Have you struggled with anxiety, problem-solving skills, or instilling creativity in the last few weeks, months, or years of your life? You may or may not have heard of this technique, but over the last few decades, people have demonstrated that this technique– lucid dreaming– is effective in addressing those concerns.
It is said that everyone will have lucid dreams at some point in their lives. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence or a recurring event; either way, lucid dreaming can provide benefits to the person experiencing it. This is why it is suggested for those seeking treatment for depression, recurring nightmares, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dr. Stephen LaBerge, a pioneer in learning the art of lucid dreaming, has led numerous scientific studies on how lucid dreaming occurs and how anyone can maximise it. Everyone, including you, can now learn how to lucid dream at any time thanks to him.
The Purpose of Lucid Dreaming
For a variety of reasons, this concept has piqued the interest of many people. Above all, the number one cause remains, and that is giving in to the peak of their curiosity as to how they can remain in a state of dreaming while exploring and controlling their actions.
When you have a lucid dream, you will be aware that you are dreaming, and the rest of the experience will be solid proof that the brain is an amazing part of the body.
Lucid dreamers who diligently practise it want to gain more control over their minds. While sleeping, they train their brains to achieve goals. The motivations may differ, but the process is the same. You enter the first stage of sleep, which is non-REM sleep, and continue until you reach the REM stage.
The REM stage is characterised by an increase in brain activity, as well as an increase in heart rate and eye movements. This is the same stage as when you dream, the only difference being that you are aware of your dream state. If you are interested in learning more about the potential benefits of lucid dreaming, continue reading.
Developing the Ability to Have Lucid Dreams
Though the chances of having frequent lucid dreams are slim, one can always try to increase their frequency. The steps listed below can help you start having lucid dreams. Use them to teach yourself to control your dreams while improving your reality.
Encourage Healthy Sleeping Habits
To begin, you must understand that lucid dreaming is difficult to achieve if you have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Because lucid dreams occur during the REM phase, it is critical that you have fewer interruptions at night. So, before you start learning how to lucid dream, focus on creating a dream-friendly environment first.
Your bedroom is a good place to start. Maintain a clean, comfortable environment free of distractions such as noise and unnecessary light. You can wear an eye mask or hang thick, dark curtains to block out any light that might wake you up.
Prepare your body for sleep by listening to relaxing music, meditating, using aromatherapy, or taking a warm bath. Invest in comfortable sheets and keep your room temperature at a comfortable level so you don’t wake up in the middle of a dream.
Make a Dream Journal.
A dream diary, like any other record, is intended to be a documentation of everything that occurs in your dream state, from the most significant to the smallest details.
Before you can begin lucid dreaming, you must be aware of all the elements that comprise your dream patterns and themes. You get the cues and master the art of distinguishing dreams from reality by examining all of the information in your daily dreams.
You can achieve this by keeping a notebook or a memo pad beside your bed. The first thing you should do after waking up from a dream is to write down everything you remember in as much detail as possible.
Keep a Record of Your Dream Symbols
There is a reason why psychologists advise you to keep a journal of your dreams. These have signs, characters, themes, and patterns that may indicate or be related to some of your real-life thoughts and events.
These are effective indicators of potential problems that you may be dealing with either consciously or subconsciously. Most importantly, understanding all of the things that naturally occur repeatedly in your dreams can help you determine whether you are in a dream state or have returned to reality.
Perform Reality Checks
Reality checks are useful because they make you aware of whether you are in a dream or not. It is recommended to conduct reality checks at least 5 to 10 times per day. The goal is to make it a habit and to train your body to perform reality checks in dreams just as much as it does in reality. If you’re new to this, you might be wondering how to go about it.
There are numerous methods for conducting reality checks. We’ve compiled a list of some of the simplest and most popular ones for you to try. Perform at least one or more ten times per day on a consistent basis, and you’ll be fine.
Looking at the smallest details is one of the most basic things to do. Examine your extremities, which are likely to be blurred and disproportionate. In your dreams, look for mirrors because your reflection will not be normal.
Take a look at your tattoos and birthmarks because they may appear differently in your dreams. These are just a few of the images you can see while dreaming.
To perform some simple tests, try pinching your nose and seeing if you can breathe. If you can breathe and do not have any difficulty doing so, you are most likely in a dream. You can, on the other hand, try to place your fingers against your palm. If they pass over and through your palm, you are dreaming.
Induction Methods to Induce Lucid Dreaming
Typically, lucid dreaming occurs spontaneously and at inconvenient times. However, if you want to learn how to lucid dream frequently, you should learn about the induction techniques listed below. These are effective methods for inducing lucid dreaming.
The MILD Method
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams is an abbreviation for Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams. This is an excellent method for people who have a good prospective memory or who remember future goals.
This is accomplished by falling asleep with the intention of remembering that you are dreaming. It will be useful to recite a mantra to help you remember this as you go.
This is ideal for those who enjoy practising meditation or hypnosis. This is accomplished by thinking and imagining that you are about to have a lucid dream.
This is usually done by people who have recurring nightmares. This allows them to create a lucid dream in which they can intervene to reduce the stress of their normal dream.
The WBTB Method
This method, also known as the “Wake-Back-To-Bed” method, is ideal for those who want to wake up in the middle of the night or those who want to combine other lucid dreaming techniques.
This occurs when a person awakens from a deep sleep and then remains awake for 30 minutes to 3 hours before returning to bed.
The WILD Method
This is known as the “Wake-Initiation-of-Lucid-Dreams.” This technique entails maintaining your sense of consciousness while falling back to sleep and entering a dream state.
This one comes with a word of caution: learning it can be difficult and frightening. This is ideal for those who want to have the most vivid lucid dreams possible.
The procedure begins by attempting to keep your eyes closed and returning to sleep as soon as you wake up. In this state, you must concentrate on your intention to return to dreaming and transform it into a lucid one.
Prepare for this section because you will experience sleep paralysis, which is required for the transition.
Some people are terrified because their minds are still awake but their bodies are immobile. When this happens, remember that you are entering a lucid dream and that you are safe. Many artists use this method because it is where they come up with ideas for their greatest works of art.
The VILD Method
This is also referred to as “Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams.” This is ideal for people with strong visualisation abilities. The disadvantage of this method is that it tends to keep you awake. This is accomplished through continuous visualisation.
You imagine the kind of dream you want to have. Constant rehearsal trains your mind to provide you with the same dream scene that you visualise before falling asleep.
The CAT Method
This technique, also known as the “Cycle Adjustment Technique,” is one of the simplest to perform because it requires very little effort on your part. All you have to do is adjust your sleep cycle to become acquainted with the various REM sleep phases. Those who do it correctly usually have lucid dreams once a week.
External stimulation is accomplished through the use of sleep masks. The method employs sleep masks to generate light stimuli that act as a trigger for lucid dreaming. There are various types of masks available on the market, so you can select from a variety of options.
Participate in Video Games
Recent research suggests that playing video games can help you improve your ability to remember normal and lucid dreams.
Because video game players are immersed in a fictional world over which they have control, it becomes familiar and similar to lucid dreaming. So, if you want to begin practising for your lucid dream, look into video games.
Continue to Do So
Because lucid dreaming takes a lot of practise and perseverance, those who finally get to experience it usually wake up excited. While this is a common occurrence, expert lucid dreamers have a few suggestions to keep the dream going.
They recommend that you rub your hands together, do a full spin, or continue with your task to convince your brain that you are still dreaming.
How to Awaken from a Lucid Dream
You already have the fundamental knowledge required to prepare for lucid dreaming at this point. You will be able to achieve your goal faster than you can imagine with proper execution and consistent practise. But what if you want to wake up from a lucid dream but can’t?
A lucid dreamer who understands how to initiate it should also understand how to awaken from it. There are a couple of techniques you can use to quickly return to reality. Keep them in mind as you embark on your lucid dreaming adventure.
You can easily awaken from a lucid dream by stimulating senses and parts of your brain that are not used during REM. You accomplish this by attempting to read a book or recognise a sign. Another approach would be to try to fall asleep in your dream because the usual outcome would be waking up to reality.
You can also try blinking your eyes as much as possible. This alerts your brain that you are about to awaken. And if things become too much for you, you can always ask for help. Make a point of yelling or speaking as loudly as you can to signal to your brain that it is time to wake up.
Things to Keep an Eye On
Lucid dreaming has numerous advantages for the dreamer. However, with these come potential complications that everyone should be aware of. When experimenting with techniques to induce lucid dreams, you may experience interrupted sleep.
This makes it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep, so keep track of your sleeping schedule in case you need to take a break and catch up on rest.
Sleep deprivation can cause depression or worsen an already existing depressive condition. It can also lead the dreamer to believe that the people and things around him are not real. This is referred to as derealization.
Finally, this is accompanied by sleep paralysis, which can be frightening and distressing to the dreamer.
When Should You See a Doctor?
It is critical that you maintain control over your body and health while attempting to learn how to lucid dream. Aside from the warning signs, there are a few instances in which you should seek professional assistance because they may indicate pre-existing mental health issues or sleep disorders.
Consult a doctor if you are experiencing memory problems, inability to sleep, fear or sleeping, sleep-disturbing nightmares, traumatising flashbacks, changes in your mood and emotional state, or frequent night terrors. These experts can assess your current situation and advise you on whether lucid dreaming is appropriate for you.
Lucid dreaming is not for the faint of heart; however, when you learn how to use it to your advantage, you reap numerous health benefits. This can help you improve your problem-solving skills, relieve anxiety, and bring out your most creative side. However, with all of the benefits comes the responsibility of knowing when to pause, stop, and seek help.
You are now ready to begin your lucid dreaming adventure after reading through all of the information above. Just remember to follow the methods outlined above and to carry them out correctly. You will be able to experience lucid dreaming for yourself with consistent practise and perseverance.