For those of you who like to get straight to the good stuff, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 tools that you can use to learn how to lucid dream. These are so good that you probably won’t need to use any more than two or three before you start having some degree of lucidity.
1. Take naps.
Napping during the day not only means you’ll be less tired (increasing likelihood of lucid dreams), but it gives you an extra chance to practice.
2. Take more notice of your surroundings.
If you stumble through your waking life in a haze, make it a habit to take more notice of the external world. Many people spend a lot of their day with an internal focus. If you habitually pay attention to the sights, sounds and colors of the world you’ll increase the likelihood of spotting something out of place in your dream world.
3. Listen to music as you sleep.
Music has the ability to trigger just about any emotion you can think of. Play a CD or run your iPod through a set of speakers bedside your bed as you sleep. Find some music that triggers strong memories or emotions and intersperse those tracks with relaxing background music. Create a playlist and let it loop as you sleep through the night.
4. Get a voice-activated tape recorder.
Unless you snore heavily, a voice-activated tape recorder put on your bedside table will be able to record any sounds you make during the night. If you’re talking during your dreams or making any sounds, playing back the tape the next morning will help you recall dreams any you may have otherwise forgotten. Not only will this help you learn how to lucid dream, it might give the definitive answer to whether or not you snore once and for all!
5. Eat spicy foods
Consuming foods with strong flavors or spices has an interesting effect on the body, just as taking some drugs or medications can do. These can trigger unusual or vivid dreams, both of which are a good thing if you’re learning how to lucid dream and trying to remember and control your dreams.
“The Dream” – Pablo Picasso (1932)
6. Use affirmations.
Rather than repeat “I am going to have a lucid dream”, try an affirmation like “I recognize and control my dreams” or “I know how to lucid dream and can control my dreams at will”. Write it on a sticky note and put it somewhere you’ll see it during the day like in your car or on your computer monitor. Repeat it before you go to bed each night.
You dreams represent issues that your subsconcious is processing. You don’t need to understand your dreams to use them for healing. A simple acupressure technique called the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can be used to clear these issues both while lucid dreaming and when awake. Learning the basics of EFT is free and you can also work with an experienced EFT Practitioner if you need some help healing these dream issues.
8. Set your alarm
Wake yourself up during the night. Get out of bed and walk around for ten to thirty minutes before returning to sleep. This is similar to napping. The return to sleep from a recent awake an conscious state leaves what can best be described as “consciousness remnants” in your dream state that makes it easier to lucid dream. This is called WILD, or Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming. The alarm is best set for 3-4 hours into your sleep – the period when REM sleep usually occurs.
9. Do a reality check when you wake up.
Sometimes you’ll awaken within a dream and be still asleep. Great horror movie fodder, to be sure. For lucid dreamers, the fear or concern is that the recognition of a dream may result in the dreamer waking up. It’s possible that “waking up” will be a false awakening when it really represents a loss of control over the dream as the unconscious mind takes over. Get into the habit of doing reality checks every time you wake up, and you can prevent this from happening.
10. Get help!
If you’re struggling to do it alone, spend a few bucks and invest in some professional tools that will help you. Think of it like spending money on a DVD that you can make into any movie you like! Grab the lucid dreaming kit today and you won’t even need to spend extra on popcorn!
Finally, dont give up! Persistence is also an important part of learning how to lucid dream. Not everyone will achieve success with the same tools or in the same time. It’s important to recognize that a dream is usually a conversation with your unconscious mind. To know how to lucid dream is understand how to be in tune with yourself. That means paying more attention to things in your waking life that you normally do not.