Bruce N. Gelerter, Guest Writer
Lucid dreaming doesn’t work for everyone, but those that do find themselves able to induce lucid dreams largely rely on a few popular methods. While most of these lucid dreaming tips rely only on mental preparation and self-coaching to induce lucid dreams, there are lucid dream gadgets, such as the lucid dreaming mask, that also assist in controlling your dreams. Read on to learn more:
1. Reality Check
One of the fundamentals of learning to lucid dream is the reality check. While a successful reality check may induce lucid dreaming on its own, it is also an integral part of many other lucid dreaming techniques. Thus, it is a good place to begin when first attempting to enter a lucid dream.
The idea behind the reality check is that by noticing discrepancies between the reality in your waking life and that in a dream, you will be able to become aware that you are dreaming and thus take control.
Here are a few popular reality check methods for inducing a lucid dream:
Draw a large dot or symbol on your hand. Look down at it periodically throughout the day, each time asking yourself: “Am I awake or dreaming?” Make this a habit. Eventually, this question will pop up within a dream, allowing you to become aware and enter a lucid dream. Plug your nose and close your mouth. Can you still breath? Perhaps you are dreaming. Look at a clock. Are the numbers garbled (if digital)? Does the passage of time seem out of whack? These are good indicators of being in a dream. Try to run. Being unable to run, or finding that you run at a sluggish pace, or as if you are wading through water is a classic sign of dreaming. Try poking your finger through your wrist. If you find that you can pass parts of your body through yourself, this may be a good cue to begin lucid dreaming.
Set yourself a timer or simply remember to do one or more of these reality checks throughout the day, even when it seems that you are awake. Once these become ingrained in your normal, routine behavior, you’ll learn to run these reality checks while you are dreaming, thus making it easier for you induce lucid dreams.
2. Recognize Dream Signs
Dream signs, like reality checks, are good indicators that you are dreaming and help “snap” you into a lucid dream. Universal dream signs include:
Failing electronics. Light switches, lamps, small kitchen appliances and other electronic items rarely function properly in dreams. Lighting discrepancies. Is it dark but, for some reason, you can see brightly colored objects anyway? This is a good sign that you are dreaming. Deformations. Morphing shapes or oddly shaped or sized items are indicators that you are dreaming. Recurring dreams. While not a specific item, many people have recurring dreams (i.e. teeth falling out, being chased). Encountering a situation like this is a good cue to attempt to enter a lucid dream.
Dream signs and reality checks are the meat and potatoes of lucid dream induction. Use them in conjunction with the methods below:
3. Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreaming (MILD)
As you fall asleep, repeat to yourself, “I will wake up after each dream period and remember my dream.”
Now, each time you wake up during the night, write down everything you can recall from your dream. If you can’t remember the specific content of your dream, simply write down how you feel.
Go back to sleep. As you drift off to sleep again, keep your previous dream in mind. Try to visualize yourself back inside the dream, picking up where you left off (or where you’d like it to go).
Repeat this process throughout the night until you enter a lucid dream.
4. Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD)
The principle of WILD is to wake yourself after about 5 to 6 hours of sleep and spend some time out of bed focusing on having a lucid dream.
Do something to make your mind receptive to lucid dreaming by watching a movie about dreams or reading articles about lucid dreaming.
As you lay back down to go to sleep, try to imagine the type of dream you’d like to have. Or, better yet, repeat to yourself what you are going to do in your dream until you fall asleep.
5. Externally Induced Lucid Dreaming (EILD)
EILD, also known as technology-assisted lucid dreaming or electrically induce lucid dreaming, is a good method for those that have trouble having lucid dreams on their own. There are many dream devices on the market to help induce lucid dreams, but the original and most effect device is a dream mask, such as that offered by The Dream Mask LLC.
Dream masks work by detecting the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep and stimulating you in order to awaken your mind, but not your body. Artificial cues, such as LED lights or tones will alert the user of a dream mask that he or she is dreaming. Once you are aware that you are in a dream, you can then enter a lucid dream.
As you can see, there are several effective ways to dream lucidly, but there are a few tried and true methods and devices that aid in the process.
Additional lucid dreaming tips that may help include:
Keep a dream journal. This will increase your dream recall, which is a great aid in inducing lucid dreams. Alter your sleep cycle. Sometimes being jarred out of your normal sleep patterns can result in lucid dreaming. Drink caffeine before bed. This helps keep your mind awake while your body falls asleep: the key to inducing a lucid dream.
Try one or more of these options, or a combination of these induction principles and you will greatly increase your chances of having a lucid dream.
About the Author
Bruce Gelerter is an author and inventor of electronic products for the mind. His current project is the DreamMask. At [http://www.TheDreamMask.com] you can view a Fox News Special where Bruce was interviewed which aired nationwide.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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