Not everyone can remember their dreams, let alone recognize they're in one as it's happening. In a lucid dream, you're aware of your dream state and may even have control over the dream's outcome. Sounds pretty cool, right? With a little practice, you can learn how to lucid dream. We've put together this one-stop guide to learn more about lucid dreaming and how to control your dreams for increased spiritual awareness.
What Is Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is the state of being aware of a dream while you're sleeping. You know you're dreaming, but it feels incredibly real, like you're actually living it. Some people experience lucid dreaming naturally, while others work to control their dreams. Not everyone has lucid dreams, but you may know you've had one if you experience any of the following:
- You knew you were asleep and having a dream.
- You can remember extremely specific details about the dream.
- You could control what happened in a dream or how it ended.
- You have intense emotions associated with the dream.
How Does Lucid Dreaming Work?
Scientifically, there's still a lot that's unknown about lucid dreaming and how it works. One German study found that 51% of participants had experienced lucid dreaming at least once, and women were much more likely to recall their lucid dreams. Most researchers believe lucid dreaming occurs during rapid eye moment, or REM, sleep. That's when your brain activity increases and dreams usually occur. During REM sleep, your dreams may transition from non-lucid to lucid as you become aware of the dream.
Spiritually, lucid dreaming can serve as a connection between the real world and the dream world. In a dream, you can accomplish anything, whether you want to fly or meet a celebrity. This type of limitless exploration can have a significant impact on your waking life. It can help you become more aware of your deepest desires and emotions. Lucid dreaming allows you to be more present in your dreams and real life.
How To Lucid Dream
If you've never had a lucid dream, or if you'd like to become more intentional about lucid dreaming, there are several methods you can practice for controlling dreams. Here are some ways to lucid dream:
Wake Up Before Dreaming
If you want to lucid dream, try the wake back to bed (WBTB) method. Set an alarm to wake up five hours after you go to sleep. Once the alarm goes off, stay awake for about 30 minutes and do an activity that requires you to be alert, such as reading. Then go back to sleep. Since you're awake and alert, you're more likely to lucid dream once you fall back asleep.
Try the MILD Method
Another popular lucid dream technique is the mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD) method. The name is a mouthful, but it's actually pretty easy. After five hours of sleep, wake up and tell yourself that in your next dream, you'll be lucid. Choose a mantra you can repeat as you fall back asleep. For example, you may say, "The next time I dream, I'll remember that I'm dreaming." You can do the MILD and WBTB methods together to increase your chances of lucid dreaming.
Practice Reality Testing
Reality testing involves training your mind to know whether or not you're awake. Practice reality testing during the day by asking yourself whether you're awake or asleep. You can also choose a reality check to distinguish between dreaming and being awake. Reality checks can include:
- Looking at a mirror to check your reflection (if it seems normal, it means you're awake).
- Touching a solid object (to see if you can push your hand through it or not).
- Checking the time (check a clock to see if the time is moving at a normal speed or if it's moving quickly, which only happens in dreams).
As you become more in tune with your level of awareness, you can use this practice in your dreams to tell when you're awake and when you're experiencing a lucid dream.
Start a Dream Journal
If you don't have one already, start a dream journal so you can remember what happens in your dreams. Each morning, write down specific details about your dreams to distinguish them from reality. Review your dream journal periodically, and you may notice when you're dreaming.
Can You Wake Up From a Lucid Dream?
So you've mastered the art of lucid dreaming, but now you want to wake up. Maybe you're not enjoying the dream, or you might even be having a lucid nightmare. Try these tips to wake up from a lucid dream:
- Scream or yell: In your dream, scream or yell at yourself to wake up. This can send a signal to your brain that you're ready to stop dreaming.
- Blink rapidly: Start blinking rapidly in your dream as a way to wake up.
- Fall asleep: If you fall asleep in your dream, you can wake up in real life.
What Are the Benefits of Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid dreaming can be a spiritual experience that allows you to explore your inner psyche in a deep and meaningful way. It can also have other benefits, including:
- Increased creativity: Many people use lucid dreaming to increase their creativity. Nothing is impossible in a dream, which can help you come up with new and innovative ideas.
- Improved mental health: Lucid dreaming can improve your mental health by allowing you to experience situations that may cause you stress or anxiety in your real life.
- Controlled nightmares: If you experience frequent nightmares, lucid dreaming may help you control them or even prevent them from happening in the first place.
Whether you've had lucid dreams before or you want to experience one for the first time, you can follow these practices to get better at controlling your dreams. Work with a trusted Psychic Adviser to practice lucid dreaming so you can become more aware of your dream state. A Psychic Reading with an intuitive PathForward Astrologer can also help you interpret your lucid dream's meaning. We'll help you take control of your dreams so you can live your best life while you're awake.