The Ultimate Lucid Dreaming Strategy – how to have a lucid dream TONIGHT8 min read
Lucid dreaming is extremely difficult. Many people go weeks, months, or even years without having one even though they practice the essential strategies every day.
I’ve found the ultimate method, the ultimate strategy, to have a lucid dream tonight.
At one point, I used this strategy to have around four lucid dreams a week.
In this post, I’ll give the ultimate lucid dreaming strategy. How to have a lucid dream tonight.
Know the Basics
Dreams occur during rapid eye movement sleep (REM) periods. So, to have more lucid dreams, you need to maximize your amount of time in REM sleep (within reason).
The duration of REM sleep increases as the night goes on. So, while at the beginning of the night, you may only have 10 minutes of REM sleep, at the end of the night you could have up to 60 minutes of REM sleep.
The graph above is really important, notice the increasing REM cycles (in red) and also the timing of those cycles. To enter a lucid dream, when we implement the technique described below, we want to make sure we target one of these later REM cycles. The technique will involve waking up during one of those REM cycles and then falling back asleep.
Increased Chances of a Lucid Dream
Of course, this method is all about having a lucid dream tonight, but certain things can increase your chances. If you have already been in the world of lucid dreaming, make sure you are recording your dreams.
Improving dream recall will improve your chances of having a lucid dream. When you have a vivid dream, it is not because the dream is more vivid, it is because the dream is more vivid to you. Your memory of the dream is much better than it normally is, make the dream more vivid because you can actually remember all the colors, smells, sounds, etc.
Also, reality checks will improve your chances of having a lucid dream tonight. Thankfully, you can integrate those today with an impact on your chances of having al lucid dream tonight. I would:
- Set a silent alarm every hour that reminds you to do a reality check.
- When you do a reality check, pinch your nose and try and breathe through it
- Tell yourself (in real life), “ok, I am dreaming! This is amazing! Now I want to go…”
- Repeat this reality check every hour and every time you drink water
The Ultimate Method
Ok, let’s get into it, essentially, the method is using the wake back to bed method (WBTB) and wake induced lucid dreaming method (WILD) and the stair climbing technique to induce a lucid dream.
1. Set Your Alarm for 4 hours and 30 minutes after you fall asleep
Remember the chart from above? We want to wake up right as we enter that amazingly long REM cycle.
This is going to really suck, but trust me, just wake up!
While falling asleep tell yourself, “I will have a LD tonight!” Visualize the lucid dream! What is going to happen? For this technique, I want you to visualize that you will have a lucid dream later where you are walking up a long set of stairs. At the end of the stairs there is a door, the door will open into your lucid dream and then you perform whatever dream activity you want.
2. Wake up for 5-60 minutes
When you hear the alarm, wake up! Next, stay awake for 5-60 minutes. I know this range is very wide but it depends on you. The goal of this wake up is to wake up our prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain responsible for rational thinking, so when we go into dreamland we are more likely to think, “wait a second, this doesn’t make sense. This is a dream!”
Well, what should you do? I like to go sit on the couch, outside my bedroom, and read my lucid dreaming book. I feel like I get the double whammy of waking up a little bit and refreshing my focus on lucid dreaming. Definitely do not use your phone or look at a screen or experience a very bright light as this could mess up your sleep.
If you stay awake too long, however, you may not be able to fall asleep. If you stay awake too little, you may not wake your brain enough and fall back into a dreamless sleep.
3. Fall asleep with your mind awake
The next step is to fall asleep with your mind awake. Importantly, you need to relax everything. Lay in your bed and focus on each muscle in your body from your toes to your head. Paying attention to relaxing those muscles and breathing in and out through your nose as you fall asleep. If you are a practiced meditator this part should be easier.
This part can take up to 30 minutes, be patient, relax, and try and focus on your body and breath as opposed to falling asleep.
When you are more relaxed and starting to fall asleep, go pack to picturing yourself walking up a set of stairs. Keep focusing on that image in your head, you are walking up a set of stairs…
Slowly a couple things could start to happen which are mainly hypnagogia (or hallucinations as you fall asleep and natural reflexes as your body paralyzes itself so it doesn’t act out it’s dreams). You should be aware of these but, importantly, realize you can’t be hurt. Nothing is going to hurt you. You must not move while this is happening as you will wake up and all the relaxing effort will be for nothing. This is normal as your body falls asleep, you could experience
- Random patterns of light and dark over your eyelids.
- A feeling of falling.
- Tremor in the legs or arms.
- Heart racing or pressure in the chest.
- Feeling of body buzzing
- Loud bangs or strange noises
- Full body paralysis (this is good it means you are close)
When all the above is happening, don’t get excited, and don’t move. Just remember your training. You are still walking up those stairs.
4. Climb steps into the Lucid Dream (when the dream is ready)
If you’ve completed the above successfully, you will eventually be walking up a set of stairs. The stairs may seem to go on forever. Do not interact with the dream yet, let the dream progress and take you up the stairs. It may seem very fast or very slow, just relax and remember your focus. You will be having a lucid dream very soon.
Eventually, you will reach the door at the top of the stairs. You can try and imagine what will be beyond the door or just have fun with the surprise of whatever is behind it. Always pay attention and stay focused and don’t get to excited. This is a lucid dream.
When you reach the door, open and go through it. Usually, as soon as you go through the door it’s a mind-blowing experience (or at least it was for me). You will realize you are aware during a dream. You will be in awe of how cool this whole thing is.
5. Do a reality check
When you get through the door, usually, you will be completely aware so a reality check may not even be necessary.
Out of practice, I like to count my fingers and do the breathing through a pinched nose reality check. I would do a reality check just to confirm in your mind this is a lucid dream.
Then, I usually say out loud, “this is a dream, clarity now!” And things become a little more in focus. Then I focus on staying calm.
6. Do something fun!
If this is your first lucid dream, try to stay calm and just explore the world. Interact with the trees or cars or animals around you. Everything is so real right? Isn’t it cool?
7. Wake up and record the dream!
Now, likely, you won’t be in a 30-40 minute dream, it will likely be 1-5 minutes if you are a beginner. If you just go through the entire dream you will likely lose lucidity and fall back into normal sleep.
We want to remember the amazing thing we just did! So, when you notice the dream coming to an end or you feel you’ve reached a good endpoint, wake yourself up! Then, as soon as you wake up, immediately record everything you remember about this dream.
This will accomplish a couple things, the first thing is that you will actually remember the amazing lucid dream you just had. The second thing, is that you will notice what went wrong and what went right so you can plan for future, longer, bigger, greater lucid dreams.
Some final tips for this strategy
- The hardest part is figuring out the perfect amount of time to wake up after that early morning alarm. You need to be awake enough that your prefrontal cortex is more awake than normal, but sleepy enough that you can still fall back asleep
- The second hardest part is not being afraid and waking yourself up as you go into sleep paralysis. Remember, nothing can hurt you, everything that is happening is completely normal.
- Try to keep calm in the dream, don’t get too excited
- Meditation is a huge help while falling asleep, an easy thing to do is focusing on breathing. If you have trouble with this, try meditating during the day as well.
- Remember your goal, why are you lucid dreaming? It’s an amazingly cool thing! Think of a couple really cool things you want to accomplish while dreaming and it will help motivate you to stay focused.
That’s it, thanks for reading, and welcome to the world of lucid dreaming!