Lucid dreams are dreams where you know that you are dreaming. Once you realise you are dreaming, it opens up a whole lot of possibilities.
You could fly, time-travel, create objects out of thin air, move things with your mind, or teleport to the beach. You could also ask your subconscious mind to help you solve problems and come up with creative ideas. Many great inventors and artists get inspiration from their dreams.
Your subconscious mind is good at a lot of things your conscious mind isn’t very good at.
What Does It Take?
I didn’t set an alarm to wake myself in the middle of the night or take any drugs that claim to help remembering dreams.
All it took was desire and persistence. It didn’t take too much persistence as the progress came quite quickly once I decided to make a serious attempt.
I make sure I sleep 8+ hours on most days, and even sleep better than before I started, because now I look forward to my sleep. Remembering dreams or trying to become lucid doesn’t make me tired.
Does It Mess With Your Head?
Dreams feel very real once you learn to remember more details. But there are many ways to tell a dream from reality once you know what to look for.
Learning lucid dream doesn’t make you confused or crazy. On the contrary, it trains you to become more mindful of your environment.
How Long Does It Take?
Some people naturally have it, some people take months to learn.
It took me 2 months of spending a few minutes each night and each morning, and reading a couple books on it. I have made half-hearted attempts previously but I didn’t get anywhere. If you want it, you need to commit and learn about it.
Here’s a description of my learning process.
- I made the decision to learn lucid dreaming, and started to remember more dreams straight away.
- In about a week, I went from thinking I didn’t dream much to remembering a dream each night.
- I started to remember the sounds and other senses in my dreams. (I had some tasty grilled prawns in my dreams too)
- As I remembered more details of my dreams, I felt like had more say about what I do in my dreams rather than just watching.
- 2 months later, I had my first lucid dream where my kefir died and I told my mum, “It’s OK. We are in a dream, so we can use time travel to save it”. We time travelled and found it was boiling itself because my dad fed it some ginger candy, then we travelled back more and saved it. (my kefir is fine in real life)
How To Do It
Know That It Can Be Done
The turning point in my lucid dreams journey was that I met someone who can do it. I realised this is not internet fairy tales.
Most of us think our dreams are just memories of our waking life combined with some gibberish. This is quite far from what our dreams could be.
You can only remember your dreams once you realise how valuable they can be.
Relationship With Your Inner Dreamer
Our dreams are created by our subconscious mind, which is part of ourselves. By learning to lucid dream, we learn to connect with our subconscious mind.
We need to realise that our dreams are trying to help us. Even nightmares aren’t meant to hurt us. They are trying to tell us that some parts of our mind needs healing. Once you learn to lucid dream, you can learn to cultivate this opportunity by facing it and talking to it. You can find more information in Lucid Dreaming by Charlie Morley.
There are 2 things that give me great dream recall.
- Talk to myself just before I fall asleep that I appreciate my dreams, and I will remember my dreams.
- Wake up slowly. This is very important. After I wake up in the morning, stay in bed and try to remember pieces of my dreams even if I don’t remember anything. They sometimes come back when you switch to the sleeping position where you had the dreams.
Once you have good dream recall, you are actually very close to having lucid dreams.
Finding Dream Signs
I heard the best way is to write down your dreams. Once you gather some records of dreams, you can look for patterns. You just need to write down a quick summary in the morning, which takes about 2 mins. Writing down the dreams tells your subconscious mind that you care which help you with dream recall too.
From my dream journal, I found that my dreams tend to happen at a different location than where I live.
Accept That You Could Be Dreaming
The most challenging part for me was to accept the possibility that I could be dreaming right now. You need to be open to this possibility so you can remember to do reality checks in your dreams.
Once you allow this possibility, things get much easier. You can then look for clues that tell you if this is a dream or reality. Usually the clues are everywhere, we just didn’t care to notice them. It doesn’t mean that you get confused between dreams and reality once you learn lucid dreaming. Reality checks are pretty quick and easy.
It helps to do a few reality checks during the day, so you get into the habit of doing it. Stop and ask yourself, how did I get here? Look around and see if things look unusual.
Make Requests To Your Dreams
This is a bonus. I didn’t know we could do this. Just before you sleep, you can just ask your dreams nicely for what you want. I’ve been quite surprised by how much my dreams responds to my requests.
On a few occasions, I had some problems I couldn’t figure out during the day. I asked my dreams to help me solve them, and my dreams responded with metaphors that enlightened me.
One day, before I slept I asked my dreams to please help me relax, then I had a dream of getting a massage. It didn’t last long but I felt relaxed when I woke up. I tried it again another day and I dreamed about going to a hot pool with my family.
The night before my first lucid dream, my request to my dreams was that I’d like to be aware that I’m dreaming. I said to myself that I’m ready for it.
Our inner dreamer are nice.
For More Information
I hope this post gave you a good introduction to lucid dreaming. I’m still a beginner, but I know a few excellent books on this subject. If you want to learn lucid dreaming, reading these books would help you get there quickly.
A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics
by Dylan Tuccillo
Lucid Dreaming: A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming Conscious in Your Dreams
by Charlie Morley
Are You Dreaming?: Exploring Lucid Dreams: A Comprehensive Guide
by Daniel Love