How to dream lucid
Coming to the focal point now; the ‘how’. Following are the induction methods that will help you recognize your dreams and let you control them. Although, you can have lucid dreams naturally, these techniques will let you dream lucid at will, prolong your dreams and customize them.
It is the ability to remember your dreams. This can be considered as an induction technique itself or a method to assist in other (following) techniques. Having a good dream memory increases your awareness of dreams i.e. you can recognize when in a dream. The best way to practice and improve dream recall is through a dream journal, by writing down or recording your dreams. You should write down your dreams as soon as you wake up because waking fresh from a dream is the best time to remember it as best as you can. Whenever you wake up from a dream, you should keep your eyes closed while going through everything you just dreamt so that it sticks in your memory. You should try to write down each and every detail as possible. This will brighten your chances of recognizing a dream. It would help if you highlight anomalies in your dreams; things that shouldn’t be there if it were a real world. Such practice would allow you to recognize dream ‘symbols’ next time you sleep and maybe you will attain lucidity.
One other way of improving dream recall is by autosuggestion. For example you could repeatedly say to yourself “I shall remember my dreams” before falling asleep. Some might find this technique adequate enough for lucid dreaming while others might not feel anything but don’t grieve yet, as lucid dreaming is something that everyone can do. Read on and find the best technique that suits you.
As the name might suggest, the method involves confirming whether you are in a dream or reality. The method takes into account the universal inconsistency between the real world and the dream world. The idea is in part to develop certain habits in real life, which when you happen to perform in a dream, will immediately tell you that you are dreaming.
For example, if you count your fingers in a dream and find out that you have six or seven or even ten fingers for that matter on one hand, you’ll surely notice the unreal environment and be able to manipulate it. But, for this to happen you have to develop a habit of counting your fingers from time to time in the real world. Here are certain reality checks to get you going:
1. A digital watch
Concentrate on watches on your real life, give them a good viewing. When you get an opportunity to look at a watch in a dream, you will most probably notice odd numbers or alphabets or even symbols in place of time. The reason being the part of the brain responsible for perception and comprehension of such information is shutdown during sleep/a dream.
I write ‘digital’ watch because it is easier for the numbers on the digital watch to morph or change as you look back at it again and analogue watches on the other hand pretty much lack numbers or numerals in the real world. Additionally, the time on watch may be blurred, difficult to read or even changing very fast in a dream.
2. Breathing through closed nose
One of the more effective reality checks; make it a habit of checking if you can breathe by holding your nose closed (and of course keeping your mouth shut) in the real world. Eventually, you’ll end up doing it in a dream and the unusual result will make you lucid.
3. Finger through palm
Pretty much self explanatory; as laws of physics in dreams are hardly existent, you’ll end up passing your finger through your palm and this should be noticeable enough for you to go lucid. But, of course, you have to become used to the thing by developing a habit for it in real life.
Looking at a mirror in a dream will not all the time produce an exact mirror image of you and your surroundings. If you happen to notice any odd imagery then remember you are in a dream. You have to make this reality check work some other way though, as there isn’t any habit to develop; you might keep telling yourself to check for any odd happenings whenever you stand in front of a mirror.
Not very inconspicuous though; you could make a habit of jumping frequently to check whether you come back to earth or not? In real world you will and in dream you won’t.
This technique involves waking up between your sleep, so that your sleep is divided into two parts. You should wake up after 4 to 6 hours of sleep for a few minutes to almost an hour. When you are awake, it would be pretty helpful if you do something related to lucid dreams like reading about it, thinking about it or even watching movies related to it. Prominent movies related to dreams are Vanilla Sky, Waking life and Inception.
Sleeping after waking up in between gives you a somewhat lighter sleep letting you be more conscious during dreams. To have a lighter sleep, you could also try changing your sleeping place or you could try reversing the orientation of your body. This way, once you go to sleep you would be more aware of it and be able to recognize if you are dreaming. Combining this technique with reality checks is a great way of inducing lucid dreams. Additionally, this technique can be used in tandem with the following other more explicit techniques to achieve success.
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams
MILD, as it is more commonly known, is a technique that is concentrating on your intention to remember to recognize that you’re dreaming. Start repeating some sentence such as “Next time I am dreaming, I’ll recognize it” and keep repeating it in your head till you fall asleep. Do keep in mind what it means though i.e. don’t just make it a meaningless repetitive sentence, remember what it means.
Additionally, you should remember any of your last dreams while repeating the mantra in your head, keep imagining the imagery that you saw, the things you heard and felt etc. Don’t stress too much though, as that would prevent you from falling asleep. In short, the sentence you made up should be the last thing in your mind before you fall asleep.
Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream
The main idea in this technique is to let your body sleep while your brain remains awake. But, do keep in mind that this technique can have scary effects, which of course aren’t dangerous, but need to be told nonetheless. While practicing this technique, as you enter sleep ‘consciously’, you will experience sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis occurs whenever you fall asleep but going by the technique, you will experience it consciously for the very first time. It is scary and awful as you have no control over your body and you’ll get pretty unpleasant tingling and buzzing sensations. You might also feel like dying; you might feel your soul departing, but rest assured this is all safe, you always go through this, you are just not aware. Sometimes though, you might pass off into a lucid dream without going through all of the scary stuff.
Now for the procedure; for WILD, you need to have a completely relaxed body. Go to bed, lie down comfortably, tense and relax your body muscles, starting from your head and shoulders and working downwards, then back up to the face. Concentrate on every body part as you keep the cycle going, Keep doing this until you fall asleep, or you feel like your body is falling asleep that is. Now, if you don’t straight off go into a lucid dream and become paralyzed, relax, and imagine a dream hand going up and leaving your physical hand behind. Imagine your soul separating from your body. Shortly, you should have two separate bodies, a dream one and a real one. Control your dream body only and if you control your real one, you will wake up. You will be in your room now, but you can use your imagination and go through a wall to walk into a dream or sink through the floor to achieve it.
These were the lesser advanced or beginner techniques for lucid dreaming, we will be coming back to you with more advanced techniques later on.