Lucid Dreaming Techniques
1. MILD (Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dream)
This DILD technique for lucid dreaming was created by Dr. Stephen LaBerge and centres around two basic premises of the human mind. The first being that experiencing is believing and the second being memory of intention. Dr. LaBerge created what are termed as Reality Checks for this technique and through their correct use is very successful in teaching people how to have lucid dreaming experiences. A reality check is a deliberate action to check for waking reality at set intervals. He recommends doing a check every hour due to a beeping watch, or every time you walk through a doorway. What this does is set up a repetitive intent that will carry forward into the dream world with you. In this manner if you walk through a doorway in your dream or hear the beep of your watch, which will carry forward as a stimulus from the outside world to the dream world, it will likely induce you to do a reality check. The MILD reality checks are things like trying to put a finger through the palm of your hand, turning off a lightswitch, putting your hand through a wall, or flying. When you attempt a reality check during waking life you will fail; however during a dream it is most likely that a reality check will succeed in which case you’re suddenly very aware of something being different which in turn slips you into a lucid state. Along with reality checks the technique encourages the use of waking intents such as, “I will realize the next time I am dreaming” or “I will dream of driving a new car.” Creating intents to focus the mind during a dreaming session will allow you to more easily make use of your lucid state once you’re consciously aware of your dream via reality checks.
2. WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dream)
Sometimes referred to as Lucid Dreaming on Demand this technique is extremely similar to the Tibetan Monk technique known as Altered States. This technique is the only one that consciously brings the lucid dreaming state into being from a beginning state of full wakefulness. Quiet meditation or a tuning out of the world is initiated to relax the body and mind and guide it to the dream state. This technique is one of the most difficult because it requires you to fall asleep consciously without actually relaxing enough to fall asleep in the normal method. It can also bring about the most anxiety as you are consciously aware during the entire sleep cycle, which includes the sudden inability to move that occurs with REM sleep. It is with this technique that the most reports of similarity to OBE, and astral projection occur most likely due to the conscious awareness of every stage of the technique including the important mentally shared beginning phase. WILD is not recommended for the beginner.
3. CAT (Cycle Adjustment Technique)
Attributed to lucid dream enthusiast Daniel Love this technique involves changing your daily sleep patterns in order to induce a lucid dream state. By alternating your wake cycle 90 minutes early on alternate days where you actually get up and start your day early you train your mind to become conscious 90 minutes sooner than usual. Since the average sleep cycle is 90 minutes in length this means that on the alternate days when you’re staying in bed longer your conscious
mind will awaken 90 minutes early, but your body will still be in sleep mode and very likely close to your final REM stage. With this method you can expect to have up to four lucid dreaming sessions a week that you will remember without effort. The reported success rate with this single technique is 80%, which is respectable when compared with other techniques.
4. WBTB (Wake Back to Bed)
With this method of lucid dreaming you’re expected to sleep normally for about six hours and then wake up, get out of bed, and fully wake up over a 30 to 60 minute period. After the waking up session is completed you then return to bed and relax in an attempt to fall back to sleep. The goal of this technique is to fully awaken your conscious mind and then force your body to go into its last usual sleep cycle, which would happen in the 90 minutes after the six hour mark during the average eight hour night. Of all the techniques this one has the highest success rate in inducing lucid dreams and is by far the easiest and recommended.
Quieting the mind into creating lucid dreaming via meditation is an aspect of the WILD technique we already outlined.
Whether it is self-hypnosis or not the dream state may be initiated and through intention of thought lucid states may be reached. While this is neither the most common, nor technically an oft sought after way of creating lucid dreams it is a plausible means to do so.