Lucid dreaming occurs when you are conscious and aware that you are dreaming during a dream. This tends to happen during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep and this is commonly known as the dream stage of sleep. Research has found that roughly 55% of people have experienced at least one lucid dream in their lifetime. Lucid dreaming is a form of metacognition and it gives you control of what happens in your dream. So, as you can imagine, there are lots of people out there who want to control their dreams.
Here are 5 tips to help you lucid dream.
1. Keep A Dream Journal
First things first, you need to start keeping a dream journal. This is the first step to lucid dreaming and you need to be strict in keeping it. There’s no point in jotting down the odd dream here and there as it won’t work. As soon as you wake up you should write down everything you remember in your dream. Write down every dream, whether you have a sex dream or a boring dream that you are just out for a walk. Every dream matters! If you are likely to forget your dreams quickly, then try recording your memories from the dream on a voice note instead. You can keep your journal in a notebook or you can download a dream journal app, such as DreamKeeper, Awoken or Dream Journal ultimate. The pro that apps have over the standard pen and paper method is that you can search through your recorded dreams for recurring themes, people, symbols, and more. Being able to recognise these patterns is a vital component in being able to lucid dream.
2. Recognise Your Dream Patterns
Reading or listening back on your dreams in your journal is important as you can then begin to recognise key patterns and reoccurrences. Go through your dreams and see what themes, symbols, and people show up again and again. This will provide you with important insight into what your brain is focused on. The more clued up you are on your dream patterns, the more likely you are to start recognising when you are dreaming. It might not always be obvious, but the more dreams you note down, the easier it will be to find the patterns and things that link your dreams together.
3. Perform Reality Checks
The other thing you need to do to lucid dream is to perform reality checks. A reality check is used to help you identify whether you are asleep or awake. The concept behind this is that it helps your brain get used to the idea of trying to recognise whether you are dreaming or not. There are a few checks you can experiment with, including the following;
- Look at your hands and feet closely, in dreams, these are likely to be distorted.
- Look at a clock and then look away quickly and then back to the clock. In reality, the clock will stay the same but in a dream, it will probably change.
- Look at mirrors, check out your reflection as in reality the reflection will be normal but if you are dreaming it is likely to be distorted.
- Try pushing your index finger into the palm of your other hand. Do so to try to push it through your palm. Obviously, in real life that will never happen, but in a dream, it might go right through and this will tell you that you are dreaming.
To make reality checks most effective, it is recommended that you pick one or two of the following and do it around 10 times a day.
4. Try The MILD Technique
The Mnemonic Induction to Lucid Dreaming (MILD) technique involves you repeating a specific phrase every night before you fall asleep. The phrase should be something like ‘I know when I am dreaming’ or something along those lines. Say the phrase again and again until you fall asleep. The idea is that by repeating this phrase, you are encouraging your brain to be conscious of the fact you are dreaming, which will increase the likelihood of you lucid dreaming.
5. Use The Wake Back To Bed Method
The Wake Back to Bed technique requires you to set an alarm to go off either 5 or 6, 7 hours after you fall asleep. Once the alarm goes off, try to stay awake for 30 minutes and write down any dreams you had in your journal. The intention is that your alarm will wake you up during the REM sleep stage and so when you do fall back asleep, you are more likely to go back into any dreams you were having before the alarm. This method is effective but lucid dream experts do not recommend doing this method long-term as it can result in sleep deprivation which can be extremely damaging to your health.
With these 5 techniques, you will be able to take control of your dreams and live in an alternative world that you get to create. Happy lucid dreaming!