Lucid Dreaming | What is it and How do you do it?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

If you’ve ever heard of lucid dreaming before, you probably thought it was just some spooky thing people do when they can’t sleep or maybe it’s one of those wild dreams you have when you’re sick. The movie Inception covered lucid dreaming and maybe that’s all you know of it. So what is a lucid dream exactly and how can you trigger yourself to have one? Well, that’s what we’re getting into today!

A lucid dream is a dream where the person dreaming is aware that they are dreaming. Often times, the person can control certain aspects of the dream like the environment, the people in the dream, and the “plot” of the dream. Now, not everyone can experience lucid dreaming as easily as others. But if you’ve ever been in a dream and then suddenly come to the realization that “this isn’t making sense, this is just a dream”, you’ve kinda done it! Or if you’ve ever stirred in your sleep and then tried to go back to a really good dream you were just in, and succeeded, you’ve done it!

Lucid dreams generally occur when you’re in REM sleep and some people wake up once they realize they are dreaming while others realize they are dreaming and stay in the dream and begin controlling things. It’s a really magical mystical thing to be able to have full awareness during a dream state and for some people it can feel therapeutic. If you dream of a lost loved one, you may finally be able to say things to them that you felt you never got to say. Some people have nightmares but once they realize they are dreaming, they’re able to take control, change the narrative and they get that control back and don’t feel the usual terror of an uncontrollable nightmare.

In a way, lucid dreaming is like living in a fantasy world even if it’s just for a few brief moments. Perhaps you’re meeting your favorite celebrity at a random party in your hometown, or you’re riding a horse, something you haven’t done in years. Maybe you are getting a massage and you can almost feel the relaxing touch in your dream.

Now for the most popular question…. how can you experience lucid dreaming? It seems that the key is catching yourself IN a dream and training your brain to notice certain things so that you can realize when you’re dreaming and then attempt to take control. There are certain things you can recognize in a dream. But in order to train your brain to recognize them, you need to practice them when you’re awake.

Ask Yourself

So this is when you ask yourself both in a dream and in real life “Is this a dream?” Throughout your day ask yourself that and then do something like pinch yourself to feel pain, try to put your hand or foot through a wall, etc. Obviously you’ll feel pain if you pinch yourself in real life and you won’t be able to magically shove your hand through a wall in real life, but it’ll help you use those little tests even in your dreams.

Reality Check

Read something like a poster or a line from a book during the day. Then read it again. It will stay the same. But the way your dreams work, you won’t be able to read the same thing again. So practice that during the day so if you get the chance in a dream, you can get in the habit of trying to re-read other things.

Sleep Exercise

So there’s something else you can do where you set an alarm to wake you up within 5 hours of going to bed. When you wake up, you need to stay awake for a little while before going back to bed. When you go back to bed you should go right into REM sleep and that’s where lucid dreaming can happen.

Will It

Another way to try to achieve lucid dreaming is by falling asleep as you repeat a mantra in your mind like “I will lucid dream tonight” or “I will control my dreams tonight”. Sometimes I even fall asleep playing out a scenario in the hopes it’ll come as a lucid dream sometime during the night.


If you’re someone that struggles to remember your dreams it may be harder for you to know if you even had a lucid dream. That’s why it’s always suggested that you write down your dreams immediately upon waking. This may help you remember your dreams better in the long run.

Be Mindful

Meditation is a great practice along with general mindfulness to try to get you used to being aware of your surroundings and yourself. Some people even have lucid dreams when they’re in a deep meditative state. There are lots of mindfulness and meditation apps available for cell phones nowadays.

Have you ever experienced a lucid dream? What was it like?


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1 comment:

  1. Ive never had a lucid dream, in fact whenever something unbelievably good is about to happen in my dreams i just wake up as if knowing its a dream. So i get the worst of both worlds. I cant control my dreams, and when something good is happening i just know its a dream and wake up.. An anti lucid dream - if you will, lol.


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