The dropping technique may be one of the oldest examples of a lucid dreaming technique, indeed, it appears scattered throughout early dream research and "astral projection" literature (note: astral projection was an early, but incorrect, interpretation of the lucid dream experience).
It is essentially a technique that allows you to "surf" hypnagogic imagery, which in turn may assist in your lucidity attempt. The idea is to train yourself to notice the moment you fall asleep, as well as in what manner your mind drifts off, by making a loud noise at just the right moment.
Once you get used to this practice, you should be able to start using the more classic lucid dreaming techniques without falling asleep too quickly and suddenly.
Find a heavy item (for example a rock, a metal talisman, etc.), and hold it in your hand, over the edge of your bed, as you fall asleep. If you do not have a solid floor, place something solid (for example a metal plate) on the floor beside your bed.
As you fall into sleep*, your muscle tone will relax, and eventually, you will drop the heavy item you are holding. This should make a loud noise, which should wake you up.
Rinse and repeat the steps outlined above until you are too tired to continue.
In addition to help train you to notice how and when your mind drifts off to sleep, you may find that the dropping technique sometimes leads directly to lucidity -- as, eventually, you will be so tired that the loud noise will not fully wake you, but instead provide just the right amount of extra awareness just as you enter a dream.
* It is important to note, this technique is to be used during a WBTB attempt, when returning to sleep for an early morning nap, or during any natural awakening in the night. It is generally ineffective at the beginning of the night.
Lucid Dream Type:
WILD (possible DILD)
(anecdotal & community reported)
Sense preference suited:
Hints & Tips:
This is one of the simplest techniques for maintaining awareness as one falls into sleep.
Unlike other awareness techniques, this relies upon a physical cue rather than psychological focus -- allowing for a far more reliable approach.
By using an external cue, one can slowly build a familiarity with the process of falling into sleep.
The technique has been used throughout history by those looking to explore the shadow-realms between wakefulness and dreams.
This is the ideal technique for beginners looking to explore hypnagogia.
The dropping technique is one of the most established and reliable approaches for "hypnagogic surfing".