There are an astonishing number of ways to induce lucid dreams. Yet they all have one thing in common: programing the unconscious to recognize the dream state.
When you think about the lucid dream techniques discussed on this site (meditation, self hypnosis, lucid dream incubation, reality checks, dream journaling) that underlying mechanism soon becomes obvious. And another compelling way to tap into it is with subliminal messages.
Like hypnosis, subliminal messages are direct instructions given to the unconscious mind. There is no mental trickery or hocus pocus going on - this is a scientific method; indeed, numerous scientific studies have proven the validity of subliminals.
In 1986 the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease published a piece of research on subliminals and dreams. Two groups of people listened to the same music track - one overlaid with subliminal messages. Subjects were then asked to draw random pictures that came to mind, as well as any dreams from the previous night.
The study found that, when asked to draw pictures of their dreams from the previous night, the control group drew random images, hitting on the correct random image only 10% of the time. Yet the experimental group who had listened to subliminal messages consistently drew images that had been pre-programmed into their unconscious.
The group that listened to subliminals drew pictures that were closely related to the "silent" commands given before. The control group drew random images, which proved there was no other influence. The researches concluded: "the unconscious / subconscious mind is able to perceive a recorded verbal message that cannot be consciously heard" - thereby proving the existence of subliminal perception.
In a similar study, experimental and control groups were asked to guess a random three-digit number. The experimental group was exposed to the number subliminally embedded in pink noise (similar to white noise).
In three different trials an average of 77% of people exposed to the subliminal numbers guessed correctly, in comparison to only 10% of people in the control groups who weren't exposed to the numbers. This again confirms that subliminal messages can be reliably perceived at an unconscious level.
Both studies provide impressive scientific evidence that subliminal messages are perceived at an unconscious level - and, indeed, that they only have to be exposed to people once for them to have an effect on human behavior.
There are a number of subliminal prompts you can use to increase your chances of having a lucid dream.
One of the most popular pages on this website is our free subliminal video to induce lucid dreams. It was made by my partner Pete who, besides being a professional graphic designer, is a lucid dreamer and student of psychology, hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). The videos have proven very effective for some people, causing them to have vivid and more memorable dreams.
If we're completely honest, lucid dreaming isn't really known for being the most social of interests. In fact, often it's a lone pursuit - just you, your dream journal and the landscape of your mind. But this technique called PAL (or Partner Assisted Lucidity) breaks down that wall and turns lucid dream exploration into a social event.
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
It is estimated that these wise and wily Indians have been using mugwort in their healing and ritual practices for 13,000 years, where it is known as the ‘dream sage’. They use the herb to promote good dreams, which they consider an essential aspect of normal human functioning! But that’s not all...
Silene Capensis has been used for millennia by the Xhosa shaman of the river valleys in the eastern cape of South Africa, where it is known as Undela Ziimhlophe or 'white paths'. It's fragrant white flowers open only at night, when they emit a fragrant and almost hypnotising aroma. Also known as African Dream Herb or Ubulawu, Silene Capensis induces spectacularly vivid dreams - yet has never entered the mainstream and remains a fringe taste within western culture.
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?