Train Yourself To Lucid Dream
November 15, 2011 18 Comments
If you have ever had a dream where you became aware you were dreaming, you have had a lucid dream experience. When this first happens for many it can be very shocking and usually the dreamer awakens quickly because they are not comfortable with the experience. It can be very weird at first to consciously be aware that you are in a dream because the dream state feels just the same as actual reality. Our brains can’t perceive the difference between reality and imagination and therefore dream scenarios seem just as real as our physical reality. I have recently become very interested in lucid dreaming and have been able to become “aware” in dreams a lot more frequently than I used to. There are some methods that you can employ to increase the probability of having a lucid dream which I will go into detail in this entry. With the ability to lucid dream, you can use the hours your body is spent shut off to your advantage and create and experience any scenario you wish when you become skilled at staying lucid within a dream.
The ability to become lucid within dreams is an ability anyone can train themselves to possess. Some of us are lucky enough to not have to train as much as others to experience a conscious awareness within a dream. Each individual has a different brain chemistry and each of our brain’s functions a little differently when in deep sleep. Thankfully, there are a few methods that can drastically increase your chances of becoming lucid and staying lucid throughout the night.
One of my favorite methods to increase my chances each night of becoming lucid is the reality check method. During the waking hours, performing reality checks such as asking yourself if you are dreaming can make you ask these questions within a dream and have the opportunity to become lucid.
Simply asking the question is not going to work however. There have been times where I have been dreaming and I asked myself if I was dreaming and actually convinced myself I wasn’t actually in a dream. To counter this, you have to go beyond simply just asking the question. A weird scenario that happens within dreams is that if you observe a clock at a certain time, turn away, and then look back at the clock, the times will not be consistent. This is a bizarre occurrence that is consistent with all dreams for everyone. If you are not around a clock while performing a reality check, you can also try flicking a light switch. Another strange aspect of dreams is that all light switches do not work; it is actually impossible to change the lighting within a dream. The key to doing this is consistency. Be consistent in your reality checks and try to perform them a few times a day at locations where you frequent a lot during the day because they are likely to pop up in your dreams. For example, every time you leave or enter your house, do a quick reality check on yourself and if you happen to walk into your house or leave your house in a dream and perform a reality check, you can become lucid.
In your house you can also experiment with different walls. Another aspect of lucid dreaming is the ability to travel through walls. There are essentially no physical boundaries within dreams therefore physical walls are able to be traveled through. In your waking hours, try to put your hand through different walls in your house and see that it is not possible. If you do this often, you will tend to try it out while in the dreaming state, realize the wall isn’t real, and induce a lucid dream.
After becoming lucid within a dream it can be hard to maintain lucidity. It is a strange experience at first for many first time lucid dreamers and many times the lucidity will only last a few moments before you wake up. It is important to try to remain calm and embrace the experience and this will be easier to do the more often you are able to lucid dream.
One of the methods that I have tried was popularized by Stephen LaBerge who is a psychophysiologist and a leader in the scientific study of lucid dreaming. His method is called “dream spinning” where the dreamer consciously spins his body around and around to maintain the lucid state. LaBerge proposes that while spinning in a dream, the dreamer is engaging parts of the brain that may also be involved with REM activity, hoping to prolong REM sleep. Another one of LaBerge’s methods is to rub one’s hands together while dreaming. This makes the brain concentrate on the sensation of rubbing one’s hands more so then the actual feeling of laying in bed. If you can consciously remember these methods while in a lucid dream, you can extend the dream’s lucidity once you feel it is slipping away.
As many of us already know, it can be incredibly difficult to recall dreams after we have woken up. I find that even 5 minutes after waking up I have trouble remembering anything I have dreamed about. To increase the ability of dream recall, I recommend creating a dream journal to keep near your bed for when you wake up from a dream. For me, I keep my laptop close to my bed so when I have a dream I want to remember, I am able to write about it quickly before I lose all the details. After recording different dreams, it becomes easier to recall specific details of dreams and notice the different patterns and themes within your own dreams. Not only does this help you remember dreams, but it can help you realize when you are dreaming because you will notice patterns that coincide with your dream state.
One of the final methods that I have used to help me get better at lucid dreaming is to play subliminal audio soundtracks as I fall asleep. These soundtracks relay messages to your subconscious to focus on the fact that you are about to dream and train your mind to develop the ability to become conscious within the dream. The power of the subconscious mind can give you the ability to do anything, including the ability to lucid dream. These tracks will not work miracles, but can certainly boost your ability if you have incorporated the aforementioned methods as well.
Lucid dreaming is certainly not an easy skill to master and will certainly take some time to develop. The key that I have mentioned earlier is consistency. You have to be consistent with reality checks, you have to be consistent with recording your dreams and you have to be consistent in your sleep patterns. When I had my first lucid dream, I became fascinated with the idea that I could potentially control my dreams. Since that first dream, I have done a lot of research and studied a lot of different methods for inducing these dreams. You have to do a lot of work on your own to experiment and learn about the various aspects of a lucid dream. Nothing is going to happen in one night. It takes constant practice to truly master this skill. I am not even close to mastering lucid dreaming.
On average, I will have one lucid dream a week but I would love to have a lucid dream every single night. It is such an amazing experience to use the downtime of sleep to do basically whatever you feel like. You can rehearse different scenarios and practice certain things you want to achieve in your physical reality. It is like a sandbox for creating and experimenting with whatever your own mind can imagine. Imagination has no boundaries. In the dream state, there are no physical restrictions holding you back. I encourage you to try some of these methods and you will certainly enjoy your first lucid dream experience if you have yet to have one.