Lucid Dreaming Guide (7 Steps For Fast Results)

Imagine if there was a simple technique you could adopt, that would enable you to experience lucid dreaming whenever you wanted.

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Now, imagine there were 7 easy lucid dreaming techniques that taken together would mean not only reaching your goal of having lucid dreams, but reaching it FAST.

Let’s face it.

Many people spend months and years practicing lucid dream induction techniques, such as reality checks, with little or no results.

Are you one of them? I was.

And before I learned how to lucid dream at will, I felt I was wasting my nights and days, not able to make use of and to enjoy this spectacular phenomena.

I wish I had access to the simple lucid dreaming tips I will share with you in this article, as it would have probably saved me years of hard work.

By reading this easy-to-implement, step-by-step guide, you will become a proficient lucid dreamer in no time.

You will then finally be able to reap the tremendous benefits lucid dreaming provides.

Contents hide

Lucid Dreaming Benefits

  • Wish fulfillment
  • Physical, emotional and spiritual healing
  • Working through nightmares and recurring dreams
  • Rehearsing, decision making, creative problem solving
  • Improving athletic performance
  • Receiving teachings
  • Spiritual enlightenment
  • Preparing for death
  • Conditioning your subconscious as a way to alter the real world

And the list goes on and on. The benefits of lucid dreaming are overwhelming, which often made me wonder why isn’t everyone obsessed about them as much as I am.

So what are the 7 steps to lucid dreaming?

They are:

  1. Dream recall.
  2. Avoiding the obstacles.
  3. Programming your mind to be aware during dreams.
  4. Learning to fall asleep consciously.
  5. Early morning practice.
  6. Naps.
  7. Optimizing your brain chemistry (by using lucid dreaming pills & foods).

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started right away.

Lucid Dreaming – Frequently Asked Questions

Lucid dreaming is classified as a psychological phenomenon, which is essentially about dreaming while actually being aware of dreaming.

During lucid dreaming, one may in fact be able to exert a certain amount of control over the dream itself, and the characters/environments it generates.

Lucid dreaming has been known since ancient times. In fact, the philosopher Aristotle has defined it too, at least on one occasion.

What is a lucid dream?

As already stated, a lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is essentially aware of the fact that he/she is dreaming.

This recognition is generated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, one of the areas of the brain which is indeed activated during REM sleep. Lucid dreams occur during REM sleep.

Once the recognition of a lucid dream occurs, the dreamer needs to be careful not to disrupt the process. Like many other “peculiar” dream-related issues, lucid dreaming is a sort of a delicate balancing act.

The origin and the various brain areas activated by lucid dreaming have been scientifically proven and tracked, so there’s nothing “occult” about the process, though there are still skeptics out there, who consider lucid dreaming little more than a brief period of wakefulness.

To fully meet the definition of lucid dreaming, a dream needs to present the following attributes:

  • The dreamer has to be aware that he/she is dreaming.
  • There needs to be awareness regarding decision-making. Awareness of self and of memory functions needs to be in the mix as well.
  • Awareness of focus and concentration as well as awareness of the actual meaning of the dream need to be present as well.

With all that, real world physics do not necessarily work in the lucid dream, and the objects populating the environment of the lucid dream disappear after awakening.

The above makes it clear that indeed few of the lucid dream accounts actually qualify as “proper” lucid dreams.

Is it bad to lucid dream?

Lucid dreaming is generally considered to be a very safe experience, though under certain circumstances, it may be startling and scary to dreamers unprepared for what such an experience entails.

Below, I’m going to discuss a few of the “dangers” of lucid dreaming, but I have to put it forth yet again, that the term “danger” is used very loosely here.

Of all lucid dreaming “dangers,” sleep paralysis is the most obvious.

What does sleep paralysis have to do with lucid dreaming you may ask?

Well, both phenomena occur on the boundary between being conscious and unconscious and both happen during the REM stage of sleep. In fact, lucid dreaming can easily slip into sleep paralysis and vice-versa.

Looking at the definition of sleep paralysis, one may even conclude that it is indeed but a form of lucid dreaming.

During the REM stage of sleep, when we have the most vivid “conventional” dreams, the body goes into a sort of paralysis, partly as a way to prevent us from acting out those dreams.

Sometimes, it so happens that the brain wakes up before the body is relinquished from this paralysis. This way, the person who experiences sleep paralysis, gets effectively stuck halfway between being asleep and awake.

During sleep paralysis, people have reported having frightening nightmares, which – due to them being conscious – take on a whole different dimension.

What you should know about sleep paralysis is that it is perfectly natural and that it will not harm you in any shape or form. That should allay your panic when you do find yourself in this weird situation.

Panic and fears extend far beyond the nightmares experienced during sleep paralysis though. Some people are afraid they’ll end up stuck in a lucid dream, unable to awaken. Such fears are baseless, though they are indeed understandable.

Lucid dreamers sometimes experience “false awakening” episodes, when they effectively try to wake up, only to then realize that they are in fact still dreaming. What’s truly scary is when this cycle keeps repeating, with seemingly no end in sight.

The bottom line in this regard is that as scary as it may seem, false awakening is indeed just as harmless as the whole process of lucid dreaming.

My take on this aspect is that lucid dreaming does not have to be fought. Giving in to the experience will allow the dreamer to explore a different reality, a different plane of existence.

I myself have never struggled to snap out of one of my lucid dreaming episodes, but I have heard that fighting it will result in more false awakening incidents.

Nightmares represent another scary aspect of lucid dreaming. Like any dream, a lucid one can become a nightmare as well. While some say lucid nightmares are much more frightening than normal ones, let us just consider this: in a lucid dream, you are well aware that you are actually dreaming, and you exert a certain amount of control over the dream too.

In my book, that makes lucid nightmares less frightening than “real” ones.

Experienced lucid dreamers, such as myself, can make proper use of this limited amount of control, and we can sometimes turn nightmares into pleasant dreams. The more experienced you are in this regard, obviously, the better chance you stand to accomplish this.

What’s more: through these lucid nightmares, you can actually stare down and eventually conquer your fears. Working through your negative feelings and stress factors this way can indeed be very constructive.

Getting hooked on lucid dreaming and developing an addiction is another concern regarding the safety of the phenomenon.

As an experienced lucid dreamer, I can tell you that the perceived dangers in this regard are greatly exaggerated.

Indeed, as other forms of escapism (such as video games), lucid dreaming does have a potential to become addictive. From my personal experience though, I have concluded that this potential is extremely meager, and if there’s no special, pre-existing mental condition involved, it is quite close to zero.

If you happen to have a mental illness, or a you already suffer from an addiction, you may want to consult a specialist before attempting lucid dreaming. The greatest danger for people with such pre-existing conditions is that they’ll confuse dreams with reality.

Last but not least, we have the issue of exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Those who lucid dream too much, may indeed miss out on quality sleep and thus end up exhausted and sleep-deprived after a while.

My personal experience is different in this regard too though. I feel invigorated and refreshed after a lucid dreaming episode, though the truth is that I pay special attention to not overdoing it.

If you somehow feel exhausted as a result of your lucid dreaming, simply lessen the time you spend trying to fall into a lucid dream.

Why do some people have lucid dreams?

Some people are more inclined to have lucid dreams than others.

This is a fact that has always been known/recognized, but only recently have there been studies done on indeed why those who have lucid dreams have them, while others can easily go a lifetime without ever experiencing this peculiar trick of the mind. According to these studies, people prone to having lucid dreams possess an outstanding ability to extract information from context.

Indeed, during my lucid dreaming episodes, I have personally seen that the realization that I am indeed having a dream, comes from noticing a tiny discrepancy in the dream itself, something that is just not in the right spot…Once the realization strikes, the lucid dreaming experience begins.

Now, I personally may not be much of a puzzle-solver (I might simply lack the required patience), but according to the above-mentioned studies, frequent lucid dreamers are also better than average at solving complex puzzles, which require a unique, outside-of-the-box approach. Such people are apparently also better at finding patterns in complexity, which simplify things. Complex information processing and decision making are allegedly also among the strengths of lucid dreamers.

While lucid dreams mostly happen spontaneously, they can in fact be voluntarily triggered, and in this regard, I am proof positive indeed.

How do you have a lucid dream?

As I said above, lucid dreaming can in fact be induced voluntarily, though it is probably safe to assume that those with a predilection for lucid dreaming and those who have had the experience before, will probably have an easier time at this undertaking.

Here’s a brief guide to help you get started on your lucid dreaming journey.

Remember, lucid dreaming should normally be a pleasant experience and its dangers are mostly panic/fear-related. There is no way a lucid dream can hurt you in real life.

Also: do not obsess over this. Make it a sort of a habit to try to induce lucid dreams and to actually have them once you get the handle of how it all works. Moderation is the key word here.

Your first step is to keep a dream journal. This is easily accomplished by placing a pen and paper next to your bed, so when you wake up and the memories of your dreams are still vivid, you can write them down. This will help you identify your dream patterns, and tell you when you’re most likely to dream.

Try to identify reoccurring dream elements. This way, you’ll be able to recognize them/spot them during dreaming, thus effectively triggering a lucid dreaming episode.

Acetylcholine is a compound which has been found to regulate REM sleep. By taking a supplement, such as galantamine, that increases acetylcholine levels, you’ll effectively make your dreams more vivid, and you’ll advance your likelihood of having a lucid dream. High acetylcholine levels are apparently linked to longer and broader REM sleep stages.

High melatonin levels also facilitate vivid dreams and lucid dreaming. You can up your melatonin levels by observing a strict sleep schedule, by sleeping in complete silence and darkness, and by generally improving the quality of your sleep. Certain foods are known to promote melatonin as well.

Meditation is an important preparatory stage for lucid dreaming. Through meditation, the would-be dreamer relaxes, allowing his/her mind to drift, while his/her breathing gets deeper and more uniform. A feeling of floating and auditory hallucinations may result from this meditative stage, if done right.

Use self-suggestion. Make it your stated goal to have a lucid dream that night, and to remember it the following day. Set your brain up to recognize you are dreaming when you eventually get to that stage.

As far as my personal lucid dreaming journey is concerned, this is perhaps the most important ritual: reality checks. Pinching yourself for instance won’t hurt in a dream. You can develop special habits in real life, like writing something on your hand and checking it periodically. In the dream, the writing will not be on your hand. Questioning your reality every now and then (in real life) will develop in you a state of mind necessary for lucid dreaming.

Pay keen attention to objects such as mirrors, faces and details of pictures on the walls in real life. In your dreams, such details are usually unclear, so you’ll find it easier to recognize that you’re dreaming by searching for such details there.

Remember, when you do achieve lucid dreaming, do not fight anything you might find scary, like for instance false awakenings. Just give in to the experience and focus on dream-surfing, on making the most of your lucid dream. You will snap out of it when the time comes, do not worry about that.

I have personally found that “pushing” scary experiences is the best way to face your fears. Instead of fighting them, embrace them and “ask for more,” fully aware that nothing bad can happen to you in your dream.

Can everyone have a lucid dream?

The short answer to that is yes. Theoretically, everyone who dreams can lucid dream as well.

Lucid dreaming is simply another realm of dreaming, one where consciousness meets unconsciousness.

Many people have lucid dreams spontaneously, while others won’t ever have a spontaneous lucid dream in their lives.

I am personally convinced though that through the above detailed techniques, everyone can in fact “learn” to lucid dream.

What happens when you die in a lucid dream?

Most likely, you will simply wake up. No, you will not die in real life too. This is a myth and a misconception regarding lucid dreaming.

The reason you’ll wake up is that your “dream death” will induce a surge of adrenaline in you that will snap you out of it all.

I will agree though that dying in your lucid dream is not the most pleasant experience.

7 Lucid Dreaming Tips – How to Induce a Lucid Dream?

Step 1: Dream Recall

Remembering your dreams is absolutely essential for lucid dreaming.

The problem in this regard is that our brains seem “programmed” to erase our dream-related memories as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Your first step is to keep a dream journal

This is easily accomplished by placing a pen and paper next to your bed, so when you wake up and the memories of your dreams are still vivid, you can write them down.

This will help you identify your dream patterns, and tell you when you’re most likely to dream.

So how do you go about remembering your dreams?

Your first move is to get plenty of sleep. This is needed for several reasons.

First of all: to have long and proper REM sleep stages, you need to be well-rested and on a healthy sleep schedule.

When you awaken and you do indeed remember a dream: know that you MUST record it. Otherwise, if you go back to sleep, you brain may well erase it all by morning.

When you wake up, remain in the position in which you were upon awakening and try to remember what you dreamt. Try to grab onto a memory-fragment if you have no clear idea in this regard and try to work backwards from it.

If you feel up to it, you should really provide a detailed description of the dreams you do indeed remember.

Write down everything about them: dialogues, colors, sensations, feelings various dream scenarios elicited in you, tactile sensations and temperature-related ones.

Draw pictures of your dream scenarios, as well as of the symbols and various faces that you encounter.

In addition to your on-the-spot recording, prepare yourself to record dreams throughout the day. Sometimes dream recall strikes when you least expect it, and it would really be a shame to let these memories go to waste, just because you have your mind filled with other thoughts at that point.

Even if you only manage to recall some dream fragments, note them all down, with special attention to detail.

If you already have a dream journal going, read through it before bedtime. This is an interesting way to lull your brain into dream-mode, and to give your dream-related thoughts priority over the day’s issues, or other thoughts linked to mundane existence.

Step 2: Overcoming the Obstacles

There are several common obstacles that must be averted if you’d like to enjoy lucid dreaming.

Basically, anything that disturbs the natural course of sleep is to be avoided.

Here are some sleep hygiene tips you should follow on your way to become a lucid dreamer:

Avoid stimulants (e.g., caffeine, nicotine) for several hours before bedtime

Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants. Therefore, no surprise they cause trouble sleeping.

Caffeine

When designing your daily schedule, keep in mind that caffeine takes about 1 hour to kick in and that its duration of action is 3-4 hours.

Caffeine use significantly disturbs sleep in susceptible persons.

It would be wise therefore to avoid drinking coffee in the late afternoon or evening hours. Try to have your last caffeinated beverage at least 5 hours before you intend to go to sleep.

Additionally, try to drink not more than 3 cups of coffee per day.

And remember, caffeine exists in other places besides coffee. Tea, some soft and energy drinks and chocolate also contain caffeine. The only caffeinated beverage that might be an exception would be green (or white) tea.

Raspberry Tea
Try a cup of fruit tea as a nightly alternative to coffee

Nicotine

Regarding nicotine, when it is smoked, its onset is within seconds. The half-life of nicotine is 1-2 hours and while its primary effects last 10-45 minutes, it may take 2 hours for it to really wear off.

Nicotine dependency may cause nocturnal awakenings.

I seriously suggest that you quit smoking if you do, but if you must smoke, take your last cigarette at least 2 hours before your bedtime.

Avoid alcohol and marijuana around bedtime because they fragment sleep

Alcohol

While low doses of alcohol don’t seem to cause any noticeable effects on sleep, drinking larger amounts before going to sleep causes an increase in the deeper stages of sleep while suppressing REM sleep.

REM sleep is the stage of sleep in which most dreams occur.

By the end of the night, the effect wanes and a REM rebound occurs where you may experience an increase in REM sleep. This may be accompanied by intense (albeit difficult to remember) dreams in the early morning hours after a drinking night.

Alcohol causes your sleep to be more broken and less refreshing than normal.

Drinking just 1-2 drinks might not cause any problems at all. But if you drink more than that, try to do so at least 4 hours before your bed time.

A glass of wine with dinner will likely not be an issue.

Cannabis

Ingesting marijuana (specifically THC) causes sleep disruption. It is characterizing by a reduction of REM sleep.

Chronic THC ingestion causes a long-term suppression of slow-wave sleep.

If lucid dreaming, or even just remembering your dreams, matters to you, try to avoid using cannabis regularly or consult with my Dreams & Cannabis Guide for other solutions.

Unwind - Use candlelight for reading / meditation
Use candlelight to read and meditate during your unwinding hour

Allow at least a 1-hour period to unwind before bedtime

Take the time to prepare your body to sleep at least 30-60 minutes before your bedtime.

During your final waking hour, try to dissolve all your worries and tensions by meditating or engaging in a quiet and relaxing activity that you enjoy.

Let go of everything that happened to you during the day.

Clean your mind and calm your body.

Reading about lucid dreaming might be particularly helpful.

An important consideration for your winding down time would be to avoid exposing yourself to light, which can decrease your sleep hormone (melatonin) levels.

This includes screens.

Yes, your computer and smart phone screens can hurt your sleep if you are exposed to their light just before bedtime.

If you can’t go to sleep without watching your favorite TV show, then consider using glasses that block blue light in the hours before bedtime. Alternatively, you can use your operating system’s blue light settings.

Here’s how this setting is configured on Windows 10.

Right click on your desktop, click “Display settings,” then on “Night light settings.” You’ll see the following window:

Windows 10 Night Light Settings

Just schedule night light to turn on sunset to sunrise and you’re all set!

Keep your bedroom environment quiet, dark, and comfortable

Maintaining a comfortable sleep environment is very important.

Make sure your room is quiet and dark. Noise and light (even dim light) may interfere with your sleep.

If there’s light outside during even part of your sleep hours, make sure to cover your windows so that the daylight doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

The temperature in the room should also be comfortable. Try to keep it not higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit (about 24 degrees Celsius).

If it’s warmer than that, turn on the AC!

Remove electronic devices from your bedroom

Electronic devices emit not only light, but also sound, heat and electromagnetic radiation which may influence your sleep.

Not to mention if that Facebook notification or SMS actually wakes you up when you were just about to drift off to sleep…

If possible, see to it that there will be no electronic devices whatsoever in your bedroom.

Step 3: Programming your Mind to Become Conscious During Dreams

The most common technique for induction of lucid dreaming is known as DILD (Dream Initiated Lucid Dreaming).

In DILDs, one goes to sleep “properly” and has what one would call a “normal” dream, during which, he/she suddenly becomes lucid for whatever reason.

Lucidity is usually achieved as a result of a sudden realization that something is “not right” within the dream, or through the recognition of a pattern.

While DILDs can be entirely spontaneous, there are a number of techniques one can employ to increase the odds of having a such a lucid dream.

How to Achieve a Dream-Induced Lucid Dream?

There are quite a few ways to bring about a DILD, or rather, to help it pop up on its own.

The most common technique is to conduct reality checks.

Reality Checks – Useful Lucid Dreaming Technique?

The practice is based on the performing of reality checks throughout the day, which can be intricate (like reading text off a piece of paper or checking a clock, while asking “am I dreaming?”), or really simple, like trying to put one hand through the palm of the other.

When these reality checks become second nature, one will in essence be compelled to perform them within his/her dreams too.

When done in a dream, the results of the checks will be different of course, and this realization will likely spark lucidity.

The problem with reality checks is that it’s essentially a “practice and pray” technique.

You spend a lot of energy during the day to question the reality of waking life, but will you remember to do the same questioning during the dream?

For some people, this technique works fine. For others, they may practice it for months, or even years, without success.

Still, I wouldn’t recommend not making any efforts towards reaching the lucid state from within the dream.

Just use an easier method.

Auto-Suggestion

The method I find most effective and easy is auto-suggestion/self-hypnosis, one that doesn’t require spending more than 5 minutes per day.

One way to do it is to imagine oneself descending a flight of stairs while in a state of deep relaxation. With every step, one goes deeper and deeper into hypnosis. Repeating “I experience a lucid dream” and “I’m taking control of my dreams” during the exercise is also in order.

Another technique which I learned from Robert Waggoner is to spend 5 minutes before going to bed at night, looking at your hands and repeating “Tonight in my dreams I’ll see my hands and realize I’m dreaming.”

By practicing the above described technique(s) that you find most effective and rewarding, you won’t just temporarily increase your chances of triggering a DILD.

You will in fact become more and more skilled at bringing about the experience, and with time, you may grow to be able to trigger a DILD almost every night. You can indeed become a DILD-master.

Step 4: Learn to Fall Asleep Consciously

A big shortcoming of the DILD method is that it does not allow for the on-demand triggering of lucid dreams.

For that, you will have to turn to the Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD; a term coined by Prof. Stephen LaBerge) technique, which is about keeping the mind awake as the body goes to sleep.

How can you achieve on-demand LDs through WILD?

The first step is setting up the right sleep environment, which in this case means eliminating any and all potential sources of distraction within your bedroom. You will need to achieve complete and perfect relaxation while completely motionless, so you cannot afford to have your thoughts distracted by anything.

Having set up your room, it’s time to assume the “corpse pose.”

Lie on your back, completely motionless, and be aware that what’s about to happen is essentially what you go through every night when you go to sleep, with one difference: this time around, only your body will be trusted to the Sandman, your mind will stay awake and lucid.

At this stage, it is important that you do not move. Sort out all your itches and other mobility-linked issues beforehand, and if you happen to make a move during your corpse pose-stage, start over.

Try to break free of all worries and concerns you may have, by pushing them all away in the distance. Think of them as issues you might handle tomorrow, but which carry no significance for the here and now.

Relax every part of your body, paying special attention to your face. There’s usually a lot of pent-up tension in the face, tension which goes unnoticed by most people during the day. Focus on ridding your face and your jaw of this tension.

Focusing your attention on your breathing is the third step.

What’s important here is to breathe deeply, but by no means in a manner that takes an extra effort, or is uncomfortable in any shape or form.

After you spend some time in the above described relaxed state, you will notice how hypnagogia slowly creeps up on you. At this point, your objective is to simply observe this hypnagogic state.

Closing your eyes, try focusing on the cavalcade of phosphorescent patterns and shapes that will commence behind your eyelids, by literally looking into the back of your eyelids.

As you drift deeper and deeper into this hypnagogic state, you will at one point start feeling sensations such as tipping and floating, and you may even begin to hear faint sounds in the distance.

Use your still-awake consciousness to tell yourself that you are indeed dreaming.

While the temptation to let your consciousness “catch up” with your physical shell and fall asleep, is greatest at this point, this is where your actual lucid dream experience begins, so do not give in to that urge.

The 4th step is about slowly beginning to build up your lucid dream scenario. Depending on the depth of your hypnagogic state, you can start off with modest elements such as simple shapes, or you can cut right to the chase and build a complete scenario.

As always, taking things one step at a time is best for beginners.

Try to visualize something simple, like a circle, first. Make it go away, then bring it back.

Bring up different shapes, such as triangles and squares. Get handy controlling them: move them around and spin them.

Once you’re past this stage, try conjuring up more intricate images. Visualize a beach or a forest.

The best technique is this regard is to focus more on actually seeing the environment and not on creating it. Imagine that the whole thing is already there, you’re just not seeing it.

The next step is to insert yourself into the dreamscape.

Move around and make the most of the sensations that will surround you. If you’re on a beach, feel the warm sand under your feet. Look down and see if you can make out your feet and your hands.

Be amazed by the vividness of your dream, and keep telling yourself that you are in fact in a dream.

Completely let go of your body though, even deny its existence. You are your consciousness at this point, and you are indeed in a lucid dream induced through the WILD technique.

Step 5: Use the Early Morning Hours to Practice

Another important technique to incorporate into your daily practice schedule is known as MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming).

Stephen LaBerge is the one credited with the development of the technique, and indeed, I can tell you from my own experience that it works well.

There are two steps to this techniques, which should be practiced repeatedly one after the other, again and again, after waking up from a dream.

Upon waking up, the dreamer will usually remember a previous dream. The problem is that often, one is so drowsy at this point that he/she will go right back to sleep. It is important to achieve a fully awakened state instead of dozing right off again.

Having woken up completely, the dreamer then needs to go back to sleep, while practicing the two steps of the MILD technique.

Step one involves setting a strong intention to remember your next dream. Repeat to yourself: “Next time I’m dreaming, I will recognize I’m in a dream.” Eliminate all other thoughts and just focus on this intention.

In the second step, imagine that you’re back in the dream from which you just awakened, but this time imagine you recognize it’s a dream and then carry off one of your lucid dreaming goals (like flying).

Repeat these two steps over and over until you fall asleep.

If properly done, the dreamer will often re-enter the same dream he/she had just before awakening, only this time around, lucidity shall be achieved.

Step 6: Take Naps During the Daytime

Afternoon naps are also capable of triggering lucid dreams.

If you can get two opportunities instead of one per 24 hour period to attempt lucid dreaming, it would double your chances of succeeding.

Actually, naps may improve your chances by more than double since during afternoon naps, not only do you go directly into REM sleep without having to go through deep sleep, but your general level of alertness is higher, which also enhances your ability to be conscious in the dream.

This also means that afternoon naps would be the perfect time to practice the WILD technique from step 4.

The ideal nap duration would be anywhere from 20 minutes to 60 minutes.

As for the timing, try not to nap during the evening (as it may interfere with your night sleep).

One thing that’s certain about daytime naps though is that they will aggravate insomnia, so if you are an insomnia sufferer, you should probably steer clear of daytime napping.

Step 7: Tweaking Your Brain Chemistry for Best Results (by using lucid dreaming pills & foods)

Some people find that no matter what lucid dreaming techniques they try, they aren’t able to become lucid in their dreams, or even remember their dreams.

This can result from a brain chemistry that is not conductive to dream recall and alertness.

For example, most people normally wake up from REM sleep. That happens even in the middle of the night, but we usually forget those nocturnal awakenings.

But what if you woke up from light sleep instead? The more time passes between REM sleep and awakening, the less likely it is that you will be able to recall your dreams.

Other people may spend a lot of time in deep and light sleep and too little in REM sleep, reducing their chances to dream lucidly and recall their dreams.

Luckily, there are some foods and lucid dream supplements that by changing your brain chemistry can create the ideal conditions for dream recall and lucid dream induction.

Specifically, the two neurotransmitter that have the most effect on dreams are serotonin and acetylcholine.

Serotonin

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which plays a role in the regulation of sleep. The problem is that taking serotonin, or eating serotonin-rich foods, such as kiwifruit, has no effect since it cannot pass the blood-brain barrier, and thus cannot reach your brain.

Fortunately, there are two substances, namely melatonin and 5-HTP, that do reach the brain, and once they do, they increase the amount of serotonin.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone which regulates your sleepiness. Your brain produces constantly, making you drowsy and ready for sleep.

To produce melatonin, your body uses an amino acid called tryptophan.

Tryptophan cannot be produced by the body; it must be obtained from the food we eat.

Which foods are high in tryptophan?

  • Seeds, especially pumpkin and squash seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds.
  • Nuts, especially pistachio nuts, cashew nuts, almonds and hazelnuts (filberts).
  • Soy products, such as soybeans, tofu and tempeh.
  • Whole grains, especially whole oats and buckwheat.
  • Beans and legumes (especially white beans, black beans and lentils).

So if you find yourself looking for something to eat at midnight, why not grab a high-tryptophan, melatonin-production-supporting snack?

High melatonin levels also facilitate vivid dreams and lucid dreaming.

Certain foods are known to naturally contain melatonin, such as pistachio nuts, almonds, raspberries, goji berries, tart cherries, bananas, grapes, pineapple, oranges and plums.

Synthetic melatonin can also be used, but is less recommended.

5-HTP

A direct precursor of serotonin, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is one of the commonly used lucid dreaming supplements out there.

Given its links to serotonin, 5-HTP is obviously a promoter of deep-sleep stages, and a suppressor of REM.

Serotonin
Serotonin – The Happiness Hormone

Serotonin’s acetylcholine-busting effects may actually result in longer periods of REM sleep towards the morning hours, after the effects of the supplements responsible for the serotonin spike earlier on, have mostly worn off.

This is why – unlike acetylcholine-boosting supplements – serotonin-aimed supplements should be taken right before going to bed.

To make a long story short: serotonin (boosted by 5-HTP) suppresses REM sleep during the first few sleep cycles of the night.

Towards the morning, during the last couple of sleep-cycles of the night, REM stages become naturally longer.

With the boosting effects of 5-HTP out of the system by this point, these sleep stages become even longer and deeper, thanks to the REM-rebound effect, hence the more vivid dreams and better dream recall.

Acetylcholine

Acetylcholine is a compound which has been found to regulate REM sleep. By taking a supplement that increases acetylcholine levels, you’ll effectively make your dreams more vivid, and you’ll advance your likelihood of having a lucid dream.

High acetylcholine levels are apparently linked to longer and broader REM sleep stages.

My favorite acetylcholine boosting supplements are Alpha-GPC and Huperzine A, however galantamine also deserves a mention due to its high effectiveness.

Alpha GPC

Choline is aimed at the boosting of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which is responsible for the lengthening of the REM sleep stage, and thus the promotion of dreams as well as lucid dreaming.

Alpha GPC‘s effects on dreams can be quite spectacular when combined with galantamine, although in this case, it’s a bit of a tricky exercise telling exactly which supplement is mostly responsible for these effects.

The resulting dreams are exceptionally vivid and long, and lucidity is relatively easy to attain within them. As said above, this supplement combo (perhaps rounded out through the addition of 5-HTP taken before bedtime), is great for WILD too.

When it comes to dosage, due to the very nature of this supplement (it is, after all, an essential nutrient), one can tinker about within a rather generous range. Alpha GPC can be taken in 600 mg, 900 mg and 1200 mg doses, with 8 mg of galantamine.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is one of the supplements most lucid dreaming enthusiasts swear by. It is available without a prescription, it is relatively cheap and by all accounts – including my own – it does indeed work when it comes to LD induction and enhancement.

Huperzine A also acts upon acetylcholine, effectively preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter in the brain, by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase. This way, Huperzine A is claimed to improve memory, as well as mental function.

Huperzine A (through its effects on ACh) is used for the boosting of the REM sleep stage.

That said, the boosting of ACh levels shouldn’t happen until after you’ve put in 4-5 hours of quality sleep. That’s the approximate point when REM sleep takes over, and serotonin levels naturally decrease, as ACh takes over.

This way, you won’t just end up with increased ACh and deeper/longer REM sleep, you’ll have kept your sleep quality intact as well.

Due to the nature of acetylcholine, the impact of supplements like Huperzine A is two-pronged. On one hand, they extend the length and enhance the vividness of lucid dreams; on the other, they make it easier for the dreamer to remember the LDs.

The benefic effects of ACh on lucid dreaming are undeniable. What’s more is that it helps with MILD as well as WILD lucid dreams. Elevated ACh levels can indeed greatly help with the WILD variety of LDs, which is quite a leap forward, given how this type of LD can be induced at will.

The only other supplement that comes close to Huperzine A, LD-related effects-wise is galantamine, which acts in a manner similar to Huperzine A: it inhibits AChE, to thus prevent the breakdown of ACh in the brain. Still, Huperzine A is the clear winner for me and for many others out there.

Before I begin comparing the two supplements, let us set one thing straight: they both work for LDs, and efficiency-wise, there’s really not much of a difference from one to the other. They’re both at their best when combined with other supplements and – as said above – they both act by the same mechanism.

What I have personally found though it that galantamine packs quite an additional punch – and not in a good way. Whenever I wake up in the morning following a galantamine-aided LD experience, I feel like I had a few drinks too many the previous night.

With Huperzine A, I’m always refreshed, a good nights’ sleep behind me. For someone who engages in lucid dreaming as much as I do, this is quite a deal-breaker as far as galantamine is concerned.

This fact alone makes Huperzine A vastly superior to galantamine.

Daily Schedule for Lucid Dreaming Success

Any of the above 7 steps can potentially trigger lucid dreams on its own.

Combining all 7 steps into your daily routine is a recipe for achieving lucid dreaming almost instantly.

There are different ways to combine the different steps in your routine, here’s one example schedule, which incorporates all the above steps.

Lucid Dreaming Induction Schedule – Example

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re an average adult (who needs 8 hours of sleep per night) and normally wakes up at 6 am. In order to allow for a one-hour nap, for this example I’ll allocate only 7 hours for night sleep.

Make sure to carry your dream journal with you at all times. Upon waking up from sleep, or anytime during the day, if you recall any dreams, write them down in as much detail as possible.

If you don’t remember at least one dream per night, go over the list of common obstacles.

If you regularly use cannabis or drink alcohol in the evening hours, you will probably need to let go of these habits while learning lucid dreaming (or check out my Marijuana & Dreaming Guide.)

5 pm – Last opportunity to have a caffeinated beverage.

6 pm – For dinner try to consume tryptophan-rich foods, such as nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains.

8 pm – As a night snack, have some melatonin-rich foods, such as almonds, goji berries, tart cherries, and raspberries.

9 pm – One hour before bed, take some time to unwind, avoiding artificial lights and screens. Meditation and/or reading by candlelight about lucid dreaming would be ideal ways to spend this hour.

Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool, and will remain like that for the duration of your sleep.

Don’t forget to go over your dream journal to remind yourself you need to remember your dreams as well as to gain any insights that might prepare you to the night practice.

10 pm – Just before hitting the sack, down some 100-150 mg of 5-HTP. (This step is optional.)

In bed, relax your body and repeat over and over that “tonight in my dreams I’ll see my hands and realize I’m dreaming.” This should be your last thought before drifting off to sleep.

4 am – Set an alarm to wake you up. Write your dreams in the journal.

Optional – Take some Huperzine A, as well as 600-1,200 mg of Alpha-GPC.

Spend about an hour meditating and/or reading about lucid dreaming by candlelight. (Not on the computer/mobile phone, heaven forbid.)

5 am – Practice MILD as you go back to sleep.

6 am – Wake up, and start your day.

12 pm – At noon (or during the early afternoon), take a break from whatever you’re doing and practice the WILD technique until you drift off to a 20-60 minute nap. For better results, take Huperzine A and Alpha-GPC before attempting this.

That’s all it takes.

By following this example schedule, or by modelling your own schedule based on the 7 steps I described in this lucid dreaming induction guide, you will definitely succeed.

Lucid Dreaming Techniques

DILD Technique for Lucid Dreaming

DILDsDream Initiated Lucid Dreams – are some of the most natural lucid dreams. A person experiencing a DILD goes to sleep “properly” and has what one would call a “normal” dream, during which, he/she suddenly becomes lucid for whatever reason.

Lucidity is usually achieved as a result of a sudden realization that something is “not right” within the dream, or through the recognition of a pattern.

While DILDs can be entirely spontaneous, there are a number of techniques one can employ to increase the odds of having a such a lucid dream.

Why would you want to have a lucid dream to begin with?

LDs open up a whole new dimension to life. Being in control of a dream is not just a very unique and pleasant experience, it is also one that places the dreamer in a position of power, from which he/she can solve various real-life problems, achieve better stress relief or go on a magical adventure.

Obviously, the more predisposed one is to lucid dreaming, the easier it will be for him/her to become lucid.

What exactly does this mean?

People who usually have long, vivid and/or weird dreams, or those who find it easier to remember their dreams, will find it much easier to achieve DILD too.

Fortunately, that does not mean that those who do not fall into the above category will find dream-initiated lucid dreaming impossible.

In fact anyone can do it. How?

How to Achieve a Dream-Induced Lucid Dream?

There are quite a few ways to bring about a DILD, or rather, to help it pop up on its own.

  • Dream sign-identification
  • Reality checks
  • Meditation
  • WBTB (Wake Back to Bed)
  • Sleep-cycle adjustment (CAT)
  • Self-hypnosis
  • MILD

The identification of a specific dream sign/pattern is often how spontaneous lucidity is achieved. The dreamer notices a pattern that he/she remembers from other dreams, and suddenly, he/she realizes that he/she is indeed dreaming again.

Keeping a dream journal (in which the dreamer jots down details about his/her dreams as soon as he/she wakes up) can be extremely helpful in this regard. Properly remembering a dream is always a challenge, and this approach can help immensely in that respect too.

Reality Checks

Reality checks are among the simplest and the most exciting practices one can adopt for DILD.

The practice is based on the performing of reality checks throughout the day, which can be intricate (like reading text off a piece of paper or checking a clock, while asking “am I dreaming?”), or really simple, like trying to put one hand through the palm of the other.

When these reality checks become second nature, one will in essence be compelled to perform them within his/her dreams too.

When done in a dream, the results of the checks will be different of course, and this realization will likely spark lucidity.

Meditation

Meditation is considered a viable avenue for DILD-odds enhancement.

It has been scientifically proven that those who meditate, find it much easier to trigger DILDs. In fact, masters of this technique are apparently able to trigger DILDs at will.

WBTB

The WBTB (Wake Back to Bed) technique may seem a tad forced and artificial for something as natural as DILD, but it is just another way to enhance the odds in this regard.

WBTB consists of waking up two hours early, getting out of bed and being active for 20-30 minutes, after which the WBTB-er goes back to sleep, to experience a dramatically increased number of DILDs.

The method takes advantage of the peculiarities of REM sleep and of its affinity for dreaming in general.

The CAT Method

A method which takes a similar approach is CAT (Cycle Adjustment). The essence of the method resides in the pushing of one’s awakening consciousness into the middle of REM sleep.

This way, the period a maximum consciousness can be superposed with a period a maximum dream-affinity, creating the perfect premises for a DILD.

Awakening earlier than normal for a given period of time, followed by another  period, during which the earlier awakening is done only sparsely, is the way the above described feat is achieved.

Self-Hypnosis/Auto-Suggestion

Self-hypnosis is essentially a self-suggestive method, through which the would-be oneironaut programs his/her brain to recognize dreams for what they are.

Contrary to what popular culture may have you believe in this regard, the method is indeed safe, and relatively simple.

One way to do it is to imagine oneself descending a flight of stairs while in a state of deep relaxation. With every step, one goes deeper and deeper into hypnosis. Repeating “I experience a lucid dream” and “I’m taking control of my dreams” during the exercise is also in order.

This is a Dream...
MILD

This takes us to yet another DILD technique, called MILD (Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreaming).

MILD is very similar to the WBTB method and requires waking up earlier than usual, recalling your last dream and imagining yourself in that same dream, fully alert and lucid until you fall back asleep.

This method has been shown to lead to increased lucid dream occurrence and vividness.

Other Methods

In addition to all the above, there are various other – less “mainstream” – ideas, methods, supplements and gadgets, used to induce lucid dreaming.

The SILD (Subliminally Induced Lucid Dreaming) technique for instance, takes MILD a step further, as it attempts to program one’s mind through subliminal messages delivered in various videos.

There is a surprisingly diverse range of lucid dream masks available out there too. I cannot really state anything regarding the efficiency of such devices, though some do indeed swear that they exert a noticeable effect on DILD-frequency.

Others swear by binaural beats, which are in essence sound waves played through headphones that help the listener fall asleep.

The bottom line

By practicing the above described technique(s) that you find most effective and rewarding, you won’t just temporarily increase your chances of triggering a DILD.

You will in fact become more and more skilled at bringing about the experience, and with time, you may grow to be able to trigger a DILD almost every night. You can indeed become a DILD-master.

Mnemonically Induced Lucid Dreaming (MILD)

MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams) is a technique used to induce lucid dreams.

Unlike WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming), the MILD technique is focused on eliciting lucidity in an actual dream, and not on inducing the entire dream experience.

As such, lucid dreams sparked by the MILD technique are said to be somewhat less clear and not quite as vivid as WILD-generated lucid dreams

What exactly is the MILD technique?

Stephen LaBerge is the one credited with the development of the technique, and indeed, I can tell you from my own experience that it works well.

Everyone even a tiny bit interested by the possibilities that lucid dreaming may carry, has to give the MILD technique a go.

Unlike WILD-induced lucid dreams, MILD dreams cannot be triggered on demand. All the dreamer can do is set up the right conditions for the dreams to then naturally occur. As such, the MILD technique is often used when the dreamer wakes up from a dream during the night.

The technique is based on a set of very specific steps that the would-be dreamer needs to cover in order to successfully trigger a lucid dreaming episode.

The first step is about setting up the dream recall. Dream recalling is a sort of “science” of its own, and I’ve already drawn up a guide on it. Suffice to say in this instance that it is absolutely indispensable for MILD lucid dreaming.

Setting up the dream recall is essentially auto-suggestion. The dreamer makes a mental commitment to wake up after every dream period during the night, and to remember the dreams he/she had right before each awakening.

Actually recalling the dreams is the second step. Upon waking up, the dreamer will usually remember a previous dream. The problem is that often, one is so drowsy at this point that he/she will go right back to sleep. It is important to achieve a fully awakened state instead of dozing right off again.

Having woken up completely, the dreamer then needs to go back to sleep, and this is where another round of auto-suggestion is in order.

To bring about a lucid dreaming episode, the dreamer needs to focus on remembering that he/she is dreaming in the next dream. This focus is accomplished by eliminating all other thoughts as he/she slowly drifts back to sleep.

This mental exercise can be expanded to the last dream one had (before awakening). Re-imagining the whole dream, while being aware that it is indeed a dream, is the way to go.

To this end, the dreamer should look for dream signs. When happening upon such a sign, one should call out “I’m dreaming.” This fantasy should include control over the dream too. Once this fantasy-lucidity is achieved, the dreamer should attempt to perform something in the dream voluntarily (like flying).

This last step should be repeated several times before the dreamer falls asleep again. The goal is obvious: to mentally condition oneself to achieve lucidity in the next dream, through the above described methods.

If the whole thing clicks, the dreamer will indeed drift back to sleep, happen upon another dream episode during the next REM stage, and this time around, he/she will actually realize that he/she is indeed dreaming.

In some cases, it might take longer than expected to go back to sleep. From what I have experienced though, this only means that the odds of achieving lucidity in the next dream, increase. Therefore, one shouldn’t stress about not being able to go back to sleep in what’s perceived as a timely manner.

Of course, the above described MILD procedure should be repeated all through the period spent awake.

The scientific reason why achieving lucidity becomes easier after a more prolonged state of consciousness is that it activates the brain, which thus becomes more capable of performing the required mental breakthrough.

If properly done, the dreamer will often re-enter the same dream he/she had just before awakening, only this time around, lucidity shall be achieved.

For someone skilled in the ways of MILD, lucid dreaming can be achieved at the beginning of sleep too, as early as the first REM stage encountered.

Waking up later though and applying MILD then, makes more sense, since as the night progresses, the REM periods get longer and the dreams themselves more vivid.

While I have indeed had lucid dreams off the first sleep-cycle of the night, these lucid dreams were short and much less vivid than they could have been.

I have to note here that there are indeed supplements out there (like melatonin) which can and will expand the REM stages, making the dreams more vivid too.

Are there ways to make lucidity more likely, to somehow increase MILD’s chances of success?

Yes.

Lucid dreaming is generally more likely in the morning, when the REM stage is the longest and when the body teeters on the edge of consciousness in a natural way. More specifically: an hour of wakefulness before a morning nap is the actual recipe.

While I can certainly attest to this based on my own experience, you don’t even have to take my word for it: there’s actual science behind this one.

A whole series of experiments done on sleep continuity, napping biorhythms and length of sleep support the validity of the above statement.

Just how effective is this approach though?

Based on the above said studies, as well as on my personal experience, I would say: very.

Here’s how you too can give this theory a go: the first experimental variant calls for waking up two hours earlier than you normally would, staying awake for two hours and then taking a two-hour nap. The prolific lucid dreaming period should be this two-hour nap.

While I personally cannot state any statistically accurate numbers in this regard, according to research, you’re 10 times more likely to have a lucid dream during this two-hour period, than at any other time.

The second sleep-schedule scheme has you waking up two hours early too, staying awake for 4 hours and then going back to sleep for two hours. Comparing these two schedules, it seems that the first variant is more prolific in the way of lucid dreams than the second.

Statistically speaking, the first combination yields a lucid dream out of every two dreams on average, while the second method results in one lucid dream out of every 3-dream batch. This is a highly impressive frequency, no matter how we turn it around, even in the case of the second sleep-schedule variant.

Interestingly, other sleep schedules have been put to the test too.

Since a full sleep-cycle is about 90 minutes long, it makes perfect sense to tinker a bit with that time-period. You can also try to wake up 90 minutes early, stay up for 90 minutes, do a 10-minute long MILD exercise and then go back to sleep for another 90 minutes.

This procedure seems to yield excellent results as well, and to that I can personally attest – again.

There are other variations on this schedule too, but those are less effective when it comes to the triggering of lucid dreams, so they’re hardly worth your time.

A study involving these 90-minute sleep schedule variations has yielded some surprising results. While during the normal sleep-time of the above described schedule only around 8% of the study participants had lucid dreams, during the experimental 90-minute nap, some 67% percent reported lucid dreams.

This is quite astonishing indeed.

There is no question about it: this method is indeed one of the most efficient ways of triggering lucid dreams.

The other two schedules tested were about waking up 90 minutes early, doing a 10-minute MILD exercise and then going back to sleep, eventually waking up at the end of the night, and sleeping a full night’s sleep, waking up for a MILD exercise and the going back for a 90 minute nap.

As said above, these two tests fell well short of the mark set by the previously detailed method.

The conclusion in regards to delayed sleep is therefore that it has a massive impact on the triggering of lucid dreaming.

Afternoon naps are apparently capable of triggering lucid dreams as well.

While for a while during my lucid dreaming beginnings, I was dead set on forcing such afternoon naps for lucid dreams, it turned out to be a dead-end. Morning delayed sleep coupled with naps is much more effective in this regard, there is no comparison in fact. The only reason why I choose to push the afternoon naps is that I’ve always found disrupted sleep to be highly stressful and tiresome.

The bottom line here is that MILD works best in the mornings, when sleep is disrupted. The best conditions for lucid dreaming also call for a proper activation of the brain.

What this means is that staying awake for 10 minutes as part of the delayed sleep pattern is simply insufficient. Apparently, that much time is not enough to properly activate the brain.

The ideal wakefulness period seems to be just over the 60 minute mark. This gives the brain enough time to properly fire up its neurons.

To wrap it all up: the ideal recipe seems to be getting up an hour early, staying up for an hour and doing MILD for a few minutes, before going back to sleep and finishing up a normal sleep routine.

The bottom line

Lucid dream is indeed a learnable skill, and MILD provides a more than reasonable roadmap towards this skill. While there are other options, I have found that MILD is the best for truly genuine LDs.

Used with galantamine, MILD is believed to be one of the most efficient lucid dreaming induction methods.

WILD Lucid Dreaming (Wake Induced Lucid Dreams)

While lucid dreams induced through the DILD technique are certainly the most genuine, a big shortcoming of that method is that it does not allow for the on-demand triggering of lucid dreams. For that, you will have to turn to the Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD; a term coined by Prof. Stephen LaBerge) technique, which is about keeping the mind awake as the body goes to sleep.

How can you achieve on-demand LDs through WILD?

Considering that – as lucid dreaming goes – WILD is a relatively direct – albeit not all that easy – solution, and that the dreams induced through this method are indeed some of the most vivid you’ll ever have, calling WILD a cool brain-hack makes perfect sense.

As a matter of fact, I would call that its perfect definition.

Unlike DILD – which injects lucidity into an actual dream – WILD triggers a dream from a lucid state, effectively hanging on to lucidity.

Given its links to Tibetan Yoga, the WILD technique lends itself better to those who are used to meditating.

Despite the fact that WILD can indeed be taught, it is considered to be an intuitive LD method, one that people can actually discover on their own.

So, how exactly do you go about achieving a lucid dream through the WILD method?

While different sources may list slightly different steps for WILD, most of them agree on what I’m about to tell you in this regard. I have personally found that this is what works best for me, so this is obviously what I’m going to recommend too.

The first step is setting up the right sleep environment, which in this case means eliminating any and all potential sources of distraction within your bedroom. You will need to achieve complete and perfect relaxation while completely motionless, so you cannot afford to have your thoughts distracted by anything.

Having set up your room, it’s time to assume the “corpse pose.” Lie on your back, completely motionless, and be aware that what’s about to happen is essentially what you go through every night when you go to sleep, with one difference: this time around, only your body will be trusted to the Sandman, your mind will stay awake and lucid.

At this stage, it is important that you do not move. Sort out all your itches and other mobility-linked issues beforehand, and if you happen to make a move during your corpse pose-stage, start over.

Try to break free of all worries and concerns you may have, by pushing them all away in the distance. Think of them as issues you might handle tomorrow, but which carry no significance for the here and now.

The second step is about relaxation. This is where the efforts of the previously detailed stage come to fruition. Relax every part of your body, paying special attention to your face. There’s usually a lot of pent-up tension in the face, tension which goes unnoticed by most people during the day. Focus on ridding your face and your jaw of this tension.

Focusing your attention on your breathing is the third step. What’s important here is to breathe deeply, but by no means in a manner that takes an extra effort, or is uncomfortable in any shape or form.

Do the same with your heartbeat. Try to feel it and try to slowly lower it. Do not worry if your attempts in this regards are not met with success. This part of your journey towards a hypnagogic state is not compulsory.

After you spend some time in the above described relaxed state, you will notice how hypnagogia slowly creeps up on you. At this point, your objective is to simply observe this hypnagogic state. Closing your eyes, try focusing on the cavalcade of phosphorescent patterns and shapes that will commence behind your eyelids, by literally looking into the back of your eyelids.

If you are using some kind of lucid-dream aiding supplement like Huperzine A, this display of light and patterns will be extra vivid.

As you drift deeper and deeper into this hypnagogic state, you will at one point start feeling sensations such as tipping and floating, and you may even begin to hear faint sounds in the distance. All these sensations are products of your hypnagogia and they should therefore not startle you. I personally believe that at this point, the physical part of your mind is asleep. Your consciousness however is not, and you’re going to make sure it stays that way.

Again: do not be startled by any of the tricks your dreaming mind might pull at this point, and believe me, there’s no shortage of such tricks. You may hear voices, clearly uttering intelligible sentences, and yes, you may even experience sleep-paralysis. Your body asleep and your consciousness still awake, this is indeed the perfect setup for this phenomenon to occur.

Use your still-awake consciousness to tell yourself that you are indeed dreaming. While the temptation to let your consciousness “catch up” with your physical shell and fall asleep, is greatest at this point, this is where your actual lucid dream experience begins, so do not give in to that urge.

The 4th step is about slowly beginning to build up your lucid dream scenario. Depending on the depth of your hypnagogic state, you can start off with modest elements such as simple shapes, or you can cut right to the chase and build a complete scenario.

As always, taking things one step at a time is best for beginners. Try to visualize something simple, like a circle, first. Make it go away, then bring it back. Bring up different shapes, such as triangles and squares. Get handy controlling them: move them around and spin them.

Once you’re past this stage, try conjuring up more intricate images. Visualize a beach or a forest. The best technique is this regard is to focus more on actually seeing the environment and not on creating it. Imagine that the whole thing is already there, you’re just not seeing it.

The next step is to insert yourself into the dreamscape. Move around and make the most of the sensations that will surround you. If you’re on a beach, feel the warm sand under your feet. Look down and see if you can make out your feet and your hands. Be amazed by the vividness of your dream, and keep telling yourself that you are in fact in a dream.

Completely let go of your body though, even deny its existence. You are your consciousness at this point, and you are indeed in a lucid dream induced through the WILD technique.

Can WILD be sidetracked and bring about an experience other than a lucid dream?

Yes. Due to its nature, the technique can indeed result in an outcome different from lucid dreaming, namely: an out-of-body experience, and even astral projection.

For most of those looking for a lucid dream experience, this sort of side-tracking can in fact be a pleasant surprise, but that’s not always the case. Unfortunately, there’s not much one can do to avoid such a turn of events…

How exactly does WILD bring about OBE though?

The best theory in this regard states that when slipping deeper into hypnagogia, the body falls asleep before the dreamer has a chance to build up a dream scenario. A peculiarity of these types of OBEs is that they are extremely lifelike.

The fact that there is no noticeable transition when slipping into one of those experiences, has many dreamers confused and believing that they are indeed having an actual, real-life OBE. To make matters scarier still, sleep paralysis often rears its head in such instances too.

How can you stabilize a WILD?

A well-known and used stabilization technique is the one involving reality checks.

Reality checks are always very helpful in this regard, the only problem is that they are quite difficult to perform within a dream. Some people even find the exercise impossible.

Doing reality checks during the day will sort of teach your brain to fall back on them, hopefully within the dream too.

The inability to perform reality checks within a dream may mean that your lucid dreams will be brief and that you will fail to properly build up your dream environment.

How long is a WILD lucid dreaming exercise supposed to last?

There is no scientifically set time-period for WILD, but it is generally agreed that it should last from 10 to 30 minutes.

It all depends on one’s level of expertise and experience.

Those skilled can get things going in 10 minutes, while beginners may take as much as half an hour.

The duration of the WILD method can vary for the same person too. Doing it at around 4 AM, with the majority of your night’s sleep behind you, may mean that you’ll achieve LD much quicker than you would otherwise.

It is important though not to stress about this issue…after all, it doesn’t really matter how long it takes you to trigger a lucid dream, as long as you get there.

What about the gag/saliva-swallowing reflex during relaxation?

Relaxation can be a bit tricky for some, in that it may trigger a swallowing reflex, when the muscles of the face and jaw are relaxed.

Completely relaxing the body while keeping the mind active is not the most natural of states, and the body may indeed decide to try to fight it.

Under normal circumstances, swallowing once should not really affect the technique. Those who feel compelled to do it over and over though, will ruin the WILD experiment.

When it comes to the stage that triggers an episode of sleep paralysis, even a single swallowing will ruin it, snapping the dreamer right out of the state.

This reflex can be avoided by lying on your side instead of your back, but that way, you might find the whole relaxation exercise much more difficult. I’ve found that in this regard, the “corpse pose” is rather important.

Other difficulties met while attempting WILD lucid dreaming

Falling asleep while doing WILD can be difficult.

After all, what you are trying to accomplish is to send your physical self to sleep, while keeping your consciousness awake. This is obviously an unnatural state, and as such, you might find it difficult to accomplish. Going to sleep while trying to stay awake describes the paradox involved perfectly.

If you find yourself unable to go to sleep, one way to handle it is to just stick to your guns and keep doing WILD over and over, until you succeed.

You can also try to tire yourself out during the day by exercising, or you can attempt WILD early in the morning, when you are still drowsy from your night’s sleep.

A WILD technique to try before going to sleep at night

WILDs are without a doubt the easiest lucid dreams to achieve, since they are essentially waking dreams. This is one of the reasons why a person skilled in WILD is able to bring about such dreams on demand – as already said.

None of this means though that you shall be able to successfully induce a lucid dream through this technique in one go and without any pointers.

Fortunately, over the years I have developed a method which makes it surprisingly easy to attain a WILD, every time you try, and more importantly: without the use of any dream-enhancing supplements at all. That is not to say that you cannot use supplements which promote WILD with this technique, but it works without them, possibly just as well.

Let us cut to the chase though: do this when you normally go to bed. Curl up in a relaxed position on your side, in what could best be described as a very relaxed and open fetal position. The key word at this point is relaxation.

Slow down, deepen your breathing and imagine your body sort of floating towards the ceiling as you let all tension evaporate.

It is very important to not fall asleep and to not move during this stage of the exercise. The temptation to just drift into dreamland will be great, but you will have to fight it. It might take a few tries to master the ability to stave off sleep.

After you’ve been in this relaxed position for more than 10-15 minutes, the time comes to attempt the induction of hypnagogia. Try peering into the back of your closed eyelids, in a fashion similar to the way you would look at something situated at about an arm’s length in front of you.

Soon, you will notice various fluorescent blobs and shapes materialize. This is where some supplements can lend a helping hand, since some of them are indeed known to enhance hypnagogia quite significantly. As said above though, you don’t necessarily need such supplements.

Just enjoy the spectacle of light unfolding in front of your closed eyes, and if a vivid and well defined shape/image pops into view, try to latch on to it. Focus your attention on its details, and before you know it, you will be in a WILD.

A word of caution in this regard: the experience of actually breaking this hypnagogic barrier may be shocking and even scary at first. Do not worry if you’re scared out of the dream though: every time you attempt it, you will get better and better at it, and you’ll wade deeper and deeper into the WILD. Do not be alarmed if you get stuck in a sort of a dark void either. This is a spot which you can use as a starting point to effectively build up any LD you want.

Over time, you will find that this induction-method is a skill just like any other, and as you learn to master it, you will find yourself more and more willing to take it all further and further, into the realm of sleep paralysis and OBEs such as astral projection. I have personally found a slightly modified version of this method extremely useful for AP, but theoretically, it can work just as well in its above-presented form too.

The bottom line: WILD Lucid Dreaming

Despite its seemingly quirky nature, WILD is entirely harmless and there’s nothing even remotely scary about it, with the possible exception of sleep paralysis, and some OBE situations.

Need lucid dream coaching or therapy? Check if I’m available.

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