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Lucid dream

A lucid dream, also known as a conscious dream, is a dream in which the person is aware that he or she is dreaming while the dream is in progress. During lucid dreams, it is possible to exert conscious control over the dream characters and environment, as well as to perform otherwise physically impossible feats. Lucid dreams can be extremely real and vivid depending on a person's level of self-awareness during the lucid dream.[1] A lucid dream can begin in one of two ways. A dream-initiated lucid dream (DILD) starts as a normal dream, and the dreamer eventually concludes that he or she is dreaming, while a wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD) occurs when the dreamer goes from a normal waking state directly into a dream state with no apparent lapse in consciousness. Lucid dreaming has been researched scientifically, and its existence is well established.[2][3] Scientists such as Allan Hobson, with his neurophysiological approach to dream research, have helped to push the understanding of lucid dreaming into a less speculative realm.

Induction methods:
Many people report having experienced a lucid dream during their lives, often in childhood. Children seem to have lucid dreams more easily than adults. Although lucid dreaming is a conditioned skill,[22] achieving lucid dreams on a regular basis can be difficult and is uncommon[citation needed], even with training. Over time, several techniques have been developed to achieve a lucid dreaming state intentionally. The following are common factors that influence lucid dreaming, and techniques that people use to help achieve a lucid dream:

Dream recall
Dream recall is simply the ability to remember dreams. Good dream recall is often described as the first step towards lucid dreaming. Better recall increases awareness of dreams in general; with limited dream recall any lucid dreams one has can be forgotten entirely. The main technique used to improve dream recall is to keep a dream journal, writing down any dreams remembered the moment one awakes. It is important to record the dreams as quickly as possible as there is a strong tendency to forget what one has dreamt.[23] It is suggested that one's dream journal be recorded in the present tense. Describing an experience as if presently in it can help the writer to recall more accurately the events of their dream.
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Dream recall can also be improved by staying still after waking up.[23] This may be something to do with REM atonia (the condition of REM sleep in which the motor neurons are not stimulated and thus the body's muscles do not move). If one purposely prevents motor neurons from firing immediately after waking from a dream, recalling said dream becomes easier. Similarly, if the dreamer changes positions in the night they may be able to recall certain events of their dream by testing different sleeping positions.

Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD)
The MILD technique is a common technique developed by Dr. Stephen LaBerge used to induce a lucid dream at will by setting an intention, while falling asleep, to remember to

During the actual transition into the dream state. A 60% success rate has been shown in research using this technique. which can be quite sudden. developed by Daniel Love. staying awake for an hour and going back to sleep while practicing the MILD method. while success at normal bedtime after having been awake all day is very difficult. making lucidity more likely. explore elaborate. he or she will eventually enter the dream state while being fully aware that it is a dream. After this. Wake-back-to-bed (WBTB) The wake-back-to-bed technique is often the easiest way to encourage a lucid dream. control their breathing.[13] a sequence of loud sounds and a feeling of twirling into another state of body awareness. the body is ready to wake up. Dreamers may count. The key to success is not to panic. Also there is frequently a sensation of falling rapidly or dropping through the bed as one enters the dream state. There are key times at which this state is best entered. The key to these techniques is recognizing the hypnagogic stage. envision themselves climbing or descending stairs. the normal wake times and early wake times alternate. Techniques for inducing WILDs abound. gaining lucidity during this time may result in a lengthier lucid dream. Because this REM cycle is longer and deeper. After the transition there may be the sensation of entering a dark black room from which one can induce any dream scenario of one's choosing. it is relatively easy after sleeping for 3–7 hours or in the afternoon during a nap. Wake-initiation of lucid dreams (WILD) The wake-initiated lucid dream "occurs when the sleeper enters REM sleep with unbroken self-awareness directly from the waking state". "to drift off into another dimension". or to remember to look for dream signs when one is in a dream. Then. the person wakes up 90 minutes before normal wake time until their sleep cycle begins to adjust. chant to themselves. counting their breaths to keep their thoughts from drifting. allow images to flow through their "mind's eye" and envision themselves jumping into the image. focusing all thoughts on lucid dreaming. and this increases alertness. while still being calm enough to let their body sleep. The method involves going to sleep tired and waking up five hours later. Cycle adjustment technique (CAT) The cycle adjustment technique. On the days with the normal wake times.recognize that one is dreaming. First. If a person is successful in staying aware while this stage occurs. including rapid vibrations. especially during the transition. . which is within the border of being awake and being asleep. passive sexual fantasies. one is likely to experience sleep paralysis. to maintain concentration and keep their mind awake. and this technique takes advantage of the best REM cycle of the night. concentrate on relaxing their body from their toes to their head. is an effective way to induce lucid dreaming. It involves adjusting one's sleep cycle to encourage awareness during the latter part of the sleep. simply by concentrating on it.[25] There are many techniques aimed at entering a WILD.[24] This is because the REM cycles get longer as the night goes on.

Common reality tests include: • • • Looking at one's digital watch (remembering the time).) Flipping a light switch. (Analog watches do not usually change in dreams. while digital watches have great tendency to do so. Looking into a mirror. the time will probably have changed randomly and radically at the second glance or contain strange letters and characters. Light levels rarely change in dreams. distorted or incorrect. he went on to use this "guided nap" technique during dream yoga and lucid dream training. which may fail and let the dreamer realize that they are dreaming. By practicing these tests during waking life. Meditation. looking away. From the early 1980's. but as of now is not available. He conducts training internationally and maintains an archive of examples. Reality testing Reality testing (or reality checking) is a common method used by people to determine whether or not they are dreaming. However. reflections from a mirror often appear to be blurred. The general principle works by taking advantage of the natural phenomenon of incorporating external stimuli into one's dreams. A well known dream induction device is the Nova Dreamer which has been discontinued as of 2006. Usually a device is worn while sleeping that can detect when the sleeper enters a REM phase and triggers a noise and/or flashing lights with the goal of these stimuli being incorporated into the dreamer's dream. in dreams. and involvement in a conscious focusing on activities can strengthen the ability to experience lucid dreams by making the person more susceptible to noticing small discrepancies of their surroundings. and looking back. [27] Michael Katz referenced using simple hypnotic induction for the purpose of initiating lucid dreams in his introduction to the first edition of the book "Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light". a newer version is being worked on. leading to the realisation that one is dreaming. . It involves performing an action with results that will be different if the tester is dreaming.[citation needed] There is good reason to believe hypnotic suggestion may help one achieve lucidity. For example flashing lights might be translated to a car's headlights in a dream. Additional techniques • • • Reality tests (as below) practiced in waking life can lead to a test taking place within a dream. As with text.Induction devices Lucid dream induction is possible by the use of a physical device. one may eventually decide to perform such a test while dreaming. A European induction device known as the REM dreamer is still in production.

another dream character. or a thing does something unusual or impossible in waking life. in some cases. without a noticeable transition. People who keep a dream journal and write down their dreams upon awakening sometimes report having to write down the same dream multiple times because of this phenomenon. and includes fictional characters or places. but in reality are still dreaming. perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body (autoscopy). such as being able to fly. and may start exiting the room and so forth. False awakening In a false awakening. If the person was lucid. or an object changes shape. Scientific research has found that these eye movements correspond to the direction in which the dreamer is "looking" in his/her dreamscape. is oddly formed. one may notice a strange stuttering or 'strobing' of the image. clues that one is dreaming. Context — The place or situation in the dream is strange. . is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body and. Form — The dreamer. It has also been known to cause bedwetting as one may dream that they have awoken to go to the restroom. or a third person view of the dreamer. or noticing photographs in a magazine or newspaper becoming three-dimensional with full movement. Cohesion — Sometimes the dreamer may seem to teleport to another location in a dream. Awareness — A peculiar thought. In some cases when moving one's head from side to side. or an altered perception. they often believe that they are no longer dreaming. This can be a nemesis in the art of lucid dreaming because it usually causes people to give up their awareness of being in a dream. or transforms. About one in ten people has had an out-of-body experience at some time in their lives. an unusual sensation. but it can also cause someone to become lucid if the person does a reality check whenever he/she awakens. Commonly in a false awakening the room is similar to the room that the person fell asleep in.Dream signs Another form of reality testing involves identifying one's dream signs. a strong emotion. this has enabled trained lucid dreamers to communicate whilst dreaming to researchers by using eye movement signals. This may include the presence of unusual clothing or hair. one suddenly dreams of having been awakened. another character. Dream signs are often categorized as follows: • • • • • Action — The dreamer. Out-of-body experience An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE). Scientists know little about the phenomenon. Rapid eye movement (REM) When a person is dreaming the eyes move rapidly.