A Dream Induced Lucid Dream (DILD) is any dream in which you become spontaneously lucid. Your lucidity is prompted by the unreal nature of the dream. You'll consciously recognize that something is out of place (from talking animals, to oddly-colored scenery, to deceased people seemingly alive and well). The realization creates instant lucidity and your dreamworld suddenly becomes real...
DILD lucid dreams are more frequent than contrasting WILDs. In a laboratory study of 76 lucid dreamers, almost three-quarters were dream-initiated, and only one-quarter were wake-initiated. And those are probably skewed figures. Lucid dream researcher Dr Stephen LaBerge notes that WILDs in the lab appear much more common than those experiences at home.
So, in your quest to become a lucid dreamer, the most useful trick up your sleeve will be to understand how to induce DILDs with frequency.
There are many types of Dream Induced Lucid Dreams - and so, many ways to create the crucial moment of self-awareness within the dreamstate.
Proficient lucid dreamers often have spontaneous DILDs without deliberately incubating them. It becomes natural - automatic, even - to comprehend when you are dreaming. Sometimes a non-specific cue, such as entering an unfamiliar locale, will trigger your inner awareness: "Of course! I'm dreaming!"
However, beginners need to spend time entraining this mindset and habitually looking for dream signs and other "reality tests". In time, your dreams will present the opportunities for you naturally - and it is your task to act on them.
One example is looking at a piece of text in a dream. As the conscious brain lies dormant during sleep, your written language skills are severely depleted. It becomes very difficult to read text - and if you can, the words don't remain constant. So, the next time you dream of reading a newspaper headline, you may just wonder, "Am I dreaming?" Make sure your next action is to look away, then look back and read it again. As the words will almost certainly change, you have valid evidence that you are dreaming and your lucidity will surge and intensify.
Other popular ways to trigger a Dream Induced Lucid Dream are: reality checks, meditation and dream incubation, and Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD).
Below are summaries of 8 popular DILD methods, in alphabetical order, with links to my full tutorials on this website. You don't need to learn every single technique here to experience a DILD - simply pick the ones that appeal to you the most and show them your commitment over the next few weeks.
Developed by British lucid dreamer and author, Daniel Love, the Cycle Adjustment Technique involves adjusting your daily wake-up time to naturally influence your body's chemistry and increase your consciousness during morning REM sleep.
Everyone has dream signs, it's just that lucid dreamers tend to recognize them more. A dream sign is any type of clue that exposes the dream as unreality. Increasing your awareness of dream signs creates spontaneous in-dream lucidity...
Meditation is an excellent primer for lucid dreaming, because it hones several different skills conducive to lucidity. Here are two easy breathing and guided meditation techniques to improve your visualization skills and self-awareness. Through visualization you can incubate your desired dream themes.
Dr LaBerge's famous MILD method combines several individual DILD skills described here: dream recall (journaling), reality checks, affirmations (self hypnosis) and visualization. He created it while studying at university to have lucid dreams on demand.
To perform a reality check while you're awake means to question your conscious experience, even though you know quite obviously you're awake. But to question it inside the dreamworld creates a whole different revelation.
It has myriad applications in the world of personal development - and self hypnosis can help lucid dreamers too. Through meditation and affirmations, self hypnosis produced some of my very first Dream Induced Lucid Dreams.
Subliminal stimuli affect you below your threshold for conscious perception. We decided to see if it was possible to induce lucid dreams subliminally by creating two animated videos giving rapid-fire lucid dream triggers. See for yourself...
This is another sleep cycle adjustment technique. It involves creating a period of alert wakefulness in the early mornings, before returning to bed. This promotes greater consciousness in your dreams and improves dream recall.
Do some people DILD naturally, without even knowing it? You bet.
Sometimes readers tell me they have been lucid dreaming their whole lives, only they didn't know it was called lucid dreaming, and they assumed that everyone dreams that way. This is a startling admission. Natural lucid dreamers? You'd think they'd be shouting from the rooftops! But when you grow up with the ability to have DILDs without effort, it becomes routine. You take it for granted.
Similarly, although you may have spent decades experiencing only non-lucid dreams, it is possible to entrain the mindset to have multiple DILDs a week. The more you practice, the more DILDs you'll have, and soon it will become second nature. Your dreaming mind will present you with multiple cues and moments of lucidity, and it will be your choice to embrace them. The Dream Induced Lucid Dream, like all the techniques described on this website, is a totally learnable skill.
What do blind people dream about? Can they "see" in their dreams? Take a look at scientific studies into the dreams of the blind, colorblind, and black-and-white dreamers. In 1999, dream researchers at the University of Hartford analyzed 372 dreams of 15 blind people. They found that both the congenitally blind and those who went blind before five years old did not have any visual dreams at all. That's because our dreams are made up of real world experiences and our innermost thoughts, anxieties and desires. So for someone who has never perceived images or light (or can't remember any) their dreams simply can't manifest visually.
Not long ago, scientists at Frankfurt University discovered how to produce lucid dreams with electronic stimulation. It was a world first. And - astonishingly - it worked in non-lucid dreamers 77% of the time. Now you can buy the same technology for yourself. The foc.us V2 - which delivers the proven optimum 40 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) - was originally developed to increase working memory in video gamers and improve sleep.
As technology continues to move us towards more immersive dreamlike experiences, one can only wonder what digital wonders lay just beyond the horizon of tomorrow. We may also question just how the future of virtual reality will impact the study and practice of lucid dreaming. Are we, perhaps, the last generation to whom lucid dreaming will maintain an appeal?
Jeremiah Morelli is a whimsical fantasy artist and visual storyteller. He places conceptual fairytale creatures in vivid dreamscapes to capture the imagination. He's also a school teacher, and amazingly finds the time and motivation to create this huge gallery of artwork. Such light and dark fairytale paintings make beautiful places to visit in your lucid dreams.
Inspired and named for the notion of Flatland, artist and photographer Aydin Buyuktas has created a series of works where "a space of surprises creates a space that creates surprises." Based on photos of Istanbul, Buyuktas explains: "We live in places that most of the times don't draw our attention, places that transform our memories, places that the artist gives another dimension; where the perceptions that generally crosses our minds will be demolished and new ones will arise. These works aim to leave the viewer alone with a surprising visuality, ironic as well as a multidimensional romantic point of view."
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?