WHAT IS LUCID DREAMING? 7 TIPS ON HOW TO LUCID DREAM (PRACTICAL GUIDE)
Natalya Pazdnikova's Practical Guide on How To Lucid Dream
In this post, I will be giving tips on how to lucid dream. To learn more about the whole phenomenon of dreaming, you should read my other post on dreams where I delve deeper into What are dreams? Dream Psychology, Dream Interpretation, and the Meaning of Dreams.
So What Is Lucid Dreaming, Exactly?
Lucid dreaming is the experience of dreaming and becoming conscious and fully aware of the fact that you are dreaming. Lucid dreaming is the phenomena when you bring your conscious attention from the waking state into dream state and you awaken within the dream. There are different intensities of consciousness and focus when you are awake, so the same happens when you experience lucidity while you sleep.
Sometimes it is just a glimpse of awareness when you, for example, see some form of danger in your dream and wake yourself up or make a semi-conscious decision of some sort. Sometimes the moments of lucidity can remain for a few seconds. And sometimes you have a full-blown experience which you wouldn’t confuse for just a normal dream and you would often remember it when you wake up.
WHAT I AM GOING TO SAY NOW IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE TIPS BELOW BECAUSE THIS ’TIP’ IS ABOVE ALL TIPS - IT IS THE MOTHER OF ALL TIPS - HAVE A PROPER SLEEP ROUTINE!!! This is crucial and it should be your number one priority in life, for learning how to lucid dream, and for your wellbeing overall.
TIP 1 - TRAIN YOUR FOCUS
HOW TO LUCID DREAM BY DEVELOPING FOCUS
The vital ability you need to develop to be able to lucid dream is the ability to focus. By focus, I don’t mean super intense "nothing can distract me" type of focus, but rather a gentle focus that you can effortlessly navigate, that you have control over, that you are conscious about.
Many people have experienced full-blown lucid dreaming at least once in life, and it is certainly something they will never forget. But I can also say that MOST of us experience it slightly but we do tend to forget. Most of the time, we become lucid for few seconds and then the dream takes over. It takes FOCUS to remain lucid in the dream for longer than couple of seconds.
You can train your focus in many different ways. Our focus is our main human superpower and will affect not only the length of your lucid dream experience but will improve your whole life in general. Practice meditation, conscious breathing, mindfulness, and positive thinking (choosing what to think and what not to think). It is the biggest challenge nowadays not to be distracted and have power over our own attention. It is crucial for mental health and for lucid dreaming experiences. Having a daily routine of spiritual practices can help you to train your focus, be present and elevate your state of consciousness for more positive experience of life.
Choose a Spiritual Practice That Works For You.
TIP 2 - KEEP A DREAM JOURNAL
HOW TO LUCID DREAM BY KEEPING A DREAM JOURNAL
It is very hard sometimes to make yourself write down your dreams the first time in the morning. No matter how much you want to sleep, train yourself to get up immediately and write it down because:
you are going to establish and nurture your connection to your subconscious (i talked about it in my previous article)
you will recall your dreams more easily
you will train yourself to distinguish a dream from reality while in a dream.
you train your will power when you dedicate to a practice and your will power will be Everything!
TIP 3 - SET INTENTION
HOW TO LUCID DREAM BY SETTING AN INTENTION
It might seem like a not very important tip, but our intentions are powerful. Intention is action without action. Intention comes before the action or experience. Someone whose intent to lucid dream is more likely to experience it rather than someone who is not. I first started lucid dreaming when I began to learn about this phenomenon, the wish to experience it along with tip #7 made me experience it almost immediately. After you go to bed and before you fall asleep, tell yourself “I am going to lucid dream tonight” and you might just will! :)
This part can be tricky for those who desperately want to experience lucid dreaming and most likely the energy of obsession will keep you away from it. Everything we want so much to the point that it drives us crazy usually will keep running away :). The attitude "if it will happen wonderful, if it will not happen that is wonderful too", will take you a long way. Don’t overuse this tip, verbalized intention without too much emotional charge is enough.
TIP 4 - SELF-AWARENESS
HOW TO LUCID DREAM BY BECOMING SELF-AWARE
Being fully conscious in a dream is not necessarily abnormal, I think it is the direction for our further intellectual evolution. But for now, it is still an unchartered territory where you bring your consciousness to. Therefore, awareness in a waking state is very important to experience lucid dreaming. Coming from the state of ignorance, reactionary life, autopilot mode into a state of self-awareness in every moment, every action, understanding what we are doing and why.
And you can raise your awareness in a various ways, you can learn so many things and through these things to learn about yourself. You can take a course of some sort, you can go to a mental health practitioner or a guide (and I just may be your favorite person for that)
TIP 5 - HEALTHY DIET
HOW TO LUCID DREAM BY EATING HEALTHY
This topic is HUGE and since I’m not a nutritionist I will only make few points.
It is important to consciously approach what kind of food we eat because it affects our bodies, thoughts, emotions, state of clarity and also the quality of sleep. You have to be very in touch with your body to notice how different foods affect you not only physically , but also psychologically. Or you got to have your nutritionist or a good doctor who takes care of that for you. We can try to keep track of what food we eat and at the same time what thoughts visit us. We all can develop such sensitivity and awareness.
There are 2 supplements ORMUS and ONEIROGENS that i have been recommended but haven’t tried, maybe you will:)
Also, there are a lot of information on the internet about other herbs that can enhance lucid dreaming experiences, I will list a few of them here:
– Calea Zacatechichi – ”the dream herb” – increases dream clarity and vividness
– Mugwort–improve your dream recall, makes your dreams more vivid, induce more colors
– Ginkgo Biloba – memory enhancer *improves dream recall* and brain boost
– Passionflower – improves sleep quality, effective insomnia treatment
– Peppermint – muscle relaxant, aids for peaceful sleep and supports dream vividness
TIP 6 - EXTERNAL DEVICES
HOW TO LUCID DREAM WITH THE HELP OF TECHNOLOGY
There are plenty of devices on the market to choose from starting from bracelets that vibrate, even glasses that give out the light signal at the certain time. The goal of these devices is to trigger your conscious mind and slightly bring you back to awareness.
Some people use the alarm clock method that fully wakes them up, also some recommend staying awake for up to an hour before going back to sleep. You can read about these methods on the internet, but I have to say that I am very against such harsh methods. Quality sleep is very important, and we must not play with it.
You can still find something that will work for you without needing to buy expansive gadgets, just get creative! It can be a sound, a light or a vibration that goes off at the certain time at the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of your sleep. Usually, first REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep and occur approximately every 90 minutes and lasts 10-20 minutes.
The impulse of your choice should be subtle and minimal. The goal is not to fully wake you up but rather trigger your consciousness and carry it with you into the dream world.
If you are serious about having a lucid dreaming experiences, I would first suggest planning out your sleeping routine and stick to certain sleeping hours, with dedication it could take only a week, but many areas of your life will benefit from it greatly! As your body will get used to falling asleep and waking up at certain times you will be able to know the usual hours of your REM states and plan your lucid dreaming experiences accordingly.
TIP 7 - GUIDED HYPNOSIS AND AFFIRMATIONS
HOW TO LUCID DREAM BY GUIDED MEDITATIONS AND POSTIIVE AFFIRMATION
There are plenty of lucid dreaming recordings on YouTube that can be up to 8-9 hours long, they work, try them out! A background noise keeps your sleep shallow, and it can enhance spiritual experience but on long run it can be damaging.
WARNING: not to overuse this method as for the proper melatonin release our brain needs QUIET time to sleep! This is very important and a lot of people (including myself) who overused guided meditations / affirmations / hypnosis during sleep time eventually face great sleeping difficulties!
I would also like to mention "THE ART OF DREAMING" By Carlos Castaneda Audiobook on youtube where he shares his views on this topic as well as technique to fall asleep REMAINING conscious right through the process of falling asleep.
I am currently trying to practice this method and it is just wow, am speechless :) I am not going to try to explain the essence of this technique, find it for yourself and he would explained it much better.
In the end I want to remind you one more time - proper healthy sleeping routing is VERY IMPORTANT!
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