Remember that recalling dreams is not meant to be a chore, but something fun and interesting, that you can do every night without having it interfere with your sleep cycle, and if so - minimally.
There are three major steps in the process of becoming a Conscious Dreamer:
First, a little background is necessary. In the ancient past, shamans were experts in contacting the dream state, which they knew was a part of The Other World - the Goddess Universe (yes, they knew that the universe is feminine in nature, and the early shamans were always women).
This has since then, in a watered-down form, been transferred down through the generations and used particularly by psychics over the millennia - some of them hired by the Kings and Queens of the world to predict the future for the Royal Families, while they despised psychics in public and often hunted them down. They were basically afraid of them - especially if they were women because they still knew back then that women, in general, have more psychic powers than men have.
These days, we say that women are more intuitive than men, but it's the same thing. We all know about the Catholic witch-hunts in the Dark Ages, where the vast majority of witches who were burned at the stake were women. The Church has always been afraid of women.
It was not until in the 1970s that Conscious Dreaming was scientifically verified (or Lucid Dreaming, as it was called then - a term that's still used sometimes) and linked to REM. At least since then, but evidently earlier than that, the military has been involved in dreaming research.
They wanted the dreamer to communicate with the real world from dreamscape by learning how to control their REM (Source: Dirk Bruere: "TechnoMage", p.179, op. cit.)
The Military Industrial Complex (MIC) wanted to know, how it could use dreaming in warfare and in finding out what the enemy was up to because it knew that people had Out of Body Experiences (OOBE) while they were dreaming. This was also when quite a few "OT III" Scientologists started working with the CIA, showing the Letter Agency how to Remote View.
"OT III" means "Operating Thetan Level III" in Scientology (founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952). An OT III Completion of the "old kind" (when the Church of Scientology was taken over in a coup in 1982, almost everything, that was working, was altered by the new management) could easily bi-locate in his or her mind and instantly think himself or herself to another place in space/time to see what was going on there. Scientology never called this Remote Viewing (and still doesn't), but instead called it "Thetan Operating Exterior to the Body", where Thetan is the Scientology term for soul.
Famous OT III Scientologists who joined the CIA were Ingo Swann and Hal Puthoff. (See, Supernatural_abilities_in_Scientology_doctrine)
Remote Viewing is basically the same thing as entering Theta State consciously by leaving your body at will and going to other places. This was particularly useful for the military, when they wanted to spy on the Soviets during the Cold War, although the Soviets had sophisticated Remote Viewers (RVs) as well.
Other things Remote Viewing (RV) has been used for is to explore the moon (Ingo Swann), but also other places in space, I'm sure, that the public has never been told about.
See Ingo Swann's biography "Penetration".
Now, let us start from the beginning. Hopefully, you now have your bedroom decorated the way you want it, a notepad and a working pen on the bedside table, and no electronics in the room! Depending on your schedule and how your life is set up, your conditions may differ slightly. To make it easy in the beginning, let's start with setting the alarm right in the middle of your sleep cycle.
Let's say if you sleep 8 hours, set the alarm for 4 hours after you go to bed. People normally start dreaming 30-90 minutes after they go to sleep, but I doubt you want to break your sleeping hours into 2 hours sequences and then force yourself to wake up - our sleep is much too precious for that.
Then write a title at the top of the notepad: "Step #1: Remembering my Dreams." When the alarm goes off, train yourself to immediately recall what you were dreaming about, turn off the alarm as fast as you can, and write down your dream on the notepad. End it with the date and time you woke up.
How much of your dreams are you supposed to write down? If you are lucky and recall most of the dream, it may take a while to write it all down, and by then you are fully awake, unable to go back to sleep. This is of course is not what we want. Some, such as the Pleiadians, say that all you need to write down is 3-6 words, while others say at least a few sentences or paragraphs.
I would say that you learn with time how much you need to write down. I suggest you start with anything from a couple of sentences to a paragraph. Normally, the remainder of the dream comes back to mind once you've read the note in the morning or the next day.
I also suggest you start this practice the night before you're off work, so that if it makes you unusually tired to do it this way, you'll have time to find a better setup and can hopefully take a nap or two the day after in order to catch up.
Once you've written the partial dream down, have a snack and go to the restroom. Then go back to sleep again after setting the alarm to the time when you normally get up in the morning (this routine is probably nothing new to many people - more people than we think have tried this sometime in their life).
When the alarm goes off the last time, repeat the steps from the first time - i.e. turn off the alarm, think intensely about the dream, and write down what you remember in about one paragraph.
When you have time, go through your notes and start with your first dream. Do you remember it by reading your notes? Does the dream come back to you? Often, more and more of the dream comes back the more you think about it.
Work on recalling as much as you can, including the feelings you had when you were dreaming. What did you see? Who was present? Did you know them? What did you hear? Any particular smells? Any weight in the dream? Anything you can recall is useful. Once you're done with your first dream, then go to the next and repeat the same recall pattern. Then leave it at that for the day.
What about if you can't recall any dream when you wake up to the first alarm, or the second? No big deal - it will happen to many people. Just repeat the same pattern at least a couple more nights to see if you start remembering.
If you still wake up every time with no dreams in mind, you probably need to change the alarm to go off at another time. Start with setting it an hour earlier - i.e. three hours after you go to sleep, and then set the next alarm to the time when you usually get up and see how that goes. If it still doesn't do the trick after a night or two, play around with it some more because, eventually, you will hit the perfect time when you wake up from a dream.
Another thing that can happen is that you wake up before the alarm goes off. Then it's easier to forget that you were supposed to remember something, and the dream you may have had disappears before you get a chance to catch it.
Or, you simply wake up in between dreams and don't recall anything. Therefore, let's say you wake up ½ hour before the first alarm, do your best to immediately recall any dream you woke up from and write it down. Remember to write the date and what time of the night it is. It will help you when you go back perhaps months later in your notes because you may want to know when you dreamed what, and the time of the night will help you figure out when your dreams are most intense.
Once you develop a habit of doing this and it works for you, you may think it's interesting and fun (or you'll think it's boring - both could happen, of course), but at the same time, you need a break from this every now and then so you can wake up naturally in the middle of the night without an alarm, or sleep the whole night, if necessary.
Hence, I would suggest that you do this training every night the first 3-4 nights and then give yourself a couple of night's uninterrupted sleep, and then start all over again. Once you're getting skilled at writing down your dreams, you can basically decide for yourself when you want to train and not.
I haven't mentioned anything about interpreting your dreams, and that's just because it's not part of this particular training. However, it doesn't hurt to add that to it as well, but only if you want to - it's not required for this particular training, and I will not go into dream interpretation here. There are good books on it for those who are interested, and I'm sure you can find good articles on the Internet too.
When you have quite a few pages of partial dreams written down in your notepad, go back to the earliest ones to see if you still remember them when you read your notes. Then take dreams at random in your notes to see if you remember those as well.
If you still remember them, it's excellent! If you don't, or you only remember a few, you may want to start writing down more details about your dreams from thereon. Then, after a couple of weeks, go back again to where you started adding more text to see if you remember them better now. If not, you may want to add a little more.
At one point, you should be able to find out exactly how much you need to write down to remember the dreams, even after days, weeks, or months have gone by.
Continue with this part of the training for a month or two before you continue with the next step, "Being Aware That You're Dreaming." You need to be skilled first in remembering your dreams, and you also need to go back and forth in your notepad every now and then - at least 3-4 days a week to make sure you still recall at least most of the dreams you've written down.
I want to stress here, however, that it's not necessary to remember the whole dreams in order to succeed with this. What is important is to be able to let your conscious mind connect with your subconscious mind easily by being able to bring up the subconscious to the conscious mind at will, which you do when you go back in your notes and review what you've written down.
When we continue with the next step, we are basically going to do the opposite - letting the conscious mind be aware that it's present in the subconscious mind.
Last, before we go on with the next step, I want to mention another way of remembering your dreams, which you can apply if you think that's easier, or you can, of course, do both. When you wake up, instead of instantly writing down the dream, you can speak it aloud (if you sleep alone, that is, or I'm sure you'll wake your partner up).
This way, your dream, which exists in your subconscious mind, automatically is transferred up to the conscious mind, exactly as it should in this experiment. Then, you might have an easier time writing it down and don't have the stress of trying to get the most important parts down before the dream fades away from your memory.