Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming (MILD)
The Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams technique (MILD) is one of the most often mentioned lucid dream induction techniques. Developed by Dr Stephen LaBerge during his PhD dissertation, it is one of the simplest methods available. However, its effectiveness is somewhat sporadic.
The core principle utilizes prospective memory - the ability to remember to perform a future task, so as to prepare yourself to remember that you dreaming whilst dreaming. Therefore, it is wise to develop your prospective memory skills during your waking hours, to increase your chances of success.
MILD is almost always taught in a way that completely misses the original and very simple principle, often with all manner of additions and omissions.
Learn even more with our complete MILD video tutorial here
1. Set up dream recall
Before going to bed resolve to wake up and recall dreams during each period throughout the night (or the first dream period after dawn, or after 6.A.M. or whenever you find convinient)
2. Recall your dream
When you awaken from a dream period no matter what time it is, recall as many details as possible from your dream. If you find yourself so drowsy that you are drifting back to sleep, do something to wake yourself up.
3. Focus your intent
As you lay in bed, returning to sleep, focus singlemindedly on the thought "The next time I am dreaming I will remember to recognise that I'm dreaming". This is NOT a mantra and may be worded in any way that you find suitable. You are setting an intention via prospective memory, to recognise that you are dreaming in the next dream. The mentality is similar to that of when you need to remember to buy a certain item at a store, or when setting your "internal alarm clock".
4. See yourself becoming lucid
At the same time as performing stage three, imagine yourself back in the dream only this time you'll notice an inconsistency (dreamsign) that should have cued you into lucidity. When you see this, rewrite the remaining dream as if it were lucid. In other words, re-imagine your last dream, as if you had become lucid.
Continue steps three and four until your have clearly set your intention or you return to sleep. If your mind wanders to any other thoughts while falling asleep, repeat the procedure.
Notes: In the original text LaBerge suggested that if you are a very deep sleeper, you should get up after memorizing your dream and stay awake for 10-15 minutes, get out of bed and go into another room to write out your dream and read it over. In future studies, LaBerge and others found this particular step to be one of the most important for success when the period of wakefulness was increased in length, and suggest increasing the period of wakefulness to 30-60 minutes.
Dr. Stephen LaBerge
Lucid Dream Type:
Regained awareness (DILD)
(anecdotal & community reported)
Sense preference suited:
Hints & Tips:
If you awake from a dream and find that your mind is too drowsy to perform the technique, get out of bed and clear your mind by doing something that requires full wakefulness. For example, you could take the time to write down your dream. In the original technique suggested 10-15 minutes, but in his future studies a longer period between 30-60 minutes was most effective. Experiment with that as it can vary between individuals and careful not to wake yourself so fully you find returning to sleep impossible.
Many illogically suggest using MILD with WBTB, however this is an absurd suggestion, as MILD already requires sleep interruption and a period of wakefulness, so such a suggestion is simply repeating steps that are already part of the MILD technique.
MILD is a great technique for those who want to attempt lucid dreaming without investing too much effort, however, as such, the results can be somewhat hit and miss. Ideally it should be used as part of a more developed and comprehensive lucid dreaming strategy. Unfortunately, MILD requires a period of wakefulness interrupting sleep in order to perform, unless it is performed as part of a morning nap, so it may not be suitable for all tastes.
Expand your understanding of MILD further with our complete MILD video tutorial here.