6 Lucid Dream Challenges Everyone Should Try

So you want a real challenge for your next lucid dream? Check out these thought experiments.


So you want a real challenge for your next lucid dream? Check out these thought experiments. They have no right or wrong answers, at least as far as we can prove in 2017.

If you undertake any of these - please add a comment below. The beauty is that everyone's experience will be different and I'm eager to read your results.

1. The Joker

Ask a dream character to tell you a joke that will make you laugh. Can your dream surprise you? How is this possible?

There's a science behind what makes a joke funny - called the "kick of the discovery" - a phrase used by the physicist Richard Feynman, who was a pretty funny guy himself. Humor works by leading us one way then suddenly shifting our perceptions.

"Yesterday I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How it got into my pajamas I have no idea."

- Groucho Marx

What's truly weird, then, is when a lucid dream makes us laugh. Because fundamentally, all elements of the dream are created by ourselves. In a two-way conversation with a dream character, you're really talking to yourself.

Yet our dream characters can still surprise us with a good setup - and a punch line that hits us out of the blue. Don't believe me? Try it and see.

Read more: Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why

Can Your Dream Funnyman Make You Laugh?

2. The Philosopher

Seek out a philosophy professor in your dream. Ask them some of the great questions: Who am I? Is our universe real? What is infinity? Why is there something rather than nothing?

This is a trick challenge. I'm sending you on a mission to find answers to questions for which there are no answers. Or are there?

Getting philosophical in a lucid dream is always intriguing because, like the joker scenario above, the answers seem to come from an unexpected source.

Your dream character might hold beliefs that conflict with your own, for instance, or come to conclusions you've never thought of before.

What does your inner philosopher have to say about that?

Read more: The Philosophy Book

What Does Your Dream Philosopher Have to Say?

3. The Quantum World

Ask the dream to shrink your body by a factor of 1,000. Take a look around. Then shrink again. Then again. What does the quantum world look like?

Nobody knows what the quantum world looks like - that's the thing.

Quantum mechanics is a theory of infinitesimal interactions based on mathematical equations. As far as we're concerned, it's abstract and intangible.

But wouldn't it be cool to be able to visualize the universe at this impossible scale? Not least because many aspects of quantum theory are so difficult to imagine... and impossible for most non-physicists (and some physicists) to accept.

Read more: Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

What Does The Quantum World Look Like?

4. The Edge of The Universe

Ask the dream to enlarge your body by a factor of 1,000. Take a walk around the Earth. Then grow again. And again. Travel past the edge of the universe. What's it like out there?

Here's another great unknown - what's beyond the edge of the universe? (If you think there's nothing, jump ahead to #6.)

Remember, these are essentially thought experiments and your experience of the edge of the universe is purely a fun fantasy.

But, like a Limitless pill popper, in a lucid dream you have access to forgotten memories and expanded imagination. This is your best shot at fathoming what might be out there.

Perhaps it's the next universe along. Perhaps it's infinite candy floss. Perhaps it's a giant hand holding a snow globe. I wouldn't want to put ideas in your head.

That's for your lucid dream to figure out.

Probing The Edge of The Universe

5. Meet Your Parallel Self

Jump into a parallel universe in which you never moved house, took that job or met your partner. What's different? How did your alternate life turn out?

In a Parallel Universe: Observing The Butterfly Effect

According to Many Worlds theory, we live in an infinite web of alternate timelines.

Such a claim is laden with scientific, philosophical and existential implications.

But for now let's focus on one, admittedly egotistical, significance. What were the key moments in your life that changed everything after?

The theory suggests that new universes are spawned for every possible scenario with more than outcome. Even whether you had cereal or toast for breakfast.

However, this experiment focuses on the big decisions in your life and allows the butterfly effect to play out in your lucid dream.

It's important NOT to control this lucid dream challenge. Just ask to meet an alternate self and let the dream play out.

Watch: The Butterfly Effect

6. Enter The Void

Allow the dream to dissolve visually, so all that's left is empty nothingness. Some dreamers call this The Void. (You can also access it by traveling really fast.) How does it feel to experience pure consciousness with no sensory distractions?

The Void, as it has become known in the lucid dreaming community, is the place where you collapse the imagery and the sensory data of the dream.

That can be peaceful or it can be alarming.

But it’s a real eye-opener to exist like that, acutely aware of nothing at all. I'd describe it as a kind of meditation because your awareness is so easily focused on absolutely nothing.

Sometimes The Void is overtaken by complex geometric shapes, like an invasion of hypnagogia. Even if this happens it's really mind-boggling to observe.

In Tibetan Dream Yoga, this is the ultimate goal of lucid dreaming.

Read more: The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep

What Does Nothing Feel Like?


About The Author

About The Author

Rebecca Casale is a lucid dreamer and a science writer with a special interest in biology and the brain. She is the founder of World of Lucid Dreaming and Science Me.