I learned a new word the other day.
It means “dream sailor.”
Ooh, just let that one sink in for a moment.
I have long been fascinated with dreaming, especially lucid dreaming. If you don’t already know, lucid dreaming is where the dreamer is aware that she is dreaming and can influence the content of the dream.
When I was in middle school, a friend of mine had a lucid dreaming kit that she gave me which included a book, a cassette tape, some sweet smelling oils for your pillowcase, and a visualization card with a picture of an ornate doorway, which was talked about on the cassette tape (which was a guided lucid dreaming induction).
I listened to that tape almost every night as I fell asleep. And I had lucid dreams! Not every night, but maybe 2-3 times a month. Since then I’ve had them on and off throughout the years, and at times tried a little harder to have them regularly.
One of my 30 before 30 goals is to better control my lucid dreaming. I’ve worked on this over the past few months, primarily by reading one of my lucid dreaming books that I bought awhile ago but hadn’t read yet.
Today I thought I would share 5 Lucid Dreaming Tips- things that have worked for me and may help you to have your first lucid dream (if you haven’t already)!
Tip #1: Think about dreams
Sounds simple, but it’s actually really effective. If you think about something a lot while you are awake, it tends to creep into your subconscious, and therefore your dreams. So immerse yourself. Read books and articles on the subject. Think about the dreams you had when you wake up in the morning, and think about the dreams you might have as you are falling asleep at night. Think about what you will do when you notice that you are dreaming and are able to take control.
Tip #2: Ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?”
Throughout the day, look around at your surroundings and ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?” Take at least a second to make sure that you are actually awake and that your world is real. Not sure? Find something with words on it. Text almost never reads the same way twice in a dream (and usually it’s very hard to read to begin with). If you regularly ask yourself this while awake, you will begin to ask yourself in your dreams, and one night you will realize that you are, in fact, dreaming.
Tip #3: Record your dreams
I’m bad at this one, but write down your dreams in a journal. It is the #1 way to start having and remembering more dreams! The more you write and record, the more dreams you’ll remember when you wake up. Record them right away, as dreams fade extremely quickly. I usually just write down an outline with key words, and I always remember more of the dream as I start writing. Don’t try to make sense of it, just write down what you remember.
Tip #4: Notice your dream cues
Do you have recurring places, characters, or themes in your dreams? Recognize what they are, and then the next time they pop up, you may realize you are dreaming. For example, I have recurring dreams where I need to use the bathroom but the only available ones are very public or very dirty. I also have regular dreams where I’m back in school and haven’t been attending a class, or I can’t remember what my schedule is. I can use those recurring themes to help me recognize that I’m in a dream.
Tip #5: Spin or look at your hands
Lucid dreams are not only rare; they are also extremely fleeting. Once you realize you are dreaming, it is very common to wake up. If you are able to stay asleep, yet conscious, and control your dream, it can be very hard to stay lucid and in control. If you are having a lucid dream and feel it start to slip, one technique is to spin your dream body in circles. This should bring the dream back stronger. I’ve done this before and the scenery changed with each spin, but I was able to stay asleep and conscious. Another technique is to look at your dream hands. Focusing on them should help you stay in the dream.
This may seem a little new agey and out there, which is funny because I’m so not like that, but I find dreams, and especially lucid dreaming, fascinating. There are no limitations when you have control over your dreams. You can fly, visit your childhood home, speak with dead relatives, meet celebrities, practice sports techniques, tell someone what you really think of them…the possibilities are endless!
What do you dream about? Have you ever had a lucid dream? If you give any or all of my tips a try, I’d love to hear about it!