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Reality Check: Digital Clock and Text Test

Girl Behind a Sheet


The digital watch and morphing text test is another powerful lucid dream reality check. 

The premise is simple: due to the unstable nature of dreams, complex and abstract systems often fail to remain stable. 

Any experienced lucid dreamer is very familiar with the strange hieroglyphics that can occur when attempting to read text or a digital display. 

Both the printed word and the displays on digital clocks seem to be particularly prone to this phenomenon, making them the ideal candidates for a reality check. 

The Technique

1) Follow the standard reality check procedure laid out in the reality checks technique.

2) Whenever you question if you may be dreaming, check the display on a digital clock or attempt to read any available text. Look for anything out of the ordinary. Often, in dreams, both text and numbers will appear malformed on the first viewing, a sure sign that you are dreaming. If not, continue to step 3. 

3) After the initial reading, look away, then, while looking away, attempt to will the text/numbers to change.

4) Now, take a second look at the text/numbers and scrutinize them for any changes. More often than not, when dreaming the change will be incredibly obvious. 

5) Continue this practice regularly throughout your waking hours whenever something unusual or dreamlike occurs. 



Skill Level:


Lucid Dream Type:

Regained awareness (DILD)

(anecdotal & community reported)


Sense preference suited:


Hints & Tips:

  • Analogue clocks seem unaffected by this test and remain stable. Be sure to only use clocks with a digital display. 

  • Written text is abundant in daily life making this a very easy and subtle test to perform in most scenarios. 

  • You can improve your success with this test by strictly wearing a digital watch at all times. Then, if you ever find yourself without your watch, this in itself will act as a sign that you are dreaming. 

  • Be sure to choose a watch with an easy to read display that is visible in all conditions, including darkness or bright sunlight. LED watches are particularly effective for this. 

  • Avoid justifying any erratic displays as a "technical malfunction", this is incredibly improbable in waking life and the most common means by which lucid dreamers misinterpret the results of this reality check.  

  • Those readers with text based tattoos will have a convenient permanent source for this reality check. 

  • Be inventive, text appears almost everywhere in daily life, from street signs, car number plates, barcodes, your smartphone, and a thousand other places. This should allow you to perform this reality check in a wide variety of environments and scenarios. 


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