5 Lucid Dreaming Techniques to Try
Lucid dreaming is the ability to control dreams and it’s an excellent tool for overcoming nightmares and solving emotional problems. It can also be used as a fun way to explore your own mind and push the limits of what you’re capable of in waking life.
Although lucid dreaming was once considered impossible, we now know that all people experience at least one lucid dream or another during their lives even if they’ve never heard of the phenomenon. However, those with frequent experiences are few and far between which is why there are techniques out there designed specifically for experiencing more lucid dreams on a regular basis! In this article I’ll explain 5 specific techniques that research has shown work well beginners looking to start having their first lucid dreams.
1) Reality checks
You’re probably already doing this in your waking life without realizing it. Have you ever been in class or having a conversation with someone when you start to say “it’s so hot in here” or “It’s getting really late, I need to go” only to realize that the room is freezing cold and no one seems to be interested in leaving? These are examples of reality checks – things that seem unusual in your internal dream world but are perfectly normal when you’re awake. This distinction between being awake or asleep can often trigger peoples’ first lucid experiences! Furthermore, it predicts how frequently people have lucid dreams later on in life. To start putting this into practice yourself, try setting an alarm every few hours throughout the day and checking the time as soon as it goes off. If it’s been less than 5 minutes since your last alarm, set another one! The goal is to become so familiar with what a normal waking hour looks like that when you’re in a dream and time speeds up or slows down or disappears altogether, you’ll know something weird is going on.
Lucid dreams are often described as being more vivid and real than regular dreams which makes sense given that they involve a high degree of self-awareness. Meditation can increase both these aspects of dreaming by teaching you how to focus your attention on the present moment. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in whatever activity you’re doing without getting distracted by thoughts and feelings about the past and future.
3) Sleep cycle adjustment
The way we sleep changes throughout our lives and as a result so do the times we have lucid dreams. This is because we spend more time in light non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep in childhood and young adulthood than in deep, slow wave NREM sleep that dominates adolescence and early adulthood. As we get older, this balance shifts until old age when deep sleep decreases even further while REM sleep increases. The best time for having lucid dreams is therefore around 8am when our bodies are transitioning from deep NREM to lighter sleep – too late for an early riser but not too early if you like to stay up all night reading!
4) Wake back to bed
If you have trouble sleeping or just want to take a nap, the Wake back to bed technique is for you. Simply set your alarm for 5 hours before you usually wake up and try to go back to sleep! Stick with it until you either fall asleep or become lucid – whichever comes first. If done over several days in a row this practice can make it easier to stay asleep throughout the night, leading to more opportunities for conscious dreams.
5) Pre-sleep suggestion
Even without trying to induce lucid dreams directly, studies show that people are twice as likely to have them when they’re exposed pre-sleep suggestions about increasing their ability to dream consciously. This method works well because it creates positive expectations, increases motivation and decreases inhibition all of which lead to more frequent lucid dreams. The downside is that many people can feel a bit silly talking to themselves as they drift off to sleep, but the process only takes a few minutes and with practice it becomes easier over time!
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