Learning lucid dreaming: the fascinating skill for lucid dreams at night
Time to read 9 min
Time to read 9 min
Have you ever been startled in the night because you experienced a very unpleasant situation in a dream? Or maybe a dream was so wonderful that you would’ve liked to dream it over and over again? What would you say if that was possible? Lucid dreaming describes the ability to control your dreams. We would like to show you how this works in this beginner's guide.
The fact that we dream during the night is completely normal. The sleep phase has an influence on how intensively we perceive our dreams. Especially in the REM phase, we dream very intensively, and this phase is also very special in lucid dreaming. The chance that you will experience a lucid dream is especially high in the REM phase. The good news is that you reach this sleep phase several times a night. But can you learn to have a lucid dream? What exactly happens in the process?
Lucid dreams are characterized by the fact that you are really aware of the dream world. You know that you are asleep and dreaming and can actively influence the dream events. Lucid stands for "clear consciousness", therefore it’s called lucid dreaming.
There is a clear answer to the question: "What are lucid dreams?". But can the fascinating lucid dreaming be learned? Are we humans able to control lucid dreaming and relive the desired dream over and over again? It really works - and we'll show you how!
It is clear that lucid dreaming fascinates psychology, science and, of course, people themselves. After all, lucid dreams feel so real that they can seem like a real experience. And at the same time, people want to know how lucid dreaming is possible in the first place. What mechanism in the brain is responsible for the fact that we can learn lucid dreaming and thus influence our lives even in our sleep?
From a psychological point of view, the lucid dream represents a state of expanded consciousness. The so-called prefrontal cortex of the brain remains active during the sleep phase; even if you have just reached the REM phase. Lucid dreamers use this consciousness to influence their dream world.
We all know the phenomenon that we process things of the day in dreams. Through a lucid dream, you can influence where your subconscious leads you. This in turn can have a positive influence on your life. Learning to lucid dream gives you the opportunity to deal with traumatic events, memories and fears yourself in a safe setting.
This is one of the reasons why learning lucid dreaming is also very interesting from a psychological point of view. In psychology, the phenomenon is used to overcome fears, strengthen self-confidence or even reduce psychosomatic complaints.
In order to learn lucid dreaming, you first need some basic knowledge on the subject. Lucid dreams only happen extremely rarely to untrained people. To be able to learn lucid dreaming, there are various methods and techniques that we would like to introduce to you in more detail below.
The abbreviation WBTB stands for "Waking Back to Bed" and means nothing else than you letting your alarm clock wake you up again about four hours after going to bed. Now comes the biggest challenge, because you should stay awake for about half an hour.
During this time, you are suggesting to your brain that you will experience a lucid dream right after you fall asleep. By keeping this fact in mind, you can learn lucid dreaming. You teach your brain to keep the areas responsible for lucid dreaming awake and aware.
The abbreviation MILD means "Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams". Through this method, you repeatedly suggest your intention to learn lucid dreaming to your brain. To do this, you create a mantra that you constantly confront yourself with during the day. This could be, for example: “I will learn lucid dreaming and be aware of my dream inside the dream”.
The so-called reality check can be used to distinguish lucid dreams from waking. When you are awake, you feel a pinch in your arm or are unable to hold your breath for two minutes. In dreams, this is quite possible, because there are no limits here.
By checking reality over and over again, this process will become routine for you. You will also do reality checks in your lucid dreams and recognize when you are in the dream. If you want to learn lucid dreaming, these checks are important.
Lucid dreaming sometimes feels so real that it becomes difficult to distinguish lucid dreams from reality. However, there are some clear symptoms that you are dreaming, and your consciousness has remained active:
So, if you ask yourself whether you are awake right now, test the trick with your nose. Hold it closed and try to breathe. During lucid dreams, you can continue breathing, because you hold your nose only in the dream. In reality, you won't be able to breathe after a few seconds at the latest.
Looking at a book page or a piece of paper can also help you. In lucid dreams you may not be able to recognize the content or the text may change permanently. In reality, you will see what is written on the note.
But why do you need these checks? When lucid dreaming, can you no longer distinguish between reality? In some cases not, which is why lucid dreams have such a fascinating effect on us humans. The dream world is very interesting on its own, because our subconscious spins stories that our brain plays as a kind of video film in front of our inner eye. If we now get the opportunity to actively influence this film, the dream feels even more realistic. In dreams, you can experience all that where there are limits in real life.
And it is precisely because of the realistic feeling that it is so important to recognize the symptoms of lucid dreams. So if you want to learn lucid dreaming, you also need to develop reality checks for yourself that will help you distinguish dream from reality.
The good news is that everyone can learn lucid dreaming. It is an ability that lies dormant in each of us. However, you should take your time in doing so. People often wonder if learning lucid dreaming is possible in one night. You can be lucky and experience lucid dreams without prior training. But the probability is low. Our tips and tricks can help you to move in the fascinating world of lucid dreams.
You know it: Actually you had a wonderful dream, but the longer you are awake, the more it fades from your consciousness. Put a diary next to your bed, in which you write down all your dreams and sensations of the past night. It is very important that you make the entries immediately after waking up. It is possible that they will disappear after an hour. In this way, you train your memory bit by bit to sharpen your awareness of dreams and to learn lucid dreaming.
We have already mentioned it above and would like to repeat it. The fastest and best way to learn lucid dreaming is to program your brain for it. By repeating phrases and mantras over and over again, your subconscious will reliably store them. You do not need complex texts, even a few words are enough. "I will learn lucid dreaming and remember all my dreams".
In principle, it is true that a good night's sleep contributes to better dreams. Now however, many people have always suffered from sleep disorders, waking up several times a night due to the urge to urinate or not being able to fall asleep at all. It is conceivable that sleep is improved and strengthened by substances such as melatonin. It is important to have sufficient melatonin levels for good sleep
You can also help your body produce melatonin without supplements. For example, do not expose yourself to the bright light of your smartphone before going to sleep. It blocks the production of the sleep hormone and can ensure that you don't even slip into the REM phase!
The influence of psychedelic substances alters consciousness and perception. Some people with regular lucid dreams describe the sensation similarly. They are led into an alien world over which they retain control. Instead of being controlled by the subconscious mind, their own conscious mind takes control of the dream. This makes true "trips" possible, because the brain is not limited in its imagination.
In fact, a lucid dream also has quite distinct effects that can have a positive impact on your day. You can, of course, use your abilities and save the city like Batman in a dream. But you can also prepare yourself for difficult situations in the future and thus consciously control them. For example, are you facing a big conference and are unsure how to bring your topic to the table? By acting out this situation in a lucid dream, you train yourself and your brain.
The sensations in the lucid dream are very variable, because it depends on the type of dream. You have the possibility to face your fears, to face them, to live through difficult situations or to enjoy joy.
Learning to lucid dream isn't the only challenge you can use to literally turn your dream world upside down. Once you feel you're in a lucid dream, there's a danger of waking up jerky. The excitement of finally getting it right contributes to this. Now it's important to maintain your dream to keep it going. This technique is what oneironauts (lucid dreamers) call "stabilizing." Once you realize you are in a conscious dream phase, get your body moving.
You can rub your hands together, stretch and bend your leg repeatedly, or even snap your fingers. Lucid dreamers assume that these movements help to consolidate and prolong your dream.
By entering the world of lucid dreaming, you are virtually Superman or Superwoman. Worlds are open to you that you can never reach in real life. You decide what happens next. Do you want to experience an incredible romance with a star? Have you always wanted to be a celebrated rock star on stage, or are you in the mood for a new career? Lucid dreaming means that you can reach any dimension, just through your imagination.
But besides the fun component, lucid dreaming is strongly perceived as a spiritual and unique experience. Many dreamers feel completely changed after a lucid dream and perceive their lives in a whole new way. There is even the possibility of discovering hidden talents and facets of your personality. The comparison with a psychedelic trip is not as far-fetched as you might think at first.
Taking LSD and other substances expands people's consciousness. They perceive colors, smells, sounds and events differently. You will also encounter all these possibilities in lucid dreams. So it's not just about controlling your dreams like a Netflix series and entertaining yourself while you sleep. You gain access to your deepest subconscious through lucid dreaming and can actively influence your soul life.
There is more than one good reason why you should learn lucid dreaming. Many people are afraid of being consciously trapped in the dream world. But since you are in control, you can of course consciously abort the dream. And a dream always ends - we all know that ourselves if we have ever had a nightmare.