A sleep mask is a useful lucid dreaming aid. In fact, it can improve your sleep and dreams on several levels:
Once you've decided you want to incorporate a sleep mask into your lucidity practice, the next question is: what is the best sleep mask?
Here are my top 5 sleep masks for lucid dreaming, meditation and better quality of sleep.
My favorite mask is the Dream Essentials Escape Luxury Sleep Mask.
It's affordable and very comfortable, with interior eye chambers so the fabric never touches your eyes or eyelashes. The padding around the edges ensures no light enters the mask so it does exactly what a lucid dreamer requires of it.
The headband is adjustable using VelcroStretch so for the majority of people this sleep mask will be 100% light blocking.
Sufficiently weighty but not cumbersome it stays in place all night and is ideal for side, front or back sleepers. I've reviewed a number of sleep masks over the years and this one continues to come out on top.
The Mindfold Sleep and Relaxation Eye Mask is an alternative sleep mask which I mention here because it is both cheaper and lighter.
Once again, it has the essential deep eye cavities, plus a flexible faceplate backed with soft foam padding for maximum light blocking.
The VelcroStretch headband adjusts for comfort and further improves light blocking. However, unlike the Dream Essentials Escape Mask, this mask is really suited to back sleepers only.
Even easier on the wallet, the Dream Essentials Sweet Dreams Contoured Sleep Mask is compact and slimline. I use it as a travel mask on planes because it crumples without permanently creasing and is easily washable and quick drying.
It does contour away from the eyes - however, due to the lack of padding, it is only about 95% light blocking. I believe this comes down to the individual; if you have a delicate nose bridge this may just be perfect for you.
For the budget-conscious, the Sweet Dreams Contoured Sleep Mask also comes with free foam earplugs. It is currently the #1 sleep mask on Amazon with 2,000+ reviews.
Here's an interesting one. The Glo to Sleep Eye Mask is a sleep therapy mask to help you switch off your mind and relax your body. There are times (we've all been there) when your mind is buzzing and you can't relax - when this happens, Glo to Sleep is a natural and effective way to enter the land of nod peacefully.
While wearing the mask, slowly raise your eyes upwards and hold your gaze on one of the soft points of blue light. Breathe deeply. Your thoughts begin to slow as you relax from a Beta state to an Alpha state. This gentle meditation provides a calm focus as you doze off and relax fully. It can also support lucid dream affirmations (such as "The next scene will be a dream").
There are no batteries required. The Glo to Sleep mask is powered by holding it up to a light bulb for 30 seconds; the blue glow lasts for plenty of time for you to fall asleep. This one has mixed reviews on Amazon but personally I find it a welcome distraction.
Who ever heard of a pillow for your eyes?
I thought this was a pretty weird concept until I tried out the DreamTime Inner Peace Eye Pillow. Turns out, it's quite a nice feeling.
How does this work? The creators will tell you that it's down to the aromatherapy scents of flax, lavender, chamomile and orange granules, combined with acupressure applied to tired eyes and facial muscles.
I do enjoy the cool pressure applied to my eyes - it's both relaxing and an excellent focal point for meditation. You'll have to feel this to believe it.
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?