How to Lucid Dream – A Beginner’s Guide
“How to lucid dream” is fast becoming one of the most searched queries on the internet.
Everyone has heard of the magic we can experience when we learn how to lucid dream. We know that lucid dreaming is a powerful experience and can help us improve our lives if we choose to. We spend about one third of our lives sleeping! Why not learn how to lucid dream and make the most of that time?
But what is lucid dreaming? Why are people searching for this term? Where can you find out how to lucid dream? And what do you do once you’re in a lucid dream? These are all the things that we are going to talk about in this article, including how to lucid dream even as a total beginner.
What is Lucid Dreaming?
First things first: what is lucid dreaming? Lucid dreaming has a broad definition but put simply a lucid dream is a very vivid dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming. When you are aware that you are in a dream state, it is possible to control and explore your dreams intentionally.
Lucid dreaming can be triggered into two ways.
Sometimes, a lucid dream begins once you are already asleep. Whilst you are dreaming, something triggers your conscious mind and you realise that you are dreaming without waking up. When this happens, you can take control of your dreams.
Other times, you can set an intention whilst you are still awake that you will lucid dream in the night. You can choose a certain problem you’d like a solution to, a scenario you would like to play out in different ways, or you could simply set the intention to have a lucid dream in which you explore your dream world.
You get to create the environment of your dream, set the mood, and do absolutely anything you want. People who have mastered the art of lucid dreaming have been famed for flying, walking through walls, and conjuring thoughts into reality.
Lucid dreaming is a highly valuable tool. Not only is it great fun to play with your imagination and a different state of consciousness, but you can use it to manifest your desires and land that job, ask the girl you like out on a date, or even perform better in sports.
The first account of lucid dreaming that we know of was made by Aristotle in “On Dreams”. Indeed, the dream state has been of great interest to us as a species since the dawn of time, and it is also considered a powerful shamanic tool for accessing higher realms of consciousness.
Experts agree that it is possible for every single person to lucid dream, but that it may be easier for some people more than others depending on many variables such as personality type.
Why Should I Learn How to Lucid Dream?
When you learn how to lucid dream, you will notice many benefits. Some of which may be listed right here:
- Problem solving. It has been well documented that intentionally using lucid dreaming to solve problems in people’s waking lives is highly effective.
- Overcome fears and nightmares. Lucid dreaming often begins when you are having a nightmare. Luckily, when you enter lucidity during a nightmare, you can overcome the terrifying situation and wake up feeling much better. Lucid dreaming can even reduce the number of nightmares someone has.
- Boost your mood. When you learn to use lucid dreaming to overcome problems, explore your imagination, combat your nightmare demons, and improve your performance, of course your mood will be improved on a daily basis.
- Have spiritual experiences. According to the shamanic viewpoint, our dream world and our waking world are not totally separate, but intricately intertwined. Travelling to “dreamtime” can be a deeply spiritual practice for inner work, shadow work, and healing.
- Physical and mental healing. Just as hypnotic state training can encourage physical and emotional healing, so can lucid dreaming. Using the power of our subconscious mind to heal is something we can all learn very easily.
- Improved motor skills. There is plenty of research that shows how thinking about performing an action can improve our abilities like strength. These darts players improved their darts skills by using lucid dreaming techniques.
Now here comes the most important part: How to lucid dream!
How To Lucid Dream: Preparation
Before you learn how to lucid dream, there is some preparatory work to be done!
Firstly, you can begin by keeping a dream journal. This is a critical step if you truly want to learn how to lucid dream. By keeping a dream journal you will improve your dream recall, your dreams will seem to become more vivid, and you will learn about yourself and the types of dreams you usually have. Keeping a dream journal also helps you to recognise when you are in a dream – the most important part of lucid dreaming!
Keep a book and a pen by your bed so that you can access it as soon as you wake up. Every time you wake up from sleep, write down everything you can possibly remember from your dreams.
Next, start meditating regularly. Waking mindfulness has been shown to improve people’s ability to enter a lucid dream state. This is likely down to someone’s ability to enter different brainwave levels.
How To Lucid Dream: Techniques
Brainwave Entrainment Audio
Some people listen to brainwave entrainment audios before they fall asleep so that they can enter a very deep and restful sleep. Brainwave entrainment audios can also induce hypnagogia – a sensory experience that happens right before you fall asleep and encourages lucid dreaming and creativity. Brainwave entrainment has many benefits on your brain functioning.
Some supplements are highly effective when you want to learn how to lucid dream. Blue Lotus (the Egyptian Dream Flower), Calea Zacatechichi (aka The Dream Herb), and galantamine are three you might want to try.
MILD is an acronym for “Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams”. This technique was developed as a result of Dr. Stephen LaBerge’s extensive laboratory work. The technique is fully detailed in his book; Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.
To use the MILD technique do this:
When you are in bed and all set to surrender to sleep, continuously repeat in your head, “Next time I’m dreaming, I will notice that I am dreaming” or something along those lines. All the while, imagine yourself realising that you are in a lucid dream. This technique takes practice and it might not work out so well the very first time. Maintaining your dream journal and practising regularly will improve your results.
The MILD technique when learning how to lucid dream is also combined with the Wake-Back-To-Bed method (scroll down to see). In fact, using MILD after you’ve woken up from 5-6 hours of sleep is highly effective.
Research shows that the sooner you fall asleep after using this technique, the more vivid your dreams will be. The research also found that participants had a higher sleep quality than usual when using the MILD technique.
The wake-back-to-bed method is arguably the most well known method to use when learning how to lucid dream. In theory, it is very simple. Take a look:
First, go to bed as normal and plan to wake up 5-6 hours later (use your alarm clock).
Next, when you are woken up make sure you wake up fully. Engage in some reading or find something that uses your brain to make you fully alert. Do this for 20-60 minutes. You must get out of bed!
Then, go back to bed and relax fully. Try meditating, brainwave entrainment audio, or MILD. Visualise yourself back in your dream state and plan your lucid dream for when you fall back to sleep.
And that’s it! Simple enough, right? With practice this technique is incredibly effective.
What To Do in a Lucid Dream
So, you now know how to prepare to learn how to lucid dream, and you know some techniques on how to lucid dream. But what do you do once you’ve made it? Sometimes people realise they are in a lucid dream and immediately wake up because they are surprised! If this happens to you, never fear! Use the wake-back-to-bed and MILD techniques to get straight back in.
Set Lucid Dream Goals
While you are learning how to lucid dream, it is good to set some lucid dream goals to help you get familiar with what lucid dreaming feels like. For example:
- Eat a piece of fruit or a food you enjoy and see if you can sense the flavours.
- Touch the bark of a tree and notice the textures under your hands.
- Make your favourite song play and enjoy the sounds.
- Look up at the starry sky – can you see the other galaxies?
The trick is to engage one or two senses and see how it feels for you. When you get the hang of it, you can increase the complexity of your practice. Can you fly over mountain ranges? Maybe you can walk through doors without opening them!
This is when you have mastered your dream state and can begin crafting the life of your dreams, improving your mood, and more!
Lucid dreaming is possible for every single person as long as you are dedicated to the practice it takes. When you commit fully and learn how to lucid dream, the possibilities really are endless!