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How to Lucid Dream: 11 Techniques, Benefits & Cautions

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Update: April 27, 2023
8 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
How To Lucid Dream

Dreams are marvelous. They are like having a new movie play in your head each night. From romance to action, a riveting script presents itself every single time. Imagine this, you are the main character in these dreams, and you can even control the dream narrative. It sounds super cool, doesn’t it? Well, it is a possibility with lucid dreaming. If you are intrigued, read ahead because we are here to tell you everything about lucid dreaming and even how to lucid dream in this lucid dreaming guide. 

What Is Lucid Dreaming?

Did you know? According to research, at least half the people have experienced lucid dreams at some point in their lives, and approximately 11% have one or two lucid dreams in a month! 

Lucid dreaming, also called conscious dreaming, is when you grasp that you are dreaming in the middle of a dream. Here, you can recognize that the events that are taking place in your mind are not happening in reality. But they feel real. When you become aware you are dreaming, you can take control over some elements of the dream and change the narrative, characters, or environment, the way you want. 

You may remember the famous movie Inception, which popularised lucid dreaming. Here, the main characters could easily manipulate dreams for their desired outcome. Of course, the movie is a work of fiction, and dream manipulation to such as extent may not be possible. But you can control your dreams to a limit with lucid dreaming. 

Lucid Dreaming Techniques

Want to know how to lucid dream tonight? Well, take a look at the below-mentioned techniques. They are designed to help you become aware of your consciousness even when you fall asleep. 

1. Reality Testing/Reality Checking

The first step in how to remember dreams is to start with reality checks. It is a mental exercise to enhance metacognition and notice your consciousness. Now, metacognition is when you become aware of your thought process and comprehend the pattern behind them. 

Your metacognition levels stay almost the same when you are awake or asleep. So, enhancing its levels when you are awake can also help elevate metacognition levels when you are in deep slumber. If you are wondering how to control your dreams, perform reality checks several times a day. Some of the things you can do include; 

  • Ask yourself questions such as, “Is this a dream?” 
  • Take a look at your surroundings to see if you are dreaming or if it’s real 
  • Check your reflection in the mirror to see if everything looks normal 
  • Push a finger against your palm to see if it goes through or not 
  • When you are dreaming, the time on the clock keep changing frequently, and when you are awake, it usually moves, so take a look at that
  • Pinch your nose and see if you can breathe because if you are dreaming, you will be able to breathe through a pinched nose 

As a beginner, perform these reality checks every 2-3 hours. You can also keep an alarm for the same. 

2. Make Your Bedroom Comfortable for Dreaming

To lucid dream, good sleep is essential. Therefore, make sure your bedroom is comfortable. One of the things you can try is to ensure that your room temperature suits you. Generally, the ideal temperature is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure your room is dark and quiet. Switch off all the lights and if you like sleeping with some music in the background, opt for something light and soothing.

3. Keep a Dream Journal

One of the popular methods for how to remember dreams is to keep a dream journal. Here, you write down your dreams as soon as you wake up and frequently read the journal as they help recognise dream signs. It also increases your dream awareness. In addition, keeping a dream diary enables you to identify the recurring themes of the dreams, which assists you in lucid dreaming. Finally, make sure you write the next day’s date so that your conscious and subconscious mind works together to remember the dream. 

4. Recognize Your Dream Patterns

As mentioned earlier, you encounter a recurring dream pattern when you keep a dream journal. You can use this as a trigger to go into lucid dreaming. So, before you fall asleep, tell yourself that you will know you are dreaming the next time you come across that particular dream pattern. 

5. WBTB Lucid Dreaming (Wake Back to Bed)

If you are wondering how to have a lucid dream, one method is to wake back to bed or WBTB. If you are looking for tips on how to lucid dream fast, this is it. It is a cycle adjustment technique where you stimulate the body’s natural chemistry to induce a lucid dream. You can try this technique as frequently as possible to master lucid dreaming. Let’s take a look at the procedure.

  • Go to bed as usual and sleep for six hours. Make sure you use an alarm to wake up on time.
  • Once your alarm goes off, wake up and move away from the bed. Find a brain-stimulating activity, such as reading. In fact, you can utilize this time to read about lucid dreams, so your mind is constantly thinking about them.
  • Keep yourself awake for 20-60 minutes, and then go back to sleep.

While you try to sleep again, think about your previous or recurring dream theme or visualize a vivid dream to make it easier.

6. MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams)

How to have a lucid dream? You can try the MILD technique! 

MILD or mnemonic induction of lucid dreams involves saying affirmations to yourself before you sleep. When you repeat the affirmations several times, it gets stuck in mind, which makes lucid dreaming easier. The steps you need to follow include 

  • The essential step in MILD is to remember your dreams. Therefore, make sure you keep a dream journal or follow reality checks.
  • Repeat affirmations before you hit the sheets or throughout the day like “I will have a lucid dream once I sleep,” “I will lucid dream tonight,” or “When I dream, I will know I am dreaming.”
  • Now, visualize a scenario, whatever you like. It is like a training session before you enter the actual dream. It will help you explore all types of dreams that you want. 

7. WILD (Wake-Initiated Lucid Dreaming)

The next technique when it comes to how to dream about what you want with lucid dreaming is using WILD or wake-initiated lucid dreaming technique. It is an easy method and can help you achieve lucid dreaming quickly. 

  • Go to sleep as usual, and ensure you find a comfortable sleep position. Now, relax your body completely. 
  • Try breathing exercises to ensure your body reaches a relaxed state. It is one of the most vital lucid dreaming tips here. 
  • Keep your eyes close and slowly transition into a hypnagogic state. It is the stage between sleep and wakefulness where thoughts in your mind fade away. Here, you notice hypnagogic images. They are random images you see, such as geometrical figures or stars. Just keep your concentration on these images.
  • The images will start getting brighter, ensure you focus on the brightest light, and soon you will move on to a dream state where you will become aware that you are dreaming. 

Most beginners get very excited at this stage and tend to break the dream. So, make sure you keep yourself relaxed. It is essential when it comes to controlling your dreams. 

8. Go Back to Sleep

If you wake up from a dream, go back to sleep for dreaming lucidly. This is one of the easiest lucid dreaming methods. When you wake up from a dream, try to write down everything you remember in the dream journal and immediately go back to bed. Now, when you close your eyes, think about the dream you were having previously. Visualize it well and keep your focus on it. 

9. Power of Suggestion

The power of suggestion is affirmations that you tell yourself throughout the day. Some examples are;

  • I will lucid dream tonight 
  • When I dream, I will know I am dreaming 
  • I will know when I am dreaming 

10. Try Devices that Induce Lucid Dreams

There are apps or YouTube videos you can play that come with guided meditations for lucid dreaming. Some masks and headbands emit light and sounds that induce lucid dreaming. But they can be expensive and not very easily available. 

11. Try Some Gaming

A 2017 study reported that video gaming frequently could help you remember your dreams better. So, if you are looking for ways to lucid dream and you are an avid gamer, use any of the above-mentioned methods. However, ensure you don’t use electronics at least an hour before bed as they can disrupt sleep.

These were some of the best ways to lucid dream. So, if you wanted to know how to lucid dream every night, try any of the above methods. But remember, be patient. Lucid dreaming may take time, but you can trigger it easily with practice. 

How Does Lucid Dreaming Work

Now that you know how to practice lucid dreaming, let’s learn the science of lucid dreaming. A lucid dream is a state between sleep and wakefulness. While it is an intriguing experience, scientists are still unclear about how our brain mechanisms differ when compared to regular dreaming. 

However, Julian Mutz and Amir-Homayoun Javadi found that during lucid dreaming dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the supramarginal gyrus, the bilateral frontopolar prefrontal cortex, the precuneus, and the inferior parietal lobules show high activity. And these are the areas that are associated with high cognitive function. 

How to Wake Up From a Lucid Dream

If you want to wake up from a lucid dream while you are in the middle of one, you can try the following methods

Shout In Your Dream: It is believed that when you scream or yell in the dream, it sends a signal to the brain that it is now time to wake up. 

Fall Asleep: When you sleep during a lucid dream, you wake up in real life. 

Blink: Blinking continually will help your mind get ready to wake up. 

Read: When you try to read a book in your dream, it stimulates your brain and you wake up. 

Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Now that you know how to trigger a lucid dream and all the steps to lucid dreaming, let’s understand the benefits it brings you. 

Helps Overcome Nightmares

If you are someone who suffers from recurrent nightmares, lucid dreaming can help you out. Lucid dreaming therapy can help you reimage your dreams. In a 2017 study, 33 military veterans suffering from recurrent nightmares and PTSD received cognitive behavioural therapy and image reversal therapy with lucid dreaming. It helped them curb their nightmares and reduce stress. 

Less Anxiety

When you lucid dream, you can control the situation of the dream, which makes you feel empowered and can help reduce anxiety

Improves Motor Skills

A study conducted in 2013 showed that when you perform motor skills mentally, it enhances your ability to do them physically. So, people with physical disabilities could use lucid dreaming to practice motor skills.

Enhances Creativity 

People who were a part of lucid dreaming studies could come up with new insights and ideas and improve creativity.

Some of the disadvantages of lucid dreaming include;

Sleep Problems 

A few techniques on how to train yourself to lucid dream, such as WBTB can disrupt your sleep as it requires you to wake up in the middle of the night. 


When you practice lucid dreaming regularly, it can lead to the derealization of your environment. As a result, it may make it difficult for you to distinguish between reality and a dream. 

Sleep Paralysis 

Lucid dreaming can cause sleep paralysis, which can be unsettling for some people. 


If you want to try lucid dreaming, you can use the above techniques. These methods will help train your brain to become more aware of your consciousness while you are asleep. However, be patient. And if you experience any sleep disorders or emotional changes, stop practicing lucid dreaming and visit your doctor immediately. 


Is lucid dreaming real?

Lucid dreaming is when you become aware that you are dreaming.

When do lucid dreams happen?

Lucid dreams occur during REM sleep, which occurs approximately 90 minutes after you fall asleep. 

How long does it take to lucid dream?

It depends on the individual. With practice, you can lucid dreams in a month or so. However, some people are able to do it faster. The trick is to find the technique that suits you best. 

How long do lucid dreams last? 

In the beginning, lucid dreams last for 10 minutes and as you progress, they can last for an hour. 

Is lucid dreaming dangerous?

There are a few downsides to lucid dreaming. It can lead to disturbed sleep or also mental disturbances. Therefore, it is imperative to practice it with caution. You can also speak to a sleep expert or a doctor for more information. 


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Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

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