How To Lucid Dream - Wake Induced Lucid Dreams (WILD)

Wake Induced Lucid Dreams, or WILDs as they are more commonly known, are the holy grail of lucid dreamers. Variations on the WILD technique have been used by Tibetan monks for over a thousand years. It is one of the most powerful lucid dreaming techniques, and mastering it will allow you to have lucid dreams on demand.

In short a WILD is exactly what it sounds like; a lucid dream you induce directly from your normal waking state. Just take a moment to think about that because its a powerful idea – you can move directly from being awake into being lucid within a dream environment.

Since you do not need to become unconscious at any stage you are in complete conscious control of the process, and there is no need to rely on your subconscious to prompt or trigger you into lucidity.

In truth ‘WILD’ is more of a category of lucid dreaming technique rather than one specific approach, WILD techniques can be so wide and varied that they could never be covered in a single article. In addition to this, since WILDs depend on an individual to pass directly from a conscious wakeful state of mind to a dream state, and since each person has unique physical, mental and psychological characteristics, each person will likely experience this transition slightly differently.

There are however a few common elements, I have included these into a guide for a basic WILD technique:

Step 1 – When Should I Try to WILD?

Since you want to enter a dream and not just slip into unconscious sleep, you will only want to attempt a WILD when you are approaching a REM phase of your sleep cycle. So if you’ve been awake all day, trying the technique when you first go to bed at night is unlikely to lead to any results.

Let your body have about 5 hours of normal sleep, this will give it the opportunity to go through the vast majority of its non-REM phase but should also mean you will still be tired enough to easily fall asleep again. With practice you’ll find your body will wake up naturally at this time, but I suggest starting off by setting an alarm for 5 hours after you go to bed.

When your alarm goes off you’ll need to wake yourself up just enough to be able to focus on the technique. If you have to get out of bed to turn off your alarm that will probably do the trick.

Step 2 – Relax & Set the Scene

Lie on your back, get comfortable and close your eyes. Take a few deep, relaxing breaths, try to exhale as slowly and smoothly as possibly. Now take a minute to notice the feeling of your body lying on the bed, relax your muscles, releasing any tension you can feel.

Once you body feels relaxed you want to make sure you don’t move it again. This stillness is going to play a key part in tricking your subconscious mind into thinking you have fallen asleep. So keep your body totally relaxed and still.

Now slowly begin to count and repeat the phrase “I’m dreaming” in your mind. "One, I’m dreaming, Two, I’m dreaming, Three. I’m dreaming” and so on. This will focus your intention, act as an autosuggestion to recognise when you enter a dream and keep your mind alert while you let your body fall back asleep.

Step 3 – Hypnagogic Imagery

After about 5 to 10 minutes you will begin to see hypnagogic imagery. The exact appearance of this will vary from person to person, but generally start off as flashes and swirls of colour, slowly coming together into patterns. Let your mind watch and follow these images without getting too absorbed by them as they develop. A relaxed yet focused state of mind is what you’re after here, if you practice any meditation or use a brainwave entrainment program this is the state of mind to aim for.

As the imagery develops, it will begin to take the form of objects, or little scenes, and beyond this almost like mini-movies that play for a few seconds at a time. These are your dreams slowly taking shape, as above just try to be aware of these without getting too involved. It is very easy at this stage to become fascinated by these images and drift off to sleep.

Step 4- Let your body fall asleep

Your body and mind are now approaching the threshold between being awake and asleep. Before completely falling asleep your subconscious mind will do a quick check that your body is really asleep. It does this by sending a signal to part of your body to move, this will start off as a feeling you want to move position, as this desire to move grows your may begin to feel quite uncomfortable.

This is where you need to trick your mind into believing your body has fallen asleep. Just resist the urge to move and stay completely still, the feeling of uncomfortableness will pass. As it does, your body will enter ‘sleep paralysis’. This stage can be a little frightening at first, as you will be unable to move your body and will likely feel a vibrating or tingling sensation. Don’t worry it is entirely natural, you go through this stage every nigh when you fall asleep, just normally you aren’t still conscious to be aware of it.

You may now also begin to hear some sounds, these again vary form person to person. Common experiences are hearing faint voices, or a buzzing/humming sound. This is the final stage as your mind switches over from receiving external stimuli from your environment to generating these internally.

Step 5 - Enter your Dream World

The Hypnagogic Imagery will now begin to come together into a full dreamscene. You will be aware of your field of vision expanding, as your mind begins to create a full 3 dimensional dream environment. As you feel your peripheral vision expanding, imagine either reaching an arm or leg out into the dreamscense in front of you. Since your physical body is now asleep, you will take control of your dream body.

Now you are ready to fully step into your dreamscene, some people suggest ‘rolling’ or climbing out of your physical body and into the dream world, but I have found that by testing the waters with just an arm or leg first, you can simply step into the dreamscene in your minds eye. As always play around with the different approaches and find what works best for you.

You are now standing lucid in a dream world!

WILD Top Tips

Successfully completing a WILD technique, particularly the first few times is an exhilarating moment and you will likely feel a huge adrenaline rush. Try deep relaxing breaths to keep as calm as possible to avoid this surge of excitement from waking you up!

You can also increases the effectiveness of the WILD technique by combing it with the Wake-Back-to-Bed method.

WILDs really are the ultimate aim for most lucid dreamers, and it does take a lot of practice. I think I had been trying every day for over a month before I first managed to do it so don’t get disheartened if you drift off to sleep the first few times you give it a go. Just stick with it, and your experience, awareness and understanding of hovering at the boundary state of consciousness between being awake and asleep will only get better and better.


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