Some people are born lucid dreamers. Others have to work at the ability to have lucid dreams. Regardless of how you get started, here are 11 signs that you're ready to wake up and take control of your dreams.
Do you have crazy vivid daydreams? Do you find it easy to fantasize visually?
An alarm clocks raids your sleep and steals some of your most potent dream time.
Take a peek at these stages of sleep and you'll see that periods of REM sleep become extended toward the morning. Many, many of my lucid dreams occur during the final hour of sleep before I wake up naturally.
Dream recall is essential to lucid dreaming. Not least because you actually want to be able to remember your lucid dreams.
Moreover, having strong recall makes your dreams more intense and more likely to give rise to lucidity. Fortunately, you can improve your dream recall with a number of tools from hypnosis to supplements.
An intense dream life indicates several things:
If you've had a lucid dream or two before, you know what signs to look for. You know what lucidity feels like and how to trigger it again. You may even know how to hold on to your lucidity lest it slip away.
The fact that you've done it before is also a major confidence booster. Too many people give up on lucid dreaming because they don't believe in themselves. That's a hurdle you can smash right through with experience.
Having the clarity of thought - even for a second - to shout "WAKE UP" at the peak moment of fear during a nightmare is, technically, a lucid dream.
I did this a lot in my teenage years. Later, when I really got the hang of lucid dreaming, I learned to lucidly calm myself and turn the nightmare around, probing the source of my fear. I got some cool results.
Meditation is a key to lucid dreaming because it entrains higher levels of self awareness.
Why is this a good thing?
When you're awake, self awareness leads to better emotional control, creativity and clarity of thought. And when dreaming, it leads the critical realization: "Hey this isn't real - I must be dreaming!"
Even if you have good dream recall, never underestimate the power of keeping a dream journal.
I go through phases where I write extensively - and then not at all - in my dream journal, depending on my lifestyle. Without question, I consistently have more lucid dreams when I record my nocturnal adventures on paper. It really is that simple.
Years of study by dream researcher, Jayne Gackenbach, has found that spending your waking hours immersed in the simulated realities of video games can have a big impact on your dream life.
"Gaming improves spatial skills," says Gackenbach. "And people who spontaneously have lucid dreams also evidence superior spatial skills - so there is a lot of self-selection... What is common is that [players] can control their gamer egos in the game, and it's the same in the dream."
Granted - it's a less common type of lucid dream which starts with the highly convincing sensation of being locked in and/or floating above your body in bed. But it's a lucid dream all the same.
On some nights I silently voice my desire to have a lucid dream as my head hits the pillow and, lo and behold, I have a lucid dream that night.
This is no coincidence. Our dreams comprise our thoughts, emotions and experiences from recent days and the more we weave the desire for lucidity into this unconscious tapestry, the more likely lucid dreams become. So get lucid dreaming on your brain tonight. Read up. Visualize your ideal lucid dream. And cement your intention to have lucid dreams.
Enjoy the ride...
If you feel like these signs apply to you, continue your journey with The World of Lucid Dreaming Academy. You can learn the skill of lucid dreaming, supported by our active community of lucid dreamers.
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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.
Years ago, before I had my first lucid dream, I had a very specific idea about what a lucid dream would feel like. I thought it would be intense and magical and a little bit spooky. This turned out to be a pretty accurate representation. Becoming aware in the dreamstate is like entering another world. One where physical laws can be manipulated (there is no spoon, Neo) and your fantasies can come true in an instant. There's definitely something magical about that - and it's as if the lucid dream world is a living, breathing organism that can react to your very thoughts.
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?
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