So You Want To Be A Lucid Dreamer...

By Lesley Groft

So you want to lucid dream. Well that's a good start, at least you know what you want to do; but how exactly do you go about it?

Knowing why you have chosen to pursue lucid dreaming is important. How can it benefit ou personally? To know this we can work backwards from what it considered normal sleep.

Have you ever considered the process of sleep before? Every night you make preparations, crawl into bed and go to sleep. You may have dreams or nightmares or all may just be dark for a few hours, it is rather boring isn't it?

Normal sleep just seems to serve the purpose of simply refreshing ourselves in order to live out the next day. But what if you could control that period of time that you have dreams?

What if rather than being an active observer, you can be the one who can lead your dream to be whatever you want, rather than your dream leading you? This is what a lucid dreamer is; someone who is in total control of their dreams; able to explore new worlds that are not bound to the physical, societal and time-space laws of the real world.

Are you are ready to begin but remain unsure of how any of this is possible? That is ok we are getting there, there are two way to enter lucid dream state. The first is a dream initiated lucid dream, (DILD). This happens once you have already begun to dream and during the dream, you come to the realization that you are indeed dreaming. At this point, you have brought an element of control to the dream because your conscious mind is now involved.

The second way is having a wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD); where the dreamer goes from being awake, to being asleep with no change in consciousness. In other words, the dreamer enters their dream as if it were a door, rather than just "waking up" in a dream.

So what are the actual methods used to induce these two types of lucid dream experiences?

Dream Recall

If you'd like to lucid dream, perhaps one of the most successful way of doing so is known as dream recall. Dream recall is simply the ability to remember one's dreams. By remembering your dreams, you are able to recognize them when you are sleeping, because most likely, you will have the same dream, or at least aspects of it, more than once.

The way to practise dream recall is by keeping a dream journal. The dream journal is meant as a tool to write down anything you can remember about your dream, in order to recall it for the future. This should be done right after waking up; otherwise dreams will become harder to remember.

Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD)

This is a technique that was developed by Dr. Stephen LaBerge, one of the lead scientists studying lucid dreaming. The intent here is to simply tell yourself that you will remember something, like an object for example and then in the dream, when you see this object you will realize it is a dream.

Wake-Back-to-Bed (WBTB)

To use the wake back to bed method you need do little initially beyond setting your clock to wake you up. Set your clock for about five hours sleep give or take an hour, once the alarm goes off get up and do something. Read a book, your dream journal anything but going back to sleep, after approximately an hour you may go back to bed.

According to Stephen LaBerge, there is a 60% success rate of this technique. The reason why is that you would have woken up during the process of sleep, meaning that your mind is not fully aware of this, and are still in the middle of REM cycle. So basically, it's like going to your mind and telling it that you want to lucid dream.

Cycle Adjustment Technique

This technique was created by Daniel Love, and involves setting an alarm that will wake you an hour and a half before you'd normally get up. Once you're used to waking up early, alternate between the early alarm and your old alarm. When you're waking up normally, your body will already be expecting the early alarm, and make you more likely to "wake up" in your dream.

Wake-Initiation of Lucid Dream (WILD)

This method was mentioned above. To achieve a lucid dream using it, all that's needed is keeping your mind awake while your body falls asleep. This is one of the most interesting ways of having a lucid dream. It's as if you're getting ready to watch a movie - you start in the real world, sitting on the couch, and turn on the television and press play (when you start to sleep). The screen begins black, just like when your eyes are closed, and all you need to do is wait for the movie or dream to start.

Several ways to stay aware but not awake include imagining descending or going up stairs, chanting, counting, breathing control, counting your breaths, and relaxing your body from head to toe. This all falls under self hypnosis. Don't do this when you're tired, or you'll simply fall unconscious.

Technology has moved on in recent years, and there are various devices like dreaming masks and other scientific appliances which contain such things as strobe lights to induce lucid dreams.

The most reliable and easiest way of inducing a lucid dream may be listening to binaural beats sound frequencies through headphones.

These work by synchronizing your brain's two hemispheres. They almost instantly allow your brain waves to reach the frequency that occurs in REM sleep and which is needed for you to be a lucid dreamer.

Combined with self hypnosis sessions and personal affirmations that help prepare your subconscious mind, these methods make being a lucid dreamer a reality for anyone.

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