Lucid dreaming is the act of being aware that you are dreaming while you are in a dream. Some people remember their dreams after they wake up, others forget them. Being aware of your dream at the moment is a whole other ball game.
The first and foremost thing you need to do if you want to master lucid dreaming is to start keeping a dream journal. A dream journal is as simple as it sounds. All you need to do is keep a journal or notepad next to your bed and write in it every time you wake up. You should be writing down everything you can remember from your dreams as soon as you wake up, whether it’s the middle of the night or the morning. Start writing as soon as you can and write down as many details as possible.
This is a step that can be performed before you even get into bed at night. Get into the habit of performing reality checks. It isn’t very often that we truly stop to question if what we see before us is actually real, but it is a key part of taking control of your dreams. Start by performing reality checks throughout the day. There are plenty of ways to perform a reality checks and many of them only take a few seconds. Try pushing your hand against a solid surface and see if it goes through, or have a look at the clock and try telling the time, or try some basic arithmetic. If your hand goes straight through the wall or you can’t make sense of the clock – then you’re dreaming. Try doing checks like this throughout the day and all the way up until you get in to bed and try to fall asleep. Once your brain gets used to these actions it can remember to try doing them even while asleep.
If you want to make the most of your dreams then you need to daydream. Visualization is a popular technique for helping to get what you want in life, and it is no different for dreams. Whenever you have time during the day, start to think about the type of dream you want to have. Start broadly with a specific place. Then add in details. Be consistent. Try to keep the details the same each time you think about the dream you want to have. Memorize as much as you can and picture it vividly in your head. Once you get into bed, keep thinking about it while you fall asleep and at least some of the details you imagined will be included in your lucid dream.
Now the prep work is done it’s time to go to bed. While you lie in bed waiting to fall asleep you should recall and repeat everything you’ve done until this point. Remember and think about some of the recent dreams you have written in your dream journal. Try to perform some reality checks. Checks that don’t require you to get up and move around are obviously best at this point. Try to imagine yourself floating, or try to put your finger through your palm. If you start to feel yourself floating away you’ve slipped into a dream! Also, try to visualize your day dream and keep those specific details at the front of your mind. Keep repeating these steps as you fall asleep.
One of the most effective ways to induce a lucid dream is by waking up and then going back to bed. It is a delicate balance so it’s best to experiment to see what works best for you. Start by going to sleep at your normal time. Set an alarm for 4.5 hours later. When your alarm goes off, wake up. It’s normally best to try and stay awake for about 30 minutes before you go back to sleep. For most people it is useful to get out of bed and stay standing so they don’t fall asleep again too soon, but you need to be careful not to wake yourself up too much. Try to stay relaxed and don’t do anything strenuous. Walk around your house and repeat the steps you’ve used before. Perform reality checks and visualize as vividly as you can. When you go back to bed keep telling yourself you are going to dream and hopefully, the next reality check you perform will lead to some interesting results.
Consistency and perseverance are the keys to inducing lucid dreams. Keep up to date with your journal, get your brain used to performing reality checks, and visualize as often as possible to improve your control and recall of your dreams. If you are more concerned about just getting better sleep, read our guide here.
Have you experienced lucid dreaming? Feel free to share your stories with us in comments below.
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!