Wake induced lucid dreams are dreams that a person enters from a waking state without seeming to lose conscious awareness. Wake induced lucid dreams are one of two categories of lucid dreams; the second is the dream-induced lucid dream, which starts as a normal dream until the person realizes they are dreaming and becomes lucid. There are degrees of awareness and control which you can achieve in any dream whether it is a lucid dream or not: you may find yourself lucid in a dream but choose to do nothing and simply let the dream narrative progress. Conversely, you may take action within a dream without ever realizing that the dream world around you is not the real world. However, learning to initiate wake induced lucid dreams is the best way to achieve a lucid dream in which you have both full awareness and control.
There are different techniques for initiating wake induced lucid dreams. All of them involve recognizing when you have entered a hypnagogic, or pre-sleep, state and maintaining mental awareness as your body falls asleep. You must be physically relaxed and mentally aware to achieve wake induced lucid dreams. This is a state that is difficult to achieve at a normal bedtime after a full day’s activity. For this reason it’s usually easier to try for wake induced lucid dreams during the day after a full night’s sleep, especially if you find yourself in the mood for a mid-afternoon nap: this is a sign your body is hungry for more REM sleep.
Training yourself into a reliable dream inducer is all about mental focus: keeping your mind clear and on the goal of achieving a lucid dream will keep you from drifting away into unconscious sleep. Some techniques people use are counting, controlling breaths, envisioning themselves climbing stairs or focusing on relaxing the body from toes to head. Wake-induced lucid dreams can sometimes be encouraged by visualizing a specific scene or series of images that you want to incorporate into your dream, a technique that can result in what are called active wake induced lucid dreams. By concentrating on the images, sounds or actions of the dream you want to have, it may be possible to dream yourself directly into wake induced lucid dreams that you create. In fact, one sign that you are entering a wake induced lucid dream might be a sharpening of the images or scene you are imagining into a dream setting that feels completely real!
For most people, it takes a lot of practice to shape a lucid dream; the first time you achieve a lucid dream from a waking state, it is more likely to be what are called passive wake induced lucid dreams. This kind of lucid dream occurs when your body falls asleep before your mind has had a chance to create a dream scene. In passive wake induced lucid dreams, you may feel a sensation of sleep paralysis or vibration often associated with the onset of an out of body experience. It’s possible that what people have experienced as astral or out of body travel are actually passive wake induced lucid dreams. As with astral projection, it’s important not to fight any sensations of vibration or paralysis you may experience: rather, try and take them as a sign that you’re about to enter a wake induced lucid dream and relax. If you experience any passive wake induced lucid dreams, you may awaken into a scene that looks just like your bedroom or wherever you went to sleep.
At this point it’s always good to perform a reality check to verify for yourself that you’ve initiated a wake induced lucid dream. Reality checks are especially important in passive wake induced lucid dreams, where you might enter a dream that looks just like the room you went to sleep in. Without a reality check you may think you’ve woken up and go back to sleep, and it would be unfortunate to lose the chance to explore and change the lucid dream you worked hard to induce. Reading text is a good way to verify that you’re dreaming because text in a dream will often change or appear as gibberish. You can try checking a clock or watch in your dream, as the time displayed in dreams often doesn’t make sense. Flipping a light switch can be a good indication that you’ve slipped into wake induced lucid dreams: light switches rarely effect the light level in a dream. Researchers who have done studies in wake induced lucid dreams have also noted that your hands, the floor, or your reflection in the mirror are all things that might look distorted or quite different in a dream, and can indicate that you have induced a lucid dream.
One of the things people who are trying to lucid dream wonder about is how to prolong wake induced lucid dreams. It can be frustrating to invest a considerable amount of time achieving wake induced lucid dreams only to wake up shortly after you induce your lucid dream. Dream workers recommend a couple techniques that can keep you in wake induced lucid dreams for longer by distracting your brain from the sensation of your body lying in bed. (These techniques can also work for dream-induced lucid dreams.) Spinning in place in the dream engages a part of the brain that is close to the part that induces REM sleep, prolonging the REM state. You can also engage your senses in the dream world by rubbing your hands together or touching objects in the dream world; the tactile sensations trick the brain into thinking you’re in the waking world.
Achieving wake induced lucid dreams will take a lot of practice and dedication by the average person, but the level of awareness and control offered by wake induced lucid dreams makes it worth the effort!