There’s a possibility that you’ve already experienced lucid dreaming at least once in your life. While it comes naturally for a minority of people (very few actually), others have to take a lot of practice in order to experience this phenomenon.
It’s known that about 20% of people have learned how to lucid dream. If you want to join them, keep reading this guide and start practicing.
Table of Contents
How to Lucid Dream: Introduction
Usually, when we dream, we’re not conscious that it’s only an illusion and comprehend it as a reality. However, if you’re experiencing lucid dreaming, you take control of your own dreams, and can even explore them.
Reportedly, 82% of people have experienced a lucid dream at least once in their lives. And, while we perceive lucid dreaming as the ability to be aware of your dreams, it goes way beyond that.
You can learn various techniques that will allow dreaming about anything you want. It can be a particular problem, idea, incident, or even task that you weren’t able to figure out for quite some time. If you learn how to lucid dream, you can explore your dreams, solve real-life problems and find perfect solutions to the most serious issues.
Previously mentioned aspects are not the only reasons why people practice lucid dreaming. It can also help to treat PTSD, nightmares, and even depression. These findings were discovered by the psychophysiologist Dr. Stephen LaBerge - the inventor of many lucid dreaming strategies who has been performing various research methods and techniques for the last 20 years.
Also, people who have a lack of self-confidence and experience anxiety can practice lucid dreams to solve these psychological problems by engaging with other people and imagining themselves in different situations. During such dreams, people can see that there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of, and they can act likewise in real-life situations.
Thus, individuals who want to learn how to lucid dream might have many intentions that seem completely logical. If you want to join them, then follow the next steps and start practicing tonight.
How to Lucid Dream: Techniques that Work
I’ll begin with the very simple techniques on how to lucid dream and move on to more complex methods that will require time to work. Let’s get to it.
Set Your Bedroom
The most vivid dreams occur during the second half of the night, in the REM stage. In order to experience more expressive dreams, you should make your bedroom comfortable.
When getting to bed, keep your bedroom dark and cool. Since your body temperature drops once you fall asleep, your room needs to be cooler too (the best temperature for sleeping is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit). What is more, make sure it’s quiet. If you have loud neighbors, then get earplugs. And, since it should be comfortable, you might need to get a new conforming mattress (of course, it’s completely up to you).
Don’t do any stimulating activities before going to bed. Rather read a book, take a hot bath, take up meditation and even aromatherapy. Such activities will strengthen the connection to yourself.
Keep Dream Journals
You may have noticed the tendency to remember your dreams when you wake up, but memories completely vanish during the day. That’s why you should always keep a dream journal by the bed. Every time you wake up, simply write down what you remember from the dream. It can be visions or only short segments, people, things, feelings, and everything else you’ve been experiencing.
If you don’t want to keep a journal while you’re learning how to lucid dream, then you can download alternative apps to your mobile phone. This way, later on, you will be able to easily search through your notes, looking for repeating symbols, feelings, people, visions, and so on. It will allow you to start recognizing the patterns of your dreams, which is the very first step of learning how to have a lucid dream.
Frequent Reality Checks
Reality checks will help you to identify when you’re actually dreaming and to take control into your own hands. Every 2 or 3 hours during the day, ask yourself “am I dreaming?”. Day by day it will become your habit and you will start doing that in your dreams.
Here are some of the reality checks that you should implement to learn how to lucid dream:
- Take a look into your hands and feet. During the dreams they are often distorted, meaning that they might be of unrecognizable shape.
- Close your mouth and pinch your nose. Can you still breathe? If yes, then you’re dreaming.
- Look into a clock, or read a text segment, then turn away, and suddenly look back. In your dreams, it will be either blurry or change each time you take a look.
If you’re starting to implement these methods, it means that you’re beginning to learn how to control your dreams.
Repeat “I Will Know that I’m Dreaming”
Repeat the phrase “I will know that I’m dreaming” before falling asleep. This technique is called the MILD (Mnemonic Induced to Lucid Dreams) and was created by Dr. Stephen LaBerge of The Lucidity Institute. It’s one of the best methods for beginners who want to learn how to lucid dream.
It should help to increase the awareness that you’re dreaming. It’s like you’re planting a cue in your brain to help yourself remember the intention of lucid dreaming.
Recognize Your Personal Dream Visions
When you’re observing your dreams for a while, you should start reading your journal regularly and recognize specific patterns. If you’re using a mobile app, the search will be even quicker and easier.
When you will start identifying specific visuals, it will be easier for you to realize when you’re dreaming. Needless to say, it’s the beginning of actually learning how to lucid dream.
Increase Chances of Waking up During REM Sleep
Since we experience the most vivid dreams during the REM stage that repeats itself after 9-120 minutes and last longer during the second half of the night, you should set your alarm clock after 4.5, 6, or 7 hours of your sleep.
When the alarm goes off, you will be woken up from the REM stage and most likely to remember your dreams. During the breaks, write down all you can remember to the journal and get back to sleep while focusing on the dream you were having.
Note. I'm not recommending to use this technique as it can disrupt your sleep cycle and you may not experience enough deep sleep for all the recovery functions in your body.
Learn How to Induce Lucid Dreaming
If you’re just beginning to learn how to lucid dream, high chances are that you will wake up due to excitement the first time you actually take control into your own hands. However, before waking up, you will start feeling unstable, the dream will start fading and you will assume that you're waking up. You can prolong your lucid dream by trying out these techniques:
- Start spinning your body around, or simply fall back. People who start learning how to induce lucid dreaming have reported that this technique works.
- Rub your hands together to distract yourself from real-life sensations.
- Don’t get scared or too excited, simply continue doing what you were doing before you started feeling that the dream is fading.
While meditating, you find a connection with yourself and that can have a positive impact on learning how to lucid dream.
You should meditate in a dark, quiet room just before going to sleep. Listen to your breathing, focus on yourself, clear your mind and relax. You should aim for a quiet, comfortable state to shift into a lucid dream.
This is a more difficult technique than learning how to control your dreams while sleeping. Therefore, it may not be the best option for beginners.
Listen to Binaural Beats
Binaural beats refer to the meaning of two separate beats being played in different ears at the same time. They send a slightly different sound frequency to each of your ears and this way puts our brain into different states. Binaural beats are perfect for meditation and allow even beginners to get into the clear-mind state.
Binaural beats are like a shortcut for those who want to learn how to have lucid dreams. However, before further explanation, you need to understand the difference between the waves in different stages of sleep:
- Beta waves - when we’re awake, travel faster.
- Alpha waves - when you’re relaxed, they slow down.
- Theta waves - when you’re sleeping.
- Delta waves - you’re experiencing the deepest stage of sleep, waves are moving very slow.
As it’s pretty much clear already, when you fall asleep, the Alpha, Theta and Delta waves are continuously rotating throughout the night.
Thus, if you want to learn how to lucid dream, your brain should be not too awake and not too asleep - between Alpha and Theta waves. And that’s exactly what binaural beats can help you to achieve.
Start Video Gaming
I know that you weren’t expecting this tip but it totally works. It turns out that people who play video games possess higher chances of learning how to have lucid dreams.
It all boils down to your imagination. Gamers see various sights and visions that encourage their inner artistry, which is highly beneficial for those who practice lucid dreaming.
But it doesn’t mean that you need to be a no-lifer. Only a few hours per weak will highly increase your chances of experiencing a lucid dream. So, it’s definitely worth giving a try.
Even though CBD is booming at the moment, not all of you might be familiar with it. Thus, I will give you a short and clear explanation. CBD oil is extracted from the hemp seed plant. It contains very minimal traces of THC and doesn’t give you that “high feeling” associated with cannabis.
Based on the research, THC can decrease REM sleep (dream stage) and increase deep sleep. It leads people to more restful and untroubled sleep. However, people, who wanted to find out how to induce lucid dreaming, noticed that once they switched to CBD oil, their dreams became more vivid and even prolonged.
It’s not yet clear how it works and whether or not CBD oil actually helps you to lucid dream, people who have tried this method said that their dreams are more memorable. Therefore, among other beneficial qualities, CBD oil is amazing for people who are practicing vivid dreaming.
If you’re interested in this product, you should try the most recommended options, such as:
- Charlotte’s Web
- Green Roads
As promised in the very beginning, I’ve introduced you with the most valuable techniques to learn how to have a lucid dream. Since about 20% of people have mastered lucid dreaming, it’s highly possible for you to learn how to have lucid dreams as well.
First of all, you should set your bedroom environment, get a comfortable mattress, make it dark and cool to prepare yourself for dreaming. Then you should get a journal or mobile app where you will write down everything that you remember from your dreams, including sight, feelings, and other important aspects.
Then you should perform frequent reality checks asking yourself “am I dreaming?”. Also, each time before falling asleep, you should keep repeating “I know that I’m dreaming”. It will help you to have more control over your dreams.
You should also start meditating and listening to binaural beats. It will allow you to create a better relationship with yourself. Also, using CBD and playing video games are known to be beneficial in learning how to have a lucid dream.
Therefore, if you want to master how to control your dreams, you should start implementing these methods starting from tonight. If you try them all, high chances are that you will succeed.
1. Thomas J. Snyder, et al.: 'Individual Differences Associated with Lucid Dreaming'
2. Jirakittayakorn N, Wongsawat Y.: 'The brain responses to different frequencies of binaural beat sounds on QEEG at cortical level.'
3. Feinberg I, Jones R, Walker JM, et al.: 'Effects of high dosage delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on sleep patterns in man.'