Ask the lucid dreamer

With all these recent “ask the _______” threads and all the recent dreaming threads, the combination of the two provided a perfect seque into one of my areas of expertise: lucid dreaming.

I’ve done it many times, I know lots of techniques for achieving lucidity and maintaining lucidity. I know lots of fun stuff that can be done in the hypnogogic and hypnopompic stages of sleep. I have some great ways to increase your dream memories.

So ask away!

Is there a simple way to induce lucid dreaming?

Do lots of your dreams end up with everyone naked?

I’ve been having trouble remembering my dreams. I’m not sure when this started but I know I used to remember my dreams and I know I am having dreams. I wake up slowly and during that period if I don’t concentrate I lose the dream. Of course since I’m barely awake it is hard to concentrate. What is really frustrating is how while I’m dreaming I know that I’m in some sort of continuing story but I DON’T REMEMBER!

So how can I remember my dreams better?

When you say ‘lucid dreaming’, do I gather correctly that you mean being aware that you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming?

What sort of control can you exercise over the direction your dreams take? (Feel free to answer bup’s question as part of this! :p)

I’ve read up tons on lucid dreaming, and tried a number of simple techniques, butr none have seemed to work. Can you recommend something pretty easy that has a high effectivity likelihood? :slight_smile:

I’ve managed to dream lucidly probably a few dozen times over my lifetime, but in almost every case I simply end up flying around in grayish clouds. I can feel that roller-coaster feeling in my stomach if I go up or down quickly, but usually when I become fully aware of the fact that I’m doing it, and start to think about changing the “scene”, I get too excited and wake up. How have you gotten past the problem of waking up from sheer excitement? … I wake up excited and NONE of my lucid dreams have ever even entertained the possibility of anything sexual. Ha Ha.

Mine have! Several times I became aware I was dreaming, and upon seeing an attractive woman, said, “hey, lets have sex!” and she’d always say “okay!” and my dream would then shift to me having sex with said girl in the middle of whatever else was going on (busy subway station, board meeting, playground at a kindergarten)

…Nothing more bizarre than having a dream about having sex with an attractive kindergarten teacher…at the kindergarten!

Winston Smith:

In short, no. But I will expand.


Sadly, no.


First off, when you realize you are awake, are your eyes open or closed? (Ie, do you open your eyes upon waking). You want to make sure you do not open your eyes when you awaken. As soon as you let sensory input into your mind, it “flushes out” your dream memory. What you want to then do is lie there and sort of let yourself fall back asleep so as to “re-enter” the dream. If you can recall your dreams simply by concentration, do so…keep repeating over and over what happened AS you open your eyes. Also, MAKE SURE YOU AWAKEN NATURALLY!! If suddenly jolted awake by an alarm, all bets are off :slight_smile:

Actually, having said all that, there is a more important way of ensuring dream memory: A “true desire” to remember them. You must convince yourself that your dreams are important and as such it is important that you remember them. This is a simple form of self-hpynosis. The more effort you put into remembering your dreams, the more seriously you take it, the more you will convince your mind that remembering your dreams are important. WRITE YOUR DREAMS DOWN. This single step will give overnight results.


Yes, that is precisely what lucid dreaming is. The level of control available in the dream depends on your level of lucidity. In low-level lucidity, your conscious awarness of the dream state is very cloudy and as such control is minimal. If you achieve high-level lucidity, your conscious awarness of the dream state is equal to that of being awake and as such your ability to control the dream is limited only by your imagination (and skill level).

Ruiniform: I will explain techniques shortly (in another post).


There’s a very distinct line between high-level and low-level lucidity. In low-level lucidity, it will not seem overly impressive that you are in a lucid dream - this makes sense as your thinking ability is very cloudy. In high-level lucidity, the impact of knowing that your lucid will produce a euphoric feeling as you realize the “sheer awesomness” of the situation. Yes, it is very easy in this case to become highly excited and wake up.

However, there are several techniques that are available and they are very effective (again, with practice though). I’ll discuss them in order of application. If you begin to notice the sensation of lucidity dropping, literally yell “I AM IN A DREAM AND I AM AWARE OF THAT FACT!” This is pretty self-explanatory. Generally what you’ll notice are the visuals disappearing. Colours turn black and white, fade out, whatever. When you see this happening spin around and around. Nobody knows exactly how this works, but the sensation of movement somehow “distracts” you from waking up. This is actually the most effective technique. Finally, try as best you can to maintain some sensory input in the dream. For example, if all visuals are gone, focus your attention to any sounds in the dream. If there are no sounds, see if you can maintain tactile contact with anything in the dream (ie, feel around with your hands). These two methods are interchangeable.

Anyway, hope this all helps!

(PS. THe single most important thing to keep in mind when experimenting with lucid dreaming (and any techniques) is having a genuine interest and devotion to accomplishing the goal at hand).

I picked up an interest in lucid dreaming after watching Waking Life. The Lucidity Institute’s FAQ led me to a couple books by Stephen LaBerge, Lucid Dreaming and Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, which I’ve been unable to find so far. Have you read either, and if so, do you recommend them?

I’ve seen a lot of emphasis on the importance of dream recall, and techniques for improving it (mostly writing them down). With practice, how much can it be improved?

Do you have any experience with the effects of drugs/alcohol on lucidity, the content of dreams, or the ability to recall them?

I became a lucid dreamer as a child, as the results of some very bad nightmares. I learned to control and direct my dreams out of self-preservation. It seems weird to me that not everyone can do it. Did you consciously set out to become a lucid dreamer?


StGermain: You probably weren’t experiencing high-level lucidity. There is a huge difference between lovel-level and high-level lucidity. Most people do in fact experience low-level lucidity from time to time.

Mr2001: Yes, I have read both books and I recommend them highly - although they aren’t really necessary. You can find most of the techniques they describe on the internet. Although its nice to the the “original sources” I suppose - LaBerge has done a great deal to advance lucid dreaming techniques.

<B>Trigonal Planar</b> - Actually, I’d say I have a fair amount of lucidity. I am not only aware I’m dreaming, I can “direct” the dreams. And I can continue dreams after haveing been awakened.



I frequently (at least once per week) recognize that I’m dreaming. Usually, it starts with just a suspicion that I may be having a dream. Then (this is so cheesy), I do the old “pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming” test. It always works. I never feel the pinch in my dreams (though I frequenlty feel other touch sensations).

However, I don’t much like the experience. It’s a bit tough to explain, but the whole thing just seems rather pointless once I realize that it’s not real. So I force myself to wake up (shaking my head back and forth like I’m gesturing “no” and counting down from 10 works to wake me up). Then I realize that I’ve only got a few precious hours left before I have to get up, and wonder why oh why did I wake myself up!

It has served me well in that I can get out of a really bad dream easily. But I don’t have the fun experiences others have talked about. I’ve tried to control the dream. For example, a couple of times I’ve tried flying. I can do that, but I soon start thinking that I don’t really know what it’s like to fly (since I’m the one making it up and I’ve never done it), realize that it’s not as much fun when I know what’s going to happen, and go back to the old “what’s the point” thing.

Then again, I’ve never read anything about lucid dreaming and know very little about it. I didn’t even know what it was till a few months ago when I mentioned to someone that I was often aware that I was dreaming and he told me that’s called a lucid dream.

Is there a way to make it more fun? It seems that since I can do it–I should start figuring out how to take advantage of it!

I like to interact with the dream world - sort of push it and pull it - prod at it - explore it! I like seeing what different materials feel like, I like walking through walls, I like trying food. Look for a mirror and see what happens when you pass through it. Summon friends and talk to them. Transport yourself to the ocean and swim without the need for air…I like to fly as high as I can just to see what happens. I think of it sort of like being inside a computer game; I like to see just how far I can “push the boundaries” so to speak.

During the day, think of some stuff you’d like to try. Think of what you could do if the laws of physics no longer applied - then carry out this experiment when lucid.

Personally, floating through a wall out over the street gives me the most incredible feeling of power; even euphoria.

Again I need to bring up just how lucid you are. If you are in a state of high-level lucidity, you will feel EXACTLY like you do when wide awake. Imagine how, if while you were awake, you realized anything you imagined would come true - think of how you would feel. If you don’t feel the same way in a lucid dream, you’re probably not in high-level lucidity.

I have been a low-level lucid dreamer for some time now - after years and years of wanting to fly in dreams (or that seems to be how it started) now I can fly in any dream if I have the wish or ‘need’ to do so. I also suffered from nightmares often as a child. I started looking into lucid dreaming about 6 months ago in a wish to control the multiple nightmares I have per week at times, and discovered I’m apparantly predisposed to it (can fly in my dreams now with no real effort into learning to dream lucidly). Lucky me. :slight_smile:

I am trying to learn to bring more lucidity to my dreams - I think I have had perhaps two dreams that had notable periods of high-level lucidity - I closed my eyes and ‘made’ a bolw of Heavenly Hash icecream, which tasted JUST LIKE heavenly hash (but had a foamy texture, almost) and managed to change my environment to suit me.

Many many interesting things can be brought about with lucid dreaming - however I still have real problems making sex happen, darnit.

Glad to hear you have such success with it, Trigonal - cross your fingers for me!

Venoma - good work! From your description about the ice cream it sure sounds like high-level lucidity!

Do you do anything to train your visualization skills?
Ever tried Astral Travelling?

I’ve had lucid dreams for as long as I can remember. As a kid I used to use the dreams to enact situations that I couldn’t actually do in real life, like beat the crap out of the school bully. As an adult I frequently turn my dreams to sex, I only get to see my honey once a month or so, so I find it a very effective release. :wink: Sadly though orgasm tends to wake me up, but I can normally get back into the dream quite easily.

I find there are a couple of things that will make me more likely to have a lucid dream, these include things like leaving the radio on at a very low volume, going to sleep with a full bladder (not recommended unless you can control yourself!), going to sleep sexually aroused, or sleeping in a cold room. I also tend to lucid dream much more if I’m not in my own bed. I’ve not read of these techniques being used by other people, but hey, it works for me.

One thing I have tried which also works, and I have seen recommended by others, is to think about a certain event or object, for example a purple cow, before you go to sleep. If you see the purple cow in your dream it alerts you to the fact you are dreaming.

brainfizz I’ve tried astral projection several times, but never seem to get anywhere. I can get myself into a trance and feel ‘floaty’ but it doesn’t go much further than that. I’m determined to manage it one day though!

Did you watch Ed last night on NBC? 3/4 of the episode took place in a lucid dream and I found it to be quite amusing. If you did see it, is that anything what it’s like?