52 Ways How To Lucid Dream - Mindset, Methods & More

How To Have Lucid Dreams

So you want to learn how to lucid dream?

Rest assured, you have come to the right place.

Whether you've dabbled in lucid dreaming without success, or have just recently discovered this wonderful mental skill and want to get started ASAP, I'm here to take you by the hand and show you exactly how it's done...

How to Lucid Dream: The Honest Truth

First, just in case you're not sure, here's the scientific definition of a lucid dream.

It's any dream in which you realize you're dreaming and/or are able to control elements of the dream. That's it.

In terms of brain activity, you'll be working at levels resembling full waking consciousness. Despite the fact that you're fast asleep.

This is the paradox of lucid dreaming.

But that doesn't make it any less of a real, scientifically proven state of consciousness.

Best of all, anyone can learn how to do it. Today's introduction will cover some of the essentials and a list of methods you can try yourself.

But now let's talk mindset.

You'll need to commit to learning this truly awesome mental skill.

That means accepting that you will have to work for it.

You'll be very lucky to start lucid dreaming the first day you hear about it (although it happens, thanks to the power of unconscious incubation).

Most people need to start with some background reading and mentally prepare themselves. This website is a good place to start.

Lucid dreams are a life-changing opportunity for all of us. If you want to learn how to have them, this article gives you a taste of the mindset and techniques you'll be learning.

So, I'll be absolutely up front with you.

If you're going to learn how to have lucid dreams, you need to inject three things in your life starting today:

Time

Find Time for Lucid Dream Training

It takes time to learn a new skill like lucid dreaming.

Consider:

  • Time to record your dreams
  • Time to meditate and incubate self-awareness during the day
  • Time to perform a pre-sleep lucidity routine
  • Time to read and research (like you’re doing now…)
  • Time to actually lay in bed and sleep!

If your lifestyle is an insane rush between the office and screaming kids plus a severe lack of sleep, this may not be the best time to start having lucid dreams.

Likewise, if you’re a student or work a busy job, you’ll have pressure on your time commitments.

In an ideal world you should aim to commit 30 minutes a day to your new hobby.

So plan ahead and find ways to put aside the time that you need.

Discipline

Training Yourself To Lucid Dream with discipline

Learning how to have lucid dreams is a bit like learning to play a new instrument.

The early days don't tend to generate much gratification as you bash out three repeating notes on the piano to songs such as Mr Crocodile, Are You Hungry?

But you're laying the groundwork for much bigger things to come - and your early commitment now will pay great dividends later.

Adopt a disciplined mindset and aim to be consistent in your practice for the first 30 days, to really get the most out of this incredible skill.

Passion

Develop a Passion for Lucid Dreaming

What subject did you hate most in school?

How much effort did you put into that, compared to your favorite subject or hobby?

Passion makes learning a reward in itself, and when you combine that with the joy of lucid dreams, you have all the motivation you need to stick with your lucidity training until it becomes self-perpetuating.

How Long Does It Take to Have a Lucid Dream?

This is where my analogy to learning piano sometimes flies out the window. Because no-one can play like Chopin on their first attempt.

But surprisingly, this can happen with lucid dreaming.

Many of my readers have written to me saying they had a lucid dream within 1, 2 or 3 nights of trying.

That's because there is only one requirement for having a lucid dream: realizing you're dreaming. Of course, that's easier said than done.

But most are not that lucky. On average it takes around 2 weeks for folks to experience their first short snatch of lucidity.

Naturally, this can vary wildly between individuals...

Some people are already primed to become lucid dreamers and just need a gentle tap in the right direction.

Others need to be hand-held all the way and that's where the need for discipline comes in.

Once you get the knack, having lucid dreams still tends to require some mental preparation. However, you'll know exactly what you're doing and it becomes much easier to have lucid dreams on demand.

One day you'll put in a fraction of the effort and be able to achieve long and intense conscious dreams - in which you can achieve anything you want.

Eventually you'll be able to study a piece of art, visualize it as you fall asleep - and know you'll enter that dreamscape on your adventures tonight!

How to have a lucid dream

Your Main Lucid Dream Training Goals

I know, I know, you're raring to go!

So let’s get into the meat and vegetables of this article.

We offer two routes for learning how to have lucid dreams:

  • Our website right here has a ton of learning materials to pour though. Go explore everything we have to offer. There are 300+ articles and it's all free.
  • Our free online course is a set of streamlined tutorials that are delivered via email over 10 days. It breaks down the concepts and steps into bite sized chunks – ideal if you prefer the hand-holding approach.

Now let me summarize your main training goals.

In your quest to train yourself how to start lucid dreaming, you’ll need to:

  • Increase your dream recall (you have 100 minutes of dreams each night!)
  • Increase your dream intensity (so sights, sounds and tactile sensations feel real)
  • Learn how to consciously recognize when you're dreaming (this is lucidity)
  • Enhance your self-awareness in waking life (an essential precursor)
  • Enhance your self-awareness in dreams (leads to more lucid dreams)
  • Develop awesome visualization skills to dream yourself to sleep
  • Actively program your dream content before you sleep

You'll have more lucid dreams if you incorporate the techniques into your everyday habits.

After all, your dreams reflect the content of your thoughts, experiences and emotions from waking reality.

That's why just thinking about lucid dreaming can produce a lucid dream tonight.

Oasis by Jeremiah Morelli

52 Ways to Have Lucid Dreams

Teaching yourself to lucid dream... it's fun, intensive, frustrating, euphoric, bizarre – and even daunting.

Yet, ultimately, lucid dreaming is a hugely rewarding and life changing experience.

Learning how to lucid dream is like any other skill that you develop over time. There is no magic secret. But there are a number of tried-and-tested methods that you can employ.

Below I've listed 52 methods to get you started.

There are lots of links to other resources on our site. So please use this list as a way of starting to explore these skills and techniques further. You may even like to add this page to your favorites.

  1. Start a dream journal and write down at least one dream every morning.
  2. Do reality checks: try to push your hand through a wall and asking "Am I dreaming?"
  3. Perform a daily 10-minute breathing meditation and examine your self-awareness.
  4. Listen to brainwave entrainment during deeper meditation.
  5. Identify your most common dream signs for becoming lucid.
  6. Boost your dream intensity with a lucid dream supplement.
  7. Experiment with a dream herb like mugwort for vivid and memorable dreams.
  8. Observe your hypnagogic hallucinations as you drift off to sleep.
  9. Perform Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) before you sleep.
  10. Practise Wake Induced Lucid Dreams whenever you wake up in the night.
  11. Make a dream pillow filled with relaxing aromas or use a pillow mist.
  12. Rid yourself of any sleep disorders which disturb your quality of REM sleep.
  13. Listen to a lucid dreaming hypnosis session as you go to sleep.
  14. Listen to subliminal messages for lucid dream induction.
  15. Watch our subliminal lucid dreaming video before bed.
  16. Identify your best sleep posture for lucid dreaming.
  17. Experiment with the Wake Back to Bed method.
  18. Invest in a really comfortable mattress for better quality sleep.
  19. Download a lucid dreaming app to your mobile device.
  20. Use aromatherapy to influence your dreams as per Smell Induced Lucid Dreams (SILD).
  21. Eat cheese before bed to increase your dream intensity ("cheese dreams").
  22. While lucid, ask the dream to help you have more lucid dreams in future.
  23. Incubate dream plots through evocative fiction and lucid dream movies.
  24. Allow yourself to daydream and consciously explore surreal fantasy realities.
  25. Practice having Out of Body Experiences (OBEs).
  26. Wear a digital watch and perform a reality check every time it chimes.
  27. Learn about the ancient art of Dream Yoga, a Tibetan Buddhist form of lucid dreaming.
  28. Encourage false awakenings when you sleep in different locations.
  29. Deliberately induce sleep paralysis and then transition into your desired lucid dream scene.
  30. Set an alarm every 90 minutes to wake you during REM sleep and record your dreams.
  31. Count backwards as you fall asleep: "100. I'm dreaming. 99. I'm dreaming. 98. I'm dreaming."
  32. Take afternoon naps when you feel tired, especially after meals.
  33. Allow yourself weekend lie-ins to practice lucid dreaming techniques.
  34. Don't smoke marijuana or drink excessive alcohol as they inhibit REM sleep.
  35. Let go of your fear. Lucidity is a powerful and positive tool for personal growth.
  36. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  37. Perform the Cycle Adjustment Technique by alternating your daily wake-up times.
  38. Incubate a lucid dream by determining how you will become lucid and what you'll do.
  39. Lie still and minutely wiggle your index and middle finger till you fall asleep consciously.
  40. As you fall asleep, silently repeat the phrase: "The next scene will be a dream."
  41. Meditate as you fall asleep, visualizing your way into a peaceful scene of nature.
  42. Expect spontaneous lucid dreams in which you become lucid through flashes of logic.
  43. Invest in some lucid dream technology.
  44. Play first-person video games to stimulate the proven effect of Game Induced Lucid Dreams (GILDs).
  45. Go to bed thirsty and place a glass of water across the room to stimulate a false awakening of fetching it.
  46. Conversely, go to bed with a semi-full bladder and prompt dreams of urination to trigger lucidity.
  47. Sharpen your visualization skills to improve your self-awareness.
  48. Imagine kinesthetic sensations like riding a bike or running through a field as you fall asleep.
  49. Take a 100mg Vitamin B6 supplement two hours before bed for greater dream intensity.
  50. Set three clear lucid dream intentions before you go to sleep at night.
  51. Read as much as you can from books about lucid dreaming.
  52. Create your own digital art inspired by dreams to bring dreams to the forefront of your mind.

"What is real? If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."

- Morpheus, The Matrix

list of different ways to lucid dream

As you can see, this is a pretty long list – covering a myriad of different approaches.

You may be thinking, wooah – just slow down a bit!

And that’s perfectly OK. The list is an overview after all.

Of all the options available, below are the five easiest and most fundamental techniques you should start right now to kick-start your lucid dream training:

  • Spend an hour learning about lucid dreaming today - You're already in the right place.
  • Every time you open a door, do a "reality check" - Try to push your hand through the solid door and ask yourself whether you are dreaming.
  • Plan your first lucid dream - Close your eyes and vividly imagine your first lucid dream.
  • Incubate a lucid dream as you fall asleep - Recall your desired dream as you fall asleep.
  • Repeat the last step when you wake up in the night - especially after 4-5 hours of sleep.

So, you should go away and do steps 1-3 right now. Don't just read this and forget… actually do it! :-)

(it’s OK, we’ll wait for you)

These techniques feel a bit strange at first, and you may ask yourself why you're doing them. That's normal. When you get to advanced techniques you'll be able to get instant feedback.

And when you have your first lucid dream, it will all make sense why you're behaving like reality isn't real any more.

Let’s look at an example of a lucid dreaming routine that has evolved over time - after going from beginner to advanced.

My Lucid Dream Routine Today

How to induce dreams by reading

As you may know, I taught myself how to have lucid dreams when I was 14 years old.

I read Stephen LaBerge's classic book Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming which, although written in 1990, remains a hugely relevant goldmine of information for would-be lucid dreamers.

At the time, I practised a number of beginner techniques to produce my first lucid dream. The key for me was total immersion and determination to control my dreams.

Today, my routine has evolved. I've already laid the groundwork, so I have spontaneous lucid dreams whenever I combine these techniques:

Meditation

There is a half-sleep state I explore when I feel calm and/or drowsy, day or night.

I lie very still and relaxed and allow my mind to drift. I hold on to that thin strand of consciousness while training my body to fall asleep consciously.

Not only is this deeply relaxing, it creates all kinds of interesting hypnagogic sensations: floating, seeing geometric patterns, auditory hallucinations and fleeting dream impressions.

Meditation is a really good tool for lucid dreamers to enhance self-awareness and visualization skills.

We teach a lot of meditation and visualization skills with a specific slant on lucid dreaming in our free course.

Dream Journaling

If there is one technique that is absolutely essential to frequent lucid dreaming, it is to keep a dream journal.

Spend 10 minutes writing down your dreams each morning and you will find that not only will your dream recall and intensity increase, but you will have many more moments of spontaneous lucidity in the dream world.

Ignore this at your peril.

Incubation

This means planting a seed of an idea into your unconscious mind, so that you may dream about it later.

It's is nothing to do with Inception - this idea is self-seeded :)

One way to incubate a lucid dream is to fantasize/visualize about a specific dream plot or character during the daytime.

In the same way that horror movies can incubate nightmares, your happy thoughts and daydreams can incubate positive dream content too.

Especially if it feels visceral.

Bonus: As you fall asleep at night, silently think the mantra: "I will lucid dream tonight" or "the next scene will be a dream". Make it the last waking thought of your day.

The First Thing to Do When You're Lucid

OK, so now you have a good idea how to have a lucid dream.

But equally important is the first thing you should do in your dream after you become lucid.

Because otherwise – you’ll likely wake yourself up with the excitement of it all!

When you realize that you're dreaming - while dreaming - it's important to stabilize your lucid dream using a few simple techniques:

  • Look at the palms of your hands and study the details
  • Rub your hands together and feel the friction
  • Say out loud "I'm dreaming!" or "Clarity now!"
  • Spin around and feel the sensation of movement

There is a method to this madness.

Each of these techniques stir the higher conscious brain in one way or another. And that is the switch that will turn your half-lucid dream into a full blown lucid experience.

Stabilising the dream like this will also help to make it last as long as possible.

What Else to Do in Your First Lucid Dream

Once you have stabilized yourself within your first lucid dream, it's important to stay calm and simply explore your environment.

Generally speaking, don't try to do anything too fancy too soon, like teleport to the moon.

As I just mentioned… it could prove too exciting and cause you to wake up.

How to lucid dream tonight

Initially, I recommend just walking or floating around, touching nearby objects and soaking up the atmosphere.

Relish the fact that your fuzzy internal dream has just been transformed into a living, tangible virtual reality.

This will help you stay in your first lucid dream for as long as possible.

Final Thoughts

We’ve covered the mindset you'll need to learn how to lucid dream - and a large number of techniques - but we've still only just scratched the surface.

So jump in with both feet and explore the deeper world of lucid dreaming!

Just sign up for our free 10 day email course and we’ll take you on the next steps :-)

About The Author

About the author

Rebecca Turner is a science writer, illustrator, explorer of consciousness - and founder of World of Lucid Dreaming. She is currently studying for a biology degree in Auckland and blogging at her site Science Me.