A Guide To Lucid Dreaming

I’ve always had trouble remembering my dreams. In the morning, instead of rising with crisp post-sleep visuals, I’ll wake with almost no recollection of where my mind may have wandered to during the night. At the most, a fleeting emotion will flutter throughout my thoughts in the early morning hours, or the ghost of an idea or event that doesn’t seem quite real enough to have actually happened will stick with me throughout my day. Never the detailed, highly complex chimera described to me by a wistful friend or family member.

With my own dreams so often eluding memory, I was awestruck when someone close to me casually mentioned the ability to not just remember their dreams in vivid detail, but actually being able to control them consciously. And so my obsession with lucid dreaming began.

Lucid Dreaming

If you’ve never heard the term before, a lucid dream is a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming. It sounds simple enough, but in scientific terms, a lucid dream must meet seven different points of criteria:

1) Awareness of the fact that you are dreaming
2) Awareness of the ability to make intentional decisions
3) Awareness of memory
4) Awareness of your own identity
5) Awareness of the environment in which you are dreaming
6) Awareness of the dream’s meaning
7) Awareness of the ability to concentrate and focus

Have you ever been in the middle of a dream before and suddenly realized you were dreaming? In the most basic terms, that’s a lucid dream. What’s more, once you know you’re dreaming and remain asleep, you’ll have far more control over what happens within the dream. So, how do you take the initial steps to not only remembering your dreams, but actually being able to control them? For some, like my friend, it’s second nature to want to explore and look around during a dream, but for others, like myself, who might have trouble even remembering where their mind went the night before, there are simple ways to train yourself towards lucid dreaming:

1) Get to know your sleeping patterns and adjust your schedule as needed. Obviously, getting enough sleep is key to dreaming (it’s been shown that lucid dreaming is connected to your REM cycle), you won’t have lucid dreams if you’re tossing and turning throughout the night. Ask yourself: When do you sleep the most soundly? When do you tend to have the most vivid dreams? I rarely take naps, but when I do, that’s when my dreams are the most vivid, so maybe it’s time to brush up on my nap game. If you sleep more soundly at night, make an effort to get a good night’s rest on the regular.

2) Keep a dream journal on your nightstand and write down everything you remember as soon as you remember it. This will help you to recognize patterns, recurring themes, and people and places that most often show up within your dreams.

3) Try the MILD technique (mnemonic induction of lucid dreaming). Set your alarm clock to go off about five hours after you’ve fallen asleep. When you wake, attempt to remember as much of your dream as possible in as much detail, then go back to sleep with the intention of starting up the same dream, only this time with lucidity. Meditate on the goal of being lucid as you fall back asleep, pushing other thoughts away.

4) Track your dream journal — notice if there are any reappearing signs, imagery, or people. Then, the next time you’re dreaming, try to notice if the sign reappears.

5) If you’re having trouble remembering your dreams, as I do, when you wake try to think backwards from what you remember. And don’t forget to write it all down.

6) While you’re awake, continually ask yourself if you’re dreaming. It’s been shown that repetition and our actions can affect our dreams – you may notice yourself asking the same question while you’re asleep.

Lucid Dreaming

7) Remember to do a reality check. To me, this is the craziest part of lucid dreaming: Once you become a pro at lucidity, you may have to do a reality check every now and then to make sure you’re not dreaming. Insane, right? To do this, you can keep something in your pocket, make a mark on your hand (an A for AWAKE), or even just look at your hands – if something seems off, like your hands are glowing, it’s a dream.

From those I’ve talked to that have experienced it, lucid dreaming is second nature, it’s just something that they do no different than any other dream. But for those if us who have trouble even recalling where their sub-conscious wandered during the night, these steps can help you to remember your dreams and take steps towards lucidity.

Have you experienced lucid dreaming? Any other dream phenomena? Please share in the comments!

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great post, thanks for sharing.

http://www.amoderngypsy.blogspot.com

I have only had one lucid dreaming experience…I had freshly painted my nails red right before bed, and for some reason in my dream my hands caught my eye…my nails were pink in my dream, and that was what triggered me to realize that I was dreaming…I would love to have another lucid dream, I will have to practice these steps. Great post!

http://www.thatkatiekat.com

You guys always have the Coolest Posts!!!! I would LOVE to have lucid dreams!!! It would be so amazing to be able to “ask” your dream symbols – especially the scary ones – what they mean – do they relate to an issue that you are struggling with? Perhaps they provide an answer? Or perhaps your dreams can give you deeper insight into your unconscious? Perhaps a lucid dream can help stimulate your creativity? Give you story ideas for writing? ……………..I had one lucid dream before, but I need to do all of that stuff in order to have more.… Read more »

Allie bowman

After studying dreams on my own for years I am now able to lucid dream about once a month. I have certain triggers I have found from the patterns of my dreams, for instance I dream a lot that my teeth are falling out, I used to hate it but now that I’ve linked it as one of my triggers I love when I dream my teeth are falling out because it automatically snaps me into lucidity. Also, to check that I am really dreaming when I thinkbobam, I will stick my finger in the middle of my hand and… Read more »

It would be so interesting to keep a dream journal and be able to recognize reoccurring themes. Thanks for sharing your experiences and for the tips on being a lucid dreamer!

Warm Regards,
Alexandra
http://www.littlewildheart.com

Maya

I always have lucid dreams but even in them i dont take risks- killing the buzz.. I was standing at a frozen cliff and i counted my fingers (there were 8 fingers) i thought it’s a beautiful lucid dream but i didnt jump -just watched over silvery bright mountains… I’m afraid of forgetting to do reality check and mix it with real life. i wish i get some advice about it..

I used to do this some years ago, but it got boring as I have the same dream over and over again^_^ Interesting reading though!

http://www.walkaboutnorge.wordpress.com

An interesting post to read, but thought you might be interested to hear of lucid dreaming from a different perspective… Many people like yourself, are captivated by the idea of lucid dreaming and try to achieve this when they’re sleeping. For me, I don’t achieve lucid dreams, I suffer from them. My whole life I have battled various personal things that have happened over my few 19 years. When I moved to Uni this year, being on my own seemed to open my mind up to all the problems I had ignored for so many years, and this is when… Read more »

katie

I had lucid dreams frequently (about 6/7 times fortnightly) a few years back, but it was strange, as technically they were night terrors too. I would get up from my bed (in my dream) and begin exploring my room, when things would go wrong, people would interact with or attack me. It’s very strange, I would remember telling myself to wake up.

If you’re interested in this sort of stuff, look up “uncanny”. It’s an incredible emotional state which this fits perfectly into!

Lumen

I have mixed up lucid dreams. I have good ones on specific days: Tuesday Thursday and Saturday. Bad dreams on: Monday Wednesday Friday Sunday… Its getting very annoying and I cant get out of the routine! If you have any suggestions in at tumblr: Cuddlybear64 I also play mc so maybe we could chat in /msg (Don’t hate me or complain about minectaft/mc because I’m here to sort the problem out not how much you hate mine craft). I don’t want to say what my bad lucid dreams are because they can upset or scare people. -Lumen P.S I just… Read more »

Lumen

I have mixed up lucid dreams. I have good ones on specific days: Tuesday Thursday and Saturday. Bad dreams on: Monday Wednesday Friday Sunday… Its getting very annoying and I cant get out of the routine! If you have any suggestions in at tumblr: Cuddlybear64 I also play mc so maybe we could chat in /msg (Don’t hate me or complain about minecraft/mc because I’m here to sort the problem out not how much you hate mine craft). I don’t want to say what my bad lucid dreams are because they can upset or scare people. -Lumen P.S I just… Read more »

I think dreams are amazing. It takes you to a totally different world, of imaginary. Some times dreams are scary. Some times dreams feels real. Some times dreams mix up with the real world.

Xx,
Amy,
http://www.lovegemstudio.com

I lucid dream without even noticing it until I wake up. I never really noticed I could do it until one particular dream. I can not remember the first part of the dream, only the part in which I manipulated. Essentially the first half of the dream lead to me being shot and killed. But then I lead myself into an “in-between” and I talked to myself. Of course I did not want to pass away, so I asked my unconscious if I was dead. Then I responded with something along the lines of, “You can wake up, you’re dreaming.”… Read more »

Also for those who get their dreams confused with reality, a friend of a friend, an avid lucid dreamer, would look at his phone. Apparently when you dream you can’t comprehend numbers and letters, they are a jumble of nonsense. So if you could read you phone, it was reality.

Hypnotica Vintage

Great guide… super comprehensive! And always good to see more lucid dreamers about :)

jasmine

Great post! I have super vivid dreams and I always remember them, I could tell you what I dreamt about 5 nights ago in detail, it’s great but sometimes I get confused between things that actually happened and things that were dreams!

This would be such a great thing to practice – even if you don’t make it all the way to the end goal of lucid dreaming, even if you just remember a few more of your dreams and are more in tune with their personal meanings. I’m thinking I’d be able to work through a few everyday problems, the kind that just sort of chew up mental power, if I could look at my dreams more closely. Will begin practicing these things this week! Thank you :)

MaguieMalfoy

I have lucky because I am a natural lucid dreamer :) Just need a little more practice. I have an lucid dream almost every night. Sweet dreams everybody :)

Arta

Amazing post, love it x

I love creating my dreams. I don’t really know if mine count as lucid dreaming, because I do them when I’m just laying in bed and not quite asleep. Once I have it all set up, I can do whatever I want and go wherever I like. Then, once I fall asleep, I’m usually still in that dream, so I know I’m just dreaming! I love doing it. :)
Thanks for this post! I really liked it! :)

Ellie

When I was little, I dreamt dreams that filled me with angst, confusion or boredom and I couldn’t handle them anymore and then I thought ‘I want to wake up! I want to wake up!’ and this means I knew I was dreaming if not at the entire process of the dream then those few moments where I said ‘No more of that!’ and I knew I had to wake up to get away from this dream! I remember one or two times I changed the surroundings of my dream if I am sick of it but that happens very… Read more »

Grace

I had a lysis dream once, I realized I was dreaming, then opened a door and walked into a huge bakery! I love to cook so I just cooked and cooked. It was so much fun! It was pretty incredible!

Eventually, this question will pop up within a dream, allowing you to
become aware and enter a lucid dream. So why
sit down on the sidelines, considering that this may all be hokum.
To become lucid this fashion, you must recognize that you’re dreaming when.

Lucid dreaming will let you experience you fantasies, improve your life and boost your self confidence and will help you overcome your fears. There are a lot of things that we can learn and acquire in a lucid dream. :)

http://www.theveniceoriginals.com/