Have you ever had a dream when you were aware that you are dreaming? That is a lucid dream.
In other words, a lucid dream refers to a type of dream when you felt what is happening is not real while asleep and that it is happening within a dream. In such a state, you can take control of your dream’s narrative to some extent as well.
The difference between non-lucid dreams and lucid dreams is that in non-lucid dreams the dreamer is not aware that they are dreaming. However, in lucid dreams, the dreamer recognizes that what is happening is unreal and that it is taking place within a dream.
According to researches, lucid dreaming and metacognitive functions share similar neural systems. It means that dreamers who can monitor their own thoughts in a better way may be more likely to see lucid dreams.
Signs of a Lucid Dream
Some of the signs of lucid dreams are:
You had a clear idea that you were asleep and dreaming.
You felt intense emotions.
You had a vivid dream.
You seemed to have some control over your dream.
How to Lucid Dream?
Is it possible to lucid dream CONSCIOUSLY? Well, the answer is YES!
There are some tried and tested techniques that can help you lucid dream. In fact, nowadays you can even use devices and apps to lucid dream!
Before, we move on and explore how to lucid dream, let us first ask WHY lucid dream?
Benefits of Lucid Dreams
Lucid dreams can be opportunities to help you practice certain skills, hone creativity, manage emotional problems and more. According to experts, lucid dreaming can help you discover your own deep spiritual nature as well.
There are also other handful of benefits of lucid dreaming such as:
Better motor skills
More control on self
Better life quality
Lucid Dreaming Techniques
Reality testing is a popular technique to induce lucid dreams. It involves verifying whether or not you are dreaming in real life as well as during a dream. For example, you need to ask yourself frequently while awake “Am I dreaming right now?” as you try to make your hand pass through something solid such as a wall. In real life, the wall will remain solid, but in your dream your hand will pass through it.
Trying these experiments now and then will make it easier for you to remember to conduct them while dreaming as well. This way, you will get more awareness of your dreams.
To experience lucid dreams it is must to reach REM sleep. So, a simple way to do that is to make sure you are getting enough sleep. You also need to take care of your sleep hygiene and stay away from substances such as alcohol, tobacco etc. before you retire as they disturb your sleeping pattern or dreams.
Keep a Dream Journal
Researches suggest that people with the ability to dream well find it very easy to recall their dreams which makes them lucid. Keeping a dream journal is a great way to recall your dreams. It gives you can a chance to record everything that you can remember later. We’ve even made some designs of our own for you, you can check them out on our dream journals page.
Try the MILD and WBTB methods
To induce lucid dreams, you can wake up after sleeping for five hours and tell yourself to remember you are dreaming when you are asleep. You can use an alarm too to wake up. The MILD method has proven highly useful for some. In addition, the Wake Back to Bed technique requires you to wake up after five hours of sleep. With this method, you need to stay awake for about 30 to 120 minutes before sleep again.
Exploit the Power of Suggestion
The power of suggestion is considered as one of the most common practices to facilitate lucid dreaming. All you need to do is to relax, clear your thoughts. Try saying:
I will become consciously aware tonight in my dreams.
If I see something unusual, I will recognize I am dreaming and become consciously aware.
Recognize Recurring Characters or Themes in Your Dreams
If you see recurring themes or characters in your dream you can use them to trigger lucid dreams. When you are about to dose off, you can tell yourself, “The next time I see such a dream, I will become aware that I am dreaming.”
Looking at the palm of your hands say, “Tonight when I dream, I will see my hands and recognize I am dreaming.”
Repeat the affirmation looking at your palms, “Tonight when I dream, I will see my hands and recognize that I am dreaming.”
Let your eyes to cross and get out of focus. Repeat slowly.
Once you feel too sleepy, you can finish the practice and relax.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, recall your intention to see your hands and realize that you are dreaming.
Try to remember the last dream you had.
While dreaming you may suddenly see your hands. Then you will at once make the connection, “I am dreaming!”
Stay calm and check out the theme, characters and environment of your dream.
Once you wake up, write down your lucid dream. Note down all that you saw in detail and also make a note how you felt while dreaming.
Use a Lucid Dream-inducing Device
If you are a tech geek using portable devices that induce lucid dreams can be a great idea for you. You can easily find these devices on the market. Sleep masks, headbands, noises producers, flashing lights, vibrations etc. are some handy devices that can help induce lucid dreams.
Can I lucid dream during the day?
Yes! Lucid dreams are not restricted to night. You can also lucid dream during that day as dreams are associated with long periods of sleep. According to experts, you can lucid dream during the day just as easily as you can experience lucid dream at night time.
Someone who works during the night and sleeps during the day can lucid dream using the same techniques that night sleeper may use. Likewise, it is also possible to lucid dream if you nap during the day.
Generally, we take a nap because we had insufficient sleep. Inadequate sleep leads to REM Deprivation. During nap we experience the effect of REM Rebound. It means that the brain skips the preliminary stages of sleep and goes directly into REM stage. We always dream in REM sleep so naturally we experience dreams when we nap.
How to Lucid Dream in 5 Minutes
According to dream practitioners, it is possible to train your brain enabling you to experience lucid dream in as less than 5 minutes. A research report shows that 1-4 months of practice can help a person lucid dream instantly.
Different techniques can be used for the instant induction of these types of dreams. It is must for a lucid dreamer to work hard and be fully committed to get lucid dreams. Preparing your room like a lucid dream can help. For example, you can try sticking different posters of your favorite game, movie or person that you want to dream about.
Your bed must also be comfortable and there should not be anyone around to disturb your sleep. Using different oneriogens for triggering lucid dreams is also a good idea.
How to Get Out of a Lucid Dream Nightmare?
Becoming good at lucid dreaming helps you gain a considerable control on the events, characters and setting of your dream. That means you can use your create power to turn any unpleasant dream into a pleasing one as well.
With added control and consciousness you can deal with nightmares better too. So anytime you have a lucid nightmare you change it for good. For example, you see a monster chasing you in your lucid dream. You could simply turn it into a parrot or hit him in the head with a guitar as you are in control of your dream.
Risks of Lucid Dreams
While lucid dreaming can be exciting and powerful, it does have some risks as well. Particularly, if you have any mental health disorder such as depression, psychosis or dissociation, you need to be careful.
According to experts, if a dreamer cannot handle waking reality, he must avoid lucid dreaming. However, if you can handle waking reality, lucid dreaming is not a bad idea at all.
You must also know that sometimes even healthy dreamers can have trouble waking up out of a lucid dream. Some experts also believe that since lucid dreaming is not a typical sleep state, excessive lucidity can disturb your normal sleep cycle.
Lucid dreaming is certainly fun and exciting as it may help you have an eye-opening experience or allow you to gain positive powers. If you don’t have any major mental disorder, you should be fine to try the practice and discover what lucid dreaming is all about for yourself.