Lucid Dreaming is the scientifically proven ability to become conscious while dreaming - to "wake up" and take active control of your dreams.
In this heightened mental state you can:
A fully lucid dream is tangible, rich and visually detailed - sometimes furnishing you with even greater awareness than you have right now, such as 360-degree vision or existing in two places at the same time.
Because it all takes places in your mind, the dream world has no physical laws. Anything you can conceive of comes true.
You can take control and warp The Matrix like Neo, fly and soar over cities like Iron Man, slow down time Inception-style, have sex with anyone, fight like a ninja, re-live childhood memories, and more.
In fact, the possibilities of lucid dreaming are limitless.
But a lucid dream is not merely a fantasy playground; it's a chance to interact with other parts of your psyche via dream characters and with your unconscious self via the fabric of the dream itself.
This website reveals all kinds of applications for conscious dreams, so if you think lucid dreaming is just about wish fulfillment - think again.
Once you know how to become lucid in dreams, you will discover a strange new world - an entire universe, no less - of which you are fully aware and can manipulate with the power of thought.
Beyond the fantastic escapism, you can interact with your unconscious dream self. That's because a lucid dream is a co-created experience; where your conscious and unconscious collide.
In regular dreams, the environment, characters, themes, symbols and plot are all driven by your unconscious mind, which communicates through experiential memory and conceptual form.
With self-awareness (lucidity) in your dream world, you can co-create the dream by wilfully performing any desired action within the unconscious dreamscape. You can ask any question or give any command and your unconscious dreaming self will respond. For instance, simply ask out loud of your dream:
The answer's origin may even surprise you; written in clouds in the sky or beamed telepathically into your mind.
Lucid dreaming is a strange new world... Come on in! :)
Yes. There is significant scientific research that proves the existence of lucid dreaming.
Brainwaves (via EEG), bloodflow (via MRI) and eye movement (via EOG) data have all validated significantly heightened awareness during the lucid dream state.
There are three particularly groundbreaking experiments from the last 40 years which scientifically validated the existence of lucid dreams:
In 1975, lucid dreaming was scientifically proven in the laboratory for the first time by the British parapsychologist Dr Keith Hearne. He recorded a set of pre-determined eye movements from his volunteer, Alan Worsley, who was in a lucid dream, via an electro-oculogram (EOG).
By manipulating his dreaming Rapid Eye Movements (REM), Worsley showed that he was was lucidly choosing to look in certain directions while dreaming. It was a basic communication between the dreamer and the outside world.
More recently, a 2009 study by the Neurological Laboratory in Frankfurt showed significantly increased brain activity while lucid dreaming.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded highly active brainwave frequencies up to the 40 Hz (or Gamma) range when lucid. This is far more active than the normal dream state (Theta range, 4-7 Hz), supporting the need to classify lucidity as a separate state of consciousness altogether.
The research also showed heightened activity in the frontal and frontolateral areas of the dreaming brain - the seat of linguistic thought and other higher mental functions linked to self-awareness. Sleep scientists accepts that lucid dreaming may offer considerable insight into human consciousness.
In 2014, this remarkable research out of Frankfurt University revealed that lucid dreams can be induced with electrical stimulation of the brain.
When non-lucid dreamers were subjected to 30-second jolts of electrical current to the frontal cortex, they reported spontaneously vivid dreams in which they fully recognized that they were dreaming.
Amazingly, at 40 Hz (the Gamma frequency previously linked with lucid dreaming) the trigger was effective 77% of the time.
Everyone has the potential to lucid dream - but only a small fraction of people learn how to harness the ability and use it on a regular basis.
This site is designed for people who are serious about learning the art of lucidity. With my tuition, you will learn to:
This site contains hundreds of articles. Don't let that overwhelm you - because no matter where you start, you will soon find something of value. If you don't have time to dig in now, bookmark the site for future use.
Some readers start or finish their day by spending 15-30 minutes here because it puts lucid dreaming on their brain. This is known as dream incubation, and helps promote spontaneous lucidity.
If you're not sure where to begin, sign up to my free starter course, 10 Steps to Lucid Dreams, to be guided through basic lucid dream induction techniques.
If you're ready to jump in with both feet, check out my interactive course, The Lucid Dreaming Fast Track. This leading online resource gives you everything you need to know to control your dreams in one strategic lesson plan.
Finally, becoming lucid can be a mind-blowing experience. You will find it helpful to share your experiences and ask questions about what is normal or what to expect. Our friendly lucid dreaming forum welcomes you.
If you've just discovered conscious dream control, you'll probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common things people want to know:
How long does it take to have your first lucid dream?
How do I know when I'm lucid?
How can I stay lucid for longer?
How can I change the scenery?
How can I have flying dreams?
Can I get stuck in a lucid dream?
How do I talk to my unconscious in a lucid dream?
One study showed a group of committed students were able to have their first lucid dream, on average, within 3-21 days. They were equipped with the right tutorials and practiced mindfully every day.
This is a guide only. Some people already possess the skills and have their first lucid dream the same night they discover the concept. Others may take months to learn the skill, especially if you're only making a half-hearted approach.
If you are struggling to have your first lucid dream, ask yourself:
In Dream Initiated Lucid Dreams, the moment you become lucid is the moment you suddenly realize you are dreaming.
In many movies, fictional characters often realize they're dreaming and make funny comments about it but otherwise allow the dream to continue of it's own accord and nothing changes. Lucid dreaming is nothing like this :)
In real life, the effect is quite different. Saying (and knowing) "This is a dream!" results in a rush of clarity of thought. Your surroundings zoom into focus and become much more vivid. You have far greater awareness of your body and it is more like a waking experience, having the opportunity to move freely and take in much more sensory information.
The features of conscious dreams can spontaneously change just like a normal dream. For instance, you may manifest a group of bear cubs which later change into a pile of boxes. Of course, you can easily call the bear cubs back again. But don't be surprised if you notice these subtle changes beyond your control. It is a co-created experience and your unconscious mind still plays a key role.
Beginners often find their lucid dreams end prematurely. Sometimes, the sheer excitement causes you to wake up. Other times, you may simply forget you are dreaming and the unconscious mind regains full control. In this case, the dream loses its intensity and become just like a regular dream again.
To prevent this, cultivate a calm and focused mind set in the dreamworld. Remind yourself that you are dreaming often to stay mentally grounded.
A simple way to enhance your lucidity and thereby prolong your dream is to rub your hands together while saying "I'm dreaming". This kinetic sensation stimulates the conscious brain, while drawing awareness to your dream body and away from your physical body lying asleep in bed.
These techniques have helped me experience lucid dreams as long as an hour.
Making the dream scene morph in front of your eyes can sometimes be difficult - mainly because you simply don't expect it to happen. This is typical of the results beginners complain about because they lack the anticipated dream control.
If you're having problems with dream control (and I should stress that not everyone does have such issues) the best way to change things is to work with your unconscious dream logic. For instance, to change the scenery:
As you can see, there are many creative solutions to issues of dream control. The most important thing to remember is that your conscious expectation plays a major role. If you question your own ability to manifest new scenes, then your abilities will falter. But if you remain confident and learn from your experiences, you'll soon find that absolutely anything is possible inside a lucid dream.
Learning how to fly in lucid dreams is something we all want to master first.
However, it's not like you've had any practice in real life, so the concept can be a little difficult on the lucid dreaming mind. While some people take to the sky like Superman, others can get stuck in power lines, bump into buildings, or waver as if gravity is acting against them (which of course it isn't!)
Think of the movie The Matrix, when Morpheus asks Neo how he beat him in a virtual reality fight. Was it because he was stronger, faster, or fitter in this simulated world? No. It was because he truly believed he was better.
It's the same in lucid dreams. See how to have lucid flying dreams which explains the expectation principle and a three-step flight training program.
If you are imagining getting stuck in a lucid dream that way a child gets stuck in a painting in a horror movie, then no, that's science fiction.
You can no more get stuck in a lucid dream than you can get stuck in a regular dream or nightmare. "Dream limbo" is just a plot device for the movies.
In fact, lucidity affords you the opportunity to wake up on demand. Many people learn to start lucid dreaming naturally by using it to wake up from nightmares. Just open and shut your dream eyes firmly while saying "WAKE UP!" You can use the same moment of clarity to transform your nightmare into a guided dream.
While it is possible to become engrossed in a lucid nightmare or false awakening, this is not the same as being trapped in a dream forever. Perhaps frustrating, perhaps enlightening, they are no different in length from typical periods of REM sleep, which max out after a certain period of time.
As the lucid dream is a co-created experience, you can find profound communication with the unconscious arising from dream events or the fabric of the dream itself. The easiest way is to start a dialogue with the dream: just ask questions out loud. See the article 10 things to ask your lucid dream self for specific questions to pose to your dreaming self.
To continue reading questions like this, see my full lucid dreaming FAQ.
That's enough to get you started. Thanks for dropping by the World of Lucid Dreaming and I hope you find this a useful resource for many years to come!
Creator, World of Lucid Dreaming