Lucid Dreaming/Print version

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Note: current version of this book can be found at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Lucid_Dreaming

Table of contents[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

This book attempts to teach you the skills that can help you to have lucid dreams — dreams in which you know that you are dreaming. Lucid dreams have been scientifically proven to exist. Being aware that you are dreaming, and still remaining asleep, can give you the ability to control your dreams. Lucid dreaming truly can be a fantastic experience. See the introduction for more details on what lucid dreaming is.

First, you will find out a little on what dreaming is from the biological aspect. Then, the book will explain how to improve your dream recall so that you remember more of your dreams. Next, it will explain how to become lucid during dreams, and how to stay lucid. It’ll also explain how to keep yourself in the dream and prevent it from “fading”. Finally, there will be some suggestions for what you could do within your lucid dreams.

Remember, you can edit any page to add information — simply click on the “edit” tab at the top of the page. Your changes will be visible immediately, but don’t worry if you make a mistake, since other users of the wikibook can fix things for you if you do something wrong. If you are interested in the wikibook itself you can check the Talk pages by clicking on the “discussion” tab on any page to see what we are working on, and to contribute to discussion.

Contents[edit]

Introduction
Dream Recall
Induction Techniques
Using
Glossary
Appendices
Further Reading
FAQ

Introduction[edit]

Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading


Disclaimer[edit]

When attempting some of the techniques in this book, you may have some frightening experiences, such as falling sensations or sleep paralysis. Although the authors attest these are not dangerous, you should avoid techniques that create these sensations if you would prefer not to experience them.

Your own expectations will have a significant effect on your dreams. If you believe that dream characters act dull and lifelessly, they are far more likely to do so. If you believe they can be creative, original, and surprising, they are far more likely to be. Remember that the easier you think it is to dream lucidly, the easier it will be.

Many of the techniques and “facts” presented on these pages are not backed up by scientific research. This is not to say that these techniques do not work, only that they may be placebos or be ineffective much of the time.

About dreaming[edit]

Stages of sleep
The stages of sleep

Each night, we spend about one and a half to two hours dreaming. We dream about once every 90 minutes of sleep. The time you spend in dreams becomes longer throughout the night, from about 10 minutes to around 45 minutes or slightly longer. But what happens when we sleep?

There are five stages of sleep: four stages of NREM (Non-REM) sleep, also called SWS (Slow-Wave Sleep), and one stage of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. The most vivid and remembered dreams occur during REM sleep. Research has shown that a person being woken from REM sleep will account having just been in a dream roughly 80% of the time, while this percentage is 15% during non-REM sleep.[1] One sleep cycle is roughly 90 minutes long.

  • (NREM 1) The first stage is a transition state between wakefulness and sleep. This is the stage in which hypnagogic imagery occurs. It usually passes into stage 2 within a few minutes.
  • (NREM 2) During stage 2, the body gradually shuts down, and brain waves become longer in wavelength.
  • (NREM 3) Stage 3 usually occurs 30 to 45 minutes after falling asleep the first time. Large, slow delta brain waves are generated.
  • (NREM 4) Stage 4 is often called “deep sleep” or “delta sleep”. The heart beats the slowest and there is the least brain activity. It is during this stage that sleepwalking usually occurs.
  • After stage 4, the NREM stages reverse and move back to stage 2, and then into REM sleep.
  • (REM) During REM sleep, some parts of the brain are nearly as active as while awake. In this stage, your eyes flicker rapidly (hence the acronym Rapid Eye Movement). Your body is paralyzed, preventing the body from acting out dreams.[2]

After the REM state, you sometimes wake briefly. This is usually forgotten by the time you wake up in the morning. If you don't wake up, you go to stage 2.

I never dream anyway.

Actually, everyone has dreams — but some people simply don’t remember them. In the next chapter, you will find out how to improve your dream recall.

Why do we dream? What do dreams mean?

These questions are outside the scope of this book, but you can find several hypotheses in the Wikipedia article on dream interpretation.

About lucid dreaming[edit]

Lucid dreaming is simply being aware that you are dreaming. With enough experience, you can increase control over your dreams — anything from flying to creating people and places, and even changing into animals. Having a lucid dream is like being the director of your own movie! A passage from the fantasy novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (chapter at King's Cross) that may explain what this looks like:

"For the first time, he wished he were clothed. Barely had the wish formed in his head than robes appeared a short distance away."

Lucid dreams have been scientifically proven to exist. Stephen LaBerge of The Lucidity Institute used a special machine to track eye movements during a dream (these are linked to your eye movements within the dream). He asked lucid dreamers to point their eyes left and right in quick succession once they became "conscious" in their dreams, and this movement was recorded on the machine. For more information on this and other experiments, read Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (ISBN in Further Reading).

There are plenty of reasons you might want to dream lucidly:

  • For fun! Just flying in a lucid dream is an exhilarating feeling. Lucid dreams are generally far more intense and vivid than most non-lucid dreams. You can use a lucid dream to wind down after a long day.
  • Transforming into animals or getting superpowers is a unique experience that is hard to get any other way.
  • If you are particularly interested in dreams — either spiritually or psychologically — trying lucid dreaming could help you in your research.
  • If you're writing fiction or even creating a world for a computer game, lucid dreaming can help you visualize it. You could ask your characters how they feel about something or what they think will happen.
  • Some people compose music in their lucid dreams.
  • Lucid dreams can be realistic enough to rehearse a speech or musical performance.
  • You can relive previous dreams or experiences.
  • They can help in dream interpretation and communicating with your subconscious.


I can’t control my dreams.

This is very rarely actually the case (though sometimes it is in nightmares). Usually it is just your memory which treats you as though it were beyond your control. If you become lucid in a dream where you have a body, you will almost always be able to control your body. However, you might not manage to do anything else. Don't worry, though — most people have no problem with jumping very high or flying in a lucid dream!

On the other hand, parts of your brain are less active while dreaming, which can lead to dream/trance logic and sometimes choices you will later regret. For example, you might choose to continue your lucid dream, although you know that once you wake you will only remember half of it. Once you wake up, you may wish that you had stopped your dream. Another example is of somebody who dreamt they were sitting next to Mother Theresa. They wondered if they might be dreaming, thinking isn’t Mother Theresa dead? They then concluded that she was obviously right next to them and therefore alive, and that it wasn’t a dream!

Are lucid dreams related to psi phenomena?

There are differing views on this. Some people claim to have organized shared dreams or precognitive dreams through lucid dreaming. Others say these are simply created in the brain like any other dream, something like self-hypnosis.

How long does it take to learn how to dream lucidly?

This completely depends on the person and circumstances. Some people have a lucid dream after just a few nights of learning about it, while for others, it may take months! If you don't get enough sleep or feel too stressed after work to regularly practice induction techniques, then it may take a long time, especially if you expect it to. It will also depend on how much effort you put in. However, everybody has the ability to dream lucidly.

I think I do this naturally. Does this happen?

It is quite rare to have regular lucid dreams naturally, although most people have had a lucid dream at some point in their lives. If you want to increase the frequency of your lucid dreams, carry on reading through the book; otherwise, skip to the Using section to get some ideas for your dreams.

I had [a dream], was I lucid?

In general, a lucid dream is defined as a dream in which you know you are dreaming at some point, regardless of anything else. Even if you were lucid one second but lost your lucidity, it is still technically a lucid dream.

However, this can be a little misleading. Sometimes you dream that you fall asleep and have a lucid dream! This is often thought of as a sign that you will have a proper lucid dream soon, as your mind is thinking a lot about lucid dreams.

Try using this table:

Signs you were lucid Signs you weren't lucid
  • Doing a reality check which gave a positive result
  • Attempting to stabilize the dream (see the Using chapter)
  • Attempting to fly, walk through mirrors, etc. immediately after realizing you are dreaming
  • Waking up as soon as you realize that you are dreaming
  • Remarks to dream characters that you are dreaming
  • Dreaming that you were dreaming
  • Having an unusually poor recall for that dream after you became lucid
  • Not recognizing illogical parts of the dream as a dream
  • Attempting to fly, walk through mirrors, etc. without success
  • Treating dream characters as you would real people*

* However, some people may have lucid dreams and deliberately choose to treat dream characters as if they were real. In fact, it can be intriguing to have real conversations with dream characters, such as physics or philosophy discussions - you may discover they know more than you do!

Possible dangers of lucid dreaming[edit]

There is no current evidence of lucid dreaming being abnormal or unhealthy in any way. However, there may be some more or less minor side effects associated with having lucid dreams. Please don’t let this scare you away from trying this; rather, remember that with dreams you are dealing with your own subconscious mind and recklessness is not recommended.

Alienation[edit]

Most people have never even heard of lucid dreaming, much less ever experienced it. Some people are also less than open-minded and receptive to new ideas. Don’t be surprised if someone considers this whole phenomenon “weird” or “crazy” (which it is not). Don’t preach, either; you don't have to convince anybody.

Often people who spontaneously lucid dream, especially children, may find it surprising that not everyone does. They may even start thinking that they are the only people in the world who have lucid dreams. If they’re worried, the best support is to let them know that they’re not alone.

Dissociation[edit]

Lucid dreaming may weaken the borders between waking and dreaming, the conscious and subconscious mind, reality and fantasy. This might lead to problems of a dissociative nature. Probably the most common form of dissociation involves having problems distinguishing your waking memories from dream memories. Everyone who recalls at least one dream will have to sort out their dreams from reality in the morning. This can really be a problem for those who have previously had zero recall and, due to lucid dreaming, have had a major uptick in recall. Now, suddenly, they have all these excess, illogical memories to sort out. This is unlikely to be a major problem, but may be a big annoyance. An example is when you have actually misplaced an item, and "find it" in a dream. If you cannot distinguish dream from reality you will now think you know where that item is, perhaps even placed it where you felt sure to find it later, but when you awake it will not be there.

However, there are signs that you should watch for which indicate a larger problem may be developing. Lucid dreaming in itself should not cause these to appear in a waking state:

  • Ability to ignore extreme pain or what would normally cause extreme pain
  • Absorption in a computer game, television program or movie
  • Remembering the past so vividly one seems to be reliving it
  • Finding evidence of having done things one can’t remember doing
  • Not remembering important events in one’s life
  • Being in a familiar place but finding it unfamiliar
  • Seeing oneself as if looking at another person
  • Other people and objects do not seem real
  • Looking at the world through a fog or haze
  • Not recognizing friends or family members
  • Finding unfamiliar things among one’s belongings
  • Finding oneself in a place but unaware of how one got there
  • Finding oneself dressed in clothes one doesn’t remember putting on

If this has happened, and there is no other cause (e.g. drugs), take a break from lucid dreaming for a while. In fact, take a break from anything fictional for a while, at least until symptoms stop. In addition, you may consider avoiding experimentation with lucid dreaming if you have a mental condition that will alter your perception of reality, eg. Schizophrenia, Hallucinations, Dementia

False awakenings[edit]

One of the advantages of having lucid dreams is being able to change a dream or wake up if things are not turning out as planned. A false awakening is when you seem to have woken up but are actually still dreaming. For example, you may find yourself waking up in your room. But once there, new things will start happening—for example, someone might visit, or you might wander outside because of an odd noise, or there might be objects all over the place. There are no such things as loops of awakenings. You can simply shock your body awake by applying a stimulus in your dream. It's a good idea to get in the habit of doing a reality check just after waking up so that you'll realize when this happens and become lucid.

When this happens repeatedly in the same night, it can be very tiring and often frightening. Not only can the belief of being fully awake in your room while being exposed to unusual situations be scary, but you also may start fearing you won't be able to actually wake up. And, depending on the content of the dream, since all your dreams tend to start in your room, you may fear what could happen once you actually do wake up.

But this is not a very common situation. Once you are lucid, it is usually easier to wake up or lose the dream than it is to keep dreaming.

PLEASE NOTE: The following possibilities are controversial and have not been proven.

Controversial: Accidentally encountering “spiritual” entities[edit]

This depends on your worldview. If dreams are a creation of your brain and nothing more, you don’t need to worry about spirits or anything similar. If you want to be on the safe side, treating objects in your dream decently and politely won’t do you any harm.

The book "The Art of Dreaming" by Carlos Castaneda has a lot to say on this subject. (See Further Reading)

Controversial: Creating bad habits or becoming a control freak[edit]

When lucid dreaming, you have the option to control the dream world in ways that are impossible in the waking world. You can, for example, make objects appear or disappear, or make people act according to your will. Some people believe this may lead your subconscious to desire this kind of control in the waking world, where it’s highly inappropriate. Also, you might be tempted to apply dream-world solutions to waking-life problems instead of actually facing them; for example, just willing bad things to go away or escaping or destroying them by superpowers. Again, this is probably more of a problem if you are not mentally stable at the outset of your dreaming process.

Controversial: Exhaustion[edit]

Some people believe that experiencing many artificially induced lucid dreams often enough can be very exhausting. The main reason for this phenomenon is the result of the lucid dreams expanding the length of time between REM states. With fewer REMs per night, this state in which you experience actual sleep and your body recovers becomes infrequent enough to become a problem. This is just as exhausting as if you were to wake up every twenty or thirty minutes and watch TV. The effect is dependent on how often your brain attempts to lucidly dream per night. If you enter into a routine of attempting to lucidly dream, you may cause recursive lucid dreams that occur at each state change.

Controversial: Inability to stop[edit]

If you have trained your mind to the point where it can step over the boundary without conscious effort, you might find it difficult to stop. Do not become alarmed if you have trouble stopping the process of lucid dreaming, it is possible to get out of the habit. As long as you truly expect to stop having lucid dreams regularly, you will. You just need to stop any further attempts to lucid dream, and within a few months the lucid dreaming will go away by itself. Remember; do not be alarmed if, even with your attempts to stop, you experience further lucid dreams. It might take a while to break the habit. If you have real concerns, it may be advisable to talk with your doctor or therapist regarding appropriate treatment, including medication.


Similar techniques[edit]

I can do astral projection, should I learn how to dream lucidly?

Possibly not. If you often enter a “dream world” after having the experience of leaving your body, that is basically the same as the method called Wake-Initiation of Lucid Dreams. Keep in mind that many people believe that “astral projection” or “out-of-body experiences” are actually lucid dreams. Whether these are real psi phenomena or the creative product of your dreaming mind, learning to dream lucidly will expand the variety of your experiences.

If this is so similar, why learn lucid dreaming and not astral projection?

Here are some reasons:

  • Lucid dreaming is something that everybody can understand. In fact, most people have already had a lucid dream. No single theory about astral projection is accepted even in the astral projection community.
  • If you are prepared to spend money, there are some gadgets that can help induce lucid dreams. They usually emit light or sound signals shortly after the REM state is detected. Hypnosis tapes usually focus more on self-improvement and you cannot decide what to do with your hypnotic trance.
  • If you don’t believe in psi phenomena, you will likely be much more comfortable reading books about lucid dreaming than those on astral projection. If you have to keep stopping and thinking "but that's not possible", there's always the danger that your feelings of skepticism will affect the way you think about lucid dreaming and make it much harder for you to do.
  • You would be sleeping anyway, so it doesn't take up waking time.
  • You'll be able to use this Wikibook to your advantage!

References[edit]

  1. Arno F. Wittig. Schaum's outline of theory and problems of introduction to psychology. McGraw-Hill, 1977. Retrieved from Google Books on September 23, 2009.
  2. Rochelle Merilien. Sleep Paralysis. Retrieved September 21, 2009 from [1]
Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

Dream Recall[edit]

Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

It is essential to improve your dream recall. There are at least two reasons for this:

  1. While it is very rare, it is possible to forget about a lucid dream. It would be meaningless to invest so much effort into lucid dreaming, only to forget about it upon waking.
  2. Recording your dreams will eventually allow you to start recognizing recurring patterns, characters, and scenarios. Having these details will be invaluable once you begin practicing lucid dream induction techniques.

While asleep, we experience a period of REM sleep approximately every 90 minutes. It is during this time that we typically dream. These periods are initially very brief – only around 10 minutes. But as the night progresses, these periods become increasingly longer - often stretching to over 45 minutes at a time. Waking up in the midst of dreaming dramatically increases your ability to remember the details of the dream. Therefore, try setting an alarm clock to 4½, 6, or 7½ hours after you normally fall asleep. This should awaken you directly from a dream.

The most important part of improving your dream recall is keeping a dream journal (or a dream diary). Virtually any medium will do; an office notebook, artist’s sketchpad, an online journal, a sheet of paper, or even a Dictaphone — whatever is easiest for you. Here are some guidelines for keeping your journal:

  • Write all your dreams and only your dreams
    • Write down everything you can possibly remember about the dream. Phrases, colors, feelings...everything. Record them as soon as you wake up.
    • Sketch pictures into your notebook to help you remember symbols, places, faces, and other visual dream elements.
    • If you wake in the night and have trouble waking up enough to record a dream you can use the mnemonic technique recommended in Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas's "The Memory Book" of changing something in your room, for example, knocking something onto the floor, and associating that with an image from your dream. On waking the displaced object should trigger your memory of the image and so make it easier for you to remember the dream.
  • Ritualise your diary
    • Using a dedicated pen in a special color helps to make keeping your journal more of a ritual.
    • You might want to copy out rough notes into a neater dream diary later on in the day. This helps ingrain the dream in your mind.
  • Recall as much as you can while still lying in bed
    • Go to bed early to ensure that you wake a while before you start your day. In this free time, mull over any dreams you had and do a reality check.
    • You may want to keep your eyes closed for as long as possible, particularly if you wake up near the sunrise. Try to use a notebook which holds a pen and scribble down whatever you can with your eyes still closed.
    • Stay in the same position and run your dreams over in your head a few times before arising from bed. After you have remembered your dream, move to a different position (with your eyes still closed) that you normally sleep in, then recall your dream. The position that you are in may help your brain remember what dream you had while sleeping in that position.
    • If you are still unable to remember anything, allow your mind to wander through events of yesterday or through any issues you have been thinking about. These may help to trigger details of your dreams..
    • If you share a bed with a partner, make a habit of exchanging dreams upon waking before talking about anything else.
  • Be prepared to record dreams throughout the day
    • Keep a small dream diary notebook with you all the time. It is quite easy to remember a dream in the day and then forget it by the time you get home.
    • Even if you only get a fleeting feeling of some dream during the day, note down as much as you can remember about the dream and what triggered the memory.
    • Think about your dream or dreams throughout the day, and ask yourself “What did I dream?” several times. Often, you only get a good answer to this an hour after you woke up.
  • You can try to remember your dream by “back-tracking” — start from the moment when you wake up, and try to remember what you were doing before that. You may even be able to reconstruct your dream to the beginning.
  • If you find that many of your dreams are about certain items, such as cars and painting, then, if you cannot remember your dream in the morning, think about whether it contained your specific dream signs, in this case, cars and painting. You can even make a “dream lexicon” — a piece of paper with common dream items written on it, so you can read it every time you wake up.

Also, use the autosuggestion technique to improve your dream recall (see the full description of the autosuggestion technique in the next chapter).

Once you have a lot of dreams in your diary, you can start looking through it for dream signs. Some dream signs are commonly experienced by many people. These include things like flying, being chased, chasing something, or being in an old house. However, a number of signs will be unique to you. These unique signs may involve meeting with significant people (from your life), being at your job, or talking with passed away relatives.

Stay alert to any of your dream signs appearing within in real life. And when they happen, always perform a reality check to determine if you are dreaming.

I sometimes remember more dreams than the time I was asleep could allow. How is this possible?

You may have had several dream scenes within a single dream period or some memories could be from past nights.

It is also possible that dream time doesn't strictly correspond to real time. Days may pass in a dream during a single night's sleep. Dreams which seem to last for hours while you have them have sometimes been found to actually have a duration of only a few minutes. There have been accounts of people having lucid dreams lasting years: Robert Monroe reported having a lucid dream that lasted a hundred years. [2]

You might also be having a memory that was not an actual dream, but rather a waking memory mistakenly related with dream memories instead of being properly related with waking memories. Thus, these memories might not be dreams from the past, but rather ongoing subconscious experiences.

In what order should I write my dreams?

It is usually very hard to tell if the dreams you dreamt happened in the order you recalled them. Generally they are written in the order remembered, though others may prefer to write them in a completely random order. Find what works for you. If you dream that you told somebody about a previous dream that happened the same night, then that previous dream probably came before the other one (though the “previous dream” could have been a false memory). The important thing is to write the dream down. Later, if you can recall the order of the dreams, just go back into your diary and rearrange them.

Lightened Dream - a free journal designed for lucid dreamers.

Threads about dream recall at ld4all.com
Articles about dream recall at The Lucidity Institute: Importance of Keeping a Dream Journal July 2001 April 2002 Latest
Articles about dream recall at Dream Views: Dream Recall, Dream Recall tutorial by "wasup"
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Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

Induction Techniques[edit]

Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

This page describes a number of lucid dream induction techniques. It is recommended that you be able to recall at least one dream per night in order to maximize the effectiveness of these methods.

Preliminary Knowledge[edit]

Certain elements are common to many of the lucidity-inducing techniques discussed later in this chapter. To better understand these techniques, these common components will be discussed first.

Sleep Interruption[edit]

An element shared by many of the techniques is sleep interruption. Sleep interruption is the process of purposefully awakening during your normal sleep period and falling asleep a short time later (10–60 minutes). This can be easily done by using a relatively quiet alarm clock to bring you to consciousness without fully waking you. If you find yourself resetting the clock in your sleep, it can be placed on the other side of the room, forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off. Other biorhythm-based options involve drinking lots of fluid (particularly water or tea, a known diuretic) prior to sleep, forcing one to get up to urinate.

Sleep interruption is a natural part of the MILD technique (described below) which trains you to arise immediately after your dreams end.

Sleep Continuity[edit]

If you have trouble initially falling asleep, avoid drinking water for about an hour before going to bed. Otherwise, you may find yourself running to the bathroom, disrupting any attempts at lucidity. Also, try to avoid caffeine and sugar before bed. However, depending on your sensitivity, caffeine may only stimulate your mind as opposed to your body. This extra grip on consciousness could be helpful in inducing lucid dreams. Exercising during the day is an excellent way of preparing your body for sleep. However, be sure to not exercise inside the three hours before bedtime, as your body will be stimulated for a short time afterwards. The morning or afternoon is the best time for this.

If you still have difficulty getting to sleep, try reading about lucid dreaming just before going to sleep. Your subconscious will likely absorb this information, increasing your chances of experiencing a lucid dream. If you do decide to read before going to sleep, keep a lamp next to your bed as physically getting up to turn off the lights may reawaken your body.

Reality checks[edit]

A reality check is a test you can perform to see if you're dreaming or awake. It might seem odd to test reality when you are sure that you're awake, but making a habit out of one or more of these reality checks will hugely increase your chances of having a lucid dream. If, say, you hold your nose and try to breathe in through it several times throughout the day then you're very likely to dream about doing it. And when you dream about performing a reality check, then of course the results should come out differently, in this case you'll find that you are somehow breathing in through your closed nostrils. You'll know that you're dreaming, and be able to take lucid control!

So here are some reality checks. You should be familiar with the entire list even if you only use a few.

Reliability Speed Discreetness Overall False positives False negatives
Breathing Can you breathe with your fingers tightly sealing your nose and your mouth shut? 5 5 3 4.33 - Very Rare
Jumping When you jump, do you float back down? 5 5 1 3.67 - Rare
Reading Do sentences change when you read them? Read, turn away and repeat it to yourself, and then turn back and read it again. Do this twice. 5 4 4 4.33 - Rare
Vision Do you have perfect vision? This only works for people who have at least slightly blurry vision in the waking world. Alternatively, if you have perfect vision in the waking world, you may have blurred vision in the dream world. 4 5 5 4.67 - Common
Hands Do your hands have a strange color, too many fingers (sometimes they disappear and reappear when you try to count them!) or other abnormalities? Can you push your finger through your other hand? 4 5 5 4.67 - Occasional
Time Does your watch or clock tell a reasonable time? Are you even able to read the time off it? Sometimes clocks have the wrong number of hands or have strange symbols. Try reading the time twice, like the Reading check above. Note: Digital clocks often work better for this reality check. 4 5 4 4.33 - Occasional
Powers Are you able to fly (just visualize it), unlock doors, or use other magical powers? Try to change the shape of your body, or walk through a wall, window, or mirror. 4 5 3 4 - Common
Light switches Does a light switch work? 4 3 1 2.67 Occasional Occasional
Mirrors Do you look normal in a mirror? 3 3 3 3 - Occasional
Nose Can you see your nose with one eye closed? 2 5 5 4 - Rare
Memory Are you able to remember how you got here, why you are here and what happened an hour ago? 2 3 5 3.33 Rare Common
Identity Do you have the same gender, age, job, relationships and responsibilities as usual? 2 3 5 3.33 - Occasional

Choose a few reality checks which you will do regularly. Take them seriously, do not assume you are awake (even when you know you are). If you practice performing these checks very thoroughly while awake, then you're more likely to perform them thoroughly while dreaming. You should always carry out more than one reality check. If you find that it is not a dream, look around you and think of what would be different if it were a dream. If you do this it will make it more likely that you will do a reality check in a dream.

Apart from doing reality checks throughout the day, you also need to do a reality check immediately after you wake up. This helps you become lucid in false awakenings, when you dream that you have woken up but in fact are still dozing. Using a digital alarm clock or mobile phone display to do a Reading check, every single time you wake up, is a quick and reliable way to catch false awakenings.

If you have trouble bringing reality checks into your dreams then before going to bed imagine yourself in a dream, noticing odd details and doing a reality check. Then do a reality check in real life. If you do this a few times before bed you will find that you will do it more often in dreams.

If you are in a situation where you cannot do a reality check, such as at a public speaking, try to do one as soon as possible. You can do some reality checks very discreetly, such as looking at some text on a sign. If you start to say “well, I can't do a reality check now” you should not be surprised when you make this mistake in a dream!

Which reality checks are best?

When selecting reality checks, the most important properties of a reality check are reliability, speed, and discreetness.

  • The reliability of each reality check is how likely you are to recognize the dream-sign's results as showing that you are dreaming once you do them in a dream. It changes for each person but some reality checks are overall more accurate than others. The figures in the table above are rough only and differ for each person.
  • It is important for a reality check to be fast. It wastes dream time if you have to search around for a book or (perhaps worse) a mirror. Plus, it could also give your subconsciousness more time to produce real-life results, especially if you believe that the check will give real-life results.
  • Third, a reality check should be discreet; that is, it should not draw too much attention to you when you do it in the waking world. Suddenly jumping in the air or trying to walk through a wall as a reality check could cause much embarrassment!
  • Fourth, a reality check should not have "false positives". These occur when the reality check shows you are dreaming in real life. When you get a dream result, do another reality check to be sure!
  • A final important note is whether or not a reality check should have "false negatives". These occur when a reality check shows you are in real life when you are actually dreaming. If you think you may be dreaming, keep doing tests until you prove yourself right!

On the table above, these are scored out of 5.

I have trouble remembering to do reality checks throughout the day. What reminders can I use?

You are lucky to have an interesting day and forget about lucid dreaming! You can tag your mind to remember dreaming when you think of certain things, like your friend or your homework. It isn't advisable to explicitly write “reality check” or “lucid” on your hand, as this could create an over dependence on this reminder, which may not exist in a dream. However, you might want to just draw a dot or small circle on your hand. This should be enough to remind you to do a reality check.

Try putting a little label on your clock, mobile phone, or watch, reminding yourself to do a reality check. (Some weird colors will make it more noticeable and it will take longer for you to get used to it and ignore it.) If you check these regularly during the course of your waking day, you will be doing lots of reality checks.

A simple coffee mug with a reminder such as "Are you dreaming?" printed on it or random alarms can also serve well, but try not to become too dependent on them. You can find examples of these at Byte Red and LD4All.

Another technique is to write down three things you do regularly in a day. Examples include hearing your name, going through a doorway, turning on a TV, beginning to read a book, or seeing a stranger. In the morning, choose three such events and intend to do a reality check whenever they happen in the following day.

I did a reality check in a dream but it said that I was not dreaming. What went wrong?

Some reality checks work perfectly for some people and awfully for others. These are mostly the light switches one and the hands one. If you find that the light switch works or that your hands are perfectly normal, you need to change to a different technique.

I did a reality check in a dream but I did not quite realize I was dreaming. What went wrong?

An example of this is looking into a mirror and seeing some huge boils or a gray mist on your reflection and not realizing that you are dreaming. This is rare if you actually intended to look into the mirror as a reality check. You need to be more careful when doing your reality checks in real life or pick more reliable reality checks which show more obviously that you are dreaming. Also try to pick reality checks that are easy to do. For example, don't rely the Time Reality Check if you never wear a watch, and don't pick the Mirror Reality Check if you rarely look in the mirror during the day or you know that you won't find a mirror in your dream.

Another good remedy for this problem (and a good practice in general) is to perform two or three reality checks at a time. The Time Reality Check, for example, can be easily combined with attempting to push one hand through another. Or, for those with glasses, testing your ability to read text fits naturally with checking for "perfect eyesight w/o glasses".

Threads about reality checks on ld4all.com: The BIG Reality Check topic I II | RCs that prove you are awake while dreaming | New RC? | Today's Lucid Tip: Dream Characters Suck | The RC List! | Failed Reality Checks | Funny dream cue / RC experience | The Automatization Technique | Reality Check Failure | Need a better reality check for Christ's sake!!!!!! | WHY?!?!?! Failed Reality Check!
Threads about reality checks at The Lucidity Institute: Reality Testing September 2000 June 2001 August 2001 December 2001 Latest

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Techniques[edit]

When you read through these techniques, remember that different techniques work for different people. There is no “best technique” and most techniques could be used to have 2–5 lucid dreams every night! You could have several lucid dreams in a night, but you will not know it unless you remember them!

However, you will probably want some advice as to which technique you should try first. Consider whether you want to use a method which starts from a dream or a method which starts from being awake.* If you master a technique which starts from being awake, you will eventually be able to have lucid dreams on demand when you sleep. For other techniques, you have to rely on your luck to give you lucid dreams after you have done your technique. Here are some advantages and disadvantages for specific techniques:

(Remember, it is essential to be able to recall at least one dream per night before attempting these techniques)

Technique Summary Advantages Disadvantages Best for... Rating

WBTB
(Wake-Back-To-Bed)

Wake after some sleep and then return to bed.

  • Simple
  • Can be very reliable, especially when used with other techniques
  • Disrupts sleep cycle

People who want to strengthen other techniques, or who wake up in the middle of the night anyway.

Green

Auto-suggestion

Let yourself genuinely believe that you'll become lucid—without intending to become lucid—so that you really will.

  • Simple
  • Less effective than some other techniques (such as MILD)

People who are susceptible to hypnosis or practice meditation.

Green

MILD
(Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams)

Fall asleep while focused on your intention to remember that you are dreaming.

  • Simple
  • Can be boring

People with a good prospective memory (remembrance of future intentions).

Green

WILD
(Wake-Initiation of Lucid Dreams)

Keep your consciousness while falling asleep and go straight into a dream.

  • Lets you truly induce lucid dreams at will
  • Can cause frightening experiences
  • Can take long to master

People who want to reliably have lucid dreams.

Green

VILD
(Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams)

By repetitive visualisation, incubate a dream in which you do a reality check.

  • Also lets you induce lucid dreams at will
  • Works extremely well for some people...
  • ...but not very well for others
  • Visualizing can keep you awake

People who have good visualization skills.

Green/ yellow

CAT
(Cycle Adjustment Technique)

Adjust your sleep cycle to encourage awareness during the latter part of your sleep.

  • Requires relatively little effort other than adjusting your sleep cycle
  • Is very effective
  • Requires you to wake up early on some days
  • You are only likely to get a lucid dream on every other day (though this could easily be more frequently than with other techniques)

People who have a very regular sleep cycle.

Green/ yellow

* The usual acronyms in forums for this are DILD (Dream-Initiated Lucid Dream) and WILD (Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream). All the techniques that induce WILDs are described under WILD on this page.

WBTB[edit]

Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

WBTB stands for “Wake-Back-To-Bed”.

Wake yourself up after 4 to 6 hours of sleep, get out of bed and stay up for anywhere between a few minutes to an hour before going back to bed. It is preferable that you do something related to lucid dreaming during this time (such as reading about lucid dreaming), but it is not required. This is best combined with other techniques; many people have amazing results with a MILD/WBTB combination. The WBTB technique significantly increases your chances of a lucid dream, and using MILD (see below) in conjunction increases your success rate if you are planning to sleep an hour or more after your WBTB session. However, you might need plenty of sleep time and therefore you may only be able to use it on weekends.

If you are sleeping too deeply to become lucid, then you can modify this technique. Try returning to sleep somewhere different than where you usually sleep, e.g. on a couch, a different bed, or even on the floor. If you are unable to do this, try changing the way you sleep, e.g. try sleeping with a lighter blanket or reversing the orientation of your body while in the bed (that is, swapping head and feet). Do this in order to teach your body that these different surroundings mean you want to have a more conscious sleep rather than a deeper sleep. In the beginning, different surroundings will also make you more alert, which can heighten your level of consciousness during sleep.

I am sometimes awake for very short times, but cannot pull myself together enough to get up and out of bed. What can I do?

Put a bright piece of paper on the wall or ceiling so that you will see it when you wake up. Other stimuli could be a hot water bottle, a light turned on under your bed, or an alarm clock. A good technique is to place an alarm clock out of arm's reach so that you are compelled to physically get up from bed and turn it off. If this is still insufficient to restore consciousness, try making a note of your intentions to remain awake and place the note on your alarm clock. After you get a lucid dream with this method, you'll find it easier and easier to get out of bed because you'll have more motivation.

Threads about the WBTB technique at ld4all.com: The BIG WBTB topic

Auto-suggestion[edit]

Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

This technique describes how to use auto-suggestion to have lucid dreams. It can be especially effective for people who are highly susceptible to hypnosis or understand meditation, but for most people, MILD will probably be more effective.

As you are falling asleep, suggest to yourself that you will have a lucid dream either that night or in the near future. You can use a mantra (such as “I will recognize that I'm dreaming”) if you want, but make sure you don't try too hard to get a lucid dream. Instead of putting intentional effort into the suggestion, try to genuinely expect to have a lucid dream. Let yourself think expectantly about the lucid dream you are about to have, but be patient if you don't get one right away.

You may also use auto-suggestion to improve dream recall. Just use the technique as described above, but instead of suggesting that you'll have a lucid dream, suggest that you'll remember your dreams when you wake up. You could also use a mantra with this, such as “When I wake up, I will remember what I dreamt”. Just be careful not to put too much intentional effort into the mantra — try to genuinely expect to remember your dreams instead.

MILD[edit]

Rated green. This technique has been detailed in Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge.

MILD stands for “Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams", or sometimes, “Mnemonically Induced Lucid Dream". The MILD technique was developed by Stephen LaBerge, and is described fully in his book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.

With the MILD technique, as you are falling asleep, you concentrate on your intention to remember to recognize that you are dreaming. Repeat a short mantra in your head, such as “Next time I'm dreaming, I will remember I'm dreaming”. Think about what this means (i.e., that you want to remember that you are dreaming—in the same way you might go to a grocery store and suddenly remember that you need bread), and imagine that you are back in a dream you've had recently, but this time you recognize that you are dreaming. For example, if you recently dreamed of flying, imagine realizing that it is a dream because you are flying. Keep repeating and visualizing the mantra until you are sure that your intention is set in your mind or you fall asleep. If you stop repeating and visualizing the mantra, then still try to make sure the last thing in your mind before falling asleep is your intention to remember to recognize that you are dreaming.

In general, the MILD technique can be practiced when you first go to bed at night, or after you have awakened from a dream during the night. If you practice the MILD technique after you have awakened from a dream, you should first run through the dream to ensure that you remember it. Some people find it helpful to jot down a few notes about their dream in their dream journal.

Once you have committed the dream to memory, go back to sleep and follow the steps above. But this time, visualize the dream you just had. Move through the dream in your mind until you encounter a dream-sign you originally missed. Now, instead of missing the dream-sign, imagine yourself recognizing it and becoming “lucid”.

Repeat this until you have fallen asleep. You will re-enter the dream, and you will recognize the dream-sign and finally, become lucid.

Threads about the MILD technique at ld4all.com: The BIG MILD topic I II | MILD at Midnight? | MILD Mantras
archive.org threads about the MILD technique from www.dreamviews.com (offline): Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) | Getting more help with MILD from your subconscious

WILD[edit]

Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

WILD stands for “Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream”, or “Wake-Initiation of Lucid Dreams” to refer to any technique that involves falling asleep consciously. These techniques are similar to self-hypnosis. Some people believe that WILDs are not actual dreams, but are instead astral projection. Various detailed resources are available under that moniker.

For most people, they are far easier to induce in the early morning after waking up or in afternoon naps, as the sleep cycle will continue with a REM period. Once you are experienced with inducing WILDs, you can try to induce them at other times.

For WILDs to occur, it is best for your body to be completely relaxed. When you go back to bed, lie down comfortably. Now tense and relax your body, starting from your shoulders and working downwards, then back up to the face. This (or similar relaxation, meditation, or trance techniques) should make your body feel slightly heavy and relaxed.

There are many different ways to induce WILDs, but they all involve simultaneously attempting to keep the mind aware while attempting to have the body fall asleep. A few techniques are detailed below.

If you pay attention to your physical body while using these techniques, then you will likely enter sleep paralysis (which usually happens after you are already asleep) without losing conscious awareness of your body. You will get a tingling and buzzing sensation (this might be unpleasant). These sensations might be so strong that you feel that you will die (e.g., you might feel a choking sensation), but don't worry, this is perfectly safe! In fact, this process happens to you every time you sleep, you are just not conscious during it. Sometimes you can simply wait until you fall asleep straight into a lucid dream. However, if you do not fall asleep, and you become completely paralyzed (with the exception of your eyes), do not try to move. Imagine your dream hand (or spirit hand if you prefer) going up and leaving your physical hand behind. Now you should have two separate bodies, a dream one and a real one. Control your dream body only — if you control your real one, you will wake up. Now you can try to roll out of bed into your dream world (alternatively, you can get up and walk through a mirror, or sink into your bed). There is a possibility that after waking up from a dream that you initiated using this technique, you may still be paralyzed. If this phenomenon occurs, it may be accompanied by hallucinations. For example, you may wake up from a lucid dream that you started using one of the WILD techniques, and you will still be paralyzed. A dark and scary figure may approach your bed, and you are unable to move, shout, or scream. Folklores have often given a name to this phenomenon: American people call it Old Hag, Japanese people call it kanashibari, Korean people call it kawi nullida (being pressed by a pair of scissors), Turkish people call it karabasan and in old French it was called Cauquemare, which was later transformed into the term cauchemar.

Chakra Technique[edit]

Rated green/yellow. There have been anecdotes from a few people of this working on the DreamViews forums.

Using Chakra ("third eye") meditation is one way to achieve WILDs. Basically, one has to focus solely on his third eye and breathing to achieve a lucid dream. This is a technique over 5000 years old, taught to Parvati by Shiva.[1] He is quoted as saying:

With intangible breath in center of forehead, as this reaches heart at the moment of sleep, have direction over dreams and over death itself.[1]

Eyelid Patterns[edit]

Rated yellow. There have been some anecdotes from at least one person of this technique working, although there is no scientific research proving it.

This has been found to be very effective in many cases. However, it may lead to strange after effects, such as up to 15 dreams in one night, but otherwise, nothing harmful. This technique is as follows: When you go to sleep, ensure the room is completely dark. Then, with eyes closed, try to focus on the little dots that should appear to be moving on your eyelids. You will find that you can change their color at will. Continue focusing on these dots; make them dance around and form patterns and change colors, and eventually you should enter a Lucid Dream. This may take a little practice, but is usually very effective for summoning Lucid Dreams at will. Works better in conjunction with WBTB and other techniques mentioned above, but is still extraordinarily effective on its own.

Hypnagogic Imagery[edit]

Rated green. This technique has been successful with a large amount of people, in scientific research, and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

Stimulate your thinking patterns by constantly switching your attention. After doing this long enough, the images and sounds should begin to take a momentum on their own (this is called hypnagogic imagery), and may they get very strange and illogical. You should enter a dream at this point and quickly become lucid. Otherwise, you will eventually realize you have entered sleep paralysis consciously (see above). Because hypnagogic sleep paralysis involves full consciousness, dreaming can sometimes be frighteningly real. There is often a feeling of being flipped upside down, spun, or being tugged upon by an outside force. Hypnagogic hallucinations may also include strange auditory hallucinations, dark beings and flying. It is possible to observe waking reality while in a hypnagogic state, but this is limited to the sensations of your physical body. Most hypnagogic sleep paralysis states occur when sleeping face up. There is evidence that the tendency toward experiencing Hypnagogic sleep paralysis may be hereditary.

Counting[edit]

Rated green. This technique has been successful with a large amount of people, in scientific research, and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

Another technique is to count up to 100 in your head, optionally adding (for example) an “I'm dreaming” between each number. Alternatively, you can imagine stepping down stairs and reading each floor number, from 100 to 0. Try to make this image as vivid as possible — include not only what you see, but also what you hear, feel (touch the banister), and smell. At some point this image should continue into a dream or you will begin to get sleep paralysis as described above. It is easy to lose count, especially with counting up to 100 with an 'I'm dreaming' with each number. But stay focused: you are not going to sleep; your body is, and you must concentrate fully.

Sound Technique[edit]

Rated yellow. There have been some anecdotes from at least one person of this technique working, although there is no scientific research proving it. [Important advice regarding this, may be unsafe, just do one of the other methods instead. See discussion page under Facts to know about Tinnitus]

This method is for people, who can hear the "tinnitus". The idea is pretty much the same as the other WILD methods, which is to remain conscious while entering the dream state. In order to use this method, you must sleep in a perfectly quiet place. You need to hear the inner buzzing sound inside your ears. Lay your body down and relax as much as possible while trying to hear the sound. If you are too tired, you will fall asleep too fast and it will be difficult to remain conscious - it this case you should combine it with WBTB. By time you realize that the buzzing sound will increase in intensity. This might frighten newcomers, but be assured - nothing bad is going to happen. No, you will not be deaf when you wake up, it’s perfectly safe! *It is just an effect caused by your brain is trying to change mode, from listening to the ambient sound, to listening to the sound of dreamland, which is not real sound but just electrical charge inputed to the part of the brain to create a sensation of hearing. By that time, you will enter the hypnagogic state. All you need to do is concentrate, do not be afraid or think of anything, just be still, and in time your dream body will float, separating from your physical body, and there you go, you arrive in the dreamworld.

Note: These sounds can be heard when you concentrate, even throughout the day - when you pay attention to them, but they shouldn't be heard much aloud if you are not in silence and concentrating on it - *as author said. The formula to hear it is quite simple: come into complete silence close your eyes and listen: is there only absolute silence or is there - something else? some...? do not create some sound just concentrate - :-) The best thing on this tech is - you can do it when you want.

Facts to know about Tinnitus[edit]

Tinnitus is a condition termed for a hissing and whistling sound that one hears in his/her ears. It's a medical term for ringing in the ears. Several reasons lead to this irritating condition and the most common cause is the damage to the nerves located inside the ear. However, there are some other factors as well such as earwax buildup, exposure to loud noises, ear infections and certain medications. Remember, the first step in finding a natural care is to determine the actual cause of tinnitus. Some Facts about Tinnitus.

The foremost thing to remember is that ringing in the ears is a symptom and not a disease. It's normal to a certain extent, however, the condition could be an indicator of a more serious condition. It's often related with hearing loss that is caused by aging. It can be a major nuisance when the ringing becomes very loud. The condition cannot be cured permanently but certainly can be eased.

Some Causes of Tinnitus

As mentioned above, ringing in the ear has some related causes and the most common out of them are damage of the cochlea due to aging (known as presbycusis), infection of the ear, exposure to loud noises and eardrum rupture. Amazingly, it has also been observed that excess ear wax buildup can also lead to this condition. Also, then there's the overuse of aspirin. Though, it's a very efficient pain reliever, its ototoxic properties (resulting into the damage to the ear) can result in tinnitus and worsen the condition in those that already have this ailment.

Tinnitus can also be developed by the usage of antibiotics, particularly amino glycoside antibiotics (a powerful form of infection fighting drug) and quinine. Also, many studies have proven the relationship between tinnitus and stress. When the brain is under stress, it has a tendency to read ordinary as well as daily sounds as fearful. After this, the tinnitus develops or becomes worse. Thus, it's very important and critical to manage stress. And if that's not enough, there are other causes for tinnitus that are not that common but are quite serious: Some of them are:

  • A jaw misalignment disorder known as Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome
  • Meniere's disorder which is a disorder with recurring episodes of vertigo
  • Head and neck injuries (resulting in tinnitus in one ear)
  • A benign tumor known as acoustic neuroma which develops on the cranial nerve that runs from the brain to the inner ear

Treating Tinnitus

Putting in some hours with a therapist can really be beneficial and in several situations it's necessary to mental success even after the condition is alleviated. It's not easy to deal with anxiety and depression and knowing how to ignore the problem appropriately rather than indulging in it can be the best solution. It's also suggested to see a psychiatrist or psychologist who are experts with the patient suffering from the condition. This can be one of the cures for tinnitus relief and getting control over your mind can build up tolerance towards this condition which can also benefit you in dealing with other problems as well.

Masking the noise in your head can also provide you with a solution when you're trying to sleep or get rid of heavy waves of noise being produced. As tinnitus can appear loud in a silent room, leaving it on radio static can let you proper sleep. Remember, alleviating your tinnitus is only the cure for ringing in the ear as the condition can only be minimized and not completely cured.

Slight Physical Discomfort[edit]

Rated yellow. There have been some anecdotes from at least one person of this technique working, although there is no scientific research proving it.

For the purpose of helping to retain your conscious awareness, slight physical discomfort is useful while performing any WILD technique. This prevents you from just drifting off to sleep. If you are lying down on your bed to do WILD and you are totally comfortable then your chances of going to sleep instead of remaining conscious are very high. The WILD technique relies on a form of deep trance induction, and many people who induce trances for other reasons rely on slight physical discomfort — for example the lotus position, or sitting in a hard-backed chair. Depending on your own preferences and your requirements of discomfort for success, you could choose from the following methods, arranged in ascending order of discomfort:

  1. Stacking pillows so that you can sit up in bed — the discomfort is caused by not being in a normal sleeping position.
  2. Lying down on a hard floor.
  3. Lifting your forearm vertically upwards, with the rest of your arm resting on the bed.
  4. Sitting in a hard chair.

Threads about the WILD technique at ld4all.com: The BIG WILD topic I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII XIV| Strange colored dots?!? ULTIMATE WILD method | Threads about the WILD technique at dreamviews.com: Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream (WILD) | Five Stages of WILD | WILD induction. help, only 3 hours til sleep time | Lotus-Flame WILD technique

Incubating Dreams[edit]

Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about dreaming.

To incubate a dream about a specific topic, you should first think of a phrase that summarizes that topic (e.g., “I want to go to Atlantis.”). It may help to write the phrase down. If there is something you want to do in the dream, think of a phrase to summarize that too (e.g., “I want to watch Atlantis sink into the ocean.”). If you want to become lucid in the dream, then you should probably write something like “When I dream of [the topic], I will remember that I'm dreaming.” beneath your topic phrase. Immediately go to sleep and focus on your topic phrase. Visualize yourself dreaming about the topic and (if you want to become lucid) realizing that you are dreaming. If there is something specific you want to do in the dream, visualize yourself doing it once you become lucid (not very likely to work if you don't become lucid in the dream). Think about your phrase and topic (and intention to become lucid) as you fall asleep. Make sure that the last thing in your mind before falling asleep is your intention to (lucidly) dream about the topic you want to dream about. You might want to wake yourself up when the dream starts to fade so that you remember more of the dream; you can do this by ignoring your perception of the dream environment — the opposite of dream stabilization techniques (just make sure you do a reality check when you wake up to make sure you are really awake).

Chaining Dreams[edit]

Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about dreaming.

Dream-chaining or “chaining dreams” is a method to re-enter your dream after you've woken up. It can work for lucid and non-lucid dreams, but you will probably want to enter your dream lucidly.

Once you wake up from a dream (if you don't think you were dreaming before you woke up, it may not work well) you should stay still and keep your eyes closed. Small movements are okay, but the less movement, sensory stimulation, and less time awake, the better. Ideally, it should feel less like you've woken up, and more like you've taken a 30 second break from dreaming. Once you are prepared to go back to sleep, close your eyes and either visualize yourself back in your dream, or use the “spinning technique” given in the next chapter to imagine yourself spinning back “into” your dream. Spinning is a little faster than visualization. Be sure to maintain the fact that you are dreaming (unless you don't want to be lucid), or you may lose your lucidity while falling asleep. Once in the dream, stimulate your senses as early as possible (see the next chapter).

VILD[edit]

Rated green/yellow. There have been anecdotes from several people of this working on the ld4all.com forums.

VILD stands for “Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams”, or sometimes, “Visually Incubated Lucid Dream”. This technique has been perfected by Peter Harrison, known as Pedro on the forums at ld4all.com. You may wish to read the main thread about the technique. The version described here has been adapted slightly.

First, make sure you are relaxed. You can use the relaxing technique mentioned in the description of the WILD technique. You can also imagine your brain emptying out and becoming sleepier. If you have a hard time falling asleep quickly, it should help to read a book (preferably about lucid dreaming) for a while before you go to sleep, until you feel very sleepy.

Now, you need to visualize a dream which you had prepared earlier. Here is an example of a prepared dream:

I am in a red room with one door. A friend next to me asks me to show them what a reality check is. I do my reality checks (which show that I am dreaming), tell them that I am dreaming, and head towards the door.

Make sure you know exactly what the dream would be like, such as which friend, the exact words they say, and which reality checks you do. Reality checks that require no props, such as books or clocks, are recommended. Visualize this dream slowly three times, to make sure that you know every detail. Then, start going full-on and visualize the dream over and over. You should visualize the dream as though you are looking through your own eyes, not from a third-person perspective. If you find your thoughts drifting, ignore them and continue to visualize the dream continuously. You will need patience for this — don't just give up if you think it won't work.

When you actually dream this, you will not notice the difference — until you do your reality checks! Continue with the dream as you incubated it (e.g., remember to thank your friend!) before continuing through the door.

I tried to visualize the dream until I fell asleep, but I just stayed awake. What went wrong?

If visualizing keeps you awake, the VILD technique is not the technique for you! You should use a different technique.

Threads about VILD at ld4all.com: I can LD at will!!!! I II III | VILD...Visually Incubated Lucid Dream
Topics about VILD at The Lucidity Institute: The VILD Technique
There is an appendix on VILD.

LILD[edit]

Rated yellow. There have been some anecdotes from at least one person of this technique working, although there is no scientific research proving it.

LILD stands for “Lucid Induction of Lucid Dreams”, or sometimes, “Lucidly Induced Lucid Dream”.

To use this technique, you need to have a lucid dream in the first place, but it can help you to get more later. The idea is to do something in your dream that will help you to become lucid the next time you are dreaming. For example, you could ask a dream character for help — ask them to meet you the next night and tell you that you are dreaming. If it works out the way it should, then the next time you are dreaming, the dream character will walk up to you and tell you that you are dreaming, and so you'll (hopefully) become lucid. There are many variations on this technique; you could set up signs in your dreamworld that remind you to do a reality check or eat lucid pills instead! This technique is not likely to be very effective, but it can work; it relies on the chance that you'll subconsciously induce the reminder (i.e., the dream character or sign or whatever you used) during some later dream, and become lucid because of it.

Note that LILD is best used in conjunction with dream-signs and auto-suggested non-lucid dreams. The basic idea as explained above is to have something in your dream that triggers the transition from normal dream state to lucid dreaming. To simply tell a character to tell you that you are dreaming the next time you fall asleep is usually not enough. There is no guarantee that you will dream about that character and there is no guarantee that your subconscious will believe the character enough to make you snap into lucidity (make you realize that you are in fact dreaming).

Now as this technique suggests, you must have some previous alternate means of having a lucid dream. Whatever technique you employ to get into this initial lucid dream state is not really important, but you should try to remember to use this technique (LILD) once you do get into a lucid dream state. Thinking of this before falling asleep (MILD) sometimes helps and usually takes many lucid dreams before finally remembering. Once you are in a lucid dream, make up a dream-sign. It can be anything. It can be an object. It can be food or a drink (that doesn't taste like anything). It is usually best to pick something that isn't quite right. Something that on the surface would appear normal in the real world, but that upon closer inspection is not quite right. Food or drinks are good as they can have no taste or not be refreshing in a dream. But try and pick something that you dream about a lot so that there is a better chance of you dreaming about this dream-sign later on. Now pick something else that only appears or happens in your lucid dream. It can be anything. If there is nothing in your current lucid dream, create something really strange. Something that could never be confused with the real world. Now mentally associate the dream-sign (food) with this unusual item or event that could never happen in the real world. But at the same time, this unusual item or event should equate to "lucid dreaming". When you see the unusual item, it should only make you think of when you have a lucid dream as this should be the only time you encountered it. So we have a 3 item associative link. Do all of the above while in a lucid dream.

The next time you dream about your dream-sign, your subconscious will think of the unusual item or event. The unusual item or event will make you think of lucid dreaming. The two combined impossibilities (1. dream-sign that cannot exist in the real world 2. item or event that only appears in lucid dreams) will make your unconscious try to make a decision on all this. This will make your conscious mind come to the surface and hopefully you will come to the conclusion that you are dreaming. Many times, you will not want to deal with it because you are too tired (that is why you are sleeping, no?) and fall back into a normal dream state. This is why it can take a few tries. Eventually, your subconscious will start putting clear signs in your dreams like billboards that spell out "YOU ARE DREAMING". But once it triggers, it is quite the realization that an instant before, you had no real control over your actions and now you can do whatever you want. Another note... if it failed, you will usually know why. So next time, you can choose another dream-sign or slightly different technique or something more shocking. Once you get this working once, it is relatively easy to use over and over as the hard part just described is over with. Sometimes disassociative techniques are needed if used too much.

To sum up, this technique is a way to force a reality check while in a normal dream state where your subconscious has no choice but to come to the conclusion that you are in fact dreaming. Once your mind knows that you are dreaming, there will be no other conclusion than your conscious mind taking over. And this is what lucid dreaming is all about.

CAT[edit]

Rated green/yellow. There have been anecdotes from many different people of this technique working.
  1. For one week, go to bed at the same time each night and get up 90 minutes earlier than you usually do. Spend those 90 minutes doing reality checks every 2–5 minutes.
  2. Thereafter, on alternate days: follow the routine from step one, and set the intention to do your reality check routine at its regular time, while getting a full night sleep. This will cause the reality check conditioning to kick in during REM prime-time.

For detailed information on the Cycle Adjustment Technique, see the appendix on CAT.

Topics about CAT at The Lucidity Institute: **CAT method** New Lucid dream induction technique
There is an appendix on CAT.

Tibetan methods[edit]

Tibetan Buddhists practice what is known as Tibetan dream yoga. Probably the most time consuming way of inducing lucid dreams, it is also, according to the practitioners, the most rewarding. The basic practice is awareness. Awareness should be practiced while sleeping just as well as while being awake. Meditating on the question “who is aware?” might catapult you into a higher degree of awareness according to Buddhist beliefs. Keeping this level of awareness is another matter. The Tibetans have developed many yogic exercises and disciplines to be practiced. Maybe the most interesting difference between Tibetan dream yoga and modern western methods of lucid dream induction is the Tibetan claim of the possibility to be aware during deep sleep, not only in the REM periods of sleep. For the reader who is interested in these methods a good start is to begin to regard all experience as a dream. After all, from the countless multitude of matter and radiation reaching our senses the nervous system tunes in only to a small fraction of this chaos. For members of the phalanx that believes we, more or less, create our own reality in the above sense this practice should feel natural. In general though, it is recommended to gain instruction from a teacher in the flesh rather than from books (like this one!).

The Tibetan Methods are not "time consuming" if the goal is to go into deeper than Lucid states. From a Raja Yoga stand point, from a Daoist standpoint, and from a Tibetan Yoga standpoint the goal is not to "play" in Lucid Dreams, but to dispel the delusional nature of what we call "reality." Also, to heal and to develop super-learning. Now "super-learning" is a relative term, it depends on your culture, modernity (in terms of entrepreneurialism - in 3rd world, 2nd world, 1st world sense; "are you developing a better rickshaw or are you developing an engine that runs off of water, what is relevant?"), and on the "energy" you find most attractive: innovative, creative, joyous, blissful, love, power, wisdom, mirth. Are you Ambitious-Worldly or Ambitious-Spiritual? All these factors play into it.

These techniques are very easy to learn and are rooted in a deeper science than the WILD, VILD, LILD -- one that does not use auto-suggestion or forced recall. In conclusion, the Tibetan methods are advanced yogic techniques that only an accomplished practitioner can fully teach. If one does not have access to a Tibetan dream yogi, one should probably concentrate on techniques that are more mundane from a Western point of view.

Other techniques[edit]

Rated red. There have been no anecdotes found of these techniques working.

Many of these are combinations of other techniques with some addition or modification.

  • Inducing dream-signs - You can become lucid by trying to induce specific dream-signs to watch for during your dream. You can use auto-suggestion (see above) to associate a specific dream-sign with doing a reality check, or you can just get used to doing a reality check whenever you encounter the dream-sign while awake. Some dream-signs you can use:
    • Thirst - Avoid drinking for very long. Wake up later in the night and put salt on your tongue or eat chili to make you even thirstier. Fill a glass of fresh cold water and take it with you back to bed. Hopefully, you'll dream of getting something to drink. Don't use this technique if you have trouble falling asleep while thirsty.
    • False Awakening - Set your intention as you fall asleep to wake up in the middle of the night. If you are a heavy sleeper, you'll hopefully dream of waking up in the middle of the night. If you are a light sleeper, you are probably more likely to really wake up.
    • Bladder - Drink large amounts of water before going to sleep. You should dream of having to go to the bathroom. You may wet your bed! This technique should be used carefully, to avoid the possibility of water intoxication.
  • Conditioning - Strictly punish or reward yourself after a dream where you failed to realize you were dreaming or when you do have a lucid dream. This could increase motivation but not necessarily cause lucid dreams in itself. Cognitive psychology, however, states that this punishment/reward system is very counterproductive, because it ties our self-esteem to the outcome of the endeavor. The opposite of this system would be to see each attempt, including those that fail, as another step towards success.
  • Muscle Exhaustion - Lift slight weights with one's arms and legs for about fifteen minutes before one begins to fall asleep. One should not, however, lift anything that strains the muscles too much, for that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and excites the body. The method should cause a release of tension in the muscles and tire them out. This combined with relaxation techniques and any of the -ILD's should produce a positive result.
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Other methods[edit]

Food and drink[edit]

There are various foods and drinks that you can consume which seem to have some effect on sleeping and dreaming. Note that for most of these there is no explanation or scientific study of how they work, and some may simply be placebos.

Don't go overboard with the consumption of any of these, as overdosing could have nasty effects (well, milk should be safe unless you are allergic). Don't experiment without accumulating enough knowledge first. The authors in no way encourage the use of legal or illegal drugs.

  • The amino acid tryptophan, which can be found in warm milk amongst other sources, is a precursor for the hormone serotonin, and has been proven to help you fall asleep.
  • Vitamin B6 and others of the B group are important for neuronal functions.
  • Melatonin is a hormone with neuronal effects. It is produced by the pineal gland in darkness and is suppressed by blue light. Wearing blue-blocking sunglasses or avoiding bright light in general the hours before bedtime maximizes night-time melatonin secretion.
  • 5-HTP or L-5-HTP is a supplement that is related to serotonin, which some claim has induced lucid dreaming on approximately half the nights it is taken.
  • Caffeine is useful in WILD techniques, as it helps the mind stay focused and think vividly. Please notice that caffeine is an addictive substance and may have negative effects on your health.
  • An Amino Acid Blend made up of 2000mg L-aspartic acid, 4000mg L-glutamine, and 300mg L-theanine can substantially increase your odds of having a Lucid Dream.
  • Galantamine - acetylcholinesterase inhibitors extract from plants such as Lycoris radiata (Red Spider Lily) or from chemical synthesis. Works best when taken together with choline and/or alpha-GPC.

Some people who practice Lucid dream (LD) or Out of body experience (OBE) use Galantamine to increase their odds to achieve LD or OBE. By taking small amount of Galantamine (around 4 to 8 mg) after 5 to 6 hours of deep sleep and practice the induction technique such as meditation, MILD or WILD many people report more success with Galantamine.

There also report that taking Galantamine without proper induction technique will not lead to LD or OBE but will result in only a vivid dream instead. It should also be noted that due to a long half life Galantamine will stay in the body for a period of up to and over 48 hours, as such it is advisable to space out the use of Galantamine over a period of three days so that the body does not build a resistance to the drug ruining its effectiveness.

Some people report mixing Galantamine with other Nootropic can enhance the degree of lucidity but this is still controversial since some mixtures may work for some people, but lead to failure for others.

Plants:

For an in-depth guide to using supplements for lucid dreaming, see the book Advanced Lucid Dreaming - The Power of Supplements.

Drugs[edit]

Dissociatives and hallucinogens can be used to create a (more or less) lucid dream-like state, though whether or not these help with lucid dreaming is debatable. The authors do not recommend use of these substances for induction of lucid dreams, nor do they urge the breaking of any applicable laws.

Some dissociatives and hallucinogens are:

For more info, see Erowid Vaults

Gadgets[edit]

There are various gadgets you can use to become lucid easily. They generally detect when you are in the REM state and then provide a light and/or sound signal. This signal is supposed to be adjusted so that it doesn't wake you up but does enter your dream. The signal is then recognized as showing that you are dreaming, and you become lucid.

The most well-known device is the NovaDreamer from the Lucidity Institute. However, this product is no longer produced. Be sure to check for recommendations for devices from lucid dreaming forums.

A similar device is the DreamMaker. The DreamMaker works very similarly to the NovaDreamer but without the Dream Alarm feature, which worked to wake the dreamer in the middle of the REM state. This device comes with a mask, a circuit board with adjustable controls, the batteries needed to operate it, a short owner's manual, a lucid dreaming workbook, and the Stephen LaBerge book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. The circuit board is supplied completely ready to use, but you have to insert the batteries and put the circuit board into the mask yourself.

An alternative is the Kvasar. The Kvasar costs about $20 in raw materials, but needs to be constructed by somebody skilled in electronics as it is not sold commercially. It can also be hard to operate.

Another do-it-yourself alternative to commercial dreaming masks is Nate True's Lucid Dream Mask, which does not bother with difficult-to-calibrate sensors and just uses a timer for flashing lights, and has (ostensibly) competitive results with all of the former gadgets.

The owners of Wellness Tools, who makes the DreamMaker, and Kvasar have not had friendly relations; see DreamViews.com.

Software[edit]

There are many programs for your computer that can assist with lucid dreaming. These can give out verbal cues while you sleep, or assist in doing your reality checks:

  • iLucid Dream for the iPhone. Dream journal, reality checks, induction techniques, binaural beats for deep sleep and much more!
  • Lightened Dream is available for Windows as freeware. It can be used as a dream journal and a dream-sign list. One of its more notable features is that you can have it play a voice or song each time you enter a REM sleep period.
  • DreamDoze A web application for Social Dream interpretation and dreams journal management
  • Gnaural is a multi-platform programmable binaural-beat generator. Gnaural is released as free software under the GNU General Public License. (For a browser based demo, see Gnaural Java))
  • Brainwave Generator is available for Windows. It works by playing binaural beats into your ears, changing your brainstate.
  • Reality Check is available for Windows. It works by appearing on your computer screen at random times to remind you to do a reality check.
  • SBaGen is available for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux. It works by playing binaural beats into your ears, changing your brainstate.
  • Neuro-Programmer is available for Windows. This is powerful software that creates binaural beats and can work in conjunction with special goggles to induce certain mental states.
  • LucidWeaver is available for mobile phones and PDA that support Java (J2ME). It includes a Dream alarm with sound cue which can be adjusted to a personal REM-sleep cycle for improving dream recall and lucidity training. Randomized reality tests can be set and it can be used as regular alarm clock.
  • Lucille 2.0 is an application to assist with doing reality checks.
  • You Are Dreaming
  • Daldom a cross platform audio lucid dream induction software.
  • Lucid Dreaming Assistant DOS software (no home page)
  • Unexplainable Store Lucid Dreaming Brainwave Entrainment MP3
  • Sleep Check Reminder for Android.
  • iLucid for iOS (iPod, iPhone, iPad).
  • Sleep As Android is an Android sleep tracking app. It has a feature where it can play a sound file (by default, a soft voice that says "You're dreaming..." and echoes out) when it detects that the user is in a deep sleep.

There is also a list of programs available at LD4all.com, under the “How” section.

Hypnosis[edit]

The techniques commonly referred to as hypnosis is based in a set of hypnotic suggestions are commonly composed of a series of instructions and ideas that may be delivered by a hypnotist in the presence of the subject, or they may be self-administered ("self-suggestion" or "autosuggestion"), even in a conscious state.

Hypnosis is not a science. In fact, it has in almost every aspect eluded scientific analysis, as it is extremely hard to generalize (each individual responds differently and at different levels) and the methodology is so diverse and based on yet to be completely understood mental/biological phenomena, most related with faith or the placebo effect. For the phenomena to work, whom in aggregate we define as hypnosis, the mind has to be able to turn the suggestions into reality. All hypnosis is ultimately self hypnosis. If you, for instance, take into consideration the problems that faith beliefs have caused to the human race, or even the problems in the field of psychology, you can appreciate the problem of scientifically studying hypnotic phenomena, as they are extremely open to individual interpretation and to one's ability to be open to suggestibility (self-induced or otherwise).

The Wikibook's work on Hypnosis will covers the subject in greater detail. It will also offer support material, or reference it, such as methods to induce, or reinforce specific mental states (or states of mind) and any attitudes and beliefs that impact the phenomena. Including information on techniques or procedures for hypnotic induction and hypnotic suggestion.

Forums[edit]

References[edit]

  1. a b 112 Meditations from Shiva to Parvati. Internet Archive. Accessed on 2009-09-18.
  2. 5000 year old WILD technique. Very easy, and very effective. DreamViews forums. Accessed 2009-09-18.
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Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

Using[edit]

Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

Dream stabilization[edit]

Once you are able to dream lucidly, you may find that it is difficult to stay in the dream; for example, you may wake instantly or the dream may start “fading” which is characterized by loss or degradation of any of the senses, especially vision. Alternatively, a new lucid dreamer could easily forget that they are in a dream, as a result of the shock of the sensation.

Don't worry if you wake immediately after becoming lucid. As you gain more experience of becoming lucid, it will come as less of a shock and you’ll be less likely to wake up. Make sure you do a reality check to be sure you’re not still dreaming. As you gain more experience, you will have an easier time identifying when and remembering that you are dreaming.

You can avoid more gradual fadings by stimulating your senses. This means listening for sounds, feeling around with your hands, and paying attention to what you see and smell. The idea here is to load your senses with stimulation from the dream so that your senses cannot shift to the real world. If you close your eyes, you are removing a great deal of sensory information and might wake up. Staring at a single point can cause effectively the same problem if you stop seeing everything else in your peripheral vision, or don't see enough movement. If you hear something loud in real life and are hearing nothing in the dream, your senses may shift to the real world, causing you to wake up.

Ideally you should be able to use the techniques below to stabilize your dream before it starts to fade (or “black out”). As always, prevention is better than treatment - and the more stable and vivid your dreams are, the more enjoyable they will be. However, if that doesn't work you may be able to use stabilization techniques to stop the fading; the spinning technique is probably the most effective in this case.

If you still can’t stabilize your dream, you may decide to try and wake up with the aim of remembering your dream as accurately as possible while its still fresh in your mind.

Hand Touching[edit]

Rub your hands together and concentrate on the rubbing. You should feel the friction and the heat of your hands. If you can concentrate on the feelings that this action generates, your dream is likely to stabilize and become more vivid and detailed. You can also keep one hand on your arm while exploring the dream for a constant sense of stimulation. This technique is most effective when used in conjunction with the “Slowing it down” technique, by staring at your hands while rubbing them together.

Spinning[edit]

You spin around in your dream much as you would if you suddenly want to feel dizzy in real life. The sensation of movement is the key here to stabilizing the dream. Many people report success with this technique, but it also tends to cause a complete change of your dream scene (see Changing the dream environment below). If the dream scene disappears completely (e.g., becomes black), it is necessary to visualize the dreamscape to return to the dream.

Slowing it down[edit]

Some people like to stabilize the dream by “stopping to smell the roses” and slowly staring at a dream object until it becomes clear. The dreamer would then look around elsewhere, noticing how detailed everything is, thereby stimulating the visual portion of the dream. However, others find this can cause their lucid dream to end. If you focus on one object for too long to the exclusion of everything else, you will likely wake up or lose the dream. It works best to pay attention to everything in your vision, including your peripheral vision, not just the center of the object you're staring at. If staring at a single object doesn't work for you, try to let your eyes wander around instead.

Touching your dream[edit]

If you feel that your dream is too abstract and fear that it might be fading, you can prevent this by grabbing hold of a solid object in your dream and focus on how real the sensation is. A good tip is to find something you know is stuck, for instance a table nailed to the ground, and pull it with all your muscular power (no supernatural powers!), and you should feel how solid it is. The idea is that you convince yourself that the dream is solid and real — through tactile stimulation — and nothing abstract.

Regaining waking memory or skills[edit]

This is also likely to enhance your degree of lucidity. Try to remember facts from your waking life, such as your phone number, address, etc., or do some simple math. Or, start reciting the lyrics to your favorite song. Or perhaps try some sports practice you know well — this all depends on which senses / methods of thought process you tend to rely on most in your waking life.

False awakening[edit]

A couple of the users on the ld4all.com forums have had success with creating a false awakening to stabilize a dream. If the above techniques are failing and you find your dream still fading, and you really want to continue your lucid dream, do the following:

  1. Expect to have a false awakening.
  2. When you think you wake up, perform a reality check.

You will either have a false awakening, reality check, and then end up with an even more vivid lucid dream, or will really wake up, perform a reality check, and realize that you just woke up (bad luck!).

The most important part of this is the reality check. This is what will continue your lucid dream. You should be performing reality checks when you wake up. If you plan to induce false awakenings in order to stabilize a dream, the reality check that you perform as you wake up is as important as the one that got you lucid, if not more.

Perform every check in the book until you are positively, absolutely, and completely sure that you aren’t dreaming. A series of 10 reality checks is more likely to produce dream results in a dream, especially if you are expecting dream results. This technique is for those who are desperate!

If you have had a good experience with this technique, please go to the talk page and post your experiences, as there have not been many anecdotes of it working yet.

If you didn’t do any of these, your best option is probably to try to wake up. That way, you will remember more of the dream.

The general rule of dream-stabilization is to stimulate the senses. If you listen for sounds, feel around with your hands, and pay attention to what you see and smell, you will stimulate your senses. The idea here is to load your senses with stimulation from the dream so that your senses cannot shift to the real world. If you close your eyes, you are removing a great deal of sensory information and might wake up. Staring at a single point can cause effectively the same problem if you stop seeing everything else in your peripheral vision, or don't see enough movement. If you hear something loud in real life and are hearing nothing in the dream, your senses may shift to the real world, causing you to wake up.

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Recovering from lost visuals[edit]

There are a few things you can try to do if you lose your vision. Most of these are less likely to help prolong your dream than the above techniques.

You can also try these if you have just woken up and are lying in your bed. You may be able to return to your dream.

Autosuggestion[edit]

You can repeat over and over a phrase similar to “I can see my dream,” or otherwise enforce in your mind that you can see a dreamscape. (See Autosuggestion)

Visualising[edit]

You can visualise the scene as it would be if you could see it. You could take this as an opportunity to change the dreamscape by visualising a different environment from the previous one in the dream. This can be made easier by spinning as you visualize. (See Changing the dream environment below)

Altering the dream[edit]

Changing the dream environment[edit]

You can change the dreamscape by simply visualizing a different environment. Stephen LaBerge, author of Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, suggests closing your eyes, spinning around, and visualizing a new location. Alan Worsley, a famous lucid dreamer, describes another technique of summoning a television and remote to switched dreamscapes. By simply “changing the channel” on the remote, imagine your surroundings switching to your desired location, as though you were switching through various television programs.

In both of these methods, details are key. The more details you provide for your next dreamscape, the easier it will be to get there. For example, if you wanted go to the Superbowl in your dreams, you might simply state:

“I want to be at the Superbowl.”

But this statement could be improved by adding details:

"I want be in the endzone seats, drinking a Coke, and wearing my favorite player's jersey at the Super Bowl."

Summoning objects into your dream[edit]

At some point in your lucid dreaming experience, you'll probably want to handle various objects, or talk with certain people. Both of these needs can be fulfilled by using your mind, and the power of suggestion. There is no set way to "make" things in the dream world; in fact, many lucid dreamers devise their own methods through experimentation. However, here are some of the more common "summoning" techniques:

  • Try reaching for objects that are not within your field of vision. For example, think to yourself: “When I reach into my pocket, there will be a green box of mints.” Then, attempt to actually take a green box of mints out of your pocket. Other variations of this include reaching behind you for an object, or reaching through a mirror in hopes of getting a hold of what you want.
  • To summon a person, you might say to yourself: “When I turn around, [person's name] will be standing in front of me,” or “When I walk through this mirror, I will see [person's name],” or “In a few moments, [person's name] will walk through that door (or around that corner).”
  • More experienced lucid dreamers can try making the object materialize right before their eyes. This will require a fair amount of concentration. Here is an example of this process:
“I am lucid dreaming in my backyard, and it's currently night. Now, I don't like the dark in my lucid dreams because I'm more likely to wake up, and I fear there are monsters lurking around every corner. So, I want to make the sun appear so that it'll be daytime. Focusing on the horizon, I visualize the sun rising above it.
At first nothing happens, but I continue focusing and...yes! There's some light filtering over the horizon! And now the sun is rising to the sky and it settles there; so far, so good. But wait...the sky is still black. Peering at bit closer at the sun, I can just make out a faint ring of blue sky encircling it. Lifting my hand towards it I shout, "Blue!". The blue ring quickly spreads across the sky, creating the full daytime effect.”
  • Some dreamers may have success by closing their eyes and imagining the desired object in front of them once when they open their eyes .
  • Try using mechanical devices within the dream, such as a nearby lightswitch or button, to summon objects or people. (i.e. "When I flip this switch/press this button, X will appear.")

Remember, in the dream world, your expectations shape your surroundings. If you think a big, scary monster is going to step out of the shadows and attack you...well, a big, scary monster probably is going to step out of the shadows and attack you. So, don't be a victim; take control of your thoughts and use them to your advantage.

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What you can do[edit]

This final section should see you off with a few ideas of what to do in a dream.

It is advised to have a clear purpose for your lucid dreams whenever you go to sleep. In other words, every night you consider what you want to do when you have a lucid dream, and select one thing, or perhaps two or three if you are skilled. Avoid this:

"What am I gonna do what am I gonna do? I wanna fly, walk through walls, eat until my stomach explodes, spy on my neighbours, drive in a car real fast, woooeeey I'm gonna . . ."

You will either end up doing none of these things in your dream or getting overexcited and waking up.

Now that that’s clear, here’s a list of possible things you could do, ordered in difficulty. Remember that you might find some things unusually hard (or easy) compared to most lucid dreamers, this is perfectly normal! This is a very rough guide — if you’ve managed something in the Easy section, don't be scared to try for something from the Medium section.

Easy[edit]

  • Fly
    Most people enjoy flying around in dreams. There are different styles of flight that people use, each with a varied level of success for each individual. Methods such as “swimming through the air”, “Superman style” (one arm outstretched), “Neo style” (both arms at your side), and “Airplane style” (both arms out) ,"eagle style" (gliding through the air currents, using your fingered wings to navigate altitudes) are often used. There are a few methods of getting up into the air, such as simply jumping (you can jump really high in dreams if you believe it) or imagining a great force pushing you from your feet or walking up on air as though it is a staircase. Some people summon jetpacks and slip them on to fly. Be creative and dream up your own methods.
  • Explore your dream world
    Be warned, you are quite likely to forget you are dreaming when exploring! Doing reality checks often and muttering to yourself about how real everything seems can help to avoid this. You can also ask a dream character to tag along with you and remind you when you forget that you’re dreaming.
  • Walk through a mirror or wall
    You can pass through dream objects such as walls, glass, trees, and everything else. Confidence is really the key here. Some variations on going through stuff can be going in slowly, wiggling your finger in first, or running quickly into the object and telling yourself you would go through it. Some people particularly like to go through mirrors because of the unpredictable effects this action produces. However, if you tell yourself you will end up at a certain location before passing through a mirror, you can change the dream scene quickly. Be warned, some people experience nothing and wake up after passing through. You may want to hold your arm to keep yourself in the dream.
  • Look at the sky
    People often report amazing skies in lucid dreams. You can also shout colors at it and paint some sunrises.
  • Show off to your friends (“Hey guys; I can go through this wall!”)
  • Do plenty of sports (trampolining, skiing, swimming, dancing, etc.)
  • Use various power such as Telekinesis and magic (a shortcut if you are having problems would be to summon a magic wand/staff or other device)
  • Try to read a book that you have never read and remember the content
  • Try to browse the Internet and visit sites that you've never visited
  • Use things that you have never used
  • Last but not least: Edit Wikipedia/Wikibooks articles (see question 90 of the Wikipediholic Test) and see if the changes remain when you awake!

Medium[edit]

  • Eat until you’re near bursting!
  • Teleport
  • Create some dream characters (possibly from a book or film)
  • Try to find your spirit guide
  • Experiments (in fact, researchers will often want people of various skills)
  • Body swapping/possession (where you enter a different body)
  • Morph
  • Take some drugs (this is more realistic if you’ve done so in real life)
    Many people have also experienced realistic effects when trying drugs in dreams that they have never taken in real life.
  • Drive a vehicle (This is especially fun if you haven't ever driven in real life)
  • Fight
    Nobody can tell you what you should and should not do in your dreams; the choice remains up to you.
    • Use weapons
      It is usually more interesting to use melee weapons (knives, swords, brass knuckles) than projectile weapons. Machine guns and pistols often run out of ammo and summoning it can be difficult. Misfires and jamming is also common. (Your subconscious expectations will shape your dreamscape in all manner of ways, If you believe it is hard to accomplish, if you believe it will jam or misfire, it will. I have had no issues with weaponry such as firearms in my dreams what-so-ever, take this "advice" lightly.) However this can be overcome by using Directed Energy Weapons (Lasers, Plasma/pulse rifles), or weapons that can't jam (bows, simple firearms like muskets and so on).
    • "Beat up" your enemies

Hard[edit]

  • Have sex
    The excitement, or closing your eyes, can cause you to wake up. An additional reason for waking up may be fixing your eyes on your partner, as holding a gaze for long is also known to cause waking up. Also your dream partner has a strange way of transforming in the midst of ecstasy. Finding a sex partner isn't very hard, it's keeping them that is difficult. That is why it is best to not panic when they are transforming and accept them for what your subconscious brings you.
  • More morphing like 360 degree vision, sonar vision, etc.
  • Create false memories, etc. False memories can be made by having a lucid dream, but scripting it so you will think it is real, e.g. you think what happened in your dream happened in real life. This is hard because you will have to forget it is a dream while staying lucid (knowing it is a dream).
  • Compose music or poems (or request them from your subconscious)
  • Build a fantasy dream world! (some people build a dream world naturally)
  • Have precognition (your subconscious can be very good at predicting the future with relationships and career)
  • Experience death. This could be a very harsh experience, and depending on your religious or philosophical beliefs may summon you into a different world or nothingness.
  • Ask the dream to show you your worst fears/deepest traumas/etc. (be prepared for some bad stuff to surface)
  • Build/use impossible objects, such as hypercubes, Klein bottles, etc.
  • Rewind time
top

Conclusion[edit]

With all the techniques in this book, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do next. Don't worry — just choose a few techniques to “map your way to lucidity”, decide on a few things you will want to do from this page, and start!

If you are still unsure of what to do, don’t worry — you might happen to have a lucid dream tonight!

If you are beginning to feel a compulsive thirst for more information about dreams, head over to the Further Reading section for the sites to satisfy your cravings. Remember to come back occasionally and help make the wikibook grow!

top
Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

Glossary[edit]

Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading
CAT 
See Cycle Adjustment Technique.
Cycle Adjustment Technique
Adjusting your sleep cycles to increase the likelihood of having a lucid dream.
DC 
See Dream character.
DILD 
See Dream-Initiated Lucid Dream.
Dream character
Any character inside your dream. Some people believe they are real people or spirit guides, others that they're just products of the dreaming mind.
Dream-Initiated Lucid Dream
A lucid dream that begins during a "normal", non-lucid dream.
Dream recall
The ability to remember details of one's dreams.
Dream Result
Result from a reality check that indicates that one is dreaming. Ex: Breathing through your nose while pinching your nostrils.
Dreamscape
The landscape and scenery of one's dreams.
Hypnagogic imagery
The images, sounds, etc. that you perceive as you fall asleep. Not to be confused with phosphenes.
EILD 
See Erotically induced lucid dream
Erotically induced lucid dream
A lucid dream with sexual activity. They may trigger a real orgasm, a phenomena know as nocturnal emission or wet dream.
HI 
See Hypnagogic imagery.
LD 
See Lucid dream.
LILD 
See Lucid Induction of Lucid Dreams.
Lucid dream
A dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming.
Lucid Induction of Lucid Dreams
The technique in which you do something in a lucid dream that theoretically will remind you that you're dreaming in your next dream.
MILD 
See Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams.
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams
The technique in which you mentally repeat to yourself, as you fall asleep, your future intention to realize that you're dreaming.
Named Subconscious Technique
(See "Getting more help with MILD from your subconscious", in the forum links box in the MILD section.) This technique is a useful aid to the MILD and autosuggestion techniques where the dreamer actively engages his or her subconscious for dream results.
NST 
See Named Subconscious Technique.
Oneironaut
A skilled lucid dreamer.
Phosphenes
Patches of colour (usually red or blue) that you can constantly see while your eyes are closed.
Rapid Eye Movement
The stage of the sleep cycle that your most vivid dreams occur in.
RC 
See Reality check.
Reality check
A simple and quick method of determining if one is dreaming. Ex: Breathing with your nose shut, faulty light switches, etc.
Real-life result
A reality check result which indicates one is may not be dreaming. Ex: Being unable to will oneself to fly.
REM 
See Rapid Eye Movement.
Sleep paralysis (SP)
The body's natural phenomenon of paralyzing the limbs of the body while asleep. This may be experienced consciously, either by accident or during the WILD technique.
VILD 
See Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams.
Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams
The technique in which you incubate a dream that reminds you to do a reality check and become lucid.
Vivid dream (VD)
A dream with a notably higher level of detail.
Wake-Back-To-Bed
The technique in which you wake up for a bit after a few hours of sleep and go back to sleep again. Usually used in combination with other techniques.
Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream
A lucid dream triggered by consciously falling asleep.
WBTB 
See Wake-Back-To-Bed.
WILD 
See Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream.

Appendices[edit]

Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading
Appendices
Lucid Dreaming FAQ | Pedro's VILD documentation | The CAT method

These documents are currently kept here but at some point all the useful information in them will be in the rest of the Lucid Dreaming wikibook!

Further Reading[edit]

Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

On the web[edit]

In print[edit]

The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda ISBN 006092554X 
Like the skins of an onion, there are other worlds existing within our own and, through training and study, we can alter our consciousness and visit these amazing places. The greatest student of traveling through those spiritual universes is anthropologist Carlos Castaneda. Via the teachings of the great sorcerer don Juan, he has taken millions of readers on amazing journeys of the soul with such books as The Teachings of Don Juan, A Separate Reality, and Journey to Ixtlan. After six years of study and meditation, Carlos has now written what may be his most significant book of all, The Art of Dreaming - a book that fully explores how those on a spiritual quest can use "the fourth gate" of dreams as a two-way hatch to other worlds. With The Art of Dreaming, you will learn, as Carlos did, how finding the way to alternate realities through the consciousness of dreams is the essence of the great sorcerers; how ancient, remarkable, and sometimes dangerous beings now live among us; and how don Juan's training allows two or more people to dream and explore together. You will witness an adventure of the psyche unlike any other you've ever experienced, and you will participate fully in Castaneda's latest discoveries and explorations - discoveries and explorations that are as eye-opening and thrilling as anything he's ever written about before. Most of all, however, you will be utterly captivated by the story of this man's remarkable life and journeys of the soul; journeys that could only come from the teachings of don Juan, and the writings of Carlos Castaneda.
The Conscious Exploration of Dreaming: Discovering How We Create and Control Our Dreams by Janice E. Brooks and Jay A. Vogelsong ISBN 1585005398 
This book is the summary of the experiences of some experienced lucid dreamers. It's not written from the same viewpoint as many of the more mystical books on the subject, which is both interesting, as they report on their experiences in detail without trying to influence you, and discouraging, in that they do not believe it is equally easy or possible for everyone to dream lucidly.
"Creative Dreaming" by Patricia L. Garfield, Ph.D., ISBN 0-345-33144-3 
Includes chapters on Senoi Dreamers, Yogi Dreamers, as well as Lucid Dreamers.
Dreaming Reality by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell ISBN 1-89-939836-8 
A rewritten, simplified version of The Origin of Dreams incorporating further recent supporting studies and simplified for a wider audience.
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge ISBN 0-34-537410-X 
One of the best known books about lucid dreaming. Includes techniques for lucid dream induction. Not really a "scientific study", more of a how-to/self-help book with some theory about lucid dreaming. For scientific publications by LaBerge, see for example Sleep and Cognition.
Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life by Stephen LaBerge ISBN 1-59-179150-2 
Dr. Stephen LaBerge draws on recently developed techniques that teach you to be aware of what you are dreaming, and ultimately control and manipulate the outcome of your dreams, in order to: overcome long-term, deep-seated fears, anxieties, and phobias; harness the healing power of your unconscious, awaken creativity, and more.
Lucid Dreams in 30 Days: The Creative Sleep Program by Keith Harary and Pamela Weintraub ISBN 0-31-219988-0 
Harary and Weintraub explore the mysteries of our sleeping selves and show readers how to not only understand but also control their dreams in this fascinating creative sleep program.
The Origin of Dreams by Joseph Griffin ISBN 1-89-939830-9 
A recent theory about why we dream and what dreams mean. Includes in-depth information about the biology of dreams. Only briefly mentions lucid dreaming.
"Dream yoga and the Practice of Natural Light" By Chogyal Namkhai Norbu editor Michael Katz ISBN 1-55939-161-8
An extremely influential presentation of Tibetan Buddhist techniques for developing awareness within the dream state and their relationship to the experience of death and dying. Available in more than 20 languages.
The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche ISBN 1559391014 
A presentation of meditation practices which promote conscious dream and sleep experiences that can lead to liberation.

FAQ[edit]

Lucid Dreaming
Introduction | Dream Recall | Induction Techniques | Using | Glossary | Appendices | Further Reading

This page is created solely for people to edit in any questions they may have regarding lucid dreaming. The authors (or others) can then post their answers (not necessarily definite—remember that we aren't author-ities *grin*). If you have a question, edit it in here and someone will try to answer it for you. And if you have an answer, by all means do contribute!

(Note: Although it's not necessary to sign your questions, always sign your answer!)

(Another note: Please preserve the alphabetical order of the FAQ.)

When using the counting technique for induction, I always stop counting at some point and crash. The other techniques have their own little issues I can't work out (being a programmer, this really puts my nads in a salad shooter). Are there any computer programs I can run on a laptop that will somehow remind me that I am dreaming?[edit]

--Vampirism44 (talk) 22:59, 10 May 2009 (UTC) Yes, there are computer programs you can use. Just look at the software section in induction techniques. As for the counting technique, when you "crash", simply start counting from 1 again.

Lucitity has become chance for me, and even then it only occurs once every two weeks. Is there anything I can try to make it a 80% possibility per night?[edit]

As lucid dreams are rare for me, this little bug really sucks. I gain lucidity, and when I try to give my dream a basic command (Like turning my hands blue, or making my sister explode), I wake up as the command takes effect. Even when I focus on something (my hands or the explosion), I wake. How do I combat this?[edit]

When doing some things (that wont work in real life) I sometimes start to slip out of it. What I do is just stop for a second (as the dream has become simply me with my eyes closed, imagining things) and just relax. Dont do any fast movements and soon you'll slip back into your little fantasy of blue hands and exploding siblings

Why do people want to move during sleep paralysis? I have had it about 3 times and have never tried to move.[edit]

Because for many of the people who experiance this it is entirely accidental and so it is not a comfortable feeling at all. I have had sleep paralysis on roughly 4 occasions, all of them when I was younger except for one time around six months ago and none of them occured on purpose.

I use the MILD, WILD, and counting induction processes at the same time. I experience sleep paralysis as "I'm breathing in, but I cant breathe out", and when ym lungs are full, it's REALLY uncomfortable. Also, if I stay this way for 20 secs, my entire room seems to twist, and I see a strange "screensaver" type thing. When I finally breathe out, everything clears, and I become lightheaded. Is there a chance that this is normal?[edit]

Probably. A lot of weird things happen during sleep paralysis (frequently including discomfort), and I've never heard of anyone actually getting hurt or dying because of sleep paralysis. Just relax.

Is it possible to use the WILD process with a little background noise? (Small pets moving in their cage, 20Db)[edit]

Some actually prefer to have some background noise. They concentrate on the noise, after some time, it becomes distorted.

I keep losing lucidity after I try to do something after "pausing" a lucid dream. How do I combat this? (Eg, pausing, then slapping the person in front of me, and I can't seem to lift my hand)[edit]

--Vampirism44 (talk) 00:29, 6 May 2009 (UTC) If you can't move your hand after slapping somebody, this is not losing lucidity. Rather, you probably regained the sense of your physical body and tried to move it rather than your dream body. To combat this, try focusing on the dream as much as possible and then try to move your hand. If this doesn't work, than try to genuinely believe that you will be able to move your hand in your dream, relying on the Placebo effect.


For how long do u have to experience the buzzing sensation in WILD before you become paralyzed?[edit]

anon: For me the paralysis goes pretty much hand in hand. After like a minute of buzzing I start to feel like I'm falling through my bed. If i try waking up after the "falling through my bed" has started, I almost every time end up having sleep paralysis. This freaked me out a lot of times in the beginning. Now, whenever i get the buzz, I just try to wait for it and let myself float away till my dream starts. Of course this could also be a placebo for me.

A few of my normal dreams have had some good imagery, but none have had real vividness (e.g. proper sound, the brush of air etc.). I have not had a lucid dream, to the best of my ability, but am trying. Is it likely that a lucid dream would be more realistic in terms of my perceptions than a normal dream?[edit]

Xgamer4: Not just likely. That's almost always the case. I'm not sure why that is though. One way to actually stay lucid is to, in-fact, focus on something in the dream. A wall, flower, plant, anything, and it helps keep you lucid.

Exabyte: I think that we don't remember normal dreams in much detail because we often don't pay much attention to those details (brush of air, fans running, etc.) in waking life, so our brains don't think to create them. When we are lucid, however, we often want to see how realistic dreams can be, so we look for details that we don't normally pay attention to. Thinking of these details causes our brains to create them. That's just my speculation, though.

Also, take into account that, altough we perceive the world through the 5 senses, generally only one of them is the main neural path into the brain, so the other senses get, like, dimmed as our brain dedicates more resources to that main sense. What this means is that you can remember more of a dream's visuals but only some of the hearings, or more of the hearings but none of the touch; as a matter of fact, as far as I have known, few people remember the tastes of their dreams.

Ksd5: We don't remember normal dreams in much detail, because when we are sleeping, our memory receptors are not as active.

Could someone please describe the sensation of sleep parilysis during WILD? Because I keep getting close to falling asleep while counting but I jerk myself awake because I suddenly think 'I'm gonna choke' or 'I won't be able to breathe!', And I want to be fully prepared for it.[edit]

vodkeiro: I once had a sleep parilysis. I'm not sure if I was trying to have a Lucid Dream. What happened to me was that, I was having a nightmare, so I started to think loudly (inside the nightmare) "I wanna leave this place, NOW!". Suddenly, I woke up, I was in my room, and as it happens when someone has a nightmare, i tried to sit on my bed. There was the problem, I couldn't move, I "moved", but on the next second, I was again at the beggining, like when in a game, where you die and go back to the beggining as if nothing had happened. I tried to yell, scream, shout, everything, but nothing happened. After a few tries, I could move, but I was still a little scared. So, I don't think you'll think "I'm gonna choke", as you'll get really scared by not being able to move, so you're probably not thinking anything else.

Azmisov: Whenever I go into sleep paralysis my eyes start to flutter very rapidly and I see bright flashes of light. I have never had a painful deathly experience, although it can sometimes be a little uncomfortable. Usually, (I guess it depends on the person) it will last less that 30 seconds. This also depends on how fast you can transition into a lucid dream or astral travel.

When going into your dreams using WILD you may feel things like vibrations, falling and yes, choking.these are perfectly normal and more importantly safe. just stay calm and the feelings will eventually stop.


Alessandro (chemicalpoem@yahoo.it)

I have had lot of sleep paralysis, and I was very scared about it: goonna choke, gonna die, cannot move, arhg! But, after reading 'bout LD I got very interested in this phenomena and I started to wait fot getting it again. Just this night (I was very tired, it was 5o clock) it happened again. I just remained really quiet, enjoing this sensation: if you get sure that nothing is gonna harm you, 't's like a fantastic total body orgasm!Then I've had THREE consecutive LD, two false awakening and a long, long and very clear dream. So, just keep quiet and IMAGINE!

(sry if tis answer is not regular: I'm not english and I'm still euforic about the night!)

--118.92.27.198 (talk) 12:34, 18 December 2007 (UTC) I have experienced sleep paralysis a few times, the first time was after a lucid dream, I saw myself in a white bed with me(in reality I was sleeping on the couch) from side view, and didn't feel like moving untill after I woke up; I was 3/4 asleep so I didn't panic. the second time was after a non-lucid dream that ended in me pressing a red button, I heard strange highly pleasant music, felt emotions of euphoria and tranquility, and saw a scary, conspicuously sharp toothed monster leaning over me. The other times I don't remember. Everything I've read about sleep paralysis has said something different, so I guess it varies from person to person.

For the last 3 years I have been getting what I thought was sleep paralysis, but since learning about lucid dreaming, I think my experiences are a form or at least a gateway to lucid dreaming. Is there a link between the two? (in short, i know that I am dreaming but often the dream is of me lying in my bed in my room, or a place similar to my room, so it can be confusing. It is unpleasant, as I feel a strong desire to wake up from the dream state but can't. I usually try screaming, or moving vigorously- i can't move properly or just roll off my bed(in the dream))[edit]

Tharenthel: What's most important is to not doubt (even slightly) that you can move, and you'll be able to move. In a dream, whatever you believe you can do, you can do (though it can be hard to convince yourself of that sometimes). If you have trouble completely convincing yourself that you can move, you could try treating the dream sleep paralysis like real sleep paralysis. Use the WILD technique (while paralyzed in the dream) to separate your paralyzed dream body and a second "spirit" dream body (read the paragraph about sleep paralysis in the WILD section).

How good should your dream recall be before you attempt lucid dream induction techniques?[edit]

Xgamer: You should be remembering at least 1 dream every night though more is better. The main thing though is to just try when you are comfortable. Due to placebo you might get a lucid dream with less than that if you believe.

evilshiznat: Trying out the induction techniques is probably good while getting better at recall. It'll help you get used to it more, and once you get to one dream per night, you'll be all set.

KC: Developing your dream recall above zero is obviously necessary, but you better set your own pace. You could start trying the induction techs out right away, just don't be disappointed if you don't get immediate results.

I have difficulty telling the difference between dreams and reality - not during the dream itself, but when I remember things. Can I exploit this to induce lucid dreams?[edit]

Xgamer4: While I can't say I know much about it, having difficulty telling differences between dreams and real life in a memory happens to me also. It tends to be a common occurrence I think. It's even mentioned somewhere else here. On actually using it to induce a lucid dream, you could try incubating a dream. Other than that, I really don't know. Try stuff though and see if it works. If it does, tell us. If not, well, you tried.

Is that possible to have a dream about having a lucid dream? I had a dream in which I had done a reality test and it showed that it was a dream. I walked through the wall, but I was too scared to jump from the window. In my nearly-lucid dreams I never think what I am doing, even when it is something strange. I just do. When I wake up, I often remember my dreams as if I were someone else watching myself in dream. Is that normal?[edit]

--118.92.27.198 (talk) 12:42, 18 December 2007 (UTC) One question at a time mate. You cannot have a dream about having a lucid dream, that would be a lucid dream. I advise you to jump out of the window next time, doing something you are scared to do in a dream often has amusing results. It is normal to remember dreams as if you are someone else watching yourself, it's such a common feature in a dream that someone should come up with a name for such a dream.

I suggest you ignore the above comment, it is certainly possible to have a lucid dream about having a lucid dream. I can attest to this from experience. This will feel like a normal dream, which is what you seem to be describing. You may be aware that concentrating on a subject heavily will often influence your dreams - if you have been studying for a difficult test, you might have a dream about passing or failing it. If you have been recently been enjoying the company of a new girlfriend or boyfriend, they may appear in your dreams too. Likewise, if you have been looking into lucid dreaming and consciously focusing on it, you may have a dream that you are lucid dreaming. Don't read into it too much. --124.169.35.179 (talk)

My dreams are often very realistic, e.g. I feel the wind blowing. But when I'm dreaming, I act like in a real life! I can't recognise my dreams that they are dreams. I've found out about lucid dreams about a month ago. I'm trying to have one, but I never had. What can I do to recognise my dreams as a dreams and have at last lucid dream? (Sorry for my English, I'm still learning! ;))[edit]

Tharenthel: Other than trying some of the induction techniques, your best bet is probably to get in the habit of doing reality checks at certain times throughout the day. For example, you might do a reality check every time you wake up, use an elevator, or drive a car. It's best to choose events that happen frequently in your dreams, obviously. Keeping a dream journal will help your subconscious get used to any differences between your dreams and waking life (there probably are some subtle differences, even if you don't notice them), and improve your dream recall—you might have already had a lucid dream but just never remembered it! (I've had lucid dreams and not remembered them until hours after I woke up before, so it's definitely possible.) Also, if you have any books on lucid dreaming, reading one just before you go to sleep can help a lot since you'll be thinking about it as you fall asleep.

Sometimes I've had dreams where I think I know I'm dreaming, but I still have limited control. I can never fly or anything, even though I actually try. Is there anything I can avoid just 'dreaming' that I know I'm dreaming?[edit]

You must suspend all disbelief when attempting to do out of the ordinary things in a dream. Jumping off a building or a staircase is a good way to force yourself to fly. With time, you can just jump and fly wherever you want. Personally, during my first lucid experience, I couldn't move my body at all, but I got the hang of it eventually.

This almost seems religious, the idea of becoming your own god in your dream. What effect does Lucid Dreaming have on your spiritual life?[edit]

Xgamer4: I honestly can't say. Being Mormon, it doesn't seem to affect me very much. Mormons believe we were put on this earth to experience everything we possibly can in a life time and to return to living with the creators and helpers. To me, LDing, heck, just dreaming in general, is a way to experience many more things we couldn't experience in real life. I mean seriously, in real life, when are you going to get to fly around the world freely, or get chased by some scary thing then confront it, and it tells you why it's chasing you, or be chased by a lion in the middle of a jungle, or talk to people about anything while not worrying about being embarassed or ashamed of what you did, or etc.?

KC: Lucid dreaming in itself will not have an effect on your spiritual life, unless you want to use it for such a purpose (soul-searching and such). However, fear is one of the biggest obstacles in your way to lucid dreaming, and so are negative expectations. You are the person who controls your spiritual life, but if you need counseling, seek it from a proper representative of your own religion. My personal advice would be to drop any extra religious/spiritual baggage before you try lucid dreaming, but it's your choice.

[Gene] Lucid Dreaming is an essential indicator of higher awareness in many spiritual systems. See Ken Wilber, Buddhism, Ramana Maharshi. The ability to remain self-identified in dreaming sleep and (non-dreaming) deep sleep indicates awareness of higher bodies, the subtle self and the causal Self, respectively. This is normally achieved only after many years of meditation (which itself can be said to be a practice of release from object-relations). Dreaming sleep is a subtle body (mental) experience and deep sleep is a causal body (spiritual) experience. Most people associate their waking state awareness as "consciousness", but this is a consciousness that is formed in a context of object-relations, which objects help to identify "me" and "not me". When there are no perceived (external) objects, such as in deep sleep, can you identify your Self? It is a milestone of human development when infants achieve object constancy (maintain awareness of where an object is even if it is no longer in view), and is is also a milestone of development, though rarely achieved, to maintain self awareness even in the midst of no perceptions, ie. deep sleep. (e.g. even in a sensory deprivation chamber, one can perceive or feel their body). Ramana Maharshi (probably acknowledged as a true spiritual adept across more religions and spiritual disciplines than anybody) said "if it's not real in deep dreamless sleep then it's not real" meaning only that the highest causal Self (god) is real, and that the rest of typical human experience is transitory.

[b77] Expanding on Gene's comment above, I fully agree that restoring your self-awareness and retrieving your own identity during the LD is another milestone for humans' mental development. While I am deeply not convinced about any spiritual claims (religions and alike) and while I always try to find a 'scientific' reason for their existence, I believe that there is truly more to this universe than the science can account for or can 'reasonably' accept as plausible. So, if indeed death is not just The End, then the mere practice of restating/redefining yourself while in the middle of a LD would pave the way to controlling your death experiences, when the time comes. ...that is, if you're lucky enough to have time to prepare yourself... In other words, just as we have so much difficulty escaping those 'serious' nightmares -- simply because we're not aware of their virtuality -- I believe that whatever godly or ungodly experiences one may have on their final minutes are eventually conditioned by one's expectations and beliefs (see placebo question below). So, I would say that practicing LD and also keeping an eye on your own ideas and expectations about the other world could actually ensure a nice last trip out of here. And well, I would be happy to know that someone who is afraid of hell, of devils and alike, could eventually become aware that, whenever and wherever you may be, the one thing that cannot be destroyed in any way is your being (and staying) aware of yourself, as well as finding a single untouchable spot of self in the middle of whatever 'happens' around you. As someone who had to learn at some point to ignore an awful durable physical pain just to avoid losing mind, I eventually realized that a mental barrier between the self and the rest (including body), as hard to make and maintain as it is, may be the only apparent solution in such extreme cases. So yes, do play with LD, play it safe, don't ask too much too fast, and you'll surely be more than happy about your new invisible power :)

What are the benefits of lucid dreaming (aside from achieving personal interests)? Are there any negative aspects?[edit]

Question asked by Ivlarx 09:40, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

R3m0t: On the forum I frequent, LD4all, there is a large bias towards people who "just wanna have fun" (eheh) in their dreams. Popular targets include sex, flying, and shapeshifting.

There are stories in Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming of people who found their dreams realistic enough to rehearse speeches, or create baking recipes. There were also stories that simply becoming lucid was an extremely fun experience in itself.

A small amount of people have overcome the fears from their nightmares in their lucid dreams. The chapter about it in EWLD (the book) is available as a free sample here.

Finally, there are people who use lucid dreams as a springboard to reach shared dreams (or "dreamwalking"), precognitive dreams, out-of-body experiences, and astral projection. I'm not sure myself why they want those (I imagine out-of-body experiences are fun because you can see your own body) but apparently some people do. I don't believe in shared and precognitive dreams myself and I also don't believe that out-of-body experiences and astral projection really are due to something (spirit, soul?) moving away from your body.

As for negative, I think that the section in Lucid Dreaming/Introduction covers that very well. The only thing it omits is obsession. ;) r3m0t (cont) (talk) 07:34, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

One negative thing is it's harder to be an early riser. You want to sleep more. CannibalSmith (talk) 16:13, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

What is the placebo effect?[edit]

The placebo effect occurs when something happens just because you believe it will. It strongly affects the nature of lucid dreams.

I suffered nightmares for many years (a result of abuse as a child), although they declined in my thirties. In my forties I began to become aware when a dream was beginning to turn into a nightmare, now 3 things can result from that lucidity: 1. My most satisfactory result is when I can I alter/divert the next stage of the dream, and it continues without nightmare; 2. I have difficulty diverting the dream sequence but tell myself I must wake up, and do; 3. I cannot just wake up, but I know I need to ask for help. I make myself speak/moan, which takes a lot of effort within the dream, but it always wakes my husband, who then wakes me up.

When I try to use the WILD technique, I feel a stron urge or tiredness to stop concentrating and go to sleep. Is this normal? It happens early when I first start.[edit]

--118.92.27.198 (talk) 12:54, 18 December 2007 (UTC)This has happened to me when I tried holding my arm up to keep myself awake. Is that what you are doing? Maybe you are staying too awake, In that case you should relax and let your "awareness" drop, try to find out how aware you need to be before your awareness drops so far you fall asleep, and aim just above that level.

Which site would you recommend to go to to discuss lucid dreams and such?[edit]

KC: Take a look at the newsgroup alt.dreams.lucid too. If you're not familiar with the Usenet, you can reach it via Google Groups.

r3m0t: I'm a frequent poster on LD4all. Unfortunately, LD4all has a few problems - the site is sometimes slow, the forum categories are less than perfect and there are plenty of repeated questions and postings (this is partly why the wikibook exists).

Xgamer4: I'd recommend LD4all. It has many forums to discuss with many other LD'ers. In fact, this wikibook is mainly the product of the board-goers at LD4all.

it's possible to dream inside another dream?, I remember long time ago a lucid dream where I was in my home, then I tried go to bed to try sleep but when I tried to do that the dream ended spontaneously...[edit]

It is possible to dream that you are dreaming, or to even dream that you have a lucid dream. The difference between dreaming you are lucid and actually being lucid is the fact that when not actually lucid, you have no control over the dream. However, I am unsure if it is possible to have a dream in which you go to sleep and continue a different dream. Dylnuge

Something like this happened to me. It felt like a normal dream, but i knew that i was dreaming. I had superpowers and this, but i couldn't control my dream.

I had somehing odd happen to me. Many years ago I awakened as usual one morning. Everything looked and sounded as it should. My wife was still sleeping. When I looked at her again, she started shapeshifting, an obvious absurdity in reality. I was speechless and shocked. Suddenly I realized I was dreaming and greatly relieved. I woke up, got out of bed, went to the bathroom and something made me realize I was dreaming yet again. This was in a way more shocking than the first false awakening because it was all so real and I wondered how far could this regress. At that point I awoke and found myself still in bed. This time I was not dreaming. A false awakening has never happened since.

i wanted to experience the OBE thing... how am i supposed to do that???[edit]

Azmisov: Many of the techniques shown here can be implemented into an OBE/astral travel experience. OBEs usually involve experiencing vibrational forces going through your body. (you should check out the Monroe Institute for more info on this) Another method is to just imagine yourself slipping out of your body. I really don't know if this technique is true OBE, it may just be another lucid dream. There are a lot of other methods I don't know about, so you can do some research to find more techniques.

My occurrence for lucid dreaming varies from week to week, is this normal? For some weeks I can lucid dream everday for a week straight, then all of a sudden I can't for a month. Lately i have been able to lucid dream twice a night, sometimes three. Any clue what may cause this? Also when I do lucid dream alot more, I act normal in a dream. I know I am dreaming, I can fly around, i can spawn things around me, but I still talk to people as if It was a real conversation.[edit]

<Daydreamer> Whether or not you were lucidly dreaming depends on whether you decided in your dream to fly, look in the mirror, etc. or whether you were only passively observing these events taking place in the dream. Realising you are in a dream and then remaining in the dream is a good sign that it was, as often the realisation you are dreaming is enough of a shock to wake you up, but the real test is your level of control. As far as not being able to swallow is concerned, if you were getting sick, especially if you were getting a temperature or something then this can also affect the vividness of your dreams.

I have good dream recall, and when I sleep I never seem to lucid dream. When I am dreaming, really weird stuff happens to me. My mind never questions the bizzare circumstances I am put in. I have tried thinking that "I will have a lucid dream" over and over, and done some reality checks during the day. It never occurs to me to do them when I dream. Is there some way that will make me lucid dream for sure? Am I incapable of Lucid Dreaming?[edit]

--Eponymous Anonymous

Li - I know what you mean. I've been trying every way to get a lucid dream, but nothing works. It sucks. I sometimes get really close but freak out and wake up. But despite my inexperience, I know for sure that everyone is capable of lucid dreaming. Try doing a wider variety of reality checks maybe, or perhaps try a different technique. What technique are you using?; WILD and VILD need lots of practice.

Walter Lewin 11:57, 13 November 2007 (UTC) - Yeah, I tried to do WILD for the past few weeks. Only once i felt a heavy pain in my chest, I found it hard to move but i could open my eyes and I woke up soon without dreaming lucid :(

--118.92.27.198 (talk) 13:07, 18 December 2007 (UTC) The correct way to do the MILD method is to go to sleep believing that you will "remember" that you are dreaming. Also, one key difference between lucid dreamers and non lucid dreamers trying to lucid dream is that lucid dreamers do not wonder if they are incapable of lucid dreaming, do not think that it never occors to them to do reality checks when they are dreaming, and tend to treat the phase "I did not lucid dream last night" as similar to the phase "I did not sleep on the couch last night", in other words, they tend to see lucid dreaming as something they can choose to do if they want to, rather than something they want to successfuly achieve at (long) last. -accepted-

Is there a good method to remember your "waking" memories in a dream? Every time I get a dream I have control over myself, but I do not seem to know that I am in a dream and I cannot remember anything from when I am awake(therefore I can't do reality checks or anything "supernatural"). Any ideas of what I should do?[edit]

Is it possible to recall all waking memories in a lucid dream? I have had only two lucid dreams so far. I know these were lucid, because I did reality checks with positive results. I even managed to fly, create items, and etc. However, I couldn't recall a great deal of my waking memories. This cause me to lose lucidity half way through the dream.[edit]


Authors[edit]

In alphabetical order:

  • Evilshiznat has had a few lucid dreams.
  • Kaycee (cont) (talk) is a natural-born lucid dreamer who upholds a practical view on most things.
  • KirbyMeister has only had one lucid dream so far, re-organized the entire Appendices area, and is a total Spongebob freak.
  • r3m0t (cont) (talk) (15) has only had a few lucid dreams so far, but has written most of the information in the wikibook.
  • Sourcejedi has just come out of anonymous lurking to demonstrate his ruthless editing tendencies by trying to clean up someone else's botched rename. He also has far too brief lucid dreams.
  • Tharenthel (Talk) (Contribs) has had a few lucid dreams so far, and has done mostly reorganization.
  • Xgamer4 has had many lucid dreams. He made (if you can call it that) the FAQ page, and monitors the page.