Have you ever had a dream that felt so real? Chances are, you may have been in a state of lucidity.
They say that lucid dreaming is more than just having a crystal clear dream. It is said that it’s a way for you to put the deepest areas of your brain to good use while you’re sleeping.
Read on if you’re curious to know more about this phenomenon and learn the best ways to trigger it.
Co-Founder, Tuck | Certified Sleep Science Coach
Train yourself to have lucid dreams
Training yourself to have lucid dreams isn’t easy by any means, but is something that can be accomplished with practice. That said, it should be noted that only roughly 20% of people can truly mastered lucid dreaming. In order to train yourself, the following steps need to be taken.
Set your bedroom conducive to dreaming
The first would be to set your bedroom as a sleep sanctuary of sorts, and conducive to dreaming. Our minds hate clutter, so pick up everything off the floor. Charge your electronics elsewhere and make your room cool and as dark as possible. It is also recommended to make use of a white noise machine to mask any ambient sounds.
Related: 9 Ways to Relax and Calm Your Mind
Create a dream journal
The next step would be to create a dream journal. While there dream journal apps out there, it is preferred to keep a dedicated notebook so you aren’t stimulated by your device.
Review your dream signs
Next, review your dream signs. Go through the journal and see if you can find any correlating signs. Are you seeing the same people in your dreams? Are there any recurring themes?
Perform reality checks
It is also key to perform reality checks to confirm whether you are awake or asleep. One way to do this is to look at a clock or a page in a book. Then quickly look away and look back. In a dream, the odds are that the text or the time will change, whereas of course if you are wake it will stay the same.
If you do wake up, write down your dreams in your journal and then immediately close your eyes and start focusing on your last dream. Run through the dream and imagine that you are dreaming.
With some dedicated practice, you could achieve what only one in five people are able to do.
Professional Dream Analyst | Author
Lucid dreaming tends to happen easier for those that are more (right brained), such as artists, writers, musicians, etc. than those that are more left rained, such as accountants, computer programmers, etc. but I can share a tip for your article that will help just about anybody “wake up” inside their dream!
HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON!
Most lucid dreams happen closer to the morning than earlier in the night because, at that point, we are closer to wakefulness.
If you normally need to be up at 6:30, for example, set your alarm for 6:00 and set your snooze for 20 or 30 minutes. Not 5 or 10 minutes. You need at least 20 minutes. That 20 to a 30-minute window is where the magic can happen!
It’s a long enough window that will allow you to fall back asleep but short enough to wake you before you enter into the deep delta sleep. Within that window, you will remain in the lighter stages of sleep and will likely start dreaming again. Couple that with the awareness that you need to wake up soon and you have the perfect recipe for lucidity!
Don’t be surprised if the first couple of times you try this, you get those annoying “false awakening” dreams where you think you are awake and start your morning only to realize you are still asleep and in bed. That’s actually a good sign that this little trick is working!
So keep at it for at least a week and before you know it, you may find yourself in a really cool dream with the awareness that it is a dream and then whatever happens next is entirely up to you!
The first thing I do is float or fly, just to make sure I am actually in a dream. Then, I like to ask questions and see what sort of answer I get. I can’t recommend this enough. Find a character in your dream, or “will” someone to appear before you and ask anything you want, like “What is the meaning of life?” or “What should I do about this particular problem in my life?”
You WILL get an answer! This is your conscious mind having a conversation with your subconscious mind. How cool is that?
Health & Wellness Expert, Maple Holistics
Being Conscious of When You’re Unconscious
When a person dreams lucidly, they are aware that they are dreaming while it is happening. It’s hard work to get to this stage intentionally, but there are ways to train your brain to be more aware of when you’re not awake.
Firstly, you can start keeping a dream journal. Every morning, as soon as you wake up, quickly jot down as much as you can remember about your dreams from that night. Over time you might start to recognize patterns and themes such as familiar faces, similar locations, etc.
Once you get a better picture of what types of dreams you have, you can become better at also detecting these themes while you’re dreaming, and you can be more mindful during your sleep that this is happening.
In order to dream lucidly, you can also train yourself by thinking in between sleep. Essentially, we often think we sleep through the night while in fact, we experience temporary interruptions for things like coughing or rolling over.
By making yourself cognizant of when these movements/sleep disturbances are happening, you can then be aware as you fall back asleep and into dreamland. Seizing this brief opportunity of consciousness and grabbing onto it as you drift off again is a great way to really get to experience your dreams.