Intro: How to Have a Lucid Dream
Think beyond these words and really take in how phenomenal it is that you have the option to explore your mind to such a depth that you are able to create a universe that is completely autonomous. The imagined visions in lucid dreams are not hazy, distant landscapes in which you have to constantly give your attention. They are vivid scenes that can feel exactly like the lucid world.
(Thanks to the people on deviantART and People of the Internet for the pictures)
The following is a great tip from AFuriousPenguin:
A few more tips for Lucid Dreaming that i have found to work quite well:
When you want something to happen in your dream, sometimes it wont just happen JUST because your thinking about it. In my first lucid dream, i tried to start off with something simple and change the grass around me blue instead of green, and nothing happened. I found that by imagining in my head what that same grass would look like if it had already been blue turned all the grass blue immediately. So give that a shot if you have troubles creating your scenario.
Alternate reality check: Wear an analog watch (with hour/minute hands) and make a habit of checking the time multiple times each day. Check it, and then double check it to make sure it is still the same time. In your dreams, not only do things like text change as alternativeinsanity mentioned, but you will also have no concept of time passage. You watch may say 3:15, but then say 12:45 when you double check it. bingo :)
Step 1: Dream Journals
Dream journals can also be tons of fun to reread, whether it's simply to revisit some ridiculous scenario or to go back and piece together what made your dream of a particular event at a time.
The following is a small portion from the end of one of my dreams. The following sentence is a word-for-word quote spoken by an unseen person who was narrating.
"Richard, which usually meant Richard III, which was followed by the swarm of bees that my mother refused to believe weren’t real even though she wound up in the hospital last time."
Step 2: Reality Checks
- When you walk into a room, just look around and see if you spot anything unusual. This could be anything from floating letters to a a whale flying next to your head. Of course, in dreams, these kinds of things seem completely normal, and sometimes a reality check won't be entirely focused and you still won't figure out you're asleep. More than likely, the characters in your dreams will disagree that you're dreaming.
Me: (walks into room, begins to look around suspiciously)
Hedgehog: Hello! So, what are you doing?
Me: Oh, hi. I'm checking to see if this is a dream. Hmm. I guess I feel a bit weird. Am I asleep?
Hedgehog: I don't think so. ...No, probably not. Otherwise this soup wouldn't be real.
Me: You made soup?
Another important note is how time works in dreams, or more accurately, the order or quickness of how events take place. In a dream, if you start thinking about food, it will appear. Or if you're frightened and suddenly think of how terrifying it would be if a murderous clown was secretly stalking you, chances are the murderous clown will pop into existence. One great benefit of recognizing this kind of behavior in dreams, is that you're more apt to recognize your control over the situation and escape it if it feels uncomfortable. When I'm having a nightmare and realize that I've been inputing some of the scenery, it often snaps me back into remembering that I have control, which makes me recall lucid dreaming and gives me power and clarity. Sometimes I find myself in a non lucid dream, telling myself to erase the grosser images from my head before they become reality, but I don't snap into a lucid dream. So lucidity ends up helping, even in regular dreams.
Methods of Checking:
- Double check yourself when you read anything, as in dreams, text often changes at second glance.
-You might turn on a light, or make sure the structure of the room is still the same.
-You may choose to pinch yourself on the hand to check if you can feel it.
For my first reality checks, I would look for anything out of the ordinary, and then bite myself on the finger to see if I could feel it. In my first lucid dream, I was so use to doing the checks that I bit myself, felt nothing, and realized that I must be in a dream.
Step 3: Reentering a Dream
When you go to sleep, wake yourslef up after about five to seven hours and try to remember if you had a dream. If you did, focus on what occurred, but try to remain as sleepy and incoherent as possible. Then, lay down, and try to place yourself back into the same dream. Ignore any other thoughts going on in your head and really focus on the dream as if it were still happening. As soon as you become involved in you thoughts in any way other than being a witness, you can break the connection.
Step 4: Inside the Dream
One way to stay asleep when dreaming is by rubbing your hands together, or spinning around in circles. Spinning can cause dream scenery to warp and shift around, but some may find it easier to give focus to than rubbing their hands.
After you've become familiar with how your dream world works, the problem of accidentally waking yourself will be nonexistent, and lucid dreams will be just as restful as a normal night's sleep.
Step 5: More Advice
Before you go to sleep, try to create an idea of what you want to do and see if you can influence your dream. The more you practice, the better! The key to lucidity is habit. If you're constantly thinking about lucid dreaming, it will always be running in your mind and be able to influence dreams, giving you an advantage in your reality checks.
Once you can control your dreams, you can do anything you want. The laws of physics and societal norms obviously don't apply in dreams, so if you want to have a dinner party with talking fish underwater, go ahead and do it! Better yet, just go along with whatever scenery develops. You don't need to create a world to dream lucidly, you can use the lucidity to gain higher awareness of the events in your normal dreams.
My first lucid dream wasn't that fascinating, simply because it was short, and I was stuck in a rather dreary location. I ended up running around a building and bouncing off the walls to test what I could do. (Somewhere in my mind, I expected the walls to have some abnormal reaction to my collision, so they did). As I became more familiar with the situation, I was able to choose and create people to meet, climb floating castles, jump from impossibly tall heights, fly, turn into animals, swim with dinosaurs in extreme depths of new oceans.... the possibilities are unconditionally limitless. Have fun!