Tips to Increase Your Chances of Lucid Dreaming
When I’m trying to explain lucid dreams to someone, I always tell them that a lucid dream is a dream that seems too real to be a dream – too good to be true. Everything in a lucid dream is more intense than in regular dreams.
In lucid dreams:
- Feelings are more pronounced
- Details are more vivid
- Blues are bluer, reds are redder, greens are greener, etc
- Everything, absolutely everything, is more intense
Some experts believe that you’ll never fully understand what a lucid dream is until you have one for yourself. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding these dreams – some dreamers aren’t sure if they’re dream was was a lucid dream or not. Some dreams may be borderline but, know this, if you have a lucid dream, you won’t have any doubts about it.
So the question that remains to be answered is this, “How can you make yourself experience lucid dreams?”
If only it were that easy. What we CAN do is set the stage for lucid dreams and create the right environment for lucid dreaming. Below are tips and suggestions that’ll put the odds of experiencing lucid dreams greatly in your favor.
How to Have Lucid Dreams
As I said below, the answer to having lucid dreams lies not in a simple one-and-done solution but rather in a series of steps that will improve your chances for inviting lucid dreaming. It’s all about becoming more in touch with your dreams. Think of it like this: You have to make a big deal of your dreams. The bigger the better!
- Keep a Dream Journal to improve your chances of having lucid dreams. I probably give this advice more than any other when it comes to dream interpretation and lucid dreaming. While keeping a journal requires a little more work on your part, it is so worth it in the long run. A dream journal helps you understand your dreaming patterns, can help you sort through emotions, sets the stage for lucid dreaming, and… let’s face it.. can provide fascinating reading material as the days, weeks, and months go by! Keep in mind, a dream journal will probably not be something your write in every single morning. Some dreams simply don’t stand out. You” write in your journal when either “pieces” of a dream stand out to you or dream symbols register with you. Some mornings, your dream journal may be as simple as one sentence. Example: “In my dream last night, Rosie was crying and I didn’t know why.” Keeping a dream journal will program you to pay more attention to your dreams, help you retain information, and (as I said above) make a big deal out of dreaming.
- Set the stage for lucid dreaming right before you fall asleep. Each night (or anytime you’re lying down to sleep), think of dreaming as you drift off. Ask yourself, “I wonder what I’ll dream about tonight…” Some people even like to “invite” dreams by telling themselves, “I will dream of a hot air balloon tonight!” or “I will see my brother in my dream tonight…” Some use code words and fixate on these words right before falling asleep. Basically these words are the dream symbols they wish to dream about. Again, it’s all about making a big “to do” about dreams and dreaming. The thought, here, is to think about dreams before you go to sleep and to think about dreams first thing upon waking.
- Use dream registers. Another trick for becoming more in touch with your dreams – and a way to connect your waking waking world with your dream world is to use “registers.” What are dream registers? These are something I, myself, coined the phrase for. The thought of having “registers” that connected the waking world with the dream world has always fascinated me. Whenever something we are passionate about in our everyday life shows up in our dreams and “registers” with us, it is a fascinating connection. For example, if you are passionate about baseball (one of my own greatest passions!) and have a dream where you are excited about a baseball game, it feels “right.” It’s as though the two worlds connected by your love for the sport. You can create your own “dream registers” and they can be colors, numbers, specific animals, or any inanimate object. Basically, here’s what you do: In your waking life (“the real world”), begin “registering” each time you see a particular thing. If you choose the color purple, for example, begin making a point of thinking, “There is purple!” each time you see the color. If you choose squirrels, each time you see one, think (or even say), “Squirrel!” (I’m having “Up” flashbacks now…) Whatever register you choose, stick with it! Also, it’s best not to choose more than one – although the temptation is great, choose one reigster. Person, place, thing, color.. your choice – just make it one. What you’re looking for is this, you want to “register” it such a regular basis that you begin “registering” it in your dream. When this happens, you have made a very vital connection between the two worlds and are WELL on your way to lucid dreaming.
- Positive Re-Enforcement. Many people swear by telling themselves such things as, “I will remember what I dream tonight.” and “I will have a lucid dream tonight.” I’ll be totally honest, I’ve never had success with this, but enough people have for me to list it here.
- Get into… way into.. dream interpretation and analysis. Well, you’re certainly in the right place! Use our dream dictionary to help solve the mystery of your dreams. You’ll also find our dream color guide and meaning of dream numbers page useful. You can also find countless dream symbols and dream interpretations on the dream blog, itself.
- Create the Scene, Ambiance, and Atmosphere that’ll invite lucid dreaming. To experience deeper sleep and, as a result, improve your chances of having lucid dreams, you need to make sure your bedroom is as comfortable, relaxing, and sleep-inducing as possible. Using your bedroom primarily for sleeping will help a great deal. Also, try to keep clutter to a minimum and comfort to a maximum. Lavender-scented room sprays (and even linen sprays) also help a great deal. You may also want to check out this wonderful Lucid Dream Herbal Bath and Candle Set. Remember, though, never go to sleep with candles burning. Blow them out before you lay down – the aroma will remain in the room long enough to help you fall asleep.
- A lot has to do with timing. Our most vivid dreams (which certainly include lucid dreams) occur during REM sleep (the deep sleep characterized by Rapid Eye Movement). A dreamer’s first REM phase usually happens about an hour and a half (or 90 minutes) after first falling asleep. Additional REM phases typically occur every 90 minutes afterward. Many experts suggest programming yourself to awaken during REM sleep, when you are most likely to vividly remember your dream, THEN try to fall immediately back to sleep and “jump” back into your dream. Did you know that you can encourage your body to have more REM sleep simply by keeping a regular sleeping schedule?
- Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. Using the right aromatherapy with the right essential oils can help you accomplish the tip above… deeper REM sleep!
- Arm yourself with knowledge. Build a library of books about lucid dreaming (some great books are shown below) and do diligent research on the subject. The more you understand lucid dreams, the more apt you’ll be to experience them for yourself.
- One more time, the bigger deal you make of your dreams.. the more you talk about them, research them, and thoroughly enjoy them… the more apt you will be to experience lucid dreams.