Reality Checks

The reality check is a fundamental part of lucid dreaming when it comes to Dream Induced Lucid Dreams (DILDs), or dreams in which you become lucid while a dream is in progress. The ability to become lucid during a dream hinges on a certain awareness- of both yourself and of your environment.

A reality check serves two purposes:

    The main feature of a reality check involves asking direct questions about the world around you when you suspect that you are dreaming. It is a tool by which to verify or falsify your suspicions of the dream state. You do this by attempting something you know is impossible; like pushing your finger through your hand or by holding your nose shut and trying to breathe through it.

 Secondly by asking the question ‘Am I Dreaming, Right Now?’ You gain an increased awareness of yourself, your behaviour, your surroundings, and the fact that things around you are maybe not quite adding up. In effect you are taking a moment to ask, ‘What is REALLY going on here?’ By training yourself to critically analyze the world around you, you'll learn to pick up on the details that signify that you are actually in a dream.

With this increased awareness and these tools to test your suspicions, you can learn to become aware, and then to use that awareness to determine that you are dreaming.

How to Reality Check

There are a huge number of reality checks you can do, here are few examples that are effective, in each case something unusual or impossible happening lets you know you are actually in a dream. No-one is exactly sure why these effects work consistently within a dream but for now its enough that they do

  • Hold your nose and attempt to breathe through it, if you’re in a dream you’ll be able to breathe
  • Try to push one of your fingers through the palm of your other hand. In a dream it will go through!
  • Look at the time on a digital watch or clock, then turn away for a second before looking back. In a dream the time will have jumped to something entirely different or perhaps show symbols like hieroglyphs instead of number.

When to Reality Check:

There are  lots of different times that you can use reality checks, however trying to remember too many at once can get confusing, here are some of the most important when first learning lucid dreaming :

  • 1. The most important is whenever you think you should. If you think about reality checking, do it.
  • 2. Whenever you think of or see one of your dreamsigns.
  • 3. Whenever something strange or unusual occurs, you get a feeling something isn’t quite right, or when you have trouble understanding what is going on around you
  • 4. Whenever you wake up. This way you will catch False Awakenings.

Remember- you are doing a reality check because you think there is a good possibility that you are in a dream. Because of this, a reality check should not be a chore to somebody who wants to become lucid, it should be the second most exciting part of your day, second only to actually realizing that you're dreaming!!!


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