Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lucid Dreaming Basics

The post about my dream raised some interest in the lucid dreaming subject. Some of you have already had some experience with LD, most of you are familiar with the theory, but in general, LD is being aware of dreaming during the dream. Sounds Inception-like? It's very similar to what have been shown in the movie. You can live through your favourite movies, climb mountains, take part in historic battles, make lightsaber fights, whatever you want, while sleeping. But it takes practice.

There are many valid techniques. I'm not going to focus on desribing them, there are pretty good sources which cover them in detail (link shall be provided), I will give you some tips on starting.

First, very important step in your training, is gaining an ability to recall dreams. Sounds easy, but it's a problem for many of us, some people think that they don't even have dreams, which is not true, we all get 3-6 per night. We usually remember some images of the last two dreams before waking up. If you don't recall dreams at all, your goal is to learn how to do it. If it's not a problem for you, you'll try to increase the number of remembered dreams and the ammount of details.

Keeping a dream journal is the best way. It can be anything: a notebook, some random pieces of paper, text file on your computer/phone, whatever. Try to keep it close to the place where you sleep, and make sure you always have a pen nearby.

Of course writing in a notebook is always the coolest option.
When you already have the journal ready, you have to prepare for a good sleep. Go to bed a little earlier, with a strong intention of remembering your dreams (auto-suggestion is very useful if it comes to lucid dreaming). Set your alarm clock on 15 minutes before your usual waking up hour. You have to be quite relaxed in the morning, so read about sleep cycles and choose your falling asleep time wisely (I strongly recommend application, it really improved my sleep quality). After waking up, don't get up immediately. Lay with your eyes closed for a while and slowly try to focus on the images from your dreams. When you recall some, grab your journal and make a note. It can be plot of your dream written in detail, description of things you saw, keywords, doodles or drawings, anything that comes to your mind. Don't get too disappointed when you remember nothing - it may take a while to gain this ability. For me it was a week.

Another important thing is making reality checks. Mistaking the dream for the reality is quite common when you finally get the consciousness in your dream. You have to know what are the differences between the dream world and real world. The most common reality checks are reading and looking at your hands. Texts in the dreams usually behave crazy: they change as you're reading them. Hands may do not work as usual: they can have more fingers, different shapes or colours. If you spot these signs, you are close to realization that you are dreaming.

As I mentioned before, I'm not going to desribe the methods. This page on wikibooks is very good source of information, and if you're interested in scientific nature of lucid dream, you are free to research. The ammount of sources on LD is really huge, it's advised not to limit yourself to one tutorial, try reading about different approaches.

Some random tips:
  • The MILD method was the one that worked for me, and I recommend it. If you try one of the techniques and don't succeed, don't demotivate yourself. Learning how to LD takes a while. Try another method.
  • It's quite common to get very excited when you realise that you are in a dream. It's possible to lose control over the dream and wake up suddenly. Try meditation in order to have better focus (it has beneficial affect not only on your dream, so it's a win-win).
  • Don't get too cocky in your first lucid dream. Learning how to live in a dream enviroment takes a while. In one of my first lucid dreams I tried to mess with the surroundings: I was walking down the corridor and trying to make it longer. It caused the lost of control and waking up, which sucked. Take small steps and after some time, you will surely be able to do stuff like this: 

Ok, that's all for now, hope you like it. I think that I will desribe my own LD experiences in one of the next posts. 

I recommend reading about LD while listening to this delightful piece of art. Whole album is set in very sleepy mood, I've had one of my best dreams after falling asleep to this track.


  1. A question: Have you ever had bad experiences with mirrors in lucid dreams? I sure have.

    1. Mirrors? I don't recall mirrors in any of my dreams, but I suppose that they don't work the way they should - just like written texts etc. What was the problem?

  2. I'll be sure to try this, sounds very interesting!

  3. Thx, ive been finding some good article about lucid dreaming, i have always wanted to try it :-)