Hey, I am actually quite good at lucid dreaming and taught myself, so I feel I can offer a few tips.
First of all, Alexander is right (now there's a surprise
) about the dream diary. The better your dream recall, the more likelihood of you
having lucid dreams. Keep a small notebook next to your bed and write down anything you remember when you wake up in the morning. Some other tips:
- It sounds strange, but try and pick the exact instant where you fall asleep, where you actually lose consciousness and begin sleeping. Now, before
you stress, this is impossible. But the mere act of trying to determine the exact moment will greatly improve your chances of experiencing a lucid
dream. I want to say that it has something to do with extending your conscious thought into your dream state, but I don't know for certain why it
works. I stumbled across this tip by accident, yet I have found it to be enormously effective. Many of my friends, who could not even remember most of
their dreams, have used it and experienced lucid dreaming.
- When you go to bed, before you go to sleep, play out a scene in your head. I use the same scene consistently - standing on the top of a skyscraper
and peering over the edge - but it could be anything you like. The key here is visualisation. Whatever scene you pick, try to visualise it down to the
tiniest detail. Imagine the sights - for me I picture the people walking below, the cars, clouds, trees, bus stops, every minute detail you can think
of to make it more realistic. Because it's not enough to simply imagine it, you have to try and experience it. I know, I know, what on Earth does
that mean? To illustrate: in my skyscraper scene, I imagine that I am really standing there. As well as visualising sights and sounds, I imagine the
rough feel of the sandstone under my feet, the giddy sensation of vertigo as I peer over the edge. The more you can fool your brain into believing you
are actually there, the greater the chance that when you go to sleep you will experience a lucid dream. Again, I have no idea why this works. Perhaps
it stimulates your imagination or your conscious thought just as you are going to sleep.
- Set your alarm for about three hours before you normally wake up. When it wakes you up, get up and do something simple - write the date in your
dream diary, for example, nothing strenuous. Then shut it off and go back to sleep. I have found that you are far more likely to experience a lucid
dream if your sleep is briefly interrupted a few hours before your normal waking time. Whilst I am confident that this has something to do with the
cycles of REM sleep, I do not know enough to say for certain. But trust me, this will greatly improve your chances of experiencing a lucid dream.
- In a similar vein, if you have the opportunity to sleep in, I find that I have my most vivid lucid dreams at between 7 and 9 in the morning. So, on
a weekend for example, set your alarm for, say, 6am with a goal to actually waking up around 9am. Why do you have more and clearer lucid dreams in the
morning? I don't know. I have theorised that it has something to do with the increased visual stimulation from greater light, but I have no idea. It
- Finally, if you can get hold of lucid dreaming books or tapes, try them out. Some are quite good, some are not so good. Check your library before
you fork over any money for them.
When you do finally experience a lucid dream (and it can take a while and lots of patience and practice) there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don't panic.
I taught one of my friends how to experience lucid dreams using the tips I just shared with you. He is a very practical,
no-nonsense guy, but when he rang me to tell me about his first lucid dream, he was speaking a million miles a minute. He was, however, disappointed
that it ended so quickly. He said that he was dreaming and, all of a sudden, realised that he was in a dream. He tried to exert his control over the
dream straight away, but everything became surreal and lost focus. This happens when you rush things. The first time it happens, just acknowledge the
experience. "Hey cool, I'm in a dream. Jeremiah was right. Bless that handsome devil!" Try to do too much and your dream will break down and
you'll have to start again.
- I have found that the key to manipulating your dreams is confidence. If I am having a nightmare where an angry crowd is chasing me through the
streets, I am able to make them disappear, or stop them with an invisible barrier or (one time) rip the sky open and watch them cower in fear.
However, when I was first beginning to experience lucid dreams, such actions were more hit-and-miss, simply because you doubt your own ability to
perform such amazing feats. Just remember that it's all in your mind and have confidence. The rest will come with experience.
- There are a few things I have noticed about lucid dreams that have perplexed me. For example, I often use my lucid dreams to fly and it is
brilliant. It is exactly what you think flying would really be like. In my lucid dreams, the dream characters have no problem with me flying. But if I
try to float about 6 inches above the ground, the characters completely freak out and tend to point and scream in terror. Why? I have no idea. I think
there are rules somehow, but I don't know what they are. When you begin to lucid dream, try this out and let me know how it goes.
So there yo go. Developing the ability to lucid dream takes a long time. It also takes loads of practice. Keep the dream diary, read some books,
listen to some tapes and apply the tips and techniques I have outlined and you will certainly get there eventually.
[edit on 12/9/05 by Jeremiah25]