Howard is a regular lucid dreamer. He likes finding ways to increase his lucid episodes and enjoy the dream world.
Perhaps you've had a lucid dream and were exhilarated by the experience. Or, maybe you lucid dream fairly regularly and find it enjoyable. Wouldn't it be great to be able to experience this fantasy world every time you went to sleep?
As for achieving lucidity every night, I can't make any guarantees. Not only that, but I wouldn't suggest that you expect to reach that point.
Still, if we want to maximize our lucid dreaming episodes, aiming for every night is definitely one way of going about it.
It makes sense to come at it from different angles to keep lucid dreams on our minds. The purpose here isn't to describe all these things in detail. You can look into them further for the finer points. This is also far from an exhaustive list. As you research the following tips and techniques, you'll no doubt come across more things to add to your lucid dreaming arsenal.
Let's run through some basic things we can start with.
A Comfortable Bedroom
The first step is to sleep soundly and comfortably.
This means keeping our sleeping area the way we like it. That probably means dark, quiet, and slightly cool.
It also includes having a comfortable sleeping position. You can experiment with putting extra pillows under or between your knees. Sometimes this makes a big difference.
As a general rule, I'd say that an adjustment should be made if you can feel any physical tension as you're lying down. It only takes a little discomfort to interfere with your ability to fall asleep easily.
Whatever your preference is in all these areas, that's fine. The goal is to find the sleeping conditions that are best for you.
A Dream Journal
The most basic way to tell our brains that dreams are important is to spend some time thinking about them.
The way to fully commit to this is to keep a dream journal. Have it by your bed. Before getting up, record any dreams you can remember.
If this sounds like too much of a hassle, you can lie there for a minute and think through your dreams, but skip the journaling.
It's good to spend some of this time focusing on the dream incidents that were really obvious. The really absurd moments that, in hindsight, you can't believe didn't set off any alarms. Like the scene suddenly changed, or someone turned into someone else right in front of you, or you interacted with a fictional character.
Ruminating on these dream details will help you recognize similar instances in future dreams.
This is another basic step that's related to your dream journal or dream reflection period. Over time, you'll notice that certain things—people, places, animals, objects—tend to recur in your dreams.
These things will function as dream signs for you. You'll set it in your mind that whenever you see any of them, you'll do a reality check. This means you'll be reality checking when you know you aren't dreaming throughout your day.
For example, you note that dogs show up in your dreams fairly regularly. You set it in your mind that whenever you see a dog you do a reality check. You'll do this with mental rehearsal where you imagine seeing various dogs, and you'll do it when you really see one.
A dream sign that never shows itself in waking life is a bit more difficult because you'll have to rely solely on mental rehearsal. For example, you might occasionally dream of an old friend who's now absent. You'll have to imagine scenarios of seeing this person and then reality checking until it carries over into your dreams.
For most people, reality checks are the foundation of lucid dreams. They're a very important part of the process, and yet, it's hard to tell how to best use them in waking life.
There are methods of putting them on a schedule, like reality checking every hour when your watch beeps, which might help. You can also try to have lucid dreams on your mind all day, reality checking every 10 minutes or so. In my experience, there's limited value in these methods.
You can choose to be aware when you're awake, but not when you're dreaming. A reality checking method is only effective if it's going to be triggered in a dream. This means something has to happen that makes you aware of the possibility you're dreaming, like with your dream signs.
I think this is the best way to use reality checks. Continually expand the number of triggers you have. Obviously, having 100 different things that remind you to reality check is better than having 5. Just don't try to set everything in your mind at once. Keep adding gradually.
Stephen LaBerge's MILD technique (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams) is one of the most reliable induction methods. Without describing it in detail, it involves:
- priming your mind to remember dreams,
- going through the details when you wake up,
- telling yourself you'll remember you're dreaming as you fall asleep,
- and imagining yourself becoming lucid.
The MILD method seems to be one of the most reliable ways to have lucid dreams. I suggest putting a large part of your effort into it. There are lots of good resources available to learn about the MILD method in detail.
The WILD technique (Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams) allows you to enter a lucid dream directly; you go from being awake one minute to dreaming the next. This method involves:
- fully relaxing your body and almost fully relaxing your mind,
- picking something to pay attention to which propels you into a dream,
- and recognizing the shift from being awake to dreaming.
There are lots of different things to use to hang on to your awareness as you drift off. As with the MILD technique, you won't have any trouble finding the details of this method, either.
This is another good focus for some of your efforts. Getting proficient with MILD and WILD will go a long way toward lucid dreaming every night.
In the WBTB method (Wake Back to Bed), you set your alarm to wake you up after 5-6 hours. Then you spend 30-60 minutes awake, preferably doing something lucid dream related. When you go back to sleep, a lucid dream is more likely.
While this method improves your chances by itself, I think it should be used in combination with the MILD or WILD techniques.
If you're going to attempt a WILD, there's no need to make a point of staying awake for a while. Just start the technique immediately.
Are There Reasons Not to Try Lucid Dreaming Every Night?
There are a few things to be aware of that could prove to be problems for some people.
If you're determined to lucid dream regularly, it's going to take dedication, just as it would to improve at anything. You might find after putting some effort in that it's not as important as you thought. If it feels like too much work, it's not going to be enjoyable.
On the other hand, if you're fully committed to the process, you should be aware of the next point.
Consuming Your Waking Life
It's possible to obsess over lucid dreaming. This could have negative effects, such as:
- taking up a lot of mental energy during your day,
- getting frustrated when it doesn't work,
- taking time away from more practical tasks,
- favoring your dream life over your waking life,
- or wanting to sleep all the time.
Be aware that focusing this much on lucid dreams can actually interfere with your ability to have them. The MILD and WILD techniques require a calm mind. If you're trying to force lucidity, it probably won't work.
Assuming you aren't sleeping excessively, trying to lucid dream every night could cut into your sleep time.
The WBTB method requires you to interrupt your sleep. If you aren't sufficiently relaxed, or you're keeping your mind too active, the MILD and WILD techniques can keep you awake.
If you're lying there a long time trying to induce a lucid dream, just let it go and fall asleep normally.
So, Is It Possible to Lucid Dream Every Night?
I think in rare cases, it is. Some people claim to spontaneously lucid dream every night. Obviously, this is a natural ability and not something that can be passed on to others.
There are also lucid dreaming experts, like Stephen LaBerge, who has said he can lucid dream any time he chooses. I don't know if he's claimed he could do this consistently, every night without missing one, but I think he'd be very close.
Maybe you'll become an expert yourself and be able to lucid dream virtually at will. Or, maybe you'll just have one occasionally. Whatever your frequency, try to enjoy the learning process and your dreams.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.