How to Lucid Dream

A quick internet search will turn up literally hundreds of different techniques on how to lucid dream, and forums full of thousands of people all giving thier own take on the best method to help you get lucid. Now all this information isn't necessarily a bad thing, there is some brilliant advice out there and a very active lucid dreaming community willing to lend anyone a hand. But it can be confusing, especially if you're new to lucid dreaming and struggling to get that first lucid experience under your belt.

This page is a quick summary of all the basics. Everything you need to learn how to lucid dream is here. The essentials are split into 3 categories; the basics, lucid dreaming techniques and dream control.


How to Lucid Dream - The Basics

These are often overlooked in the rush to get straight down to the techniques, but the truth is 90% of whether you have a succesful lucid dream is determined by these 3 basic things. Get these right and everything else you do will be easier and more effective.

Get enough sleep - I can't make this point strongly enough. Almost all dream expereinces take place during REM sleep, and your body naturally gives over longer and longer portions to REM the longer you are asleep for. You need to be getting at least 7 hours, and ideally 8 each night to get these longer REM phases in your sleep cycle.

Keep a dream diary - This can seem like an unnecessary waste of time at first, but keeping a dream diary will dramatically increase your dream recall. It might seem like common sense, but if you don't remember you dreams how will you even know when you have a lucid dream. Get into the habit of writing down everything you can remember about your dreams as soon as you wake up.

Perform reality checks - The particular reality check you use isn't nearly as important as the very act of reality checking at all. By getting into a habit of asking yourself 'Am I dreaming, or am I awake?' you make your mind more aware of the dream state, and direct it to look out for unusual things that might suggest you are in a dream. If you ask this question often enough throughout the day, the behaviour will also carry over into your dreams.


Lucid Dreaming Techniques

Once you've got the basics down you can move on to using a specific technique to induce a lucid dream. The key here is consistency, it can be very tempting to try one trechnique if it doesn't work after a few nights move on to something else, but by doing this you are only making your own life more difficult. Like any new skill, learning how to lucid dream takes practice, so by all means read through a few different techniques, but once you've picked one stick with it for at least a few weeks. This shows your mind you are serious and is much more effective than jumping between one technique and another.

Below is a short summary of the three most popular lucid dreaming techniques, click on the technique name for a more detailed step-by-step explanation.

Mnemoinc Induced Lucid Dreams - This is a perfcet technique for a beginner, and was the original method used by Stephen LaBerge in his lucid dreaming research. It is by far the quickest and easiest lucid dreaming technique to learn. It invovles repeating a sentence like 'Next time I am dreaming, I will recognise I am dreaming', over and over as you fall asleep. This sentence acts as an instruction to your subconscious mind and can trigger you to become aware you are in a dream.

Hypnosis Induced Lucid Dreams - Dreams are a creation of your subconscious, so programming a suggestion that you will have a lucid dream directly into that subconscious can be a very effective method for inducing a lucid dream. It involves getting into a deeply relaxed state of mind before going to sleep and using an instruction like 'I find it easy to have a lucid dream', or 'I often have lucid dreams'.

Wake Induced Lucid Dreams - These is a very powerful technique, but will take more time to learn. It involes keeping your mind alert and focused while your body falls asleep. This allows you to move directly from being awake into a dream. If you practice meditation and are used to holding your attention in a relaxed yet focused state you may want to try this technique.

One additional method you might find heplful is the Wake Back to Bed Technique. While not a lucid dreaming technique in it's own right it will increase the effectiveness of any of the above techniques. All you have to do is get yourself out of bed an hour or two earlier than usual (after 5-6 hours of sleep), stay awake for about an hour and then go back to bed. This makes it much more likely your brain will be ready to go straight into a REM sleep phase.


How to Lucid Dream - Dream Control

Dream control is often confused with lucid dreaming techniques, but really they are two different things. Lucid dreaming techniques are all about how to lucid dreamin the first place, dream control is about what to do after you get lucid.

In principle the moment you become lucid you are free to do whatever you want, but in practice that first moment of lucidity can be such a rush of excitement, the surge of adrenaline wakes you up! It is also possible to get distracted by followng along with the story of your dream and lucidity slips away. Dream control is all about a few simple things you can do to ground that lucid state, keep calm and stay in control of your lucid experience.

Engage your dream senses - Take a moment to engage each of your dream senses in turn. By stopping to look at the dream scene before you, listening out for any sounds you can hear and bending down to touch the floor your awareness of your dream increases.

Stabalise the dream - If you feel lucidity is starting to slip away (and at some point you will). One quick action you can take to regain control is to rapidly rub your hands together, this focuses your attention on the action and feelings you are consciously creating rather than the rest of the dream beign generated by your subconscious. Another way to stabalise a lucid dream thats slipping away is to spin round and round, this often acts to 'reset' the dream and you will find yourself in an entirely different place but importanly still lucid.


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Lucid Dreaming - Related Techniques and Articles

Introduction to Lucid Dreaming

Recognising your dreamsigns

How to Lucid Dream - Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams

How to Lucid Dream - Reality Checks

How to Lucid Dream - Wake Back to Bed technique (WBTB)

Principles for Inducing Lucid Dreaming


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