The Cycle Adjustment Technique, or CAT, is a simple way to learn how to lucid dream by naturally influencing your body's chemistry. It requires adjusting your sleep cycles to raise your conscious awareness during the early morning REM sleep phases.
When used correctly, it aims to generate up to four lucid dreams in a week. And it can be highly effective for beginners: in an experiment involving 10 students, the CAT technique taught 8 of them how to lucid dream in the first two weeks, reporting an average of two lucid dreams during the trial.
The CAT lucid dream exercise was created by Daniel Love, an expert lucid dreamer from the UK. He has written an in-depth book about lucid dreaming, called Are You Dreaming? The book includes a detailed write-up of CAT (the bare bones are below) along with variations and other lucid dreaming techniques created by Love.
The basic steps to performing CAT are as follows:
Set your alarm clock to 90 minutes before your normal wake-up time. Do this every day for one week to reset your body clock. As a result, CAT will not give you any lucid dreams in the first week.
From day 8, alternate your wake-up time by 90 minutes on a daily basis. Normal, early, normal, early, and so on.
When you go to bed, set the intention to awake at the earlier time and do lots of reality checks. Even if you know you are waking up at the later time, mentally prepare for an early start.
HOW IT WORKS
On normal days, your body will expect you to get up early. So your mind will become stimulated and more likely to become conscious while you are still dreaming. This dramatically improves your chances of having many lucid dreams in a week - hopefully every other day or 4 times per week.
As you can see, the Cycle Adjustment Technique is a pretty simple way to learn how to lucid dream. There are no memory cues, visualizations or other mental tricks to rehearse. The hardest part is getting up early and being strict about it! You must stick to the schedule or you are unlikely to trigger the chemical response in your body which is what will help you have lucid dreams.
What time should I go to bed while practicing CAT?
Go to bed at the same time every night. This is all about programming your body clock, which in turn adjusts its own timer for releasing certain chemicals throughout the day. The more rigid you are about going to bed and waking up at the set times, the more likely it is to induce lucid dreams.
What should I do when I wake up early?
Do whatever you like - but don't go back to bed! You should also perform reality checks during the next 90 minutes as often as possible. Then go about your day as normal. Doing more reality checks during the day will aid spontaneous lucidity.
What if I wake up early on a normal day?
If you naturally wake up early when you should be sleeping in, just lie still and remind yourself to do lots of reality checks the next time you are dreaming. Practice the MILD or WILD lucid dreaming techniques and try listening to The Lucid Dreaming MP3 which will help you become meditative and consciously re-enter the dream state.
Can I ever sleep in late?
Yes, but only on a "normal" waking day. Just try to keep it to a minimum so that you don't mess up your newly optimized sleep cycle.
How long should I practice the Cycle Adjustment Technique?
If CAT generates regular lucid dreams, you can keep using this dream exercise for as long as you like. Daniel Love recommends that you repeat step one (waking up 90 minutes early each day for a week) to refresh the cycle every few months.
Try the Cycle Adjustment Technique for yourself. Beginners may learn how to lucid dream in just a couple of weeks with this very simple dream exercise...
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