How to Lucid Dream

Lucid Dreaming Techniques and Warnings


An interpretive picture of what lucid dreaming can be like.


Recently, I have become interested in lucid dreaming and wanted to share what I have learned. For me, it is a way to explore a new reality and do things I can not in the real world. Usually, when you are dreaming, you are only aware that it was a dream after you wake up. When you are lucid dreaming, you are aware that it is a dream while dreaming. This can cause you to have some control over what happens in your dream. Lucid dreaming can be fun, but if you go too far it can be dangerous. When lucid dreaming, there are some techniques that can be used to help you start your new dream reality experience:


1. Reality Checks

 When dreaming there are many of things that you can experience that would be impossible in the real world. By checking in with reality, one can easily figure out if they are dreaming or in real life. One of these is to look at your hands. In a dream, they will often have more or less than 5 fingers. This is an easy way to check if you are awake or asleep. Another one is to look at a clock. In a dream, a clock will always be moving/changing time. In reality, a clock should be moving steadily and stay at the same time relatively. Another method is to push one hand into another. In a dream state your hand should pass through with no trouble, but in real life, you should feel the resistance of not being able to do that. Another helpful check is to actively ask yourself “Am I dreaming?” You can ask yourself this throughout the day and use your other checks to actively make sure you are awake. Then in your dream, this should trigger lucidity. The last tip worth mentioning is a breathing technique. Some people will pinch their nose and see if they can continue to breathe. This trick is a giveaway that you are in a dream because, in reality, you should feel the sensation of holding your breath. These are the most popular ways to perform reality checks, but there are many others that you can try.


2. WBTB method (wake back to bed)

 The wake and back to bed method is almost exactly as it sounds. The idea is that you wake up 5-6 hours after going to bed and do an activity for about 30 minutes. This activity is supposed to fully engage your mind, so maybe try reading or getting up and walking around while listening to music. Then after the 30 minutes are up, go back to bed. You are trying to catch yourself in the REM stage of your sleeping cycle. You are most likely to lucid dream when in REM. Some people find it helpful to think about lucid dreaming or your dream landscape you want to enter as you are going back to sleep. This technique is supposed to yield consistent results and works well for beginners. 


3. MILD method (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams)

 The MILD method is one of the first created by scientists to try to induce lucid dreaming. In this process, you are basically trying to set an intention to lucid dream while awake. To start with, as you go to bed think about a recent dream you would like to enter and pinpoint a dreamsign. A dreamsign is something irregular and cannot happen in real life, like flying. So, think about your dream and your dreamsign that you know can only happen in a dream. The last part of this method is to tell yourself that “the next time I dream, I want to remember that I am dreaming.” You need to repeat this phrase to yourself throughout the day and before you go to bed. Scientists suggest a combination of WBTB, MILD, and reality checks works the best for newcomers to lucid dreaming.


Side Effects:

Some supposed dangers of lucid dreaming are if you conduct a criminal action or something really horrible then the emotions that come with them are real. An example of this is if you kill somebody in a dream, then the emotion that comes along with this action can still mess with your mind when you wake up. The emotions you experience in a lucid dream are real emotions and can affect your regular life and mental health. So, try not to do anything that could harm yourself or others while dreaming.

There are a couple of other cautions that need to be taken in mind before starting the process of lucid dreaming. One possible side effect of lucid dreaming is sleep paralysis. This means that you are awake but unable to move or speak, and this happens either when you are going to sleep or waking up. Lucid dreaming can also cause derealization and sleep problems. While these are all possible dangers of lucid dreaming there can be some benefits that come from it.  

While there are bad side effects of lucid dreaming, there can also be some positive ones. It can be used in therapy among psychologists. Some people have used it to literally fight their demons in a safe environment. Lucid dreaming can help relieve anxiety, depression, PTSD, and stress. So, there are positive and negative side effects of lucid dream 


In summation, Lucid dreaming is when you are aware that you are dreaming while in a dream. While Lucid dreaming you should eventually be able to control the storyline through different techniques. This new experience will open up a new world, but be careful because it can possibly cause damage to you.