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Don’t you wish you could remember your dreams vividly? Sometimes when you are dreaming, you can be aware of your dreams and also have control over them. Research shows that about 55% of people have experienced lucid dreaming once in their lifetime. This ability to control your dreams is called Lucid dreaming. But how to lucid dream?
In a lucid dream, you are more aware of your consciousness. And, studies show that you can use various techniques to lucid dream. We will highlight them in this blog along with the benefits and precautions you should take while lucid dreaming.
What is Lucid Dreaming?
While lucid dreaming, you are aware that it is a dream. Then what happens in a non-lucid dream? Well, you are aware of the objects in the dream. However, you cannot distinguish it from being awake.
Some scholars believe it happens because of the activities in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. It is that part of the brain that controls cognitive functions.
Lucid dreams occur during the (Rapid Eye Movement) REM. They are phases in your sleep when the brain is active, leading to dreams. Well, you go through several REM cycles during your sleep. And, the last one is the longest. That is when you get the longest dreams.
When you wake up in the morning, you will have a memory of lucid dreams. Isn’t it great to recall every tiny detail about your dreams?
How to Lucid Dream – Effective Lucid Dreaming Techniques
A lucid dream occurs spontaneously. However, if you want to do it consciously, here are some lucid dreaming tips. They will help you maintain consciousness during your REM sleep.
1. Practice Reality Check
How to train yourself to lucid dream? A reality check is an excellent way to train your mind.
It teaches your mind to differentiate dreams from reality. Thus, you will be more aware of your consciousness. According to Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, your level of metacognition ( awareness) is almost the same in your waking and sleeping states. So, higher metacognition when you are awake will help in greater awareness while dreaming.
So, how will you increase your awareness during dreams? Following these techniques will help you in learning how to lucid dream.
Look at the clock
In reality, time will not change. But, a clock may jump forward or backward in your dreams.
Put your index finger against the palm of the other hand
When you are awake, your finger will touch your palm. In your dreams, however, it is likely to pass through your palm. You will be able to do it in your dreams only after a lot of practice.
Look at your hands and feet
In reality, they will appear normal. However, your hands and feet might appear distorted while dreaming.
Pinch your nose
If you can still breathe after pinching your nose, you are in the land of dreams.
2. Maintain a Dream Journal
It is one of the best tips on how to have lucid dreams for beginners. When you write down your dreams every morning, you will understand your dreams better. As a result, you will be able to lucid dream.
Make it a habit to write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Why? Because they might slip out of your mind if you wait. Once this habit evolves, you will develop a better connection with your dreams.
3. Wake Back to Bed ( WBTB)
What is WBTB lucid dreaming? The goal in WBTB is to enter the REM cycle when you are conscious.
Set an alarm for 5 hours after your bedtime. After waking up, engage in some activity that requires full concentration. For instance, you can read a book. Go back to sleep after that. You will enter the REM stage in full consciousness. And you will also enter a state of lucid dreaming in all probability.
4. Identify a Pattern
Remember that dream journal you started maintaining? Get back to it. Read your dreams often and try to identify a pattern. What are the themes, places, and things you dream about? It will help you to get an idea of the thoughts in your subconscious mind.
When you get a pattern of your dreams, you will also be able to distinguish dreams from reality.
5. Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams
It is also known as MILD lucid dreaming. Psychophysiologist Dr. Stephen LaBerge invented this technique in 1980.
MILD is based on prospective memory. It refers to the intention to do something later. In MILD, you intend to remember your dreams and be more aware of them.
Now, how to MILD lucid dream? While going to sleep, tell your mind that you will be aware of your dreams. That will send a signal to your brain.
You can also think about a dream sign. It is something that happens only in your dreams. Try to think of the cream sign while going to bed. That will help you to recognize when you are dreaming.
6. Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming ( WILD)
WILD lucid dreaming is somewhat different. In this technique, you don’t need to tell your mind anything. When you suddenly wake up in the middle of a dream, go back to sleep. Close your eyes and try to remain conscious.
You can, however, experience sleep paralysis during WILD. That is because your mind stays alert while your body is sleeping. But, it is perfectly normal, and there is nothing to worry about.
But, how to WILD lucid dream? Practicing the other techniques will help you in WILD.
7. Make Your Bedroom a Haven of Peace
The atmosphere of the bedroom will play a key role in your dreams. Make sure it is clean, comfortable, and cozy. That will help you fall asleep easily and slide into the world of lucid dreams. If you ask how to lucid dream easily, making your bedroom stress-free is one the easiest ways.
How to Wake Up From a Lucid Dream?
You might wonder how to wake up from a lucid dream? Is there any best way? You can follow these techniques if you want to abandon your dream and wake up.
- Speak out loud – You can try shouting or telling something loudly. Haven’t you seen people waking up while yelling in their dreams? Talking loudly signals your brain that it’s time to wake up.
- Blink continuously- When you blink repeatedly, your mind will get ready to wake up.
- Read something – Reading a book or signboard in your dream will help in waking up.
- Go to sleep- Wait. Don’t get shocked. We are asking you to go to sleep in your dreams. That will help you wake up in real life.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Now that you know how to lucid dream every night, it’s time to look at its benefits.
Helps You Overcome Nightmares
Do you often dream of dacoits chasing you or falling off a cliff? Recurring nightmares can take a toll on your mental health.
Lucid dreaming helps in controlling your dreams. So, you can be aware that the nightmare is just a dream. That might reduce stress and anxiety.
If your nightmares are making life difficult, you can contact a therapist. They will help you with Imagery Reversal Therapy ( IRT). In this process, the therapist makes you reimagine your nightmare but with a pleasant storyline.
Lucid dreams give you the chance to play out real-life situations in your dreams. Are you anxious about something? Try to imagine the situation before going to bed. If you dream about it while being aware it is a dream, the fear will vanish.
Dreams do not have boundaries. So, anything can happen there. Some people use it as a tactic to see how far their imagination can take them. Who knows? You might come up with something out of the box.
Can Improve Motor Skills
A study in Science Direct shows that practicing something mentally can boost your physical ability to do it. It can help people with disabilities to improve their motor skills.
Even if you do not have a disability, lucid dreaming can help improve your physical skills.
Cautions Related to Lucid Dreaming
Is lucid dreaming dangerous? Can it harm you? Well, it is not that risky. However, here are some cautions you must be aware of.
- Sleep disturbances – In MILD and WBTB you have to wake up in the middle of your sleep. So, you might not get adequate rest. The problem will worsen if you have insomnia.
- Derealization – You might feel that the events happening around you are not real.
- Sleep paralysis – Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night with a feeling of immobility? That is because you were in the REm cycle. In this phase, your body rests, and your mind stays active. You can also experience sleep paralysis while preparing to lucid dream. Can you die from sleep paralysis? No. There’s nothing to worry about. Just remind yourself that it is a temporary phase.
- Depression – Sleep interruptions can cause depression and other mental health problems. That is one of the worst dangers of lucid dreaming
A Dreamy Final Word
Now you know all the techniques that can make you a pro at lucid dreaming. But how long does it take to lucid dream? Practicing these ways will help you master the skill.
It can also improve your life by making you more conscious of your feelings. However, you must discontinue lucid dreaming as soon as you experience any troubles. Get in touch with your physician if things become complicated.