Lucid Dreaming TechniquesWith the increasing popularity of lucid dreaming in the cultural consciousness, more and more lucid dreaming techniques are being developed or rediscovered by countless individuals who are seeking to gain greater control and understanding of the dream state.  I first began working with lucid dreaming techniques quite some time ago, and have had significant experience with many of them, so I wanted to share some of my favorites.  There are so many lucid dreaming techniques out there that it is not necessary to try working with every single one at once.  Just pick a few lucid dreaming techniques that speak to you, try them out, and see what sort of experience you have!  Dream work is a long term practice, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t start lucid dreaming on your first try.  Just keep practicing various lucid dreaming techniques and you are sure to find one or two that work in the way that you need them to.

The first lucid dreaming technique that I recommend everyone try working with is the development of dream recall.  That way, if you are capable of having lucid dreams, you will also be capable of remembering them.  Working on increasing dream recall will also increase your focus on the process of dreaming, which in turn will make it easier to achieve lucidity by recognizing the differences between the dream state and the waking state.  The first lucid dreaming technique that is absolutely essential to any lucid dream work is to make sure that you get enough sleep each night.  Try to go to sleep when you are mildly tired, rather than when you are completely exhausted.  Try to sleep for at least 8 hours, as REM period get longer during latter hours of sleep, so the longer you sleep, the more opportunity you will have to awaken from your dreams and remember them.

The brain erases memories of previous dreams during the stages between REM sleep, so another valuable lucid dreaming technique to improve dream recall is to try to wake up during or just after the REM period.  REM periods occur about every 90 minutes, so try setting an alarm 4.5, 6 or 7.5 hours into sleep and see what you remember when you wake up.  Finally, in order to improve dream recall, state your intention to yourself that you are going to remember all of your dreams just before going to sleep.  You want your last thought before falling asleep to be of your intention to remember your dreams.

The second lucid dreaming technique that I have found to be absolutely essential in lucid dream work is keeping a dream journal.  Keeping a dream journal can be very valuable, as it can help you to remember dreams that you otherwise would have forgotten by morning.  If you wake up and remember any part of a dream, write down the key points in it immediately.  Make sure to note anything strange that wouldn’t happen in the real world – these may be useful cues that you can use when attempting to enter a lucid dream state.

Once you have begun to remember your dreams on a more regular basis, another valuable lucid dreaming technique is to use dream signs to perform a reality check.  The simplest way to do this is to ask yourself mindfully whether you are dreaming at times during the day.  Look around and ensure that your surroundings are logical.  Try looking at a clock or watch, then wait a few seconds and do it again.  If the time changes significantly, then you are dreaming.  Doing reality checks like this during the day will eventually lead to your mind performing them during the lucid dreaming state, which may then allow you to become fully lucid.

Finally, there are a number of lucid dreaming techniques that can be used in order to induce lucid dreaming, both psychological and physiological.  One such technique is to spend a little time every night doing an affirmation and setting an intention that you will have a lucid dream that night.  Another lucid dreaming technique is to use an external cue to help you to realize you are dreaming and to achieve lucidity.  For this, you can use a lucid dreaming machine, which emits soft blinking lights that you will see during your sleep.  If you are very familiar with your sleep cycles you can also use an alarm to wake you up during your REM states.  I have also had excellent success using binaural beats in order to achieve lucid dream states.  In order to utilize this lucid dreaming technique, you can simply download a binaural beats frequency that is geared towards lucid dreaming.  This always helps me to fall asleep and to achieve lucidity!

Finally, a great lucid dreaming technique is to try working with the numerous lucid dreaming herbs available.  There are lucid dreaming herbs that will increase your memory and cognitive abilities in order to improve dream recall, herbs that can help you to relax and fall asleep, and herbs that can increase the frequency of REM sleep states and help you learn how to achieve lucidity.  It is not necessary to work with dream herbs in order to do lucid dreaming work, but it can certainly help the process.

No matter what sort of lucid dreaming technique you try working with, the length of time required to achieve regular lucid dreams can vary from person to person.  Some individuals will be capable of having lucid dreams every night, while others may only be able to have a few a month.  Dream recall, practice and motivation are the only essential lucid dreaming techniques that you really need to utilize.  People who already have excellent dream recall will need less time to achieve lucidity than those who rarely remember their dreams.  Regardless of your current abilities, however, learning to lucid dream requires effort, practice and dedication.  Don’t be discouraged!  If one lucid dreaming technique does not seem to be working for you,  try another one!  With consistent practice, you will be able to work with lucid dreaming on a regular basis, and a whole new world will be opened up to you!