World of Lucid Dreaming

8 Insanely Powerful Lucid Dreaming Tactics For 2021

So you came here wondering about lucid dreaming eh?

It’s OK – we’ve got your back :-)

Since 2008, we’ve shown over 32m visitors from around the world all about the art of dream control.

So you’re in the right place.

Grab a cup of tea whilst you’re here and take your time.

We’ll go through 8 proven tactics you can start using tonight.

But first, let’s cover some basics about lucid dreaming.

What is a lucid dream?

A lucid dream is any dream in which you become aware that you're dreaming!

This simple realization triggers your waking consciousness during the dream, enabling you to do any number of cool things, such as:

  • Explore your dreamworld with total clarity. Everything you see, hear, touch, taste and smell will be as authentic as reality. It can be truly mind-blowing to discover this virtual world.
  • Fulfill any fantasy. Fly over mountains, have dream sex, go base jumping, shapeshifting, time traveling, dinosaur spotting, ninja fighting, meet your hero or visit alien planets.
  • Overcome personal psychological issues. In the safety of the lucid dream environment you can face your fears, phobias, anxieties, nightmares and past traumas.
  • Tap into your inner creativity. In surreal and unexpected ways, you can compose music, seek original artistic imagery and solve technical problems, just like these famous folk.

Experts agree that everyone has the potential to lucid dream.

But only a small fraction of people learn how to do it on a regular basis.

This site is for people who are serious about learning the art of lucid dreaming and exploring its real world applications.

Is lucid dreaming scientifically proven?

Yes. There are many examples of scientific research that prove the existence of lucid dreaming.

In fact, lucid dreams provide credible explanations for night-time phenomena which until recently had no scientific explanation - such as alien abductions, astral projection and out of body experiences.

The first scientific proof of lucid dreaming emerged in 1975 from the British parapsychologist Dr Keith Hearne.

He recorded a set of pre-determined eye movements from his lucid volunteer, Alan Worsley, via an electro-oculogram (EOG).

lucid dreaming proof

For the first time there was communication between someone that was asleep (and dreaming) and the outside world!

More recently, this 2009 study by the Neurological Laboratory in Frankfurt revealed significantly increased brain activity during lucid dreams. An EEG reading showed a significant increase in brainwave frequencies at the 40 Hz (or Gamma) range while lucid.

Indeed, the researchers concluded that this justifies the classification of lucid dreams as a new and separate state of consciousness.

Intriguingly, the research also showed heightened activity in the frontal and frontolateral areas of the dreaming brain.

Which also happens to be the seat of linguistic thought and other higher mental functions linked to self awareness!

In 2014, this remarkable study out of Frankfurt University revealed that lucid dreams can be induced with "zaps" of harmless electrical stimulation of the brain.

When non-lucid dreamers were given 30-second jolts of electrical current to the frontal cortex while asleep, they reported spontaneously vivid dreams in which they fully recognized they were dreaming.

So fear not – there is an abundance of science on the topic of lucid dreams and every year more studies are being published.

What can I do in a lucid dream?

A fully lucid dream can be perfectly tangible, rich and visually detailed.

When probed, it can generate seemingly impossible levels of self awareness - such as 360-degree vision, multiple simultaneous dreams, and even visual representations of the fifth dimension.

Because all of this takes place in your mind, the dream world is infinite.

No laws. No boundaries. No limitations. Anything you can conceive of comes true.

You can literally take control of your dream and warp The Matrix like Neo. Fly and soar over cities like Iron Man. Slow down time like the dream levels of Inception. Have sex with celebrities. Fight like a ninja. Re-live childhood memories. Base jump. Survive death.

lucid dream fantasy world

But a lucid dream is not merely a fantasy playground.

Dream theories suggest it's a chance to interact with other parts of your psyche (by talking to different dream characters) and even your co-conscious inner self (by talking to the very fabric of the dream).

Several respected journals have published studies on how lucid dreams have helped veterans suffering from PTSD, athletes seeking to gain an edge over their competition and even children suffering from unusual phobias.

Once you know how to become lucid in dreams, you will discover a strange new world (an entire universe, actually) of which you are fully aware and can manipulate with the power of thought.

Lucid Dreaming Basics

Alright, so now you know a little about what lucid dreaming is and what it can do for you - now we’ll talk through some ways you can actually induce them.

But let us (as ever) first begin with the basics.

The most important thing you can do to spearhead your way toward lucid dreams, is start keeping a dream journal.

dream journal image

This will supercharge your dream recall.

Chances are, you probably don’t even remember too many dreams at the moment. Right?

But writing them down each day will gradually help to form more concrete memories. After all, what good is a lucid dream if you can’t remember it?

And the second most important thing is to practice our reality checks.

finger through palm

With these, we ask ourselves throughout the day “Am I dreaming?”.

Over time, these repeated checks seep into your dreams as dream signs, triggering the realisation that you’re dreaming (and therefore making the dream lucid).

And lastly, lucid dreaming calls for a decent boost in self awareness.

These three tenets together form the foundation of a solid lucid dreamer.

So, with that being said – let’s look at 8 different tactics you can use to start experiencing lucid dreams for yourself.

1 – Use Hypnagogia

If you haven’t heard of hypnagogia before, it might sound a little funky!

But rest assured, it’s nothing to be scared of. We are talking here about the colourful swirling patterns that appear on the back of your eyelids while you’re dozing off.

World of Lucid Dreaming

This is a signal that you are in the half asleep, half awake borderland state where lucid dreams are born.

By using visualisation methods we can use this visual hypnagogia to transition into a lucid dream. Check the full technique here.

2 – Manipulate REM Sleep

You need to know that lucid dreams occur (mostly) during REM Sleep.

First, understand that you sleep in 90 minute cycles and that each night you have 4-6 of these cycles.

REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep happens at the end of each cycle – and mostly in the later cycles of the night.

So, by manipulating our sleep patterns, we can target REM sleep phases.

The easiest and most popular way to do this is with the Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) technique.

It revolves around tricking your body clock by briefly waking at around 3am.

3 – Go WILD

If you thought that sounded cool, wait until you try a Wake Induced Lucid Dream (WILD).

This is the big daddy of lucid dreaming techniques and is also the hardest to master. With this method, we snap straight from waking into a lucid dream - bang!

It can be done in the middle of the night, or just as you fall asleep (when you get into bed at your normal bed time).

Think of a WILD as simply a form of meditation – where you maintain awareness whilst your body falls asleep.

After all, that is the underpinning principal of lucid dreaming: mind awake, body asleep.

See the full instructions here.

4 – Use Sleep Paralysis as a Spring Board

Talking about your body falling asleep…

Ever had that awful feeling where you’re awake, but your body is frozen and it feels as if you’re pinned to the bed, unable to move?

Maybe, maybe not.

But if you have, you’re not alone.

It’s more common than you may think, with upto 40% of adults suffering at one time or another.

Sleep paralysis occurs when your body falls asleep and enters REM Atonia. This is the special state that keeps your body still at night – and from physically acting out your dreams!

Just sometimes, it misfires a little – and we wake early (hence, sleep paralysis).

Well, the wonderful thing about lucid dreaming is with a simple change in mindset you can easily convert sleep paralysis into an instant lucid dream!

At which point you can take control and turn it from something scary into something wonderful!

So if you do get the odd bout of sleep paralysis, count yourself lucky as you have on your hands a simple guaranteed gateway to lucid dreams.

5- Explore Supplements

In fact, the official name is ‘oneirogen’.

Meaning a substance that creates a dream like state of consciousness.

There are many options to choose from and lots that are surprisingly effective. Various societies, from the Aztecs to the modern day Xhosa of East Africa have sacred oneirogens that play a pivotal role in their culture - so it’s a fascinating area to explore.

There’s no need to go artificial, as simple natural herbs can assist in inducing some of the most vivid and colourful dreams you can imagine.

world of lucid dreaming meadow

So think less “supplements” and more “ancient oneirogens”.

For a full list check out our lucid dreaming supplements vault.

6 – Listen to Brainwave Audio

If supplements don’t take your fancy, you might be interested in checking out what’s known as ‘brainwave entrainment’.

These are special audio tracks that you listen to whilst you’re dozing off.

Some folks find these really help to enter the deep meditative state that is perfect for lucid dreaming.

And while it’s right to be sceptical, you should know that a 2008 meta analysis suggested that this audio technology is actually a legitimate therapeutic tool!

There are various forms available, such as binaural beats and isochronic tones. You can check out more details here.

7 – Try a Device

Believe it or not, there are also headbands, masks and bracelets that aim to assist you in reaching lucid dreams!

They use various technologies such as EEG and Heart Rate Monitoring to detect REM Sleep.

During which, they aim to introduce an external stimuli – to help you recognise that you are dreaming and become lucid.

But it’s most definitely a case of ‘caveat empor’ (buyer beware in latin, just in case you wondered) with these.

To date, lucid dreaming devices have not proven especially effective. Although this could be set to change next year with some recent innovations…

For now you can check out our devices vault!

8 – Check out the MILD Technique

OK, we'll end this list with the most reliable technique for beginners.

MILD stands for Mnemonic Induction Of Lucid Dreams and of all the lucid dream induction methods, it is the most well researched under lab conditions.

The technique is all based on 'prospective memory' - which means remembering to do something in the future (as opposed to remembering something you've already done - which would be retrospective memory).

In this case, all you need to do is remember to realise that you're dreaming - next time you have a dream!

lucidity using alarm clocks

A recent study from July 2020, found a 16.5% success rate in using the method.

The great thing about the MILD technique is that it's repeatable and very easy to follow.

Go and give it a try tonight!

How do I control my dreams?

Phew, so we just covered off a few of the most popular ways we can induce lucid dreams, but you’ve probably still got a bunch of questions…

So, we’re not finished just yet.

Let’s talk dream control – and what you should do once you’ve managed to establish lucidity.

Dream control kicks in the moment you become lucid (when you recognize that you're dreaming).

The more conscious you become of the dream environment, the easier it is to manipulate. There are a few different ways to shape your dreams as they occur, for instance:

  • Actively will what you want to happen, like waking life (e.g., you walk up to a wall and will your arm to push through it). This is the most intuitive method but not always the most effective if your lucidity is waning.
  • Say your desire out loud and let the dream present it (e.g., say "I have super powers and am the sole survivor of a zombie apocalypse"). You'll be empowered by your own words and the dream will oblige.

So, controlling your dreams takes a little getting used to.

matrix mind control

That's because a lucid dream is a completely new and unique environment to you - in which your conscious and unconscious collide.

When fully lucid, you'll find that you can exert considerable control over your lucid dreams. Or you can passively enjoy this state of heightened awareness, watching the dream unfold in its originally intended state.

The golden rule for lucid dream manipulation is this:

If you truly, sincerely expect something to happen... it will happen (just like Neo).

How do I stay lucid?

Beginners often find their lucid dreams end prematurely. Usually it's the sheer excitement and adrenaline rush that causes you to wake up.

Other times, you can simply forget you're dreaming (remember, the brain functions differently during sleep and it's easy to forget things).

To make your lucid dreams last longer, cultivate a calm and focused mind set in the dreamworld.

Regularly remind yourself that you are dreaming, to stay mentally grounded.

A simple way to enhance your lucidity (and thereby prolong your lucid 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 that is laying asleep in bed.

Such techniques have enabled me to experience lucid dreams as long as an hour in real time.

How do I summon dream characters?

If you’re anything like me, you’re fascinated by the idea of ‘dream characters’.

In your lucid dreams, you can seek out or summon any person, dead or alive, fictional or real.

A good way to do this is to first heighten your lucidity, then visualize and expect the person you want to meet just out of sight.

Ask the dream out loud to manifest that person too.

Don't be afraid to ask for unexpected consequences:

"show me myself in 10 years", "show me my ideal partner", and "show me how my great-great-great grandchildren will live" are all valid requests of the creative lucid dream state.

How do I change the scenery?

Making the dream scene morph in front of your eyes can sometimes be difficult.

Your conscious self simply doesn't expect it to happen, because that is its experience of waking life.

This mental block is typical of a beginner because it requires more confidence and a lucid state of mind.

Not to worry! Established lucid dreamers have been working the dream world long enough to have come up with some excellent solutions.

In the case of changing the scenery:

  • Locate a "dream door": one that stands randomly in the middle of any landscape, and step through to another world.
  • Pass through a mirror portal: a liquid-like mirror that leads to another dimension, and emerge in any scene you choose.
  • Change the channel on a TV - then jump into the screen and allow the image to become 3-dimensional around you.
  • Turn away from the scene - and imagine a new location emerging behind you. When you turn back, everything will look different.
  • Spin around and imagine a new scene appearing when you stop spinning.

learn how to control your dreams

In fact, there are lots of creative solutions to issues of dream control.

The important thing to remember is that your conscious expectation plays a major role.

Stay confident in your ability to summon giant goldfish, teleport to the Bahamas or fly like an eagle.

You'll soon find that absolutely anything is possible inside a lucid dream.

What Next?

If you're keen to learn how to lucid dream as quickly as possible - or you simply want to expand your existing skills - check out our course at the World of Lucid Dreaming Academy.

You'll get the 30 module course, interactive exams, 9 hours of expert interviews, guided meditation audios - plus you get access to our private community to answer questions and share experiences!

We highly recommend you check it out now.

About The Author

About the author

Chris Hammond - Editor and "Chief Lucidity Officer" of World of Lucid Dreaming. That means he writes about lucid dreaming, awareness - and other gooey stuff like the nature of consciousness and cosmic existence.