way going up into higher floors. I started floating up the levels & noticed an orange on a counter in a kitchen area. I thought to myself, I should go check that orange out, see how real I can experience (at this point apparently I knew I was lucid). I went and picked up the orange, paying attention to how I felt being lucid in the dream and experiencing the orange, I paid attention to how the orange felt in my hand. I thought to peel it, see how much control I had at that moment, at this point I was fully lucid & knew it. As I peeled the orange, I noticed how the oils sprayed up like it would if it were real, then I thought to taste it, I went though all the senses other than hearing the orange. I ended up continuing to ascend the building, at the top I could float away from the walk way and fly over all the people below at the bottom. I also practice flying in dreams while I'm lucid, and I pay special attention to the feeling of falling asleep and waking up. I remember waking up from a dream from the point in the dream where it felt like I was flying up super fast, to the point I was fully awake and didn't experience any lack of awareness of the full experience. Sometimes I can go back to the same dream for hours, knowing its the same dream b/c I kept waking up to check the clock. I think its amazing the way I dream and it causes me to sleep 14 hour spells sometimes. So I have no desire to try and limit my dreaming experience, only become more and more aware and lucid and in controll, yet I do still have dreams where I'm not lucid, or I am but I can lucidly observe while I allow the dream to happen. There are times I feel I'm gonna wake up but I want to continue the dream and I can keep dreaming. So I don't think our lucidity or awareness or ability to controll what happens in our dreams will keep up from dreaming the way we're meant to. I'm not sure about how the choice works, or why I become so lucid at sometimes and not at others, but I can dream as lucid as I do, and still have "normal" dreams. The only part of my dreams I don't like is that I keep dreaming my ex-husband is my soulmate and we are experiencing things together, or I may be interacting w/his girlfriend and he comes along, but in real life, he has no interest in communicating w/me at all, he's all loyal to his girlfriend that he left me for. I don't even want to think about the possibility of us getting back together b/c the process of letting him go is so difficult and its what I have to do. These dreams just make me mad that they brought him in my head when I'm trying so hard to keep out of major depression by not thinking about him. Because he has no interest in communicating w/me, there's no way to work with him on anything. He's fully over our relationship, and I dont think he ever felt as connected to me as I did to him. I've tried to stay friends w/him but he refuses so I really dont like being reminded of him in my dreams, but I can't seem to stop having those dreams when I'm least thinking about the guy...they always come when I've gotten my head far away from thinking about him, so as much controll as I have, I don't really have it...I believe the Universe works its wonders while we dream...lucidity wont interfere, so welcome it, its a great experience! Best Wishes xo