Learning to have lucid dreams can be fun, intensive, frustrating, euphoric, bizarre, 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 to behold. But there are a number of tried-and-tested methods that you can employ.
Below I’ve listed a number of those techniques to get you started. There are probably more than 52 ways to have lucid dreams but we might start to stumble into repetition and overlap of techniques. Besides, 52 is more than enough to get you started.
I’ve kept them short for simplicity, so you may need to delve into the links for elaboration. You may find it useful to bookmark this page and return to it weekly for new ideas, or print and check off the list daily as you explore new lucid dream induction routines.
To supercharge your skills, I recommend daily meditation as this forms a part of numerous well-known practices (such as MILD, WILD, incubation, OBE-exits and hypnagogic induction). It’s also essential that you can remember your dreams, so #1 on my list is a no brainer. Good dream recall is the foundation of lucid dreaming.
52 Ways to Have Lucid Dreams
- Start a dream journal and write down at least one dream every morning.
- Do a dozen reality checks each day – such as trying to push your hand through a wall and asking “Am I dreaming?”
- Perform a daily 10-minute breathing meditation and examine your self-awareness as you become sensitive to your surroundings.
- Listen to brainwave entrainment during afternoon naps and early morning meditation.
- Learn to interpret your dreams and record key recurring themes.
- Supercharge your dream intensity and dream recall with lucid dream supplements like Galantamine or Choline.
- Experiment with a dream herb like Calea Z for vivid and memorable dreams.
- Perform Dr Stephen LaBerge’s Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) before you go to sleep tonight.
- Practice the Wake Induced Lucid Dreams technique whenever you can.
- Observe your own hypnagogic hallucinations as you drift off to sleep.
- Make a dream pillow filled with aromas that promote relaxation while you sleep.
- Rid yourself of any sleep disorders which disturb your quality of REM sleep.
- Listen to a lucid dreaming hypnosis session as you go to sleep to place targeted auto-suggestions in your subconscious mind.
- Listen to subliminal messages for lucid dream induction.
- Watch our free subliminal lucid dreaming video before bed.
- Figure out your best sleep posture for lucid dreaming (usually on your back for WILDs, although you may be different).
- Try the Wake Back to Bed method by waking early for 30 minutes.
- Get a comfortable mattress – not too firm, not too soft – so you always get a good night’s sleep.
- Experiment with the OBE Exit Technique, a fun visualization technique, as taught by Nick Newport of Lucidology.
- Use aromatherapy to induce specific memories and associations while you sleep – also known as a Smel Induced Lucid Dream (SILD).
- Eat cheese before bed to increase your dream intensity (“cheese dreams“).
- While lucid, ask the dream to help you become lucid more easily in future.
- Incubate specific dream plots by reading evocative fiction and watching powerful movies before bed (warning: horror movies beget nightmares!)
- Allow yourself to daydream - any time – pushing your conscious awareness into a range of different realities.
- Practice having Out of Body Experiences (OBEs), a type of sleep paralysis induced lucid dream.
- Wear a digital watch and perform a reality check every time it chimes on the hour (the sound may also filter through into your dreams).
- Learn about the ancient art of Dream Yoga from Tibetan Buddhism.
- Encourage false awakenings when you sleep in different locations or anticipate an unusual event when you wake up in the morning.
- Deliberately induce sleep paralysis – and then visualize your desired lucid dream scene.
- Set an alarm every 90 minutes of sleep to wake you during your most likely period of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep to boost your dream recall.
- Count backwards from 100 as you fall asleep: “100. I’m dreaming. 99. I’m dreaming. 98. I’m dreaming…”
- Take afternoon naps when you feel tired, especially after meals.
- Allow yourself more lie-ins and practice lucid dreaming techniques.
- Don’t smoke marijuana or drink excessive alcohol as this inhibits REM sleep.
- Let go of any fears that are holding you back. There is nothing to be fearful of when you understand how it all works.
- Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night – or more if you feel you need more (I do!)
- Perform Daniel Love’s Cycle Adjustment Technique by alternating your daily wake-up times.
- Visualize your next lucid dream in advance; how you will become lucid, what it will feel and look like, and what you’ll do first.
- Try a Finger Induced Lucid Dream (FILD) when you wake up in the night: lie still and minutely wiggle your index and middle finger till you fall asleep lucidly.
- As you fall asleep, lie perfectly relaxed, melt your awareness into the mattress, and repeat the phrase: “The next scene will be a dream.”
- Hypnotize yourself as you fall asleep, visualizing your way into a beautiful garden that represents your subconscious.
- Expect to have spontaneous lucid dreams, also known as Dream Induced Lucid Dreams (DILDs) where you become lucid through flashes of logic.
- Use a lucid dream mask such as the REM Dreamer, also known as an Electrically Induced Lucid Dream (EILD).
- Play first-person video games like Prototype or Left 4 Dead to stimulate the proven phenomenon of Game Induced Lucid Dreams (GILDs).
- Some swear by this one: go to bed thirsty and place a glass of water the other side of the bedroom. You may dream an out-of-body experience in an attempt to fetch the drink.
- Conversely, perform reality checks every time you use the bathroom, then go to bed with a semi-full bladder and dream urination can induce lucidity.
- Sharpen your visualization skills: lay in bed with your eyes closed and visualize the room in vivid detail. Visualize outdoor scenes as well.
- Imagine kinesthetic sensations like riding a bike, floating on a cloud, or running through a field as you fall asleep.
- Take a Vitamin B6 supplement which converts tryptophan (found in cheese, chicken, salmon, eggs and milk) into serotonin, for more vivid dreams.
- Set at least three clear lucid dream intentions before you go to sleep at night.
- Learn as much as you can about lucid dreaming from books and online resources.
- Create your own art inspired by dreams to bring dreaming to the forefront of your imagination and boost your dream recall.
Lucid Dream Induction | 'Matrices' | A Movie in Your Mind
***PLEASE READ THE DESCRIPTION*** / HEADPHONES REQUIRED FOR BINAURAL BEATS
The 6-minute hypnosis at the start (STAGE #1) is there to help you fall asleep within the first 10-minutes of the lucid dream inducement (STAGE #2). It's therefore recommended that you listen to STAGE #1 before every session until you're confident that you can fall asleep without it, in which case just click on the annotation at the start to skip straight to the induction. The reason you have to sleep within 10 mins of STAGE #2 is so that the peak of your REM sleep/dream activity syncronizes with the triggers/affirmations at 1:11:28 secs.
STAGE #1 has the added benefit of providing several affirmations to prepare your mind for lucidity; "Tonight I will lucid dream", "I am the master of my dreams" etc. (see below)
The first 65 minutes of STAGE #2 will guide your brainwaves into a deep Delta sleep, while the remainder will transition your mind into Theta, the state in which REM sleep and dreams (at their peak intensity) occur. From 65 mins of Stage #2 onwards, there will be a number of affirmations designed to trigger lucidity. You are advised to skip to these now so that you can adjust volume levels accordingly. (1:11:28 secs )
It is important to develop the habit of performing 'reality checks' throughout the day as the affirmations will prompt you to perform these in your dream. Of course you may even trigger lucidity without this audio - but this is just a tool to help you speed up the process. The key to getting results is persistence.
STAGE #1 AFFIRMATIONS (before and after the relaxation hypnosis)
"The next time I am dreaming, I will know that I am dreaming
"I am the master of my dreams"
"Tonight I will have a lucid dream"
"When dreaming, I recognize that I am dreaming"
STAGE #2 AFFIRMATIONS (From 1Hr 11 Mins 28 secs onwards)
"You are dreaming"
"Do a reality check"
"This is a dream"
"You are taking control of your dream"
"You are now dreaming"
"Is this a dream?"
"Perform a reality check"
"I am awakening within my dream"
"I am becoming consciously aware"
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This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of IEMI or its staff.