Dreams are a series of thoughts and images that occur during sleep. Due to the complex combination of emotions, sensations, and situations, dreams had always been a source of fascination for humans. For a long time, we have tried many ways to understand the mysticism behind this phenomenon.
When we are dreaming, we are usually unaware that we are in a dream and neither do we have control over what we do or what happens next. It’s just like watching a movie in first-person. The good news, however, is that you can overcome these limitations through lucid dreaming.
What does lucid dreaming feel like? What does lucid dreaming help with? After knowing the answer to these questions, we are sure that you will have a certain degree of interest in learning how to induce yourself to lucid dreaming. In this article, we will be explaining simple ways for you to get started.
Lucid dreaming is when your mind becomes aware that you are in a dream. Since you are aware that you are dreaming, you will have the ability to control how it flows. Lucid dreams are made from your consciousness, therefore you can project anything your thoughts would conjure. You can travel wherever and whenever you want to. You can defy any known laws of science. You become your own personal genie. With lucid dreaming, only your imagination is the limit.
We can all agree that the ability to have control over our dreams is something anyone would want to have every time they sleep. However, lucid dreaming still has much more to offer. Continuously exercising this ability can actually benefit you in real life. Practicing most real-life skills in dreams can actually improve it the same as how practicing them in real life would. You can also have the perfect place to reach out to your inner self, and heal or improve the psychological aspect of yourself.
Furthermore, lucid dreaming heightens one’s senses within the dream, namely your sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. It may also amplify your emotions while in this state. You can feel a greater degree of happiness and pleasure compared to how it usually feels in your reality. By the same token, negative emotions such as pain, fear, and anxiety are also amplified. However, you don’t have to worry as the more you become proficient in lucid dreaming, the more you can control and avoid these unwanted emotions.
Inducing lucid dreams is a skill that can be learned, and there are many techniques to develop it. If one method does not work for you, there are other ways for you to develop this skill. As with all other skills, you get better with it the more you practice it. Here are some techniques that will help you get to become a lucid dreamer.
Table of Contents
1. Pre-Sleep Preparations
Since you are still developing your ability to control your dreams, the easiest way to induce lucid dreaming is by preparing yourself before going to bed. Start by maximizing the quality or effectiveness of your sleep. The deeper you are in your sleep, the more frequent you will be able to experience dreaming.
The hormone “melatonin” is responsible for your sleep-and-wake cycles, or your body clock. The more of this hormone is present in your body during sleep, the better quality of dreams you will be experiencing. Therefore, increasing your melatonin levels is the easiest way to tune yourself for lucid dreaming.
By simply preparing comfortable sleeping conditions such as keeping consistent sleep schedules, preparing a comfortable bed, or just turning off the lights while you sleep, you are already promoting the production of this hormone in your body. It is also important that you avoid stimulating activities and be more relaxed before going to bed.
In the morning, you can write down what you remember from your dreams on your dream journal. This actually helps you find patterns to recognize that will help you identify if you are in a dream.
2. Reality Checking
Even if we are not yet proficient with lucid dreaming, you will still be able to control it to some extent even by a little. Use this chance to reality check and make yourself aware that you are in a dream.
This can method can be performed in a lot of ways. Here are some common reality checks you can use:
- Pushing through solid objects – If you are in a dream, your body should be able to phase through solid objects.
- Breathing – Try breathing while covering your nose and mouth. Breathing under these conditions can only be done in a dream.
- Time check – In a dream, time is almost never constant.
- Test your hands – Check if your hands look normal, you can also check if they could pass through each other.
Reality checks during waking hours are also crucial as this is the time that you still fresh from dreaming. This is the line where you are transitioning from dreaming to waking, sometimes making it difficult to differentiate if you are still within your dream state and the perfect time to verify if you still are.
Once you’ve developed a habit of doing at least one reality check, this will train your consciousness to do these even when you are dreaming. This will make it easier to perform reality checks and confirm that you are dreaming.
3. The MILD Method
MILD is an abbreviation for Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreams. This method was developed by one of the renowned American psychophysiologists, Dr. Stephen LaBerge. Many of his research revolved around lucid dreaming and some of his discoveries are still recognized up to this day.
This method associates repetitive chanting of mantras before going to bed significantly increases the chances of experiencing a lucid dream. To put it simply, you are using verbal affirmations to program your consciousness that you will experience lucid dreaming. It can be as simple as repeating to yourself that “I will lucid dream tonight” or other chants with similar context. Note that you can also use this at any time of the day, or even when you wake up during the middle of your sleep.
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4. The WILD Method
WILD stands for Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming. Don’t let its name intimidate you, as you won’t be doing anything wild of sorts to pull it off. The concept of this method is to keep your mind awake while your body shuts down and goes to sleep. This method had been practiced by Tibetan monks for thousands of years through what they call a dream yoga. This allows them to access their dreams whenever they want.
You don’t have to worry as anyone can practice this technique. You just need to follow these steps to get started on this method:
- Lie down on your bed and get comfy as much as you can.
- Relax your muscles and breathing, and limit your movements.
- Close your eyes and visualize your dream or what you want to see in your dream.
- Put yourself in the environment you’ve created and use your senses to feel it
- You are now lucid dreaming
It is important to remember that it does take practice and some of these steps may take some time to be completed. However, out of all the methods available, this one is known to give the best lucid dreams. This makes it practicing this technique worth your while.
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5. Wake Back to Bed Method (WBTB)
As one of the simplest methods out there, WBTB is done by deliberately waking yourself in the middle of your sleep and using WILD techniques as you drift back into your dreams.
To wake yourself up, you set up an alarm that goes off around 3 hours from your normal waking time. It is important to remember to just move to turn off the alarm and don’t do anything else. As you allow yourself back, try to visualize yourself in the dream setting as to how you last remember it. Doing these increases the odds of you having lucid dreams.
These methods above can also be combined with other techniques to increase your chances of having lucid dreams. Explore your options to see which method gives you the best results.
Have you ever had a dream where you were flying high above the clouds? Or that you were swimming in the deepest parts of the sea? Long before Science made it possible for humans to do these things, many of these great ideas have been inspired by dreams. Here are some famous lucid dreamers and how this helped them in their crafts.
As one of the most brilliant minds to have ever existed, he apparently accounts for some of his theories as something he discovered while dreaming. Since lucid dreaming was a term that hasn’t been coined during his time, we cannot say for sure if he was a lucid dreamer of sorts. But for sure, even in his sleep, his beautiful mind was still at work.
The mind and director behind the movie Inception. During a Los Angeles Times interview, He mentioned that the concept of this movie came from lucid dreaming when he was 16. With strong ties to lucid dreaming and a list of directed Hollywood hits, it may not be farfetched to associate his current success with creative dreaming.
Another great name in the field of Science, He was known to practice “dream experiments” by using visualization techniques while being wide awake in his laboratory. Due to his extraordinary mental and visualization skills, he was able to run experimental simulations from his consciousness that has the characteristics that surpass the normal lucid dreaming state.
Lucid dreaming is not just for having fun inside your own world. It can also provide you with inspiration and help you practice overcoming your fears before heading out to the real-world. It helps you create the perfect thinking space when you need to think and make decisions. Or create your own safe haven when you need emotional healing. It doesn’t cost a thing or requires much effort to do. Try it out for yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain.
For you, what does lucid dreaming feel like? We would love to hear about your experiences or if you have a personal technique on how to induce lucid dreaming.