In a lucid dream, you can explore yourself, your goals, your faults, your fears, your accomplishments, and your fantasies – just to name a few things. Lucid dreaming is awesome and it can be used to improve your life or escape your life. Your choice. But, having a lucid dream isn’t always easy. Even if you desperately want to have one, it won’t always happen just because you want it to. So, let’s talk about different tricks you can use to help yourself have a lucid dream.
1. Wake Back To Bed
This is a great technique for people who can wake up in the middle of the night and still be able to fall back asleep afterward. Some people can’t do that. They wake up and stay up and it just causes them to lose sleep. But, if you are someone who can wake up and then go back to sleep, this lucid dreaming technique is a powerful one that may work for you.
It involves waking up at a determined time when dreams are common and intense (around the last half of the night) and then staying awake for a while. There are different suggestions for how long you should stay awake, and you can choose to stay awake for a time that works for you, but the goal is to create a more alert mind.
Then you go back to sleep in a more conscious state than you would normally be during this period of time when dreams are common. You simply focus on the intent of having a lucid dream and this can increase your chances of having a lucid dream.
2. Create A Dream Plan
Charlie Morley often talks about creating a dream plan to help you lucid dream more. A dream plan is simply a plan of what you will do when you get into a lucid dream. It not only helps you stay in the mindset of having a lucid dream, it helps you figure out what to do once you become lucid so that you don’t waste your time or lose your lucidity.
A dream plan can include a description of what you want to happen, a picture of what will happen, and a statement called a Sankalpa that powerfully sums up your dream plan. A Sankalpa is an intention that stems from your desire and Charlie says it should be short. You will say it when you realize you are in a lucid dream, so you don’t want to have to ramble on and on.
For instance, if you desire to see a deceased loved one named Fred in your dream, then you may say, “Fred, come to me!” when you realize you are lucid. It sums up your main intention of what you want to happen in your dream and then you can go from there.
3. Pay Attention To Weird Things In Your Day And Then Reality Check
Dreams can be weird. Really weird. Sometimes you will see dead relatives, sometimes you will be floating through a tunnel of fluffy marshmallows, and sometimes you will be engaging in activities that don’t make any sense.
Usually, the weird things that happen in dreams seem totally normal while we are dreaming. In fact, in life, weird things can happen and we don’t question it. No wonder we let weird things slip by our consciousness in our dreams as well!
That’s why we need to train our minds to constantly look for weird things and check to see if we are dreaming or not. When our minds are constantly looking for things that don’t belong, it can become easier to figure out if we are dreaming and become lucid when we are.
The goal is to notice weird things and then do a reality check to see if we are dreaming. One of the easiest reality checks to do is to look at something consistently to see if it stays the same. In our waking life, things don’t morph into other things or disappear out of nowhere, but when we dream, our minds are not always capable of holding a still image or keeping things consistently the same.
For instance, if you look at your hand and flip it slowly back and forth, it will stay in the same. Nothing is going to change about it. But in a dream, our minds have a hard time replicating every line and feature in our hands, so they will often change. Sometimes it will be a small change where you notice something different about your hand, and sometimes it will be a large change where your hand grows another finger or two or disappears completely.
Every time something weird happens in your day, look at your hand and flip it back and forth. Train your mind to spot weird things and then test to see if you are dreaming or not. You will find your mind will do this both in your waking life and in your dream life.
4. Tell Your Mind That You Will Lucid Dream
If you convince yourself that you are a lucid dreamer who can easily have a lucid dream, then your mind is going to believe you and have an easier time recognizing when you are dreaming and help you stay in that dream.
Every chance you get, tell yourself that you will lucid dream because it’s easy, fun, and rewarding. Make it something that you believe you are capable of without a lot of effort. Make it a skill that you KNOW that you have. And, tell other people how good you are lucid dreaming to reinforce your belief in being able to lucid dream.
You can use self-hypnosis and affirmations for lucid dreaming to achieve better results.
5. Make Your Dreams Ultra Important
Another mind trick is to make your dreams very important to you. Not just lucid dreams, but all dreams.
When you believe with all your mind that dreams are important to you, including lucid dreams, you are going to be more likely to remember your dreams and recognize when you are dreaming so that you can move into a lucid dreaming state.
One of the best ways to make your dreams important is to keep a dream journal! When you wake up every morning with the intent to remember your dreams, write them down, and interpret your dreams, they will become a very important part of your life.
6. Be More Attentive
In order to recognize that you are dreaming and become lucid in a dream, you need to notice that something is not ‘real’. You need to spot the details of a good story that is being written by your subconscious. Being naturally attentive can help you do this.
When you are naturally present and attentive throughout your day, you don’t let things slip by without noticing them. For instance, that purple frog who turns into a person will grab your attention in a dream instead of just being something that is happening around you.
Lack of attention is common. We tend to get stuck in our heads and stop seeing what’s going on around us. For instance, I see a lot of people cross the street without looking around them. They are so indifferent to what is happening around them that they wouldn’t even notice if a car nearly misses hitting them.
When you are attentive, you have more awareness of what your waking life looks like. For example, if you always have a phone in your hand, you will be aware of this fact. More importantly, you will notice when you are dreaming that you don’t have a phone in your hand, which will be a good indicator that you are dreaming and help you move into a lucid dream.
Get out of your head and be present. The more natural this becomes to you, the more likely you are to be present and attentive in your dreams and notice the weird things that indicate that you are dreaming.
7. Be more Curious
Along with being more attentive, being more curious is going to help you have more lucid dreams.
Curiosity causes you to look more closely and investigate things. You don’t just let things pass you by. You stop and smell the roses, you notice the beautiful design in the building, and you look to see what is causing the noises you hear.
Imagine being a dream where you see someone fly by you. If you are not interested in it, then you will have a hard time becoming lucid. But, if you question why the person is flying and how they are doing it, you will have an easier time coming to the conclusion that you are dreaming and become lucid much more often.
8. Pay Attention To The Weird Noises And Images As You Fall Asleep
There is a state just before sleep called the hypnagogic state. In this state, we often see images, hear voices, or feel like we are falling or flying. If we can retain some consciousness during this state and hold on to the intent to go into a lucid dream, it can be much easier to flow into a lucid dream from this state than to realize that we are dreaming in a dream and become lucid.
In other words, as you see the images, hear the voices, and feel the sensations, tell yourself that you are heading into a dream and you want to retain control over what happens. Reinforce the idea that you want to stay lucid and have control over what happens. This can help you easily move into a lucid dream where you have control and can put your dream plan into action or simply enjoy being lucid and having control.
9. Carry Around A Lucid Dream Checker With You
Use the trick from the movie inception and carry around a tool that will help you check to see if you are lucid dreaming. In the movie, Leonardo DiCaprio uses a spinning top that stays upright when dreaming and falls over when awake.
You could use a die with only 1 number on it or a coin with two heads if you want. It just needs to be consistent during your waking life so that you can test it while you are dreaming and notice the inconsistency.
If you use it enough and it becomes a habit, just like any other reality check, your subconscious will use it in your dreams and you will be able to check if you are dreaming or not.