Lucid dreaming techniques focus on inducing conscious dreaming either during a dream or directly from the state of wakefulness. It is advised to start by honing your ability to remember yours dreams and develop a good dream recall.
Autosuggestion (convincing yourself that you will lucid dream), morning napping, adjusting your sleep cycle, performing reality checks and identifying dream signs are some of the most common lucid dreaming induction methods.
The trick is to perform reality tests when you spot certain dream signs that you have embedded in your mind.
Interestingly, people often experience lucidity unknowingly through Dream Initiated Lucid Dream (DILD) which is also considered as a technique for inducing lucid dreaming but it cannot be practiced because it relies on becoming lucid without intending to do so.
Popular Techniques for Lucid Dreaming
Stephen Laberge’s Mnemonically Induced Lucid Dreams (MILD)
This method should be practiced immediately after waking up and before falling back asleep. It requires setting your alarm at intervals of 4.5, 6, or 7.5 hours after falling asleep.
The procedure takes advantage of the fact that we tend to remember dreams when awoken directly from REM sleep. It stresses on remembering your last dream as clearly as possible and then re-entering that dream by resuming your sleep.
This time, while entering the dream, you need to visualize the dream and consistently tell yourself that you are going to remember that you are dreaming. It will take time and practice to develop this awareness.
Wake Initiation of Lucid Dreams (WILD)
This lucid dreaming technique makes use of relaxation and meditation as means to induce conscious dreaming at will. It focuses on entering the dream directly from wakefulness, maintaining the state of consciousness. Hence, WILD helps produce extremely vivid lucid dreams.
The method involves being physically and mentally relaxed and then entering the REM sleep directly while observing hypnagogic imagery that sets in when you are half-asleep. Hypnagogia constitutes absurd patterns, colors, even sounds that gradually pave the way for fragmental dreams.
As the dream fully materializes, you can start out a conscious dream by creative your own dreamscape. WILD is easier to follow during afternoon naps or at times when you wake up abruptly from REM sleep, that is, after 4-5 hours of sleep.
All in all, it is a challenging yet reliable technique, once you master it. However, when using this method you may experience sleep paralysis as your body falls asleep but mind remains awake. Nonetheless, you will grow used to it as you continue practicing.
Wake Back To Bed (WBTB)
Though it tends to disrupt the sleep cycles still, WBTB is one of the simplest lucid dreaming techniques, particularly for beginners.
It involves taking the normal 5-6 hours sleep, waking up fully for half an hour to 90 minutes and then again, going back to sleep. Use this method in combination with MILD technique to increase the chances of gaining lucidity in dreams.
Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams (VILD)
Those who are endowed with good visualization skills can try the VILD technique to induce conscious dreams. It requires visualization of a dream that incorporates a reality check.
It is suggested that you come up with a really simple dream for this purpose so that it is easy to visualize and does not require any changes in the middle of the dream. While visualizing the dream, try to look at the dream scene as you would through your own eyes rather than as a distant viewer.
Combine it with the WBTB method in the period between waking up and falling back asleep. When the reality test proves that you are dreaming, do lose lucidity in excitement and continue dreaming.
- Lucid Dreaming Induction Devices (LDID) can also be used to induce lucidity and control your dreams. These products are designed in such a way that they use a specific sensory stimulus as a reminder for you to become lucid in a dream without waking you up.
- Some other lucid dreaming methods include self-hypnosis, meditation and Tibetan dream yoga.
You can watch this video to understand more about lucid dreaming techniques.
From the list of the above-mentioned methods, choose the ones/ones that you are most comfortable with and practice persistently.
Besides, follow simple suggestions on how to stay lucid in a dream by being calm and relaxed when trying to induce conscious dreams.
In your excitement to achieve lucidity in dreams, though, do not ignore your waking life. Apply the lucid dreaming techniques to use this experience as a means for making the best of your actual life instead of taking it as a tool for escaping reality.