Every human being dreams several times a night. Most people do not remember their dream when they wake up and may feel like they are not dreaming. Well, this is not true! We all have strange, fairy-like, psychedelic or unreal dreams every night. But there is a type of dream that fascinates more than the others: it is the lucid dream. The lucid dream is a dream of full consciousness where the sleeper knows that he is dreaming. In some cases, he can influence his dream and set up the scenario that he likes. But then how to have a lucid dream? How to induce a lucid dream? How to control and influence your dreams? Several specialists have studied the question and have been able to establish techniques to promote and induce lucid dreams.
What is a lucid dream?
Before trying to understand how to have a lucid dream, we must try to understand what a lucid dream is.
A dream is a psychic phenomenon that occurs during our sleep. We have several dreams per sleep cycle. A sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and we have between 4 and 6 dreams per night. We have several dreams each night. Dreams occur mainly during deep sleep and REM sleep phases. In a classic dream, we are not aware of what is happening. Most of the time it is impossible to remember our dreams, simply because it is our unconscious mind that expresses itself.
Lucid dreams differ from classic dreams in one respect: during lucid dreams we are conscious, we are aware. The dreamer knows that he is dreaming and that what is happening around him is not real. He is fully aware that he is in a dreamlike and fantastical world.
There are several types of lucid dreaming where the level of consciousness of the individual varies. The dreamer can be a simple spectator of the dream, he knows that he is dreaming but does not influence the scenario of the dream. In the most advanced form of lucid dreaming, the individual is conscious and an actor of his dream. He knows he is dreaming and can choose what type of dream he wants to have, change the setting and the characters, and make his own decisions exactly as if he were awake.
To learn more about lucid dreaming, you can focus on our detailed article which explains what lucid dreaming is.
The best techniques to induce a lucid dream
Not everyone is familiar with lucid dreaming. Some of us have never even had one. There are techniques and practices that can be used to promote lucid dreaming. Becoming aware of your dreams requires a little practice and training but is accessible to everyone. There are 3 types of methods to promote lucid dreaming:
– Conscious sleep: inducing lucid dreaming
– Awareness in the dream: knowing how to recognize a lucid dream
– External stimuli: provoking a lucid dream
In order to induce lucid dreaming you can apply several methods:
– Keep a dream journal: write down all your dreams in your journal with as much detail as possible. This helps you to become aware of your dreams. It trains your brain and memory to remember your dreams.
– Make reality checks: During the day when you are awake, ask yourself the question: Am I awake or am I sleeping? Set up a verification technique: pinch yourself (in a dream you will not feel pain), look at the time several times (in a dream the time will be different each time), look at your hands or feet (in a dream they will be blurred), … It’s up to you to choose the method that suits you. Once you get into this habit, you will repeat it in your dreams naturally.
– Be convinced that you are going to have a lucid dream and say it before going to bed: every night when you go to bed repeat a sentence like “I am going to have a lucid dream. I will be aware of my dreams. I will remember my dreams”. In this way you put yourself in condition. You are sending a clear message to your brain.
– Set an alarm to wake you up in REM sleep: lucid dreams occur during REM sleep. Set an alarm in the middle of the night that will wake you up during REM sleep. When you wake up, think about your dream, write it down if necessary, then go back to sleep thinking very hard about the dream you were having. You will resume the flow of this dream but this time while being conscious.
– Fall asleep by meditating: meditation is a good way to access full consciousness during REM sleep. You learn to calm your mind and control it. Try meditating before you fall asleep by thinking about lucid dreams.