Now that we have learned the basics of lucid dreaming in our beginner's guide we will have a closer look at the different methods that are floating around the internet. The following are meant to provide a brief overview into these methods and what to expect.
Before you start using these techniques you should already be able to remember your dreams on a regular basis as it will increase the chances of succeeding tremendously. If you still have trouble remembering your dreams consider keeping a pad and pen on your nightstand so that you can quickly write them down at night instead of waiting until you wake up.
These methods have two guidelines that you should keep in mind:
- Relax: Make sure you take some time before you go to bed to clear your mind from the days problems, calm down and relax. This will make it easier to fall asleep and perform any of these methods.
- Consistency: If one of the methods doesn't work for you after a week or two, don't change it! It takes time for your mind to adjust to them and they definitely take some practice. Just be assured that you will see results, if you stick to your method of choice.
Dream Induced Lucid Dream (DILD)
As you might guess from the name, in this type of lucid dream you suddenly realize that everything around you isn't real. To be able to achieve this you have to train your mind to constantly question your state, even while you are awake. You have to increase your general awareness by constantly asking yourself questions like "Am I dreaming?".
Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to details that might not be like they are supposed to be in the real world. Perform reality checks throughout the day (i.e. checking your watch since time shown in dreams is usually inaccurate and warped) and REALLY question your state. Don't assume that you are awake, allow for the possibility of being in a dream. This process has 2 benefits:
- You will gradually become more and more aware of the world around you, which will also help you in other areas of your life. DreamViews has a very good tutorial on All Day Awareness that you may want to review.
- Your subconscious mind will carry this awareness into your dreams, which will make it a lot easier for you to become lucid.
Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dream (MILD)
MILD is a variation of a DILD. It is a simple yet effective technique suitable for beginners. When you go to bed, try to remember one of your dreams maybe one you have written down in your dream journal. Imagine yourself being back in that environment in as much detail as you can but this time additionally imagine yourself becoming lucid.
Try to think of something that you will do in that dream world once you become lucid. If you wake up during the night perform reality checks and then go back to the MILD but this time use your most recent dream to get back into it and have a chance at becoming lucid.
On addition to that you can use autosuggestion to increase your chances of becoming lucid. Repeat something like "I will have a lucid dream tonight" to yourself. If combined with the visualization part mentioned before you're well on your way to lucidity.
Wake Induced Lucid Dream (WILD)
When using WILD you try to fall asleep while keeping your mind awake. This allows you to go from an awake state directly into the lucid dream. You relax your body to trick it into falling asleep while you stay aware of what's happening and experience the dream formation and its stages. Between these waking and dreaming state exists a third one: The hypnagogic state. It is a small area between waking and sleeping, when your dreamworld is created in your mind.
WILDs should be attempted after you had some sleep already. While not being impossible at the time you go to bed it will be more difficult to achieve. After you have slept for a few hours and woken up it is easier to transition back into the dream state. Use the Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) technique to help with this process.
Even though many people argue that it depends on the person trying it I would consider WILD as a more advanced technique that should be attempted after you have had a few lucid dreams. Dreamviews has very good tutorials on WILD and other techniques that goes a bit more in-depth. In particular the Naiyas tutorial is highly detailed.
Dream Exit Induced Lucid Dream (DEILD)
As the name suggests, a DEILD is a lucid dream that is initiated after you woke up from another dream and is basically a shortened WILD. But this also means there is a possibility to have multiple lucid dreams in a single night. This technique takes advantage of the fact that your brain is still in dream mode for a few moments after you wake up. An alarm that shuts itself off after a few seconds is ideal for this.
When you briefly wake up after a dream do not open your eyes and remember to stay still. Moving your body reduces the chances of a DEILD to succeed. At this point the rules of a WILD apply. By staying still your body is relaxed and ready for you to go back into a dream however your mind needs to be in that hypnagogic state. The dream will form around you and you will be lucid right from the start.
Finger Induced Lucid Dream (FILD)
FILD is one of the "weirder" techniques. For this method to work you should be very tired and very close to falling asleep. The technique is very easy to perform and to prepare imagine this: You are playing the piano with your index and middle finger. Press your right finger down, while leaving the left up. Now press your left finger down and lift the right one up. Repeat that motion several times until you get a feeling for it. For the next step, imagine you're playing the piano again, but this time you only press the keys lightly so they won't go down. You should feel your muscles contract, but your fingers should barely move at all. Got that down? Awesome!
When you wake up during the night the first thing you think of should be the FILD method. Relax and try to go back to sleep. When you get close to falling asleep, start moving your fingers as described above and concentrate on their movement. After a little while (10 - 30 seconds) use your other hand to perform a nose reality check (plug your nose and try to breathe). If you can breathe congratulations you're in a dream. If not go to sleep normally and try again at another time.
No matter which technique you try, eventually you will succeed if you follow the methods above. The realm of lucid dreaming is a very interesting place and shows you what the mind is capable of. Once you achieve lucidity you will find that it is well worth all the work that you had to put in.