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What is Lucid Dreaming, And How Does It Work?

What is lucid dreaming?

A lucid dream is a dream where you are aware of the state. You are able to recognize if you are dreaming or not. A lucid dream does not mean that you are able to control your dreams. This is called dream control. With dream control, you can change the world, have sexual experiences, and face your fears face to face. Is it possible to lucid dream tonight?

In this article, you will learn more about lucid dreaming and how it works.

How do lucid dreams occur?

When you sleep you go through different stages of sleep.

Sleeping Cycle

There are two important stages of sleep for lucid dreaming this is:

  • Non-REM – Non-REM means not in rapid eye movement sleep. This means that your brain is less active, your heartbeat goes down and dreams are harder to remember and lucid dreams occur less but are not impossible.
  • REM – REM sleep is rapid eye movement sleep. This means that your brain is extremely active and your heart rate and eye movement increase. In this state of sleep, you can lucid dream easier and you are able to use wake induced lucid dreaming techniques to become lucid or use the time to set an intention. In this state, dreams are a lot easier to remember and more vivid.

Between 50 and 60 percent of the entire population has experienced multiple lucid dreams before. Most people forget their experiences sadly the morning after because they do not write it down or do anything with it and this is sad. Between 20 and 25 percent of the entire population have experienced lucid dreams each month. This is extremely high if you think about it. There are so many people who never heard of lucid dreaming and they have already experienced them multiple times!

How does lucid dreaming work?

There are many theories about how dreaming works and no one can be sure how it works, but my theory is that dreams are formed to go over the thoughts of your previous day/days and they explain your brain what happened, what you are worried about and what you enjoyed. The difference between a lucid dream and a dream is that you are aware of it. So instead of your dreams going over the thoughts and just wake you up at the end of your sleep to “tell” your dreams to you. They tell you your thoughts and your things directly to you. This can of course change when you are trying to control the dream and that you want to experience something else.

What are the common lucid dreaming methods?

There are two ways of lucid dreaming. The first one is called dream induced lucid dreams (DILD). DILD is where you try to become aware of within a dream. This is possible with certain techniques like reality checks. The other one is called wake induced lucid dreaming (WILD). WILD is a great way to lucid dream if you already have experience with meditation. WILD is when you are trying to become lucid from the waking state. This means you are planning to wake up in the middle of the night and become lucid with a technique.
You can read more about wild by reading my article on how to do wild the right way.

Can everyone lucid dream?

Yes everyone is able to lucid dream. There is Charcot–Wilbrand syndrome that makes it impossible to remember dreams. This syndrome is rare and you probably not have that. Lucid dreaming takes time so prepare to invest nights practicing lucid dreaming. Some people are able to lucid dream in every dream. There are two types of lucid dreamers. The one that is called a regular lucid dreamer. A regular lucid dreamer is someone who did it as a kid and still is able to become lucid sometimes. There is also the one who practice lucid dreaming. People who practice lucid dreaming are often the ones that struggle the most with lucid dreaming in the beginning. They have to learn how to become lucid with methods from sites and often don’t understand what is the meaning of the method or technique.

Some people may not benefit from lucid dreaming. People with certain mental disorders can benefit from lucid dreaming, but some of them don’t. People who have PTSD can have benefits from lucid dreaming because they can see what causes PTSD and try to solve this. For some people with PTSD this can work the exact opposite, so please ask for advice from your psychologist.

How long does it take before I get lucid?

It is possible for you to become lucid the first night of trying. Lucid dreaming is something you have to learn and keep practicing. If you take a break with lucid dreaming you will hit a wall. Breaks can hurt your chance of becoming lucid and it can hurt your motivation and dedication to keep trying. Most people I taught how to lucid dream became lucid within the first 3 weeks. What I learn them is to practice every night with a lot of Wake Back to Bed. People who I haven’t taught became lucid within the first 2 months. People often say the first lucid is the hardest one to reach, but in the end, it is completely in the hands of you. Dedication and motivation do already 50%.

How long is a lucid dream?

In the beginning, lucid dreams can be short. My average lucid dream is 5 minutes. In the beginning, you may struggle to have long lucids, this can be because you are focusing on Dream-induced lucid dreams (DILD) techniques, and they have to form and give you more awareness over time. DILD often happens at the ending of a dream, this means that your lucid dream can just be 20seconds or shorter. If you are practicing Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD) in the beginning you may struggle a lot to get lucid, but when it happens you are probably lucid for over 5 minutes since it is the beginning of a dream. If you want to learn more about the benefits and weaknesses of both methods read my article about DILD vs WILD.

There is also something called time dilation. Time dilation is where you are trying to expand the time you are able to lucid dream. There are stories where people have lucid dreamed for over a year! Some lucid dreaming experts explained to me how they do it and told me they have experienced super long stable lucid dreams.

Does it matter how long I sleep?

With lucid dreaming the amount of sleep and the quality of sleep is important. Better sleep means better REM and better recall. Keep your sleeping schedule stable and the amount of sleep the same. Try to sleep at least for more than 8 hours a night and less than 10 hours a night. There is a great ted talk about sleep by Matt Walker. He will explain why shorter sleep hurts you and makes you easier to get sick and less focused.

Does lucid dreaming benefit you?

Lucid dreaming can benefit you in many ways. You can learn how to improve skills and learn more about yourself. This is of course amazing to hear, but this is not all. You can read more about the benefits of lucid dreaming in my article about the benefits of lucid dreaming.

How does a lucid dream feel?

It is hard for someone to explain how a lucid dream feels to someone who never experienced one. A lucid dream is basically how you describe real life to someone. A lucid dream is a dream where you are aware of it happening. There are multiple layers of lucid dreaming. A lucid dream can just be you being aware and nothing looks different than a normal dream, but when you explain to someone your most advanced lucid dream it goes like this. You are completely aware of your surroundings, everything is colorful and joyful, you can see so clearly that you could see details and colors you normally never see, you can decide what is happening next with dream control and how the dream plays out.

Are there ways to improve the chance of becoming lucid?

Yes, there are some factors that can help you to become lucid easier. These are:

  • No soda before bed. Soda makes it harder to fall asleep, and this can take away from your sleeping time.
  • Be healthy. There has been researched that lucid dreaming is affected by being healthy. People who live more healthy have a bigger chance to become lucid.
  • Supplements. Supplements can help you become lucid easier, but it can also hurt your lucid dreaming practice. Relying on supplements is a bad thing to have. Supplements can also have side effects. The best thing to do is to just focus on practicing lucid dreaming. It may go slow and steady, but in the end, you are happier with those results.
  • Sleeping Masks. Sleeping masks can help you improve the quality of your sleep. A sleeping mask is a great example of a product that benefits you and does not harm you. I made a top 4 list of the best lucid dreaming sleeping masks you can try out. You can find this article here.

You can see that there are multiple ways to improve lucid dreaming outside practicing it. I think personally being healthy does not affect lucid dreaming that much. I personally think the quality of your sleep is the most important part of practicing lucid dreaming.

Where can I learn more about lucid dreaming?

There are multiple ways of learning more about lucid dreaming. For example, you can read books about lucid dreaming or you can join a community to learn from them. I personally own a discord community with over 1500 members called Night Realm. We focus on learning you how to lucid dream the right way and are always open to questions. To join our community you can click here.

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