If you’re familiar with the term ‘lucid dreaming’ it might be because you’re one of the over 50% of people who’ve had at least one lucid dream. A small percentage of persons have even managed to master the technique so they can gain a few of the possible benefits. Becoming a master of lucid dreaming takes a bit of practice, though, so let’s look at what it entails.
What’s A Lucid Dream?
A lucid dream happens when the person who’s dreaming is aware of the dream and is able to control it. Generally, lucid dreams happen in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of your sleep cycle. This is the last stage of the sleep cycle and it takes about 90 minutes for you to get there after you’ve fallen asleep.
Best Ways To Have A Lucid Dream
Over the years, sleep studies have discovered effective techniques for mastering lucid dreaming. Let’s look at some of them.
1. Doing reality check exercises
The aim of reality check exercises is to get your brain into the habit of recognizing whether you’re asleep or awake. By doing this regularly while you’re awake, it won’t seem strange to do it while you’re asleep. In the beginning, it might be helpful to use an alarm as a reminder as sleep experts recommend carrying out reality check exercises at least 10 times daily.
The exercises can include touching hard surfaces like your palm to check that they’re solid, looking at your hands to make sure they’re not distorted, and checking the time to see if it changes drastically between glances.
2. Learning to recognize dream patterns or signs
For this activity, you’ll need a dream journal or some other way of recording your dreams as accurately as possible. As you re-read your dreams, try to identify patterns or signs that indicated that you were dreaming. Learning these indicators will make it easier for you to know you’re dreaming.
3. Practicing the MILD technique
The Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) technique uses prospective memory to induce lucid dreaming. In prospective memory, you’re reminding your body of your intent to carry out a task at a later date. To use this technique, it’s recommended that you recite a mantra and focus on possible dream signs or patterns as you’re falling asleep. When you say something along the lines of “I will remember that I’m dreaming” it can help you to induce a lucid dream.
4. Practicing the WILD technique
The Wake-Initiated Lucid Dreaming (WILD) technique does away with recording your dreams or identifying patterns. Instead, it involves trying to keep your mind awake while your body goes into a deep sleep. The WILD technique works best when you’ve woken up from a dream. When this happens, simply close your eyes and focus on going back to sleep. In a way, this technique mimics what happens when someone experiences sleep paralysis. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then this technique might not be what you’re looking for.
5. Practicing the WBTB technique
Of those listed here, the Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) technique is considered to be the most disruptive to sleep and most experts don’t recommend using it for extended periods. The technique involves using an alarm to wake you up when you’re most likely to be in the REM cycle of sleep. That means setting an alarm for 4 – 7 hours after you’ve fallen asleep. When you wake up, write down any dreams you’ve had and stay awake for 30 – 60 minutes. Having your brain awake while your body is sleepy can increase the chances of a lucid dream.
A Final Word On Lucid Dreams
Before you start experimenting, it’s important to do your research on each technique so you can choose what’s best for you. While mastering lucid dreaming has its perks, getting a good night’s sleep is always best for your health.
Whichever route you choose, ensure that everything in your bedroom is geared toward sleeping well. One great addition to your sleep routine is the Premium Comfort Weighted Blankie from Good9Sleep. This long-lasting blanket is made from high-quality microfibers that can help you fall into the deep sleep that your body needs.