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How to Lucid Dream

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Lucid dreaming happens when you’re conscious during your dreams. Around 55% of people have had one of these dreams at least once in their lifetime. 5-Minute Crafts will list a few techniques you can use to start lucid dreaming as well.

1. Use reality tests.

Reality checks will help train your brain and increase your metacognition (the ability to become more aware of yourself and what you’re thinking about). Your metacognition is similar when you’re awake and when you’re dreaming, so the more you train it in your waking state, the higher metacognition you will have in your dreams.

During the day, you can do the following to train your brain:

  • Ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?”
  • Check your surroundings and try to figure out if you’re dreaming or awake.
  • Notice your own consciousness and how you interact with the world around you.

These are some popular reality checks people use to lucid dream:

  • Solid objects: Push your finger against your opposite palm and check if it goes through. It also works with walls and tables.
  • Look at your hands in general and see if they look normal to you.
  • Check your reflection in the mirror to see if it looks normal.
  • Try to look at the time — if you’re dreaming, the time will be constantly changing.
  • Pinch your nose and check if you can still breathe, if you can, you’re dreaming.

2. The wake back to bed method

Wake back to bed (WBTB) includes entering your rapid eye movement sleep, also known as REM sleep. During this period of sleep, your eyes move quickly and you have more intense dreams since your brain is more active.

This is how you do it:

  • Set an alarm to 5 hours after your bedtime.
  • Go to sleep as you usually do.
  • When the alarm goes off, stay awake for 30 minutes. Do some quiet activity like reading.
  • Go back to sleep.

After doing this, once you fall asleep again, you will be more likely to lucid dream, depending on your level of alertness.

3. The MILD technique: mnemonic induction of lucid dreams

The MILD technique was created in 1980 by LaBerge. It is based on you setting an intention of doing something in the future, so you will try to remind yourself that you will be dreaming later by visualizing a past dream.

This is how you use this technique:

  • As you’re falling asleep, think of a recent dream.
  • Identify a “dreamsign” in your dream — something that looks irregular and strange, like the ability to fly, for example.
  • Think about returning to that dream by acknowledging that this “dreamsign” only happens in your dreams.
  • Tell yourself, “The next time I dream, I want to remember that I’m dreaming.” Recite the phrase in your head.

4. Keep a dream journal.

dream journal can be very useful at helping you recall what happened in your dreams. Leave it by your bed and record every dream with all the details you can remember, even if it’s very fragmented or you can just remember a face or a room. Record it right after you wake up to prevent you from forgetting anything.

By doing this, you will be able to recognize and be more aware of when you are dreaming or if you have the same dream again.

How to wake up from lucid dreaming

When you’re lucid dreaming, you may also want to wake up whenever you want. Lucid dreamers have a few different techniques that include the following:

  • Ask for help in your dream by yelling so your brain knows it’s time to wake up.
  • Blink repeatedly so your mind knows it’s time to wake up.
  • If you are lucid dreaming, you can just go to sleep in your dream and you will wake up in real life.
  • Try to read a book in your dream so that you will activate parts of your body that aren’t used during your REM sleep, and you will wake up.
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