How to lucid dream tonight in 5 steps

How To Lucid Dream Tonight: 5 Key Steps

Among the things we choose to covet
It is intent that’s worth the fight:
That’s why I wish for my beloved
To have a lucid dream tonight.

D. Rudoy

Lucid dreaming is the awareness of having a dream while you are asleep. It may seem impossible if you have never done it, but lucid dreaming is a working state of consciousness that can be achieved through discipline and determination. Lucid dreams open up endless possibilities for adventures and self-improvement; they are also a means to performing actions that go beyond scientific laws and can be described as magical.

Let’s find out what steps you can take to increase the likelihood of having a lucid dream tonight. The tips are boiled down to bulled lists and a matter-of-fact narrative to save time and get lucid quickly.

Martina Flawd by Danil Rudoy
a Novel on Lucid Dreaming 
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How to lucid dream – Learning lucid dreaming in 5 steps

The reason why most people are unaware of lucid dreaming is that lucidity hardly ever happens by itself and needs to be deliberately induced. Here are 5 steps on how to lucid dream while sleeping. They all are very simple, and the only real obstacle is laziness. All you need to start having lucid dreams on a regular basis is the will (represented by the Sun in astrology) to stick to these tips long enough before the mind gives in and allows you the first glimpse of lucidity. After that, you will have seen the inimitable land of lucid dreaming and will be motivated to keep going.

Determine what makes your dreams dreamlike

This step to lucid dreaming requires having a great dream recall and writing dreams down.

Single out recurrent elements in your ordinary dreams and tell yourself, as persuasively as you can, to notice them and realize you are asleep.

Dreamstones

Dreamstones are elements that should betray you are dreaming. Dreamstones can be strong (impossible occurrences, such as meeting dead people) and weak (unlikely but possible, such as meeting celebrities). Collect as many dreamstones as you can and keep persuading yourself to react to them by realizing that you are asleep. In addition, whenever you encounter anything strange in everyday life (a person showing altruistic behavior, for instance), perform a thorough reality check to make sure you are not dreaming.

Reality checks

A reality check is when you pause in the middle of your daily life to ask yourself if this is a dream. Reality checks should be performed frequently, at least 12 times a day for at least 3 days in a row. If you want to have a lucid dream tonight, you need to perform 40 proper reality checks before you go to bed.

Here are sample reality checks along with useful props.

  • Wear a digital clock or a note with numbers and check it from time to time.
  • If the time and numbers make sense and you think you are awake, consider the situation you are finding yourself in and ask yourself: what would I have done if the reality check failed and I entered a lucid dream?
  • start intending the actions that you want to perform in a lucid dream. If your objective is flying, try to fly: this habit will help you fly when you find yourself dreaming.
  • Take short and deliberate glances at things around you, returning to the object you chose as a starting point as often as possible: this habit will help you maintain lucid dreams.
  • Tell yourself persuasively phrases like “next time I am dreaming, I will realize it and become lucid.

Prospective memory (remembering in the future)

Whenever you find yourself in a dreamlike situation, however slight the notion may be, keep telling yourself persuasively “next time I am dreaming, I will realize it and become lucid“.

Do the following exercise:

  • having woken up, recall the most recent dream in detail and write it down;
  • intend to have a lucid dream by repeating the line quoted above or your own version of it;
  • while intending, imagine that you became lucid in the dream you just woke up from: notice the dreamstones and imagine that you are doing the things you wanted to do or would have done in that dream if you knew you were lucid;
  • keep repeating the two previous steps until you fall asleep again. You are unlikely to have the same dream, but you are much more likely to become lucid anyway.

Dream interruption (“Morning nap”)

Dream interruption is considered to be an extraordinarily effective technique that sometimes increases the frequency of lucid dreams by double digits.

Wake up early in the morning and for some 30-60 minutes perform activities requiring full wakefulness, such as reading or writing. Do several reality checks, do a prospective memory exercise, read something about lucid dreaming or write your dreams down, and then go back to bed. Repeat this for as many mornings in a row as it takes to have your first lucid dream.

Preventing premature awakening

Premature awakening in lucid dreams is worse than premature ejaculation in sex.

D. Rudoy

When you have your first lucid dream, it may be one of the most pleasurable feelings you have ever experienced, leaving sex far behind. This may excite you so much that you’ll wake up instantly. To prevent this:

  • Remain calm, no matter how great is the lucid dream you are having/
  • Take a quick look at your hands. Whenever you sense you are losing control over the dream, shift your glance back to your hands.
  • Don’t look at too many things at once, rather choose two or three things you want to explore in this lucid dream and shift your eyes from them to your hands every once in a while.
  • Avoid contact with animate objects in your lucid dreams. If there are some present, slowly move away from them without acting strange.
  • If the lucid dream shows signs of dissipation, start spinning.
  • Beware of false awakenings: while spinning, remind yourself that the next thing you see will be another lucid dream. Whatever happens next, perform a reality check.

Nightmares and lucid dreaming

The Nightmare - Henry Fuseli
John Fuseli – The Nightmare (1781)

There are no bad dreams.

Buddha

It is imperative to understand: despite being unpleasant, nightmares have a tremendous positive value. According to Carl Jung, nightmares are manifestations of our bad or “shadowy” qualities. Yet they are parts of us and we must take responsibility for them, which can be successfully done in lucid dreams.

Achieving wholeness (nirvana) is impossible without coming to terms with the shadowy parts, and dreams’ or nightmares’ help is priceless. Nightmares are solved by direct, face-to-face, dealing with them. Obviously, this requires lucidity. When you find yourself in a lucid nightmare, remind yourself that you are invulnerable. Then face the horrible parts and engage in a conversation with them.

Always treat them as your equals: remember, your dream body is as much of a mental model as any other content of your lucid dream. Calmly ask the frightening characters questions like “Who are you?”, “What do you want?”, “Can we help each other?” It is almost certain that they will improve their image, become less frightening and start talking.

DON’T try to scare the nightmare away or make it disappear. First of all, you are unlikely to succeed, and secondly, in psychological terms you would be suppressing your anxiety instead of healing it, meaning it will come back at you. Treat the characters from your lucid nightmares with respect and genuine interest.

To get prepared for a lucid nightmare:

  • Choose a recent nightmare and imagine a dialogue you would have had with the scare force if it was a lucid dream. Reverse any action that you would not have taken knowing you were asleep. Write the questions down.
  • Intend to become lucid the next time you find yourself in a frightening dream.
  • When you see someone you have a conflict with or who appeared in your nightmares, ask yourself if you are dreaming, do reality checks and then imagine what questions you would have asked that person if you were in a lucid dream.
  • Evaluate the dialogue later and think of more questions to ask and topics to touch. If you have been having a recurrent nightmare, spend some time every day creating a firm intention to recognize it when it occurs again and write down your action (questions) for the time you realize you are lucid. If the nightmare has variations, outline its different scenarios and be prepared for any.

This should help you not only overcome nightmares but turn them into allies on the path to systematic lucid dreaming.

References

The following resources provide such a thorough picture of lucid dreaming, its origins, history, development and the current state that, after reading them all, you can consider yourself a theoretical expert on the subject.

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    2. Aviram L, Soffer-dudek N. Lucid dreaming: intensity, but not frequency, is inversely related to psychopathology. Front Psychol. 2018;9:384. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00384
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    8. Harb G. C., Brownlow J. A., Ross R. J. Posttraumatic nightmares and imagery rehearsal: the possible role of lucid dreaming. Dreaming. 2016;26:238–249. doi:10.1037/drm0000030
    9. LaBerge S. Lucid dreaming in Western literature. In: Gackenbach J., LaBerge S. (eds) Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain. Springer, Boston, MA. 1988. doi:10.1007/978-1-4757-0423-5_2
    10. LaBerge SP, Nagel LE, Dement WC, Zarcone VP. Lucid dreaming verified by volitional communication during REM sleep. Percept Mot Skills. 1981;52(3):727-32. doi:10.2466/pms.1981.52.3.727
    11. Saunders DT, Roe CA, Smith G, Clegg H. Lucid dreaming incidence: A quality effects meta-analysis of 50years of research. Conscious Cogn. 2016;43:197-215. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2016.06.002
    12. Schädlich M, Erlacher, D. Applications of lucid dreams: An online study. International Journal of Dream Research. 2012;5(2):134–138.
    13. Schredl M, Erlacher D. Frequency of lucid dreaming in a representative German sample. Percept Mot Skills. 2011;112(1):104-108. doi:10.2466/09.PMS.112.1.104-108
    14. Schredl, M., & Erlacher, D. (2004). Lucid dreaming frequency and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 37(7), 1463–1473. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2004.02.003
    15. Vallat R, Ruby PM. Is it a good idea to cultivate lucid dreaming?. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2585. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02585
    16. Voss U, Holzmann R, Tuin I, Hobson JA. Lucid dreaming: a state of consciousness with features of both waking and non-lucid dreaming. Sleep. 2009;32(9):1191-1200. doi:10.1093/sleep/32.9.1191
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