Today we're going to explore 6 simple lucid dreaming tips that everyone should know.
These are the absolute basics for lucid dreaming and the foundations for all well-developed practices.
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This is only a starting point for those new to the subject, but even these basic techniques will greatly enhance your chances of experiencing a lucid dream; They'll put you in the best possible position for future exploration.
So, lucid dreaming tips ahoy:
#6 - Keeping a Dream Journal
Without question, the most important thing any aspiring dream adventurer should do is to keep a regular record of their dreams. I know, it's hard work and even experienced lucid dreamers can find it a chore. But, you have to think of it this way, if you want to understand, explore and become familiar with your dreams, then a dream journal is the equivalent of creating a map of the territory.
Ideally, you should write as many dreams as possible immediately after you wake up in the morning. If you don't have the time to write, then use a voice recorder and then transfer your dreams to your journal later in the day.
If you don't remember any dreams, even after considerable effort, write down any important details of your sleep, your emotions and thoughts upon waking, the time you woke and, essentially, any important details.
If you do remember your dreams, try to write them as honestly and with as much detail as possible, editing out any embarrassing aspects of the dream is a really bad idea - so keep things honest.
Also, include as much extra information about your sleeping process as possible. The time you went to bed, the time you woke, your current health, your mood, your previous day's diet etc.
A dream journal is a powerhouse of information, it's a map of the universe of your mind and it expands beyond just your dreams.
By keeping a journal, you'll create a relationship with your dreams that simply cannot develop in any other way. So, return to your journal often, reread old dreams, look for patterns and get to know who you are when you dream.
#5 - Dream Recall
Of course, being able to remember your dreams is absolutely vital if you wish to explore and master them.
Most people will find that the act of keeping a dream journal will naturally improve their dream recall.
However, if you struggle, there are a few tips to help improve your ability.
Firstly, before you retire to bed, set the intention to remember your dreams when you wake up. Often this simple act of willpower can be enough to enhance your memory.
Secondly, when you do wake up, minimise your distractions. You'll want to spend a few moments lying still in bed, with your eyes closed. Take this time to attempt to pull back any fragments of memory that remain. Slowly work backwards from whatever you can remember, even if it's just an emotion or feeling. By regularly practising this, your dream recall will improve greatly.
Importantly, don't just immediately jump out of bed as the distractions of the waking world will quickly erase your fragile dream memories.
Try to avoid using an alarm clock if possible, but if it is absolutely necessary, use one that slowly builds in volume, so you wake smoothly, rather than with a jolt. A musical alarm without lyrics is the best for this.
If none of these techniques help, then you may find it useful to change the time that you wake up. Try experimenting with different wake times, as often those who can't remember their dreams are inadvertently waking from a deep, dreamless stage of sleep.
Finally, you may find that improving your diet can also aid in dream recall. Foods high in choline, such as eggs, are useful for supplying your brain with the building blocks needed for a memory friendly brain chemistry.
#4 - Question Reality
Lucid dreaming isn't magic, it's not some mysterious spiritual state. At its core is a basic principle - A lucid dreamer is an individual who doesn't assume that every experience is waking life. They've learnt to continuously question reality and to understand that occasionally they can be mistaken about what is happening to them and where they are. It's a form of humility about the limitations of our own knowledge.
A lucid dream is simply the realisation that what you assumed was waking experience is, in fact, a dream - and all this happens whilst you're dreaming. In fact, about 10% of your conscious experience is a dream, so questioning reality really isn't at all unreasonable, in fact, it's very sensible.
So, if you want to realise that you are dreaming while you are dreaming, you're first going to have to question reality while you're awake. If you never do this when awake, then why would you ever do it when dreaming?
This is why we build the habit during our waking hours so that it will become part of who you are, and will then eventually transfer into your dream life.
Also, as you'll be keeping a regular dream journal, you'll become increasingly familiar with the content and nature of your dreams and this will help you question reality, during the daytime, at moments that are similar to your dreams. This will fine tune your entire approach.
#3 - Reality Tests
If questioning your reality is a philosophical shift in your approach to life, then reality tests are the practical tool for testing the nature of your reality.
Reality tests, which are also known as reality checks, are a simple experiment to confirm which reality you are currently experiencing.
A good reality test is always based upon an inherent difference between the laws of the physical world and the dream world.
For example, a popular and effective reality test is the "nose pinch test". This is where you tightly pinch your nose and attempt to breathe through it.
When you are awake, you'll obviously be pinching your physical nose, which is the true source of your air supply. So, blocking it will clearly stop your ability to breathe.
However, when you are dreaming the same actions will not cause the same results. When you pinch your nose in the dream world you are pinching a dream nose with a dream hand. And, as your dream nose is simply a mental projection, pinching it will have no effect on the true source of your air. As your physical nose will remain un-pinched and free to breathe as you lie asleep in bed. So, when dreaming you'll discover that you'll have the very peculiar experience of being able to breathe through what appears to be a pinched nose.
So in short, if you can breathe through a pinched nose you're dreaming if you can't breathe you're awake.
There are many other reality tests that can be performed, and we'll explore those in future videos and articles.
The important point to remember is that during your daily practice whenever you question your reality you will also perform a reality test. Again, you are aiming to build a habit that will eventually transfer into your dream life.
#2 - Develop your mental abilities
The human mind is both incredibly flexible and hugely capable, our capacity to improve our abilities is remarkable.
With this in mind, it's important for any budding lucid dreamer to spend as much time as possible developing their general mental abilities.
So, during your waking hours, spend time working on developing your skills of memory, attention, focus, relaxation and more.
Two vital aspects to focus upon are the development of your memory and your ability to think critically.
Lucid dreaming itself is a process of critical thinking, you're learning to be less easily taken in, to be a little more sceptical. After all, we become lucid in a dream when we start to become sceptical about our current reality.
So learn and practice as many mental exercises as possible. The more you understand your mind, and the stronger and more in control you become, the closer you'll be to mastering your dreams.
We'll be exploring all manner of mental exercises in upcoming videos and articles, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you've not done so already.
#1 - Experimentation
For lucid dreamers, sleep is not a passive activity. Each night is an adventure, with huge potential for new knowledge and exploration.
So, with this in mind, you'll want to experiment with as many areas of your sleeping life as possible.
Experiment with waking at different times, waking and returning to sleep, the position in which you sleep, your diet, how you behave upon waking, and also try all manner of lucid dreaming techniques. It is incredibly important to record your successes and failures honestly.
Sleep will become a playground and a laboratory, where, through trial and experimentation, you'll become familiar with entirely new aspects of your existence.
By combining your nightly experiments, with the detailed record keeping of your dream journal and then applying your developing skills in critical thinking, logic and memory, you'll become a scientist of sleep, a detective of dreams and an explorer of inner worlds. Over time these basic practices will blossom into your own newly discovered techniques, uniquely tailored to your own individual mind.
And this is just the start of your journey!
So that's 6 basic tips for lucid dreaming, if you're new to the subject these are a great foundation.
So, do you have any personal tips for lucid dreaming?
If so then drop them in the comments below and help out your fellow explorers.
I'm Daniel Love: The Lucid Guide, and until next time, sweet dreams!
Explore further: To explore lucid dreaming further, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel, or pick up a copy of "Are You Dreaming?: Exploring Lucid Dreams, A Comprehensive Guide".