How to lucid dream
If you already know what a lucid dream is, you can start exercises that will teach you control of your dreams. If not, here is an article to give you an idea of the essence and benefits of lucid dreaming.
Before you start, you need to know some rules.
The most important in learning how to lucid dream is the desire and structured practice. If you really want to learn and are ready to spend time to reach your goal, you can start practicing. I can’t tell you when you will succeed as this is an individual process and some people don’t even need exercising while for others long periods are required to start lucid dreaming.
No matter what technique you choose, keeping a dream diary is imperative. Upon waking up, write down everything you observed in your dreams. This can include anything – from common dreams like dreams about snakes or flying to strange things that don’t make any sense to you at that point in time. Later you can use your notes for dream interpretation to understand yourself better.
There are different practices that contribute to lucid dreaming. A study done by Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at MacEwan University in Canada, showed that those who play videogames are more successful at lucid dreaming. “Gamers are used to controlling their game environments,” the researcher says, “So that can translate into dreams”. Try incorporating playing your favourite game into your schedule. One hour of video games per week is enough. Meditation and listening to mantras are also helpful. If you haven’t tried meditating before, this article gives a good overview on how to start this practice. Taking vitamin B increases the possibility of lucid dreaming as well.
How to lucid dream – Reality Check & Mnemonic Induction Technique
How do you start lucid dreaming? One of the easiest techniques is called Reality Check. It is based on making a habit in real life that will eventually be transferred into the dream state. Every few hours, do a Reality Check by looking at something that looks different in a dream. Let’s go through some examples. The most common option is looking at your hands. In a dream, hands will change their shape and length, the number of fingers can increase or decrease.
Pinch your nose and check whether you can breathe. If you don’t feel the lack of oxygen, it means you are asleep. Another option is to look at any text or clock, then turn away and look again. In a dream, the text or the time will change, letters will blur, words will become disconnected and incomprehensible.
At this stage it’s important to stay relaxed and not let emotions break through. Just keep calm and continue exploring this current reality and its possibilities.
Reality check is not the only tactic to learn how to lucid dream. Mnemonic induction technique is about using a learned phrase that switches on the understanding in a dream and promotes the formation of such habit as lucid dreaming.
How do you learn to lucid dream using your memory? Before falling asleep, repeat:
I will be aware that I am dreaming.
The phrase can be different, but its sense must correspond with its aim. Before going to bed, do the reality check – these two techniques go well together and increase effectiveness.
How to lucid dream – Searching for dream phantoms
If you’ve already been keeping a dream diary for a while, use your notes. Read your diary and find recurrent patterns. Remember these dream phantoms as they allow you to separate fantasy from reality.
It doesn’t matter what your dream phantom is – it can be anything from dreams about snakes to your cat growing multiple tails.
If you still don’t have a dream diary, it’s time you started it. Remembering dream phantoms goes well with any other lucid dreaming techniques and it is beneficial for dream interpretation in general.
How to lucid dream – Wake back to bed technique
When you wake up from a dream, write it down in your diary. It will help remember the dream and distinguish your dream phantoms later. In a few minutes after writing the dream down, try going back to bed. How will it help to lucid dream? It will increase your chances of lucid dreaming because of waking up during REM sleep and then falling asleep again – this condition is very favourable for lucid dreaming.
Another option is to wake up in the night. Set an alarm to wake up after sleeping for 4, 5, or 6 hours. This way the probability of getting into REM sleep later will be higher. When your alarm goes off, bring your body into an active state by having a snack or moving around. Stay awake for a period of several minutes to an hour – with time you will find what works best for you. Go back to bed. If you had a dream before waking up, imagine how it will continue when you fall asleep again.
A luminating wake-up alarm can be helpful for this method as light stimulation shows positive results in REM sleep. You can find a selection of wake-up light alarms here.
As we can see, there are plenty of ways to learn how to lucid dream. Some people combine Reality Check and mnemonic induction technique, others use wake back to bed method while for you simply keeping a dream diary might be enough. Experimenting with different techniques regularly, you will learn what works best for you and get to know the magical and limitless world of lucid dreaming.