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...
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:
It takes time to learn a new skill like lucid dreaming.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
Now let me summarize your main training goals.
In your quest to train yourself how to start lucid dreaming, you’ll need to:
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.
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.
"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
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 :-)
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