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Table of Contents
Part I: An Introduction to Lucid Dreaming Lucid Dreaming in the Ancient World Lucid Dreaming in Modern Times The Future of Lucid Dreaming: Lucid Dreaming as a Treatment Part II: Lucid Dreaming Techniques Cycle-Adjustment Technique (CAT) Wake-Back-To-Bed (WBTB) Dream-Initiated Lucid Dream (DILD) Mnemonically Induced Lucid Dream (MILD) Sexual Induced Lucid Dream (SILD) Externally Initiated Lucid Dream (EILD) Finger Induced Lucid Dream (FILD) Dream Exit Initiated Lucid Dream (DEILD) Visual Induced Lucid Dream (VILD) Wake Induced Lucid Dream (WILD) Part III: Resources for Lucid Dreaming Lucid Dreaming Devices Dream Recall Dream Stabilization Mantras Meditation Relaxation Supplements General FAQ

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Lucid Dreaming in the Ancient World


Lucid Dreaming is not a modern discovery. Even though it has only come to the attention of the general public in the last few decades, it has roots in historical findings as early as the fifth century. In fact, it was in the 415 A.D. that St. Augustine recorded evidence of lucid dreaming in a letter: "Your body is asleep but in your brain your mind is bright and awake and awareness is now in your brains own created dream world." Tibetan Buddhists practiced a form of dream yoga, dating back to the eighth century, which was designed to enable the practitioner to maintain full waking consciousness while in a dreaming state. It is sometimes held that, while todays scientific understanding of the dreaming process is greater than ever, the ancient mystics knew the practice and experience better than all but the few elite dreamers of modern times. According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, yogis had almost complete control over their dreams. During this same period of time, tantric texts reveal that lucid dreaming was being explored in India as well. Over the centuries, lucid dreaming consistently crops up in literature from a wide variety of sources, both religious and scientific, spiritual and philosophical. Although the scientific community did not recognize lucid dreaming until 1978, the history of this unique dreaming experience reaches back thousands of years potentially into the Paleolithic Era. However, the first verifiable documentation of lucid dreaming originated in the East thousands of years ago.

In Egypt and Greece


Ancient Egyptians were aware of dreams. In the Egyptian culture, there were three

categories of dream: pious, revelatory, and informational. Any dream thought to contain a message from the Divine those that requested acts of devotion were considered to be pious dreams. Revelatory dreams were seen as prophetic devices or thought to contain predictions for the future. Informational dreams were believed to carry timely or important information. Greek mythology had a god of sleep, Hypnos, and a god of dreams, Morpheus. Throughout ancient Greek history, dreaming held the respect of the philosophers. In 350

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B.C., in his treatise On Dreams, Aristotle discussed the nature of consciousness in dreaming and proposed that a persons dreams came from within what we now call originating inside the mind. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, actually applied dreams to his patient diagnostics, believing that it enabled him to better understand his patients. Other philosophers, including Socrates and Plato, are also thought to have been involved in the exploration of dreams.

In Hinduism and Buddhism


Lucid dreaming appeared in written form before 1000 B.C. in the Hindu scripture of the Upanishads, which teach that the conscious mind can wake up even while the body sleeps. Another Hindu text called the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra explores lucid dreaming techniques, specifically describing the best methods of controlling ones dreams. As Indian spiritual tradition spread to nearby regions, it came into contact with the animistic traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The resulting mixture of mystic practices resulted in another of mankinds early scriptures, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. This book, among others, would play an important role in modern lucid dreaming when Walter Y. Evans-Wentz translated the scripture in 1935. The ancient dream practices have influenced dozens of 20th century scholars, specifically within humanistic and transpersonal schools of American psychology.

In China
Ancient Chinese regarded dreams as a division of body and soul, believing that the dreamers soul is removed from the sleeping body as it journeys through the land of the dead. Dreams had a very important role in the religious and political structure of Chinese cultures. Dream temples were constructed and Chinese leaders were expected to make pilgrimages to those temples in order to seek guidance for their decisions. Chuang Tsu, an early Chinese Taoist, believed the world was a dream. In some of the writings attributed to him, there is mention of dreams within dreams and awakening. The formation of the Zen lifestyle called for awakened consciousness in both waking life and the

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world of dreams. Similarly, Lao Tsu urged people to seek enlightenment during dreams, life, and even death. These ancient religions sought to enable their adherents to enjoy the fullest experience of life by shedding the illusion of life and embracing the reality of the moment. As such, lucid dreaming became a useful way to enhance ones awareness of time and experiences, thus awakening their passion for each and every moment of life.

In Judaism and Christianity


Lucid dreams enjoy special prominence in both the Old and New Testaments. From ancient prophets receiving special sight and knowledge, to the dreams of Joseph, Mary, and the magi, to the visions of the Apostles, it is undeniable that dreaming plays an important role in the Abrahamic traditions. The dreams did not stop upon the completion of the New Testament scriptures. Even to this day, theologians, monks, mystics, and priests continue to use lucid dreaming as a source of guidance, inspiration, and revelation. St. Augustine of Hippo, a famous Christian philosopher, held a balanced view on dreaming, believing that dreams can come from many sources Divine, evil, and mundane. In 415 A.D., he recorded mentioned lucid dreaming in one of his letters as evidence of life after death. As history progressed, the spiritual and mystic roots of lucid dreaming were strangled by the external and often hypocritical forms of religion. Many of the religions came to hold strict opinions on the moral and ethical implications of lucid dreaming, and it became a taboo subject. Much of the problem stemmed from the subjective nature of lucid dreaming. Because science had yet to revolutionize peoples way of thinking about the world, every topic was left open to debate and, often, was labelled good or bad based on the opinion of the most influential party. This happened to be the case when Thomas Aquinas suggested that lucid dreaming held temptation from Satans minions and that bad dreams were nearly impossible to distinguish from those send from God.

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Martin Luther added his voice to the dissenters, finding dreams to be subjective and unnecessary to the Christian life. Perhaps his view on dreams was influenced by his own experience with them, seeing that he often complained of his many visions and nightmares. His influence, added to Aquinas and other religious elite, proved devastating to the progress of lucid dreaming in Western culture. For years there was a distrust of dreams a bias that lingers to this day.

In Islamic Tradition
Lucid dreaming may have played an integral part of the history of Islam. In 621, Mohammed recounts the Isra and Mirah, the Night Journey, which many scholars believe refers to a dream experience. This quest provided spiritual insight and had a significant impact on the development of the Islamic tradition. In the 12th century, a Spanish Sufi philosopher named Ib El-Arabi talked about the relationship of lucid dreaming and mysticism, stating that controlling ones thought in dreams is a vital skill for those seeking mystic experiences. Centuries later, another Sufi mystic named Shamsoddin Lahiji wrote down the account of a vision which was very likely a lucid dream experience. There is still some debate on the differences between lucid dreaming and vision states, but whatever differences may exist, it is certain that lucid dreaming played an important role in many ancient religions.

The Enlightenment
Lucid dreaming found new interest in the seventeenth century as the European countries embraced a reason-based model of the world once more. Two philosophers, Thomas Reid and Pierre Gassendi, helped dispel the fairytales surrounding lucid dreaming in their discussions on the life-like consciousness within dreams. Rene Descartes was another philosopher who explored lucid dreaming, recording his experiences in a private journal which has been labelled Olympica. Researchers Harry Hunt and Kelly Bulkeley suggest that Descartes may have used his lucid dreaming experiences to develop the scientific method and famous proposition Cogito ergo sum ( I

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think, therefore I am). Due, in part, to the lingering religious intolerance and the scepticism of early scientists, Descartes kept his dream journals a guarded secret. However, as cyber philosopher Donald Challenger mentioned, Descartes philosophy on life may be summed as Somnio, ergo sum (I dream, therefore I am). It is interesting to note that dreaming is only new to the Western model of thought. In cultures around the world and from all ages, dreams have been and continue to be regarded as paths to a greater knowledge and purpose in life. Lucidity is a Western concept, a child of the scientific need to quantify and qualify every experience a precisely as possible. Both approaches to the world of dreams are valuable and even play off one another to provide greater appreciation and insight into dreaming but lucid dreams can only be called new in science, not history.

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Lucid Dreaming in Modern Times


The advent of modern day technology has allowed the human civilization to greatly increase its knowledge of the mind. With tools like Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagine (fMRI), researchers are able to see live images of the human brain in action. Yet with all of the scientific and technologic advances, the act of dreaming and its purpose remains an elusive mystery.

What is the Purpose of Dreaming?


Modern Theories Our understanding of the world and of the human mind and body has come a long way since ancient times. Documented history shows that dreams in ancient times were considered to be connections with higher powers meant to convey a message or to enlighten. True scientific development of our knowledge of dreams began in the realm of psychology and psychoanalysis. The leading founder of researching the science behind dreaming is undoubtedly Sigmund Freud, as Austrian neurologist who lived from 1856 to 1939. Sigmund Freud Any Introduction to Psychology class will draw heavily upon Freuds theories and research of the conscious and unconscious. He laid down the foundation that the mind represses certain thoughts and experiences in order to protect itself. At the time, this was the first real theory to support such an idea. It has been widely accepted in the scientific community today as being true. Freud did delve deeper into his research and was a believer that humans are controlled almost entirely by sexual desires lurking in

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the unconscious. He combined the question of why we dream with the belief that the human mind is controlled by sexual desire. He concluded that dreams were simply a way for the mind to bring forward from repression those desires. From that conclusion he became a leading force in dream interpretation. Since there was no underlying theory as to different levels of the mind, Freud created his own. He labeled the mind as having three psyches. He labeled them the Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego. Id The Id is the pure basis and foundation of a living being. It represents the portion of the mind which is impulse and instinct. It is the one thing that a living creature can fall back on to ensure its own survival. It encompasses primarily the need to feed, mate, and survive. In higher thinking creatures, such as humans, this is considered by Freud to be something that runs solely on pleasure. Since humans are easily capable of feeding, mating, and surviving due to their intelligence and lack of predators, the Id becomes carnal instincts that are acted upon with no consideration of the consequence. The Id is the only level existent in the human mind starting at birth. Ego - Freuds theory was that as children grow up, their minds develop the Ego. It is the portion of the mind that is capable of recognizing people outside of ourselves. The Ego allows people to recognize the needs of others as well as the dangerousness of being impulsive. Super-Ego Before adolescence the development of the super-ego occurs. This, for all intents and purposes, is the higher level of functioning in the brain which separates humans from all other creatures. It is the center of reasoning and higher functioning in the mind. When we sleep we are able to go from the conscious to the unconscious. We are no longer aware of things happening around us and our waking thoughts and emotions disappear. As a

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result the mind creates dreams. It replaces the lack of stimuli with things it manifests. This manifestation in the form of a dream, Freud believed, was a way of keeping people asleep. Carl Jung Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who lived from 1875 to 1961. He followed Freuds research of the mind and dreams for a period of time. He later formulated his own theories on the answer to dreaming. Jung believed that the purpose of dreaming was a compensation method for portions of the personality that had not developed correctly in the aging process. His theory never fully developed and was contradictory to the fact that some individuals behave in their dreams similarly as they would in real life. Mid-Late 20th Century Theories Dreaming A Random Occurrence In 1977, Allan Hobson, a professor of Psychology at Harvard, and Robert McCarley, a Harvard Medical School graduate and Professor of Psychiatry, engaged in extensive dream research. Using an electroencephalogram (EEG) on research participants during sleep, they concluded that dreams had no real meaning whatsoever. They created the activation synthesis theory. It basically states that neurons continue to be randomly active while we are asleep. Dreams are simply the mind trying to interpret random neural activity that has no actual meaning. As a result it was believed to explain why dreams themselves tend to be random. Dreaming A Problem-Solving Method It is theorized that dreaming can be a way for the mind to work through problems that it encounters throughout the day. The term sleep on it is the most common interpretation of

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this theory. When presented with a difficult task or problem, the mind may take these thoughts and organize them either in the form of a dream, or while a dream is in progress. Dreaming Coping with Life and its Experiences Humans have some of the most complex and intense emotions of any known living creature. These emotions can be so strong that they create what could be classified as a traumatic experience. Being so enraged that it leads a person to break something or being so sad that it leads a person to lie in bed all day can actually be traumatic on the mind (whether we realize it or not). It is theorized that dreams are meant to organize the situation and place perspective on it, possibly making it easier to deal with as time goes on. This theory helps to explain why some people have nightmares after watching a very scary movie, or why they dream of a particular event, such as a car crash, after they experience it. The major argument to the theory is why dreams can spawn primarily from negative feelings and emotions rather than positive feelings and events.

The Science of Sleep


Naturally it is important to know the basics of the science behind sleep before we dive into something such lucid dreaming. Through scientific advances there are particular things we do understand about the act of sleeping and its purpose. Knowing these facts is important in understanding how to successfully master techniques that involve lucid dreaming. Non Rapid Eye Movement and Rapid Eye Movement (NREM and REM) When we first fall asleep we begin by entering NREM. After approximately 1.5 hours the brain transitions to REM sleep which lasts about as long. These transitions go back and forth during the course of sleep for a total of four to six cycles.

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NREM Stages: Stage 1: This is the stage that marks the onset of sleep. It is when brain waves on an EEG change from alpha waves (waking) to theta waves (sleeping). When the body begins to initiate this stage of sleep some people will experience major involuntary twitches. These are called hypnagogic jerks. The feeling is akin to jumping when startled. It is usually severe enough to briefly wake a person. Stage 2: This could be considered the stage where sleep is first achieved yet it is still extremely easy to waken the sleeper. This is the step where the body begins to shut down its recognition of outside stimulus (noise, light, etc.). Stage 3: This stage is mainly characterized as being a transitional stage between 2 and 4. It is when, on an EEG, delta brain waves begin to register and deep sleep begins to occur. Stage 4: This stage is characterized as slow wave sleep. It is the deepest portion of sleep in which the delta brain waves have a defined continuation. For NREM sleep, this is the stage in which dreaming is most likely to occur. However this likelihood is far below the likelihood of dreaming during REM sleep. When dreams do occur in this stage they tend to be very fragmented and more difficult to remember. This is also the stage in which sleep paralysis is initiated.

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Rapid Eye Movement: REM is a typical stage of sleep in which the eyes move in a rapid and random fashion. In a typical adult, REM sleep accounts for approximately one quarter of all sleep in a night. Most commonly, a person will engage in REM sleep anywhere between 4 and 6 separate times during the night. The first cycles are shorter in time, growing longer toward the end of sleep. The periods that are immediately after REM tend to be the ones in which a person will slightly waken during the night. When brain waves are recorded by EEG during an entire night, the REM stage of sleep has been found to closely resemble brain wave patterns of an individual who is awake. This occurrence is known as paradoxical sleep meaning that no particular brain wave is most dominating during REM. It is during this cycle of sleep in which the mind is most likely to remember a dream that occurs. There is no known explanation for why REM sleep exists. It is widely believed to be a way for the brain to maintain and restore memory, much like a computer defragmenting a hard drive. The only thing that is certain is that rapid eye movement and the associated brain wave pattern will only occur during sleep. Sleep and Timing There are several aspects to the timing of sleep and how our bodies regulate themselves through internal and external cues. Circadian Rhythm The circadian rhythm is best described as our internal clock. It is the same device that allows us to have a general idea of the time of day. In addition it has a variety of physical effects on the body which include fluctuating body temperature, controlling internal enzymes, and controlling adenosine, a chemical in the brain which oversees many of the bodily functions that occur while being awake. It also helps to establish that humans typically sleep at night and are awake during the day. It is known that sleep has a major effect on the human body. During sleep the body produces heat at a rate of ten percent less than normal, heart rate

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reduces ten to thirty beats per minute, blood pressure drops about 20mm, the volume of urine in the bladder is reduced and its concentration of toxins rise. Homeostasis Homeostasis dictates in the body the need for sleep since it was last experienced. It is the factor that helps the circadian rhythm determine if it has been too long since sleep has last occurred, dictating that sleep is due very soon. Working with the circadian rhythm, the two are the primary messengers to the body as to informing it when sleep is necessary. Human Behavior Human behavior is an additional reason why we tend to sleep. Due to humans having a highly structured society and way of living, that structure is able to have an impact on sleep as well. Many jobs and interactions with other humans occur during daylight hours. When errands must be done, they are done in conjunction with business hours. These are typically during daylight hours as well. Since people are locked into a specific time in which they must be at work or engaging in other necessary activities, the majority of the down time is recognized as making the most sense for sleep to occur. The Biological Clock The internal clock that we have is the explanation as to why it is so difficult to change our sleep schedules a drastic amount. For those people who have attempted inverting the sleep cycle and sleeping during the day while being awake at night, it can prove to be extremely difficult at first. The process usually takes some time to get used to and regardless can result in difficulties even after the transition is completed. The main function of the biological clock is to regulate sleep/wake rhythms that occur in the body during night and day. Biological Rhythms There are two types of rhythms that the body experiences. They are the exogenous and the endogenous. The exogenous rhythms are influenced and changed by cues in the external environment. These cues are necessary for the biological rhythms to maintain harmony and are not affected in any way by the person themselves. Endogenous rhythms are affected by

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all of the internal cues that occur. They do not rely on external cues in any way and are the responsible factor for day/night changes in body temperature, blood pressure, etc. The best example of how the body relies on the rhythms can best be shown with Earths time zones and the phenomenon known as jet lag. Take for instance a person who lives on the Eastern U.S. Coast who typically wakes at 7 a.m and goes to sleep at 11 p.m. Say the person wakes at 7am and during the day boards a flight from New York to Los Angeles. Once in Los Angeles the person has traveled back three time zones. Once to that person the time feels like 11 p.m. the local time in Los Angeles is only 8 p.m. Even though the traveler has been awake for the typical number of hours and is ready for sleep, the external cues are causing havoc with the biological clock. Rather than it being pitch black outside, the sun is only starting to go down. People are more active and the television shows typically on are all different due to the time. This effect is considered to be taking the internal and external cues out of sync. The result is known as jet lag and typically takes several days for the body to resynchronize the internal and external cues. How Much Sleep is the Right Amount? The debate of the amount of sleep that a person should get has been ongoing and can not be given a true answer. The answer is generally a broad generalization such as eight hours. This is much like an apple a day keeps the doctor away and the right amount of water to drink in a day is eight ounces. The true answer is that it depends on the individual. What has been discovered is that the importance is not just on the amount of sleep that one gets. It is also important when those eight hours occur during the natural rhythms in the body.

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Take for example the amount of time that a five or six year old child sleeps. Typically a child of this age would go to bed at around 8 pm and wake at around 6 am. This translates to ten hours of sleep, more than the widely believed eight. This amount of sleep is appropriate for a child of that age. On the other hand, an adult may go to sleep at around 10 pm and wake around 6 am. Now the amount of sleep has been reduced by eight hours but it ideal for the adult. Now take for example the adult who normally sleeps for eight hours and change the times in which they are sleeping to going to bed at 5 pm and waking at 1 am. While waking at 6 am can take some time and leave one feeling groggy for a portion of the morning, waking at 1 am exacerbates those conditions. Even though the amount of time that was taken to sleep is the same, the benefits are reduced if the sleep is done outside of the typical circadian rhythm. Several studies have been done to determine in the average adult how the amount of sleep can affect the human body. It has been widely proven that a person who sleeps a sufficient amount will always benefit in motor skills, memory, problem solving, etc. For those who get an insufficient amount of sleep, for almost any adult being defined as less than six hours of sleep, there is a largely increased risk of drowsiness, impaired cognitive functions, and slowed reaction times. Oddly enough, studies have also shown that an excessive amount of sleep can also lead to heightened mortality rates. Such studies only show a link between heightened mortality rates for individuals who habitually sleep excessive or insufficient amounts. A link does not signify that too much or too little sleep causes changes in mortality rates. It simply means that there is a link between

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the two. The actual cause could be an underlying condition such as gender, age, race, other medical conditions, diet, and so on. It is proven that children do require more sleep than humans as it is a major component in the development of the brain. Infants, for example, can require approximately 18 hours of sleep in a single day. During those 18 hours of sleep, an infant will spend about half of it in REM sleep cycles. The amount of sleep required and the time spent in REM drops as a child gets older. By age five, the amount of REM sleep will drop to around two hours in a night. Sleep Deprivation In todays society it is no wonder that millions of adults suffer from sleep deprivation to the degree that pharmaceutical intervention is needed. Worse yet are the problems that people experience from having a sleep disorder that is undiagnosed. It is estimated that over the course of each year fatigue from sleep deprivation is the cause of approximately 100,000 motor vehicle accidents. The risk of being involved in such an accident increases tremendously when the driving is being done at night. Because the circadian rhythm tells our bodies to sleep at night, the risk of falling asleep while engaged in an activity during nighttime is much higher. Lack of sleep goes beyond fatigue and drowsiness. It is also a causal factor of decreased cognitive function, decreased motor skills and reaction time, difficulty performing tasks at work or school, and an impaired ability to control ones emotions. In pronounced cases sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations and paranoia. In the most extreme cases, such as being used as a form of torture, it can lead to the exhibition of behavior similar to schizophrenia and memory loss and can ultimately be the causal factor of death.

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Studies have been conducted on rates to determine how sleep deprivation, both of REM sleep and sleep altogether, affects their mortality rates. The rats used have typical life spans of about two to three years. When the rats were deprived of REM sleep, their lifespan dropped drastically to average only about half of a year. When they were deprived of all sleep, the typical lifespan dropped again to less than one month.

The Restorative and Growth Function of Sleep


While it is unlikely we will know all of the true reasons we sleep we can at least be fairly certain of some of the reasons. It is possible that over the course of time a true function of sleep was no longer needed or taken over by some other mechanism. Take for example the organ in the digestive system known as the appendix. Millions of years ago it served the function to aid in digestion of plant material. In modern times it serves no function and is not recognized by anyone until it infects, inflames, and requires surgical removal. The primary result of sleep is the most recognizable. When a person is exhausted and has a worn out feeling, they go to sleep. Upon waking from a good, uninterrupted sleep, the person will feel more refreshed with restored energy. It allows the body to recharge its energy stores and repair itself after the effects of waking hours. Wounds have been proven to have affected healing rates based on sleep. It has been shown that wounds tend to heal more slowly in individuals with sleep deprivation. Wounds also have an increased healing rate during sleep as opposed to waking hours. Sleep and metabolism are connected as well. For example, animals with a very high metabolic rate such as hamsters, hummingbirds, and other small, quickly moving animals,

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sleep for long time frames. Conversely, animals with low metabolic rates and higher body size, such as elephants, will sleep for much shorter periods of time per day. It is believed that neonatal (infant) REM sleep is extremely important to the development of the brain. It is proven that infants with sleep deprivation can have later problems with permanent sleep problems, decreased cognitive function, increased brain tissue death, and behavioral problems. As stated earlier, infants spend a majority of their sleeping hours in REM sleep cycles. They also spend the majority of a day sleeping. Across all different species of animals, the more premature an organism is in its birth, the longer it spends in REM sleep. This increase in REM sleep in premature organisms highly suggests that the brain is attempting to compensate the damaging results of a premature birth. If engaging in REM sleep is a way to fix those problems then it must hold some particular restorative and/or growth function. Sleep and Memory It has been shown that sleep and memory share a strong relationship. During one particular study a panel of fifty subjects were permitted to sleep for only 26 minutes per night over the course of four days. Prior to the test and afterward subjects took a cognitive test. When the sleep deprived subjects took the test after the four day period their scores showed an average drop of 38% compared to the control group which took the same tests four days apart but were not subjected to any sleep restrictions. Memory has also been shown to be affected by particular cycles within sleep. REM and slow-wave sleep were tested on several groups of people for the purpose of determining how. Test subjects were taught a new task that involved procedural memory, something that can be used consciously without thinking about it such as driving, or a task involving declarative memory, such as learning something from a textbook. It was discovered that the

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groups learning a declarative memory task engage in more slow-wave sleep whereas the groups learning the procedural task engaged in more REM sleep. From this it is derived that the two memory types benefit from those specific sleep patterns. A study carried out by Datta also supports the theory that sleep patterns and memory are connected. In his study 22 rats were placed in boxes designed to allow each rat in its own box to move freely from one side to the other. The base of the box was constructed of steel mesh that was attached to electric current and a light inside that would turn on to warn of an impending electric shock to one side of the box. The light would turn on for five seconds before the delivery of a five second shock to the electrified side of the box allowing for five seconds in which the rat could take evasive action. The experimental group of rats had the option to learn that the light would signal an electric shock and could escape it prior to it occurring. The control group of rats was placed in boxes that delivered a shock along the entire floor removing the ability for the rats to escape it. Over the course of three days the rats would be engaged in the experiment thirty times and afterward would receive brain scans for six hours while they slept. It was found the experiment group (learning group) of rats spent 25% more time in REM sleep than the rats that were in the control group. From this we gain additional facts to support REM sleep is functional to procedural knowledge. This information strengthens the argument that sleep helps the mind to reorganize new information in a fashion that makes it easier to learn and improve upon. Under that premise it is believed that the mind uses sleep to also assist in clearing memories that are not needed at all or will not be needed in the foreseeable future. A study involving songbirds found information from songbirds to suggest the mind using sleep to help remember information. When sleeping songbirds were presented with sound clips of their own song, their neurons would fire in a nearly identical pattern as when they were actively singing the songs. The speculation is that the birds can dream of singing which provides of a form of rehearsal. The practice strengthens the nerve patterns which are required for singing which directly translates to the improvement of memory. Sleep and Anthropology

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As mentioned with human behavior being an aspect of when humans sleep it can be shown through human culture that particular societal groups have different sleep habits. The strongest difference is in regard to cultures and the amount of artificial light they have. Cultures that lack artificial light tend to have sleep patterns that are fragmented. Essentially this would mean that the people within those societies usually sleep multiple times during a 24 period instead of having a single block of time dedicated to sleep. This is referred to as polyphasic sleep. A working example of polyphasic sleep can be seen in many Latin American cultures where the siesta exists. The siesta is a period of time in which during about two hours in mid afternoon people will sleep. Latin American culture recognizes the siesta with the regularity of Western cultures recognizing a lunch break. Businesses will even usually close their doors during this time. As a result, businesses will often stay open later into the day than they would in Western society. Sleeping in Groups The progression from ancient times to the modern day world has seen communal sleep change drastically. In ancient times it was regular for groups of people, particularly families, to all sleep together in a single bed. It was a way in which people could share body warmth when the temperature was cold and a method of protection for the entire group. The complete turn around of communal sleep has turned the act in modern days into a very personal and private action. Communal sleep has also been found to be much more common outside of the United States. It is known that the brains of infants during the first few months of life have lowered control over the automatic breathing mechanism. The lack of development can result in sleep apnea which in severe cases can be fatal. This is seen as a primary basis to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Infants do not seem to have the ability from waking during a sleep apnea episode during abnormal patterns of deep sleep. When an infant sleeps in physical contact with the mother it is able to hear her heartbeat as it did in the womb. This appears to prevent the abnormal sleep patters that can result in the inability for a baby to hour

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wake from sleep apnea. As a result, communal sleeping may actually be a method in evolutionary history that helps preserve the life on newborns. Anthropologists have also made notice of sleeping locations in the home. Many cultures around the world live in structures that have only a single room in which all activities occur. In half of 136 societies studied it was found that half involved the mother and child sleeping together and the father sleeping in a different place. 16% of those societies have the infant sleeping with both parents. It was also noted that during cold temperatures men and women slept together regularly but during warm temperatures had separate sleeping arrangements. Primarily in North America it has been found that family members have separate bedrooms and sleep separately from one another. Communal sleep is also common with siblings. In another study of 186 cultures it was found that 67% of siblings sleep together either in the same bed or in different beds but in the same room. In the same study there were no societies that involved a child less than one year of age sleeping alone. Sleep as Protection The idea of sleep as protection arises from early human history. Foraging for food could prove to be a dangerous task when humans were prey to several animals prior to the advent of technology that we use to protect ourselves and animal domestication. The more early humans roamed the open land the more they exposed themselves to the risk of being attacked. Since it does not take a full 24 hour day to achieve food gathering, consumption, and mating, it is seen that sleeping may have been a way to protect organisms from otherwise

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being exposed in the open. This does not explain why the brain disconnects from the external environment though. Such an argument is difficult to make since we are able to waken to loud sounds and specific sounds depending on what they are. In addition, this theory is contradictory to why some predators that are at the top of the food chain, such as lions, sleep so much more than their prey. Under logical reasoning an animal at the top of the food chain would never need to sleep as it would not require protection from predators. It also fails to explain mammals that are aquatic as they typically sleep while actually moving. The other largest problem to the theory exists in prey falling asleep in daylight hours after expending a great amount of energy to escape a predator. Sleeping during the day could lead to an animal exposing itself more than it would at night which would be counterproductive to using sleep as a protective mechanism.

Sleep to Conserve Energy This idea revolves around our knowledge that during sleep the metabolic rate is lowered. The prediction is that the amount of time spent asleep and in NREM sleep should be in proportion to the amount of energy used while awake. There is evidence to suggest that this is true. Animal species that sleep longer periods of time compared to other species typically have higher metabolic rates as well as body temperature. In addition, when humans are their total sleep time decreases at a similar rate that metabolic rate does. The body also tends to sleep more during times of sickness and infection which may be an indication of energy conservation in order for the immune system to fight illness.

Microsleeping
A relatively new phenomenon has been discovered which has been named microsleep. It is an event in which a person experiences sleep that last for anywhere between milliseconds to one or two seconds. It occurs more often in sleep deprived individuals but can occur in normal, well-rested people as well. They can occur without warning and during any time of day or activity. A good example is when being engaged in a lively conversation you suddenly

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and momentarily lose track of the flow of what is being talked about. There is a good chance that small lapse was actually an episode of microsleep. Microsleep may also be the explanation for particular phenomenon that we have all experienced. One such activity in which microsleep may be the easiest to recognize is while driving a car, especially on a route that we drive on regular occasion. Most everyone has experienced a time while driving a route, especially if it is rural, long-distance, and well known to the driver, in which time will pass and we suddenly notice we did not realize we had been driving for a few seconds or even minutes. Such events may also be related to occasions of microsleep. These events are typically not recognized and not remembered. They are usually the explanation for short term memory lapse or spacing-out as well as the increase in reaction time that is noted in sleep deprived individuals.

The Future of Lucid Dreaming:


The future of Lucid Dreaming is extremely bright and promising. To be actually aware of your dream as you are dreaming and the ability to control your dream is almost gaining the power to create a parallel world. Lucid dreaming in an awesome skill that can be learnt and cultivated and can prove to be extremely beneficial to human kind. Once developed lucid dreaming technique can be used to wake up and utilize all the creative centers that are lying dormant within one self. It can empower people by enhancing their energy levels and contribute significantly to understanding ones fears, problems, and weakness like never before. Lucid dreaming can help evolve and develop a person by removing all mental and emotional blocks. Lucid Dreaming is going to be huge success all over the world because the problems that ail mankind are universal in nature and by and large majority of the global population suffers from innate fears and phobias, which acts as a huge obstacle in the spiritual evolution of humankind. By employing Lucid Dreaming, man should be able to overcome these fears and experience total bliss. The ultimate goal is to generate and create a positive energy field around oneself and finally transcend the physical plane and experience the ethereal plane. Lucid dreaming technique will contribute significantly towards de-stressing people who subscribe to lucid

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dreaming thereby directly reducing diseases and illnesses. Stress being the main contributor for most physical and mental ailments, lucid dreaming will help people overcome stress in the most natural and relaxed form. Lucid dreaming is a bridge that connects the conscious and unconscious minds. Once on this bridge you are free to experience the unconscious by being fully aware of what is happening. If a person suffering from recurring nightmares develops the skill of Lucid Dreaming he or she will be fully aware of what is transpiring and has the power to face the challenge and overcome the terrifying experience at the unconscious level. The fear will no longer appear larger than life and the ability to face the fear will convert all the blocked negative energy into free positive energy.

Sleep Tips:
There is a wide variety of things that we can do for ourselves to make it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and experience a sleep that is more beneficial and makes us feel well rested. By understanding sleep cycles and the importance of sleeping the right amount of time during the right time of day the quality of ones life can increase tremendously. Diet and exercise have some relation to sleep. It is always best not to eat immediately before sleeping. Since the metabolism drops during sleep the body does not burn calories as much as it would during waking hours. Eating meals right before sleep can result in increased weight gain. Exercising also assists the body in feeling naturally tired when bedtime rolls around. This helps for those individuals who find it difficult to get to sleep. Caffeine should be avoided prior to sleep as well for the obvious reason that caffeine tends to help keep people awake. Smoking tobacco can also cause sleep problems and should be avoided before bed. Since nicotine is a stimulant it is able to affect and disrupt ones ability to sleep. As time progresses

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during sleep the body can experience nicotine withdrawal causing the person to wake up in order to smoke more. Setting a certain time in which you go to sleep and when you wake up assists the body in maintaining cycles. It will not take long before the body adjusts to this schedule without realizing that it has adapted. Doing this also helps a person to fall asleep easier as it is a set schedule. Try not to lie in bed for a long period of time if your mind is racing and you know you cannot go to sleep. Doing this regularly can create a connection in the mind that lying down in bed is the time in which to begin such mental activity. Instead it is important to associate bed and lying down with going to sleep. If you know you will not fall asleep when you lie down because of a racing mind, get out of bed for 15 or 20 minutes and engage in an activity to help clear your mind.

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Lucid Dreaming as a Treatment


While our true understanding of dreams and their purpose has not been fully explained, we have come a long way in researching dreams, their importance, and potential benefit. We do understand that dreams are a vital and necessary thing for humans to do. Regardless of race, religion, gender, heritage, or beliefs, all humans have dreams. Regardless of a relative lack of understanding, we do know that there are benefits to dreaming and those benefits can open new doors to therapies and treatments for a variety of disorders.

Night Terrors (pavor nocturnes) / Unclassified Recurring Nightmares


Experiencing night terrors is a sleep disorder that is most commonly defined by an individual displaying extreme terror when previously in a sleeping state. In many cases it is not possible to bring the individual to a fully conscious state. Usually the person will return to a normal state of sleep with no recollection of the event. In extreme cases, sufferers are able to recall the event. As a treatment, practicing dream lucidity could quite simply be the answer. A person would not even need to achieve full mastery of lucidity. If they were simply able to become partially aware that they were in a dream-state the fear could be eliminated just in knowing the experience was a dream. In more advanced techniques the individual could become lucid and take full control of the dream, changing it to pleasant from terrifying.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


PTSD is a disorder in which a person exposed to a major traumatic experience has extreme anxiety. The anxiety can be so intense that sufferers can become harmful to themselves or others. Treatment of PTSD can be difficult because the numerous external stimuli that can set off an anxiety attack. In addition, the cross-section of sufferers is huge since PTSD can arise from any psychological trauma.

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One direction in treating PTSD is to expose sufferers to the stimuli that cause their anxiety. For example, an individual who experiences PTSD from being involved in a car accident may experience so much anxiety that they are no longer able to drive a car. By gradually placing the sufferer closer and closer to the vehicle, then into the drivers seat, then begin driving short distances, and so forth, the intent is to eliminate the anxiety response by exposure to the stimuli. This has proven extremely difficult to do as sufferers tend to experience such an extreme anxiety that they are unable to continue through the exposure steps, no matter how slowly they are introduced. That is where lucid dreaming comes into play The idea for the treatment of PTSD remains the same however the exposure of the anxietycausing stimuli can be introduced to the sufferer in a lucid dream. When a person achieves perfection of a lucid dreaming technique they are able, for the most part, to become lucid in nearly any dream and then take full control over it. If a sufferer can achieve mastery of dream lucidity, they can begin to slowly expose themselves to the stimuli in a fully controlled manner that is tailored individually to each patient. A sufferer can feel safety in the fact that they are only in a dream and that they can terminate the dream at anytime. They can also fully control the environment around them. By gradually exposing themselves to the stimulus in a reality in which they have full control, the treatment process can be brought into the real world. Lucid dreaming could become an effective method for treating the most extreme cases of PTSD by providing a patient with smaller, more gradual steps toward treatment.

Phobias
Quite simply a treatment for phobia would be almost identical to the above-mentioned PTSD treatment. A patient having a fear of flying could begin to slowly get accustomed to flying in a dream, a fear of heights could be conquered by dreaming of gradually climbing an outdoor staircase, a phobia of social places could be overcome by gradually adding people to a dream. Dream control would allow a control over the anxiety and fear that creates the phobia itself.

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Depression
Quite often individuals experiencing depression experience it most to all of the time. In several cases the person simply needs to experience feelings of happiness with a certain regularity to be brought out of a depressive state. Not only could dream lucidity be a happy experience, it also allows an individual to completely separate themselves from the triggers that are causing them depression.

Tomorrows Virtual Reality of Today


Perfecting the science of dream lucidity is something that is more promising than creating virtual reality that can compare with the experience. The human mind far exceeds the computational power of any super computer in existence today. Virtual reality has been considered a treatment for all of the above disorders. Humans are attempting to harness computers that we create to fabricate an alternate reality, it makes much more sense to harness the computer that nature has given us, the brain, in order to create a reality that can far surpass anything technology can give us. For entertainment or as a treatment for a variety of disorders, dream lucidity has been recognized as therapeutic for thousands of years. It will surely maintain value in thousands of years to come.

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Cycle-Adjustment Technique (CAT)


Difficulty: Easy Prerequisites: Reality Checks You will need: To be on a regular sleeping schedule

What is CAT?
The cycle adjustment technique (CAT) triggers lucid dreams during your morning REM Cycles by adjusting your sleeping schedule. Unlike most other techniques, the CAT is based on a schedule and can consistently generate several lucid dreams each week. Once the body and mind are accustomed to an altered schedule, the dreamer reverts back to a normal schedule. The effect of this technique is that the mind becomes trained to wake up at a given time, even when the body is asleep. This is what causes a lucid dream. Unlike more advanced techniques, CATs do not require the dreamer to develop memory cues or practice visualization. Once body is on a schedule lucid dream should occur on a regular basis.

The Technique:
1. Preparation Before you begin, you must be on a regular sleeping schedule. It does not need to be a regimen, but you should be going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day (consistently within 15-30 minutes). If you tend to go to bed and/or wake up at varying times on a consistent basis, you should develop an ideal sleep schedule and adhere to it for 1-2 weeks. After growing accustomed to your sleeping schedule, it is time to begin the technique adjustments. Use an alarm clock to wake up 90 minutes earlier than usual. Repeat this for one week to reset your internal clock. (Note: This altered week is a time of preparation in which you will not have lucid dreams. By waking up 90 minutes early, you are training your mind to become alert at a given time and once

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you revert to the normal schedule, your mind will become alert even when your body remains asleep.) The only difficult feature of the CAT technique is maintaining the discipline to wake up early (and remain awake) during the first week. This is not the best technique during a busy season at work, as you may need all the sleep you can get. However, as long as you follow the schedule and discipline yourself to rise early during the first week, lucid dreaming will be consistent and easy. 2. Achieve Lucidity After seven days of waking up early, begin alternating your wake-up times from normal to early to normal to early, and so on each day. Once you have successfully completed the first week of waking up early, you will have the opportunity to lucid dream. As with other techniques, reality checks are critical to increasing your chances of achieving lucidity. Reality Checks are explained in other technique sections and in the General FAQ. Successfully performing a reality check is the most consistent way to enter a lucid dream, especially for beginners.

Day-by-Day Schedule for CAT Technique


Day # Day 1 Activities a) Once you have been on a regular sleeping schedule for a week or more and have grown accustomed to the routine, you are ready to begin setting your altered schedule. Continue to go to bed at the usual time but set your alarm to wake you up 90 minutes before your normal waking time. b) Select a Reality Check to practice. As long as you practice this technique, you must continue to perform reality checks multiple times a day. Please see the section on reality checks for more information. a) For the next week, simply maintain your new altered schedule that you set on Day 1 (90 minutes before your normal sleeping schedule). Resist the temptation to just turn the alarm off and continue sleeping. b) You may want to set extra alarm clocks, or make it more difficult to easily turn them off. Your morning self will hate you for it, but it will yield results later. Day 8-? a) Begin alternating between your original normal wake up time and your altered wake up time (ex: normal, early, normal, early, etc). This alternating sleep schedule (after the week of training) is what makes CAT work.

Day 2-7

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CAT Troubleshooting and FAQ


1. What time should I go to bed? There is no right or wrong time to go to bed. The key is to follow your normal schedule with one change waking up 90 minutes earlier than you usually do. Your internal clock is already programmed to sleep and wake at certain times. The CAT tinkers with that schedule and uses the interruption to perform lucid dreams. 2. Can I go back to sleep after I wake up early? You can do whatever you want EXCEPT go back to bed; you must stay awake for the remainder of the day (as if you woke at your normal time). A short nap during the day is OK as long as it is less than 30 minutes. Anything more than a short nap can prevent this technique from working. When you wake up early, make sure to perform frequent reality checks during the 90 minutes of normal sleep time as that habit will greatly improve your chances of lucid dreaming. 3. What if I dont have a normal schedule? The cycle-adjustment technique requires a normal cycle to adjust. It takes about one week to change, or set, your internal clock. If you do not have a consistent schedule, your preparation time will jump from one week to two. During the first week, you should select your preferred sleep schedule and maintain it closely. During the second week, you should wake up 90 minutes early. After that, you can expect to have lucid dreams for as long as you maintain your normal and early waking hours. 4. What if I wake up early on a normal day? It is not unusual to wake up early on the wrong day. If this happens to you, feel free to give into that impulse to roll over and rest your eyes. Sleep should not be long in coming and, if you simply cant go back to sleep, get up and go about your day as usual. Again, it is useful to perform reality checks whenever you wake up early, as this practice will improve your ability to have lucid dreams. You may experience a vivid dream in which you believe you are actually awake, but are not. Please see the False Awakenings section of the General FAQ for more information about this phenomenon.

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5. Can I sleep in? Sleeping in or taking extended naps may interfere with this technique. If you desperately need sleep, you may take a 30-minute (or less) nap in the afternoon, but try your best to avoid any sleep until the prescribed time. 6. How long should I practice the CAT? Provided the CAT is generating lucid dreams, you may practice this technique for as long as you enjoy the results. If you choose to use this technique for several months, it is recommended that you repeat the initial week of early rising every 2-3 months in order to refresh and reinforce the CAT.

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Wake-Back-To-Bed (WBTB)
Difficulty: Easy Prerequisites: Mantras, Reality Checks You will need: An alarm clock To wake up early

What is WBTB?
The wake-back-to-bed (WBTB) is an offshoot of the cycle adjustment technique (CAT) and can utilize the mnemonically induced lucid dreaming technique (MILD) for greater effectiveness. This technique produces immediate results and can be used any day of the week. Success is limited only by the amount of practice you put in and is great for beginners. In lab tests, this technique has produced a 60% success rate, which is superb when you consider that the test subjects are inexperienced dreamers. In fact, there have been several reports of multiple lucid dreams in a given night using the WBTB. One of the keys to the success of this technique lies in the REM cycle growing longer as the night progresses. Dreams only take place during a small 15-20 minute window (known as REM, rapid eye movement) during your 90 minute sleeping cycles. In order to slip back into a dream after waking, you must wake during this portion of your sleep cycle. When this cycle is interrupted by an early awakening, it creates an opportunity to fall into a dream upon returning to sleep. You can consciously take advantage of this by using reality checks to become lucid virtually immediately upon falling to sleep. The WBTB technique combines the best features of the CAT and MILD techniques by effectively fusing cycle adjustments with mnemonic induction, creating a powerful physicalpsychological incentive to lucid dream.

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The Technique:
1. Preparation Set an alarm clock to wake you up about five hours after falling asleep. Like the CAT, the only sticking point of the WBTB technique is waking up early. As such, this may not be the best technique to use during a work day. However, if you do not need sleep, or have a chance to take a midday nap, this is one of the most consistent techniques for beginning dreamers. 2. Stay Awake Once you wake up, you must remain awake for AT LEAST 20 minutes (60-90 minutes is better). You may read or work on Intention Setting or Mantras, but avoid your bed and couch. Remaining awake during this stage is the most difficult portion of the technique. 3. Go Back to Sleep After you have been awake for AT LEAST 20 minutes, go back to bed. Allow yourself to fall back into sleep; this should be easy for both body and mind. If your mind is too awake to fall asleep, then practice Meditation or the MILD technique. 4. Maintain Lucidity As sleep overtakes your body and mind, maintain your intention to lucid dream and your self-awareness. Your body will be able to fall back asleep much faster than your mind, so dont fight this transition, simply maintain your awareness and let your body and brain get back to sleeping. You do not need to have complete awareness of your mind, just enough to intend to Lucid Dream.

Step-by-Step Chart for the WBTB Technique


Step Step 1 Activities a. Plan your WBTB attempts for the next several weeks. Choose days that you will be able to wake up early without hindering your normal work or school schedule. The WBTB Technique does not require you to stay awake for a long amount of time, but if you have to get up rather early anyway, you may want to avoid attempting the technique that day. a. The night before you plan to attempt a WBTB, set your alarm clock for an hour or two before your normal wake up time. Be sure that the alarm is sufficiently loud to wake you from sleep (you will be more tired than usual after all).

Step 2

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b. If you are often groggy or incoherent in the morning, you may want to leave yourself a note next to your alarm clock reminding you to attempt a WBTB (avoid drinking coffee or using other substances/supplements to help you stay awake, as this will tamper with your ability to lucid dream). c. Once you wake to your early alarm, follow the steps listed in the Technique section above. You will only get one good shot at having a WBTB lucid dream for each day you attempt it, so give it your best. If you are unable to complete the technique, simply reset your alarm and finish sleeping (you will have plenty of future opportunities to try this technique).

WBTB Troubleshooting and FAQ


What should I do if I cant fall back asleep? If you have trouble falling back asleep after waking up to the alarm clock, you may have stayed awake too long. Try decreasing the amount of time between waking and performing the technique, go as low as 5 or 10 minutes if necessary. Supplements like Melatonin may help you fall asleep naturally. Why cant I maintain lucidity/control of my dreams? If you often lose control of your dreaming with the WBTB method, you may need to practice Meditation or MILD. Spend days or weeks setting your intention and practicing meditation to prepare for your next WBTB attempt. See the Dream Stabilization section of the General FAQ for more information.

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Dream-Initiated Lucid Dream (DILD)


Difficulty: Easy Prerequisites: Dream Recall, Reality Checks (Optional: Mantras) You will need: A Dream Journal

What is a DILD?
A dream initiated lucid dream (DILD) is entered from a normal dream (this occurs when the dreamer becomes lucid mid-dream). This is the most common form of lucid dream, many people report having experiencing lucid dreams using this method before they were even aware of lucid dreaming. The DILD technique is highly unpredictable when compared to other techniques, but the benefit is that it does not require the dreamer to wake up during the night. The DILD technique is all natural (it does not require sleep adjustments or external devices) and allows lucid dreams to arise spontaneously out of the dreams content. The principle characteristic of a DILD is becoming lucid during the dream. In order to do this, the dreamer must be able to identify dream signs and perform reality checks. To meet with success using this technique, it is important to be familiar with dream journaling and recall as well as understanding to perform reality checks and practicing them regularly.

The Technique:
A DILD is random, so there is no specific timeline related to this type of lucid dream. However there are techniques and tricks that can improve your chances of experiencing a DILD. 1. Dream Recall and Journal Keeping a Dream Journal to enhance your dream recall is useful for a variety of techniques, but is especially helpful for the DILD Technique. In addition to enhancing your dream recall, dream journaling also helps you identify common patterns within your dreams and enables you to select the

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most effective reality checks for your unique dreams. Please see the Dream Recall section of the General FAQ to learn more about dream journaling. 2. Select a Reality Check To achieve lucidity in a DILD, you must be able to identify a dream sign (to become aware of dreaming) then perform a Reality Check. A dream sign is any event, object, or action that often appears or occurs in your dreams. A dream journal can help you discover your dream signs. Your reality check is up to you, it might depend on which dream sign you choose to work with. A reality check can be any set thought-process or action that you practice every time you find your dream sign in waking life. Example: Every time you pass through a doorway, pause and observe your surroundings. Ask yourself Am I dreaming? and do your best to investigate whether you are in a dream or reality. By practicing your reality check every time you experience or see your chosen dream sign, you are more likely to perform it while dreaming. Performing a reality check during a dream will initiate a DILD. 3. Mantras Another useful trick is repeating a Mantra before falling asleep. This works much like meditation in that it focuses your mind. The benefit of repeating a mantra is adding a clear goal to the conscious and subconscious mind before sleep, which is proven to increase the likelihood of experiencing a lucid dream. Common mantras include: I will know when I'm dreaming I will lucid dream I will do a reality check

Once you select your mantra, repeat it out loud or in your mind (it doesnt matter, do whichever you prefer) before you sleep each night.

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DILD Troubleshooting and FAQ


Why does dream recall (or keeping a dream journal) matter? Consistently recording your dreams in a dream journal improves your subconscious minds ability to remember dreams. You will be surprised at how much your recall improves after only a week or two of keeping the journal. Try to remember and record every dream you can, no matter how little of it you initially recall. The dream journal is simply a tool to hone your dream awareness. Occasionally (once or twice a week), read your dream journal entries and look for common themes or entities. By recognizing your individual dreaming patterns and content, you can structure reality checks that take advantage of these situations and enable you to become lucid much easier. Please see the section on Reality Checks for more information. If a DILD is random, why is there a technique involved? The actual DILD is random, but the chances of achieving one can be greatly increased by using this technique.

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Mnemonically Induced Lucid Dream (MILD)


Difficulty: Intermediate Prerequisites: Dream Recall, Reality Checks, Mantras, Intention Setting You will need: A Dream Journal

What is MILD?
A mnemonically induced lucid dream (MILD) is a simple technique that utilizes the power of human intention. Intention may sound vague and unscientific, but it has proven to be a critical element in dozens of studies performed in strict lab environments. The intention of the human mind may be the difference between the success or failure or a lucid dreaming attempt. Dr. Stephen LaBerge, one of the pioneers of lucid dreaming in the scientific world, actually designed the MILD technique in response to the proven success of human intention. The MILD method can be as simple as repeating a mantra before going to sleep (to set your intention to lucid dream) and developing habits to help you identify a dream state and achieve lucidity within it. The MILD technique is great for beginners because it develops the essential habits and skills necessary for more advanced techniques. Many lucid dreaming techniques require time, special skills or sacrificed sleep. The MILD technique, by contrast, is simple and does not require hard work or sleep loss to perform successfully. To increase your overall chance of succeeding, try the MILD technique alongside the WBTB Technique. This is covered in greater detail in the WBTB technique section.

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The Technique:
1. Prepare In order to maximize the effectiveness of the MILD technique, you should be familiar with Dream Recall. Dream recall allows you to identify common situations and activities you engage in during your dreams, which helps you select the most effective reality checks and enabling you to become lucid when you recognize a familiar dream situation. If you are unfamiliar with either of these essential practices, please see the sections on Dream Recall and Reality Checks. 2. Before Bed Before going to bed, repeat a Mantra to set your intention to lucid dream. Say to yourself, I will have a lucid dream tonight, or something similar. Focus your mind on the desired result and fall asleep with that goal in mind. This creates a powerful incentive to become lucid within a dream. 3. Achieve Lucidity The MILD technique requires more preparation than many other techniques, but it is relatively easy and consistently yields results. The WBTB technique is a recommended addition to MILD, as it adds a physical incentive to lucid dream on top of the psychological incentive created using the MILD technique. The MILD technique is designed to saturate your waking and subconscious mind with the desire to lucid dream. This firm intention paves the way for you to achieve awareness within a dream. It is also a great way to learn the fundamental skills that are required for other lucid dreaming techniques so dont skimp on your practice! As with other techniques, Reality Checks are critical to increasing your chances of achieving lucidity. Performing reality checks on a regular basis helps dreamers become aware within their dream by testing their environment for clues regarding the nature of reality. The MILD technique is less predictable than other techniques, but do not be deterred by this. By consistently setting your intentions, practicing reality checks and improving your dream recall, you will begin to have lucid dreams on a regular basis.

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Step-by-Step Chart for the MILD Technique


Step Step 1 Activities a. Choose a Mantra for your MILD preparations (see Mantras). Your MILD mantra should be similar to a thesis statement, declaring your intentions and desire. (Example: I will have a lucid dream). Feel free to personalize your mantra, but dont make it too cumbersome or lengthy. Short and sweet is the trick. b. Choose at least one Reality Check to practice on a regular basis throughout the day (see Reality Checks). Your reality check should be something simple that you do during normal day-to-day activities. Example: Every time you walk through a door, pause and ask yourself Am I dreaming? c. Prepare a Dream Journal for yourself. A simple pad of notepaper and a pencil will suffice. Be sure to place this within arms reach of your bed. Convenience is best because even a few moments delay can drastically reduce your recall. a. MILD does not have a set schedule for achieving a Lucid Dream. The key to succeeding with this technique is devotion and patience. Each day you should do the following: b. Immediately upon waking from sleep, record any memory of your recent dreams as best you can. This will train your mind to recall dreams; you will be surprised by how much your recall improves after a few days of keeping a journal. c. Throughout the day, practice your reality checks EVERY time you experience the selected trigger (ex: walking through a door). The Reality Check and Trigger are completely arbitrary (up to you), but you can get some good ideas from the General FAQ if you cant think of one. It is critical to perform a reality check every single time the trigger happens, so when you dream, you will be trained to perform the reality check on cue. d. As often as you can, simply focus your mind on the act of lucid dreaming. Repeat your selected Mantra a few times throughout the day; know that you will succeed if you truly try and be confident in the technique. Before sleep each night, repeat your mantra at least several dozen times. e. You can enhance your intention setting by imagining yourself having a lucid dream. Your intentions gain power and intensity as you weave more sensations into the imagined experience.

Step 2

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MILD Troubleshooting and FAQ


1. Should I say or think my mantra? It makes little difference whether you repeat the mantra verbally or mentally. The key is that you repeat it for as long as possible so that it is the last thing you think about before falling asleep. 3. When is the best time to perform a MILD? Immediately before bed is a proven practice, but to boost your results, consider combining the MILD technique with the WBTB technique (you can learn more about this in the WBTB technique add link). 4. What is prospective memory? Prospective memory is the mental function responsible for planning ahead. For example, if you are going to the swimming pool, you would use your mind to zoom into the future and visualize the items you will need: towel, bathing suit, etc. When you begin to get ready to go to the swimming pool, you can remember the items you will need. Essentially, it is the ability to remember something that happened within your mind such as planning for a future event. 5. How does prospective memory apply to the MILD technique? When performing a MILD, the dreamer plans ahead into the night and imagines themselves becoming lucid within a dream. Prospective memory comes into play during the dream, because at that point in time the dreamer will remember the need to become lucid and wake themselves up. 6. How do I develop prospective memory? Prospective memory can be improved with practice: Think about something you will do in the future (at least 10 minutes from now). This could be anything but let us say you choose writing an email Decide to attach another thought to this action (calling a friend, for example)

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Try not to think about the action or the attached thought When you eventually get around to doing the action (emailing), you will remember the attached thought (calling a friend)

By doing this frequently throughout the day, it is possible to greatly improve prospective memory and, by extension, the ability to achieve lucidity while performing the MILD technique. 7. What should I do if I have attempted the MILD technique several times without success? This is common. Lucid dreaming takes a while to learn, even when using easy techniques. Treat it like any other skill and aim for small, steady gains over time working to consistently improve the different skills required for success. Eventually, you will achieve your first lucid dream and find that it is much easier the next time you try.

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Sexual Induced Lucid Dream (SILD)


Difficulty: Intermediate Prerequisites: Reality Checks (Optional: Meditation, Relaxation and Intention Setting) You will need: To regularly have sexually-themed/charged dreams

What is a SILD?
A Sexually Induced Lucid Dream is one which uses sexual content within dreams to become lucid. All individuals are different and some have more sexually charged dreams than others. If you tend to have sexual dreams on a regular basis, the SILD technique provides a convenient way to have lucid dreams. The term sexual does not have to relate to involvement in sexual acts but can also include dreams in which you: have a strong attraction to another person, view others involved in sexual activity or feel aroused (regardless of what you see). This technique is designed primarily for those who often have sexually charged dreams. If you rarely (or never) have this type of dream, then this technique is probably not going to work for you. Performing a successful reality check is necessary for succeeding with this technique.

The Technique:
1. Select a Reality Check The reality check involved with the SILD has unique parameters, distinct from reality checks used in other techniques. You must practice your reality check when engaged in sexual activity or fantasy based on which type of dreams you have. Select a reality check that you can practice during intercourse without causing any problems (jumping up and down probably wont work). A simple reality check for this technique is pausing for

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a moment and asking yourself Am I dreaming? followed by a few seconds of awareness to determine if you are dreaming or not. Practice your reality check when you: Are engaged in sexual activity Are thinking about sex Experience intense attraction to another person Are aroused (regardless of the reason) 2. Prepare and Relax Relax before you sleep, try to lay as comfortable as possible. Meditation and Intention Setting may help, but are not required to succeed with this technique. Once you slip into slumber, there is nothing you can actively do to increase the chances of a SILD. The more reality checks you have performed during your waking life, the better your chances of becoming lucid in the event of a sexually charged dream. Continue to perform reality checks for as long as you practice this technique. It may take a few weeks to associate reality checks with sexually charged dreams, so be patient and keep working on it. Remember, there are more chances to practice reality checks aside from actual intercourse, so dont limit yourself to only those situations.

SILD Troubleshooting and FAQ


How often should I practice my selected reality check? To be successful with this technique, you will need to practice your reality check EVERY time you engage in one of the aforementioned sexual situations. The goal is to train your mind to perform a reality check in any erotic situation, including those in dreams. I am trying to make this technique work, but do not often have sexual-themed dreams, what should I do?

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This technique is one of the few that are simply impossible to achieve without the proper impetus. If you do not have sexually charged dreams, you will not succeed with this technique. It is no fault of your own, simply a matter of your dreams content and desire.

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Externally Initiated Lucid Dream (EILD)


Difficulty: Intermediate Prerequisites: Knowledge of REM Cycle, Intention Setting You will need: A sound emitting device (ex: alarm clock), vibrating device (ex: cell phone) or a Dream Mask

What is EILD?
The externally initiated lucid dream (EILD), also known as the electrically initiated or technology assisted lucid dream, is a lucid dream initiated by an external lucid dreaming device. Even in sleep, the human body retains some awareness of its surroundings, which allows sounds from the outside world to penetrate deep sleep and dreams. The EILD technique capitalizes on this lingering awareness by using an external device, such as an alarm clock or dream mask, to produce a signal at a set time (targeting the specific individuals REM cycle). When the dreamer hears this signal within their dream, they can become lucid and continue their dream consciously. EILDs are a great introduction to the mental aspect of lucid dreaming. This technique does not require rigorous discipline, but it does require the dreamer to condition their responses to a preselected sound. There are many commercial devices designed to aid dreamers in their quest for lucidity. One of the most accomplished of these devices is the dream mask. Dream masks are elaborate devices that record eye-movement to detect REM stages and automatically use light or sound to signal the dreamers mind. Other commonly used devices include alarm clocks, simple wrist watches, and cell phones. Because the EILD does not actually wake you up, it is an excellent technique to use during week days and leaves you rested and energetic. An easy way to develop precise awareness is to use an alarm that only rings for a couple of seconds.

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The Technique:
1. Preparation The first step in the EILD technique is familiarizing yourself with your auditory or visual trigger. Use Intention Setting to associate your selected trigger with the physical and mental response you hope to have. Lie down, relax your body, and imagine that you are sleeping. As you listen to your chosen sound (or view the light through your eyelids if you are using a dream mask) tell yourself I will become aware of my dream when I hear/see this trigger. Intention setting will help you associate this sound with becoming lucid or aware, and each time you perform this technique successfully, your confidence and rate of success will improve. The best time to attempt a lucid dream is at the beginning of your REM Cycle. If you have a dream mask, or some other piece of equipment that automatically detects REM, no additional preparation beyond familiarizing yourself with the trigger is necessary. If you have any other type of equipment, you need to understand your sleep cycles so you can set your device to signal at the beginning of your REM stage. This requires foreknowledge of when your REM cycles occur. Please see the General FAQ for more information on the REM Cycle. 2. Achieve Lucidity When the stimulus is triggered during your REM cycle, your brain will automatically associate it with dream awareness (assuming you have used intention setting to pre-condition your response). As always, using Reality Checks can help you identify the lucid dream and gain stability.

Step-by-Step Chart for the EILD Technique


Step Step 1 Activities a. Select a device to use as your sound trigger (alarm clock, timer, dream mask, etc.) A signal that you are familiar with (your standard alarm clock for example) is not a good choice for an EILD because you are already conditioned to respond in a certain way. Choose a device with a novel stimulus to improve your chances of success. b. Spend a day or more practicing Intention Setting and familiarize yourself with your trigger. Simulate a sleeping state (relax your body and mind, pretend you are asleep). Trigger your selected signal. As you view or listen to your trigger, say to yourself, I know I am dreaming when I hear [your selected sound].

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Step 2

a. Practice the EILD Technique. Target the beginning of an REM cycle. Make sure to record your dreams when you wake, as Dream Recall is an important way to enhance your ability to lucid dream. b. Continue to set your intentions and familiarize yourself with your trigger. (Repeat Step 1: Activity 2) a. Use your successful attempts to reinforce your confidence in the effectiveness of this technique. Keep practicing until you are able to successfully perform an EILD whenever you want. You can take a break if you need to, but remember that the key to success is patience and practice. This technique can be practiced as often as you wish, so you can set your schedule depending on personal preference and convenience.

Step 3

EILD Troubleshooting and FAQ


What type of signaling device should I use? Dreamers who practice EILDs utilize all sorts of devices to initiate their lucid dream. Dream masks are designed specifically for EILDs, but are not necessary to succeed. Any device that emits sound or light, or one that vibrates, can be used for an EILD. One of the preferred devices is the vibrating watch. Because the sense of touch remains relatively sensitive during sleep, and due to the novel nature of this stimulus, a vibrating watch worn on the wrist or ankle is a great way to trigger your mind into awareness. Another favorite dreaming device is an iPod alarm or other audio files. Using a novel sound, even a spoken command, can be a great way to trigger your mind without disrupting the physical aspect of your sleep. How do I know when my REM Cycle occurs? The best time to attempt a lucid dream is at the beginning of an REM cycle. Because these cycles depend on your personal sleep schedule, it is important to review the REM Cycle section in the General FAQ to understand how and when to set your trigger. My mind does not respond to the trigger no matter how much I practice, what should I do?

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If you dont first succeed, try, try again. However, if you have gone several nights without a successful response, it may be time to try an alternative trigger (whether a new device, new sound, new physical location for a vibrating device, or a new light pattern). I had a dream that I woke up, but I was still in the dream and did not actually wake up until later, what is going on? False awakenings are common for experienced lucid dreamers. Please see the False Awakening section in General FAQ for more information about this phenomenon and how it relates to lucid dreaming.

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Finger Induced Lucid Dream (FILD)


Difficulty: Advanced Prerequisites: Reality Checks (Optional): Knowledge of REM Cycle You will need: Nothing Required

What is FILD?
A finger induced lucid dream (FILD) allows the practitioner to enter a lucid dream by slightly moving their fingers as they fall asleep. Focusing on the minimal movement of the fingers allows your mind to stay conscious enough to achieve lucidity. This technique generally requires that you be extremely tired when you attempt to perform it, but it is also effective if you wake up in the middle of the night and are falling back asleep (see WBTB Technique). The FILD Technique does not require a long amount of time or practice to attempt since it is done literally minutes before falling asleep. You can attempt the FILD Technique multiple times in one nightbefore falling asleep the first time and after you wake during the night.

The Technique:
1. Exhaust Yourself (For First Sleep of the Night) If you plan to practice a FILD when you first lay down to sleep for the night, you will need to exhaust yourself. You can do this by staying up longer than normal (or not sleeping for a night) or participating in physically and/or mentally demanding activities until you are tired. (Note: If you practice a FILD after waking in the middle of the night, ignore this step.) 2. Move Your Fingers Once you lie down and relax, allow your body to drift towards sleep. Begin to move two fingers (typically the index and middle fingers) up and down in an alternating motion. The motion must be slow and subtle; it is not so much an actual movement as it is a very slight pressure

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actually wiggling your fingers will spoil your attempt. Keep your hand in a relaxed position while doing this. It is not necessary to change the resting position of the hand as you want to keep the movement as minimal as possible. You may use whatever fingers you want for this technique, but it is recommended to use the pointer and index finger because they are the most coordinated and require the least movement to operate. Alternate the pressure you exert on each finger. This pressure creates the illusion of movement, but your hands/fingers should not be noticeably moving. 3. Reality Check Conduct a reality check, even if you are sure you are not sleeping this technique is known to produce False Awakenings and may trick you into believing you are awake when you are really not (if this happens, you will drift into sleep and lose your chance to achieve lucidity). Continue with the finger movements and reality checks until you fall asleep. If you properly maintain a small thread of consciousness, consistently exert slight amounts of pressure through your fingers and perform regular reality checks, you will eventually have a lucid dream. While it is possible to perform this method prior to falling asleep for the first time of the night, it seems to have higher success rates when you have woken within an REM cycle, about 4-6 hours after falling asleep. This can be done in one of two ways: 1. Let yourself wake naturally from a dream (visit the DEILD Technique for more information) 2. Set an alarm to wake you up after about 5 hours of sleep (read the WBTB Technique and the section on the REM Cycle for more information)

FILD Troubleshooting and FAQ


What exactly do you mean by finger movement? How much is enough? Movement may be the wrong worda slight pressure describes it better. This pressure should be just enough to require conscious effort, but not more than that. Your fingers movement should not affect any parts of your hand or wrist. Aside from the fingers you choose to move, the rest of your hand should be completely relaxed and comfortable.

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How tired should I be before trying this technique? How should I prepare myself to be exhausted? Physical exhaustion is not required to do a FILD, but it will definitely help you. Tire yourself physically by exercise (an hour or more before bed) or by staying up very late. If neither of these options is available (due to physical inability or scheduling issues) you can try the technique without maximum exhaustion. While it is better to be as tired as possible, you should not push your body past its limits. Do not engage in any activity that could cause injury to yourself or limit your ability to function the following day.

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Dream Exit Initiated Lucid Dream (DEILD)


Difficulty: Advanced Prerequisites: Dream Recall (Optional: Intention Setting) You will need: Nothing Required

What is DEILD?
The dream exit initiated lucid dream (DEILD), also known as dream chaining, can provide multiple lucid dreams each night and when performed properly virtually guarantees success. By remaining still after waking from a dream, you trick your body into believing it is still asleep. This allows you to slip back into the dream state immediately, avoiding the difficulties of consciously guiding your body and mind to sleep. The DEILD Technique fails when the dreamer wakes after completing an REM cycle because it is impossible to enter a dream state without REM. A great feature of the DEILD is that it can be performed in virtually any situation that involves sleep. There are no cycle adjustments or sleep inductions to worry about. It is as easy as recognizing and becoming aware of the momentary breaks between dreams (a brief period of consciousness) and using those breaks to enter directly into a lucid dream.

The Technique:
1. Wake-up Awareness Most people wake up after every dream, although they do not remember it. As you improve your awareness and Dream Recall, you will be able to distinguish between the dream-state and momentary spurts of consciousness. To make progress with the DEILD Technique, you must develop your mental awareness to recognize these momentary conscious breaks between dreams. Developing this awareness can take time, but with a little practice and perseverance, it can be done.

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2. Re-enter the Dream When you are able to recognize the momentary consciousness immediately following a dream, it is critical that you do not move. Even small movements can wake your body and cripple your chances of having a lucid dream until your next REM cycle. If you are able to remain motionless, your body will continue to sleep and your mind will slip into a lucid dream. The only time this will not happen is when you wake up at the end of an REM cycle, at which point you will enter a deep sleep (dreams require an REM state and will not occur during other states of sleep). There are two ways to slip back into a dream: 1. Dream Re-entry: This is the easier of the two methods, in which you visualize the dream you were just in. It is important to add the sensations, sounds and as many sensory features of the dream as possible. Recall the previous dream vividly and in first-person imagine yourself within the dream and already interacting with the characters and environment. This should take less than a minute (between the time you begin visualizing your recent dream and your re-entry). It is easy to lose control at this point and slip back into the role of observer, but with some practice you will be able to maintain the thread of consciousness necessary to direct the content of your dreams. 2. Dream Creation: This technique is more difficult because you must create a new dream rather than simply remembering your previous one. This option takes enough mental energy and creativity and is often enough stimulation to wake you up. Dont worry if you fail at first: this technique is learnable and can be performed consistently with some practice.

Step-by-Step Chart for the DEILD Technique


Step # Step 1 Activities a. If you do not know how to recognize the moments of consciousness during the brief moments of wakefulness between your dreams, you may need to devote a week or more to training your awareness and dream recall. b. The easiest way to hone your dream recall is by remembering as much detail and depth (of your dreams) as possible. Such precision will often help you identify the breaks in your dreams.

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Step 2

a. Intention Setting is a great way to reduce the time it takes to develop the awareness of consciousness during dream breaks. Rather than setting your intentions on achieving a lucid dream, intend to remember every detail of your REM cycle the dreams you had and the gaps of consciousness inbetween. b. After you record your dreams in a journal, replay them in your imagination and alter those memories by imagining yourself waking up briefly in-between dreams. Remember to infuse your mind with positive emotional responses upon successfully recognizing the conscious breaks in order to increase the effectiveness of your intention setting.

Step 3

a. The DEILD Technique is less about consciously attempting to lucid dream and more about gradually increasing your dream recall and awareness of your dreams. Eventually, you will realize you are performing a DEILD naturally, after which you will be able to start consciously choosing the nights to perform this technique (by deciding whether to enter your next dream lucidly or unconsciously). The length of this technique relies entirely on you practice so be diligent. b. If you are unsuccessful or cannot go back to sleep, wait for another opportunity to present itself. Dont be frustrated, but remember that failure is the first step toward success. Simply continue to set your intentions on developing your awareness and improve the level of detail with which you recall your dreams.

A Reminder The primary feature of this technique is recognizing the moments of consciousness during the brief waking period that follows each dream you have. The difficulty experienced when attempting to develop ones awareness is dependent on several elements, including a persons sleeping habits or schedule, health, how rested or tired they are during the attempt, and whether they are a light or deep sleeper. It is possible that you have already experienced this phenomenon, becoming either fully or partially consciousness such an experience is often a foggy recollection in which one wonders whether they were truly dreaming or awake. To increase your chances of becoming conscious during these breaks in dreams, practice your dream recall regularly. A Dream Journal is especially helpful for improving dream recall because it forces you to rethink the nights events in detail and often enables you to identify specific breaks and, eventually, the consciousness during those breaks.

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DEILD Troubleshooting and FAQ How can I sharpen my awareness and increase my chances of having a DEILD? An easy way to develop precise awareness is to use an alarm clock that only rings for a couple of seconds. The shorter the duration, the better, although you may need to start with a longer duration until your skills improve. Set short-duration alarms or signals to go off during the night, try to recall how many you remember (and how many you did not catch) as you slept. Also, dont forget to practice lying perfectly still after waking from sleep. This is more difficult than it seems, so dont be discouraged if it takes a few weeks to get used to it. False Awakenings The DEILD Technique is notorious for producing false awakenings. There are steps you can take to avoid this common stumbling block in the False Awakenings section of the general FAQ.

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Visual Induced Lucid Dream (VILD)


Difficulty: Expert Prerequisites: Reality Checks, Intention Setting You will need: No materials required

What is a VILD?
The visually induced lucid dream (VILD) technique requires the dreamer to prepare a simple,

fictional scenario, with the intent of dreaming about that scenario. The goal is to condition the mind to revisit this scenario during sleep and, once there, to recognize the scenario as a potential dream and use reality checks to become lucid. An example scenario: You find yourself in a small room with a single closed door and your best friend next to you. Your best friend asks you to do a reality check (one that you are familiar with). You perform the reality check and discover that you are dreaming (remember to feel excited about being lucid). Now that you are lucid, walk to the door of the room, place your hand on the handle, and choose what lies on the other side. This technique harnesses familiarity, repetition and intention to create a habitual response to a specific situation. Add as many sensory details and emotions to the fantasy experience as possible. The subconscious mind places greater significance on what the conscious mind is fixated on. When you concentrate on a pre-defined experience (one that is specially designed to produce a lucid dreamremember to include a reality check!), your subconscious mind reproduces this experience within the dream state and helps you achieve a lucid dream.

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The Technique
1. Preparation Create a scenario to visualize, use the above example if you have trouble creating one. The VILD technique works well when the scenario is memorized in exact detailthis is much easier if the scenario is simple rather than complex. Avoid adding too much detail concerning the appearance of the room (like elaborate art or groups of people). Instead, focus on what the plain room feels like, looks like, smells like, etc. It is vital to design a scenario in which you are asked or commanded to perform a Reality Check. Without a reality check, your mind will remain unconscious and this scenario will simply transition into another dream. 2. Visualize Before Bed Before going to bed, visualize your chosen scenario several times (at least three). Dont change the script of your scenario, the images and results of the scenario must remain consistent. The environment/setting, your location and the location of any other objects or people in the room should never change between visualizations. The more simple and brief the scenario, the better the odds that you will dream about the scenario and be able achieve lucidity. Visualize the scenario in first-person so it feels as natural as possible. Avoid extra or unnecessary items in the scenario. If you use a prop in reality when doing your reality check, such as a mirror, you are free to manifest it in your visualization if needed; however, avoid any other objects that may be associated with it (like cabinets, drawers, etc). Remember to visualize yourself successfully becoming lucid and feeling please with the results of this technique (associating this scenario with a positive experience will make it even more effective). When you visualize the scenario before sleeping, it engrains itself into your mind. Once asleep, the idea is that you will revisit the scenario just as you were playing it over and over in your mind. The difference is that when you perform your reality check, you will realize you are dreaming and become lucid. Your scenario does not have to include a door but it makes for a smooth transition out of the room and allows you to manifest whatever you want and be able to cross over into it through a threshold. It is not necessary but tends to be the easiest way.

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3. Relax Before Sleeping Before you sleep, position yourself as comfortably and relaxed as possible. Visualize the scenario that you selected for your VILD. Visualize ONLY the scenario, not the dream that you will havesimply visualize the initial scenario that leads to lucidity. Do not try to choose the content of your dream until after you become lucid. In other words, dont envision what happens after you open the door simply focus on performing the reality check successfully and preparing to leave the room. As difficult as it is, dont let extraneous thoughts or images infiltrate your scenario. Consistent, constant repetitions yield better results. 4. Achieve Lucidity with a Reality Check Experienced lucid dreamers can manifest complex objects, scenarios and environments. If your skills and ability to manifest visualizations are still developing, then attempting to create a very complex scenario on the other side of the door may disrupt your dream-state. The Reality Check that you perform in your dream should be one that you are familiar with and conduct on a regular basis. Attempting an unfamiliar reality check may cause you to miss the cue that will allow you to become lucid.

Step-by-Step Chart for the VILD Technique


Step Step 1 Activities a. Construct a simple scenario for your VILD Technique. Do not worry about attempting to perform a VILD for several days. For your first day, simply construct a scenario. b. Writing the scenario forces it to be simple and well-defined, as nobody wants to write about a million little details. Also, before committing to the dream scenario, give it a test run to determine whether you need to make it more vivid or simple. c. If you dont write your scenario down, replay it a few times to be sure you dont forget any of it. a. For a few days spend time visualizing your scenario. When you have down-time, sit or lie down and imagine your scenario a longer practice session generally produces better results (15-30 minutes).

Step 2

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Step 3

b. Set your intentions by watching yourself succeed, by feeling great about your success, and by feeling confident in the effectiveness of this technique. Adding emotion to your intentions increases their effectiveness. a. When you are comfortable and can consistently envision the same scenario perfectly, you should attempt a VILD. The VILD technique is unpredictable; you may have the scenario occur before you intentionally set out to have one. If this happens, simply try to run through the steps of your scenario and perform your reality check (you may fail for lack of practice, but dont be discouraged because this experience only proves how effective your scenario will be once practiced).

VILD Troubleshooting and FAQ


What should (or shouldnt) be part of my scenario? Technically, your scenario doesnt NEED to include (or exempt) any features in particular. A simple scenario with just enough detail to define it (not just an empty room, but not too elaborate) will suffice. Depending on the location of your fictional scenario, you may want to include a piece or two of furniture or some other detail to distinguish your scenario. Avoid overcomplicating your scenario, because it will make it harder to accurately practice. How much should I practice? This is totally up to you; there is no set amount of practice needed. For a beginner, the more practice the better. Practice not only makes your subconscious more aware of the scenario, but will also increase the amount of intention setting you do before trying the technique. Succeeding at this technique requires being comfortable with and prepared to perfectly execute the scenario, which generally means practicing a lot. I am following the instructions, but never get results, what am I doing wrong? This technique can take several weeks to master. Review the elements of your scenario: are they simple and do they include a reality check? Examine your intentions: are you including emotional content and do you include yourself succeeding? Investigate your visualization: do you see the room in detail and are the events well-planned and consistent?

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A simple error or oversight often blocks you from success. There is a saying that only perfect practice makes perfect so be diligent and make sure you practice the right things.

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Wake Induced Lucid Dream (WILD)


Difficulty: Expert Prerequisites: Relaxation (Optional: Meditation) You will need: Nothing Required However, it is advised that you be familiar with other lucid dreaming techniques. WILDs are very difficult and nearly every trick or skill covered in this book can be used to increase your chances of success in this technique.

What is WILD?
Wake induced lucid dreaming (WILD) is one of the most flexible and interesting dreaming techniques in which the dreamer enters a lucid dream directly (before falling asleep). This ancient method of dreaming produces vivid dreams at will, placing the dreamer in control of their mind and body. A master of the WILD technique can put their body to sleep on demand and can literally step from the waking to the dreaming world. The WILD technique is possibly the most difficult technique in this course, requiring self-control and strong mental discipline. This technique requires the user to manipulate and control hypnagogia, which is the state of transition between being awake and asleep. Used by the ancient dreamers in Hindu and Buddhist religions, this technique requires the dreamer to trick their body into falling asleep while maintaining consciousness. This can be a difficult process and the dreamer will need to learn how to navigate tricky situations like sleep paralysis, hypnagogic imagery and hallucinationsall while avoiding losing consciousness and falling asleep. One of the bizarre and fascinating elements of a WILD is the Hypnagogic State. A kaleidoscope of colors and increasingly complex images play across your vision. You will feel peaceful and relaxed as you consciously watch your dreams take shape. This state of being can cause Sleep Paralysis, which is uncomfortable and even frightening to some.

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The deeper you go, the less you will notice your body until you are unable to move. At this point, you may feel a heavy pressure on your chest, experience a sense of dread (as if something evil is in the room) or even have difficulty breathing. Dont panic this is simply one of the ways your body tests to see whether you are truly asleep, most people lose consciousness before this point and dont react in any way. If you maintain conscious control, the dream will eventually snap into being, like a light being switched on. The images will no longer be behind your closed eyelids, but right there in front of you. The WILD technique features spectacular imagery during the initial stages of rest, but the real highlight is the quality of the dream. No other dream boasts such vivid and memorable experiences as a WILD, mainly because other dreams require the dreamer to fight for consciousness and control while the WILD is entered directly from the conscious state. As incredible as the WILD technique is, it is equally difficult to accomplish. It is highly recommended that mastery of other, easier techniques and skills be established before attempting a WILD. The development of basic mental and physical control will come be essential in successfully performing this technique. The Technique: 1. Relaxation To begin a WILD attempt, your body must fall asleep while your mind stays awake. You can accomplish this by remaining perfectly still, as if you were already asleep. Release the tension in your muscles, starting at the tip of your head and gradually moving down to the soles of your feet (for instructions on how best to do this, see the Relaxation section in the General FAQ). This is possibly the most important step in the WILD Technique, so be sure to read up on advanced muscle relaxation techniques. Failing to completely relax your body WILL prevent you from reaching the level of focus required to succeed with this technique. Try not to interact with thoughts, as your body will tense in response to them. A good way to keep your mind clear is to practice Meditation or perform the MILD Technique.

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2. Hypnagogic Images After 5-10 minutes of complete relaxation, you will begin to see hypnagogic imagery and colors will swirl through your minds eye. Rather than resisting these images, focus your mind on them and enjoy the light show. Just relax and passively monitor your progress, watching the imagery helps quiet your mind and deepens the hypnagogic state. Focus on your breathing or heartbeat to keep your mind from completely shutting off, but dont exert too much mental effort (it will hinder you from falling into the deepest levels of hypnagogia). 3. Maintain Consciousness The most difficult stage of the WILD technique is maintaining consciousness as your body falls asleep. Expect to fail more than once before you succeed. You may hear a loud buzzing which can excite your body into waking up. If this happens, you must remain calm and keep your brain activity at a minimum (again, you will probably fail to save a WILD several times before you manage to calm yourself and reenter the progression). When your body falls asleep, it will enter something called sleep paralysis and you may feel a weight on your chest (and possibly a strong feeling of fear or dread). These feelings may be unnerving, but are nothing to worry about. You will soon grow accustomed to them and will be able to focus on the technique. 4. Enter the Dream Eventually, instead of seeing images in a limited field of vision, you will notice a dream scene beginning to surround you. There are two ways you may enter a lucid dream from this point: a. Step into the picture so that you exist within the dreamscape. Imagine yourself interacting with the environment around you as vividly as possible, and you should find yourself within a lucid dream. b. Imagine that you have two bodies one physical and the other a dream body. Visualize your body lying in bed and then use your dream body to climb out of bed. You can float or roll or sink, but however you move, make sure to not move your physical body. Alternatively, you may simply imagine that you are in a different location by visualizing your body somewhere else.

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Step-by-Step Chart for the WILD Technique


Step Step 1 Activities a. Create a WILD practice schedule, even if you are an experienced lucid dreamer. You can practice as often as you want, but you should not practice every day to avoid mental exhaustion and frustration. Commit an extra hour before bed on 2-4 nights per week for WILD practice. a. It is important to be skilled at full body Relaxation (Breath Control is useful to). WILD requires near-mastery of breathing, relaxation and awareness, all of which take time to develop. Do not worry if you end up practicing these foundation skills during the first week they will pay off in the end. b. Be creative when practicing these foundation skills. As you become familiar with breathing routines or meditation, you can squeeze in practice sessions literally anywhere on the car ride home, in an elevator, even at the dinner table or during conversation. This allows you to practice these important skills without needing to create a formal practice session (although longer sessions are also recommended). a. Remember to give yourself breaks. Over-practicing without enjoying the results of success can leave you feeling exhausted, frustrated, or disheartened and hurt your chances of long-term success. b. Once you are comfortable with the foundational skills, begin to select nights to attempt a WILD. It often helps to go to sleep an hour early because it limits how fatigued you feel and allows you to practice with a fresh mind. Lie down and go through the entire sequence as described in the Technique section. c. Succeeding on your first few attempts is extremely rare, so be prepared to continue this routine for at least a month. Use your dream journal to note sticking points and spend time addressing each of them because the subconscious often sabotages your efforts. One of the common sticking points is the moments before entering sleep paralysis the subconscious distaste for this experience often leads you to twitch or do something else disruptive, at which point many dreamers simply give up for the night and go to sleep frustrated and disheartened.

Step 2

Step 3

WILD Troubleshooting and FAQ I fall asleep before I get anywhere with this technique, what should I do? This technique is possibly the most difficult of all lucid dreaming techniques and a beginner has a low chance of immediate success. If you are unable to make progress when you practice WILD, you should stop for a short time and practice related skills (like meditation) or an easier lucid dreaming

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technique. Another option is to perform the WILD mid-morning. You will be groggy enough to easily fall into the hypnagogic state, but rested enough to make falling asleep less of a threat. As always, it is important to compare your performance to the instructions. Are you cutting corners? Figure out when it is that you are falling asleep and identify what you could improve. For instance, if you fall asleep once the hypnagogic imagery begins, then you may be embracing the color patterns too readily and losing control of your consciousness. If you fall asleep 10-15 minutes in every time, does this happen because you are afraid of sleep paralysis? Review the patterns in your failures and correct the problems you identify. If you continue to have trouble, search Lucid Dreaming Forums on an internet search engine and ask an experienced dreamer for help. When I practice WILD, I am overcome by a sense of fear and force myself awake, what is going on? The fear barrier affects almost everyone who attempts a WILD. This sense of fear or dread affects you on an instinctual levelit cannot be wished away. The only way to overcome the fear barrier is to repeatedly confront it via WILD practice; eventually the fear will grow weaker and dissipate. Use intention setting and visualization to simulate the emotional and physical experience of sleep paralysis, but imagine yourself succeeding and feel the confidence and excitement that goes with that success. Creating positive expectations can help you counteract the fear of experiencing sleep paralysis. Go All Natural Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other substances before going to sleep. Mind or Body altering substances disrupt the fine internal balance required for this mind awake/body asleep method. This technique requires precise control of your physical and mental activity and even the most subtle of influences can shift the balance. Go To Bed 30 Minutes Earlier Attempting this technique when you are tired makes it significantly more difficult. In order to maintain consciousness throughout, it helps to go to bed before you become tired.

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Lucid Dreaming Devices


What are Lucid Dreaming Devices?
Recent advances in technology have provided dreamers with a variety of devices to help them achieve lucidity in their dreams. Rather than needing to invest time and energy to develop complex skills or master intricate techniques, lucid dreamers today have the option of using these devices to save time and enhance their dreaming experience. Some of the following tools are designed specifically for lucid dreamers, while others are simple household devices that can be adjusted to help achieve lucidity in dreams.

Lucid Dreaming Devices


1. Dream Mask Dream masks detect REM Cycles based on the wearers eye movement. These masks monitor eye movement during sleep and can produce audio or visual signal to trigger the dreamer at the beginning of an REM cycle. Dream masks solve the guess-work and unreliable math equations required to predict REM cycles before sleep (required for several popular lucid dreaming techniques). The Nova Dreamer, REM Dreamer and Dream Maker are popular brands of dream masks available throughout the United States and Europe. Each brand has its own unique features, so it pays to take the time to reach thoroughly, with your personal needs and preferences in mind, before purchasing a dream mask. 2. Alarm Clock An ordinary alarm clock is one of the most powerful tools in the lucid dreamers arsenal. For techniques like the CAT and the WBTB, an alarm clock is all you need to succeed. In order to maximize your results from techniques involving schedule manipulation or adjusted waking times, it is necessary to operate on a highly controlled schedule. The best way to accomplish this is through the proper use of an alarm clockone with back-up battery power is recommended to be on the safe side.

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3. Vibrating Watch, Cell Phone, or Other Device The human body maintains awareness of all its external senses during sleep, but is particularly sensitive to physical touch. A vibrating device is the most reliable way to wake the mind from sleep without causing significant disruption to the bodys peaceful slumber. This vibration is particularly effective for the EILD Technique, but can be adapted for any technique requiring external assistance or scheduled waking. If you plan to use a watch, try placing it on your ankle. The unfamiliar sensation is an easy way to identify the difference between the dreaming and waking world. 4. Audio Files The body is adept at filtering and assimilating external sounds into dreams. Luckily, some sounds are able to effectively sneak through these mental defenses and consistently act as a distinct signal for the dreamer. Sounds can be found online and downloaded to a computer or music player. Simply play the audio at the appropriate time (depending on the specific technique) and learn to recognize the sound within your dream. Audio clips are available online (both free and at cost) that can assist or guide meditation and relaxation exercises. A practicing lucid dreamer can use these to quickly develop skills and familiarity with altered states of consciousness.

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Dream Recall
What is Dream Recall?
Dream recall is your ability to remember dreams. Believe it or not, everyone dreams when they sleep. However, many people do not remember what happened during their dreams and claim that they do not dream at all. Practicing dream recall will increase your chances of becoming lucid as well as help you remember the content of your dreams.

Intend to Remember
Simply intending to remember your dreams will significantly increase your dream recall. You will be surprised at how much Intention Setting can help you remember your dreams. Actively think or read about dreaming frequently, the information will seep into your subconscious and bolster your intentions. You can say a Mantra or practice Meditation before bed as well.

Keep a Dream Journal


Keeping a Dream Journal binds both of the above techniques into a single, simple exercise. Place pen and paper within arms reach of your bed before you sleep EVERY night. Once you wake up, stay relaxed and remember as much of your dream(s) as possible. After you wake up, lay still for a few minutes. Write it all down on your notepad or paper even if you only remember basic information. Try to remember as much as you can about your most recent dream, then trace your memories as far back into the night as possible. Over time you will remember details from all of your dreams. Recognize any memorable people, places or things in your dream. These solid entities help anchor your memories. If you remember a single scene, then go back and relive it. Let that memory open up other scenes and entities from the dream, try to recall what happened after (or with) a memorable moment or person. Read over your recent dream entries before you sleep each night, remember (as vividly as possible) being in that dream. Over time, this process links your waking and dreaming memories and

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enhances your dream recall. Do not struggle to remember a dream, it will only frustrate you. Just stay as relaxed as possible and let the memories come to you.

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Dream Stabilization
What is Dream Stabilization?
Dream stabilization techniques are necessary for maintaining lucidity and prolonging the length of your lucid dreams. Losing lucidity is a common occurrence, it can be caused by a strong emotion, such as fear or excitement, stimulating your mind enough to you wake up. You may also find your lucidity slipping away until you fall back into a normal dream (a lapse of focus and awareness). It is completely normal for your first few lucid dreams to be extraordinarily short-lived, so dont be discouraged. The techniques listed below are some of the most reliable and simple exercises available. These techniques are not required to stabilize your dreams, but they certainly help. Controlling yourself in the dream state is not an easy task, so be prepared to spend a few weeks learning.

Remain Calm
Most people feel a strong sense of excitement when they succeed at lucid dreaming, especially if it is their first time. It takes practice to develop level-headedness in the dream world, but the sooner you start practicing, the sooner you can fully explore the opportunities that lucid dreaming offers. When you first become lucid, it is important to remain still and calm yourself down. Be aware that you are in a dream, but try to remain calm and passive. Pause for a few moments and observe your surroundings. Absorb all the information you receive through your dream senses (sight, smell, touch, etc) and take a few deep breaths this observation forces your attention onto mundane details and is very effective at refocusing your mind. If you feel yourself becoming emotionally excited, quell those feelings with your desire to continue your lucid dreaming experience (as opposed to waking up from your lucid dream!). After you successfully achieve lucidity a few times, this process will be exponentially easier. It can take a few attempts to master your emotions and thoughts in the dream state. As you

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become more familiar with your dream body, you will be able to remain calm without thinking about it. Just remember to relax and engage with your dream. You can use visualization and intention setting to simulate the excitement you feel and practice remaining calm.

Move Around
When your lucid dreams last for a significant amount of time (more than two or three minutes) you will occasionally begin to lose the dream state. If your lucid dream begins to fade (loses detail or vividness) you can spin or twirl your body around to increase the potency and duration of the experience. Spinning in a dream does not make you dizzy (like it would in waking life) and it can help reestablish your dream state. The most important part of this technique is motion, although spinning is reported as the most effective type of motion to rekindle a dream. Research suggests that motion (within a dream) re-engages your mind with the dream state, preventing you from waking prematurely. When you practice dream stabilization techniques, you are more likely to experience False Awakenings. This phenomenon is a common, yet disorienting, experience for lucid dreamers. A false awakening is a dream that almost exactly resembles reality, so be sure to conduct a reality check if you find yourself in bed after a lucid dream (you may be able to initiate another lucid dream!).

Rub Your Hands Together


If your dream is fading and you are on the verge of waking up, you can vigorously rub your hands together to restore your dream state. This technique works like the spinning technique, using motion to revitalize a weakening lucid dream. Research suggests that repeating the phrase The next scene will be a dream (or something similar) as you rub your hands together may increase the potency of this technique.

Maintain Lucidity
Waking from sleep is not the only pitfall to avoid as you lucid dream. If you do not maintain awareness of your dream, you may slip from a lucid dream into a normal dream. To avoid losing lucidity, continue to remind yourself that you are lucid dreaming. Throughout your lucid dream,

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pause and look aroundabsorb all the information you see with the intention of remembering it when you wake up. The desire to remain lucid is often enough to prevent you from slipping into a normal dream, but you must continue to feel this desire for it to work. To maintain lucidity, you must maintain your awareness without generating too much mental or physical excitement. The only way to walk this fine line is practice, so keep practicing!

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The Applications of Lucid Dreaming


There is no right way to lucid dream. This section does not bother telling you how to use lucid dreaming, but rather attempts to provide some creative applications you can use or ignore. This section contains some of the common applications of lucid dreaming.

Fun/Amusement
Most first-time lucid dreamers choose to explore the fun and amusing aspects of a lucid dream. In the dream state, you can act out any fantasy, idea or desire you have. It is hard to resist satisfying the crazy urges that we all have. Before you engage in the more serious applications of lucid dreaming (if you plan to) you should spend some time simply exploring the possibilities of your personal reality. Once the crazy fantasies are all out of the way, you can begin to dig deeper into your dream world.

Overcome Fears
It is hard to face your fears in waking life, especially if that fear is potentially dangerous. In a lucid dream, you can face your fears again and again, risk free. In a lucid dream, you are the creator and master of your universe. If you become scared or want to end the frightening experience, you can simply remove yourself from it. Over time, you can overcome reoccurring nightmares or fears (like public speaking, spiders or your parents-in-law) with this tactic. A lucid dream is the perfect opportunity to practice your social interactions, especially if you are shy or dislike talking to others. Even though it is not the real thing, it will improve your confidence and ability in the most realistic virtual reality possible.

Enhance Abilities
Some professionals use lucid dreaming to practice certain skills as they sleep. You can use a lucid dream to practice martial arts, musical skills or even problem solving, the possibilities are endless.

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Inducing Lucid Dreaming Mantras


What is a Mantra?
A mantra is a sound, word or phrase used in meditation and religious ceremonies. Mantras have various functions and applications, but are often used to focus the mind or relax the body. Mantras originate primarily from India, they are staples of both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and are useful tools for anyone interested in meditation or lucid dreaming.

Mantras for Lucid Dreamers


Mantras serve different purposes depending on the user and the context in which it is used. For a lucid dreamer, a mantra can be used to: Remind yourself that you are about to dream and that you WILL be lucid for it Remember to focus on a particular aspect of a dream immediately after waking and successfully reenter it to achieve lucidity Manipulate the topic or content of your dream, so you can quickly recognize it after falling asleep (to help achieve lucidity) Mantras remind us to achieve one of the above bullet points while we focus our minds and relax our bodies. No matter what mantra you use, you must repeat it over and over again (out loud or within your mind). Mantras should be repeated as necessary, up to the hundreds or thousands of times. It is easy to allow the mind to wander as we fall asleep, mantras help defend the mind against these meanderings. As the body falls asleep, the mind re-digests the events of the day or begins to plan those of tomorrow. Repeating a mantra helps you focus your mind and push away these distracting thoughts, which will hinder lucid dreaming, relaxation and meditation.

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Sample Mantras
Mantras to Use Before Sleep 1. I will be dreaming soon and I will know that it is a dream This mantra makes your last conscious thought about the act of dreaming and that you will recognize the dream when it happens. With this suggestion implanted in your mind, you will be in a state of readiness, increasing your chances of achieving lucidity. As you repeat this mantra, repeat it is a fact (not as a desire or question). You must KNOW that you WILL be having a dream soon. 2. I will be dreaming about This mantra allows you to focus your mind on a particular subject, allowing you to more easily ignore distractions. Lucidity can be achieved when you recognize that you are in a situation or participating in an activity that you wanted to dream about. If your mind recognizes that you are actually dreaming about what you said you would, it can shift you into a lucid dream. Simple topics (like flying) are best for beginners. 3. This is the dream - Accepting and focusing on unusual thoughts This technique is particularly useful for people who have unusual thoughts of completely random objects, events or people immediately prior to falling asleep. If you are one of these people, this could be your key to lucidity. As you fall asleep, and the abnormal flood of thoughts envelops your mind, tell yourself This is the dream. Your mind will focus on the flood of images and treat them as the dream. As you cross over into sleep, and the mind maintains the idea that it is having a dream, then it should take the abnormal thoughts and add structure (complete dream) to them. This method relies heavily on timing, because most people only experience the abnormal thoughts for a matter of seconds before actually falling asleep. Mantras to Use After Waking from a Dream 4. I am going back to (content of dream)

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Many people wake up for a very brief period after they dream. Instead of immediately going back asleep, start repeating this mantra using the place you were at in your dream. For instance, if you were at playground in your dream, you should repeat, I am going back to the playground. The idea is that your mind will immediately revert back to the subject matter in your dream, the playground in this example scenario. If you focus your mind onto one of your previous dreams without allowing it to escape into reality, you will be able to return to the dream with partial or full lucidity. 5. I will see (content of dream) again This mantra is a modification of the I am going back to mantra. If you dont remember any specific locations in the dream (for I am going back to), then select a particular object that you saw during the dream as your reference point. The more obvious or distinct the entity was in your dream, the better your chances are to achieve lucidity when you return to the dream. If you were alone in a place you have never been, but you saw a bird, a glass of water and a six-legged cat, choose the six-legged cat! Upon waking, begin the mantra, I will see the six-legged cat again. Recreate the complete image of the unusual or distinct entity as best you can as you repeat the mantra.

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Inducing Lucid Dreaming Meditation


What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practical application of mental discipline and is necessary (or at least helpful) for almost every lucid dreaming technique in this course. Meditation creates a relaxed state of body and mind; it has been practiced for thousands of years and originated in the Far East. By no means is this a comprehensive guide to meditation. This section provides instructions for simple meditation and relaxation techniques for the purpose of lucid dreaming.

Meditation for Lucid Dreamers


Through meditation, you can achieve intense levels of focus (inaccessible during normal daily activity) by clearing the shallow, surface thoughts from you mind. This process magnifies the effect of Mantras, improves your chance to become lucid during a dream (by strengthening your focus and self-awareness) and greatly improves your Dream Recall. Meditation can also improve the overall restorative function and quality of sleep. Whether you choose to simply practice the basic meditation method in this section, or advance your meditation skills beyond it, you will find that it greatly increases your self-awareness in life and lucid dreaming.

Remove All Distractions


Before meditating, you must remove as much of the distracting, external stimulus as possible. As you prepare, consider all five sensenot just sight and sound. Here are a few ways to remove distractions before you begin to meditate:

Sounds
Depending on your location, it may be impossible to completely escape the sounds of civilization. However, even in rural or quiet areas, there are always sounds that you may not notice until you are in the middle of meditation.

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Electronic devices common sound sources that lurk all around you. Be sure to turn off computers, monitors, televisions and any other electronic device that hums or emits some other constant noise (even if it is barely audible). If the bed frame is touching the wall, any sounds within the wall travel through the bed frame and amplify. Moving your bed a few inches from the wall hinders unnecessary, unwanted noises from breaking your concentration.

Smells
A plethora of smells waft all around you throughout the day, but they go largely ignored until you are still and relaxed enough to perceive them. Moving a fresh load of laundry into a bedroom can distinctly affect the smell of that room for hours. It is impossible to eliminate all smells from a room, but you can always cover an unpleasant odor with a pleasing fragrance. Choose a mild scent that you are comfortable and familiar with. The subtlety of a single aromatic candle or plug-in air freshener can create a single, stable scent that is pleasant yet not overbearing. Avoid incense as the smoke is acrid and can hinder your focus on breathing.

Tastes
Do not have anything in your mouth during the relaxation and meditation process. Before meditating, avoid foods or liquids with a harsh and/or lingering aftertaste. Dont use harsh mouthwash when you brush your teeth before sleeping, the strong flavor and alcohol create a distracting, burning sensation. Also, avoid smoking as it leaves a noticeable aftertaste that lasts for several hours, even for regular smokers.

Vision
Even though your eyes will be closed as you practice meditation, light is still able to penetrate your eyelids. Turn off all the lights around you before you begin a meditation session. Turn your alarm clock around if the light is bright and power down any devices that emit light. Flashing, pulsating and red colored light are the most distracting, take extra steps to avoid them.

Relax
Most mediation techniques emphasize the importance of posturemeditation is typically done in a seated posture. For lucid dreamers, meditation is conducted mostly in bed before sleep. Regardless, it is important to make a note of your comfort level and how you are positioned.

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Movement is very disruptive to focus, especially if that movement is due to the desire to become comfortable. Get into a comfortable position that makes breathing effortless and places no pressure on particular points on your body. Be sure that the surface you are lying on is free of lumps or objects in the bedding itself. If animals sleep on the bed with you, avoid being in contact with them when you meditate. A solid understanding of relaxation techniques accelerate your ability to meditate successfully. Too much body tension can block you from going into deeper states of meditation. Please see the Relaxation section for detailed information on relaxation techniques.

Time to Meditate: The Breathing Technique


Once you have neutralized the stimuli in your environment, it is time to focus the mind. The breathing technique is the foundation for almost any form of meditation or advanced relaxation technique, it is used by beginners and experts alike. 1. Breathe naturally Do not strive to control your inhale, exhale or the time between the two. Let your breathing flow naturally, the body does not need your conscious thought to regulate breathing. 2. Focus on the sensation As you adopt a natural, comfortable breathing cycle, focus on the sensations associated with each inhalation and exhalation. This is the focal point of your meditation. As you focus on the sensations, your mind will begin to wander and create random or spontaneous thoughts. Just remember that your mind is not wandering more than normal, you are just becoming more aware of what your mind does all day (every day) of your life. If you find it too difficult to focus on your breathing without controlling it, you can change your focus. One option is to focus on the rhythmic pumping of your heart. Another, more advanced technique, recommended for visual thinkers is to create a mental image within your mind in order to still the constant stream of image-thoughts. This picture may be

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a flame or cross or any simple object you choose. Whatever it is, feed all of your attention into the object (Note: this is much more difficult that the previous techniques). 3. Always maintain focus if your mind wanders Your mind WILL wander during the beginning, but persevere in order to develop deeper levels of focus. When you notice your thoughts and focus shifting, simply guide them back to your breathing and keep your attention there. This takes practice, it will become much easier as you get used to steering your mind without disrupting your relaxation and focus. 4. (Optional) Say A Mantra Mantras are not necessary for either lucid dreaming or for mediation. However, much the same as meditation on an image stills the visual aspect of the mind, repeating a mantra focuses the auditory element of the mind. If you want to use mantra before you fall asleep, now is the time to do so. Your focused mind can recite and manifest a mantra effectively and quickly, much more than your waking mind can. Repeat your mantra many times, gradually increasing the speed until it is a blur of thoughts in your mind, then slow the repetition back to a steady pace. This drastic pace change forces your mind to focus on the mantra, which eventually consumes virtually all of your attention. Once you slow back down, your mind is emptier than before and can enjoy a small break from the mental chatter. Meditation prior to using a mantra is good because it keeps the mantra pure. You will have achieved focus and the only thing that is on your mind is the mantra. By doing this, the mantra becomes more effective.

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Inducing Lucid Dreaming Relaxation


Relaxation for Lucid Dreamers
For lucid dreamers, relaxation is more than sitting in a comfortable chair to unwind. To reach the levels of relaxation that are required to perform many lucid dreaming techniques, you must develop awareness and control of your entire body. Relaxation is vital to succeed at Meditation and numerous techniques in this book. Achieving the levels of relaxation needed for meditation and lucid dreaming requires conscious effort at first. There is more to the relaxation process than taking a few deep breaths or stretching before you sleep. A few relaxation techniques are listed below, try them all and combine them to find what works best for you.

Toe-to-Head Progressive Relaxation


One of the most common relaxation techniques for lucid dreamers, the toe-to-head requires you to tense and relax muscles in progression. This technique takes a few minutes to do properly, so avoid the temptation to rush through the process. To start the technique, take a dozen or so deep breaths, try to clear your head and focus on how your body feels. Begin by clenching your toes on one foot as you inhale deeply. Hold your breath for 2-3 seconds and release it. As you exhale, relax your clenched toes completely. This sudden change from clenched to relaxed is noticeable and will help you learn how to recreate that level of relaxation. Proceed to repeat this process with each muscle group from toes to torso on each leg. Each muscle group will take 10-15 seconds each. Clench smaller groups of muscles to extend the relaxation process as much as possible. Paying individual attention to small or hidden muscles allows you to gain more control over them in the long-term.

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Facial Relaxation
The jaw, face and eye muscles hold the vast majority of body tension during relaxation. It is much easier to relax leg, arm and torso muscles than it is to relax the facial muscles. Most lucid dreamers have problems relaxing these muscles completely, so a specific facial relaxation technique can be used in addition to a full-body technique. The jaw muscle is extraordinarily strong for its size. People who do not relax their jaw much may grind their teeth (leading to headaches) or develop ear problems (including Tinnitus, a constant ringing sound). Rub or massage the two muscles along your jaw leading towards your ears .After a minute or so, stretch your jaw a little, as if you were yawning. Apply pressure on both sides of your jaw bone with the palms of your hand; allow your jaw to hang loosely during this process. Breathe deeply and calmly as you relax your jaw. Proceed to massage, stretch and relax other muscle groups in your face, including nose, mouth and eyes. Your eyes build up an incredible amount of tension. Clench, stretch and relax each one two or three times.

Controlled Breathing Relaxation


Most relaxation techniques involve some form of breath control, but this technique is based on it. To relax your body by breathing, you must posture yourself as comfortable as possible. For this technique, lying down is better than sitting up (it is easier to breathe lying down). Inhale slowly and deeply. Breathe with your stomach rather than your upper chest (it should feel as though your stomach was inflating). After a few dozen deep breaths, begin to focus on different parts of your body. As you inhale and exhale, which should take a total of 10 or so seconds, observe how the process impacts each area of your body. Notice the subtle variations in feeling in your hands as you breathe in and out, do the same with your legs and torso muscles. As you breathe in, feel the fresh air pulsing warmth and relaxation into your body. You can visualize this as white or brightly-colored light if you want.

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Inducing Lucid Dreaming Using Supplements


What are Supplements?
For a lucid dreamer, supplements are substances that increase the potency or likelihood of a lucid dream experience by being consumed, inhaled or absorbed into the body. There is no supplement that can guarantee a lucid dream, but many have been reported to significantly improve the entrance into a lucid dream or enhance the quality of the dream itself. The efficacy of each supplement varies from user to usersome report no change while others report significant, positive results. With the exception of Malarone, all of the supplements in this section can be purchased online or at most natural health stores.

1. Omega-3
Omega-3 is found in cold water, oily fish like anchovies and sardines. It is considered essential to normal growth and development for humans and is a popular health supplement available at most stores that sell vitamins or health products.
How to Take Omega-3:

When: There is no set dosage for Omega-3. Many people take supplements daily, while others prefer to take it several times a week. Omega-3 is a long-term supplement and you must take it regularly to receive any significant benefit. How Much: Daily doses ranging from 1 to 3 grams considered a standard dose for a healthy adult. Interactions: Large doses may interact negatively with painkillers or blood-thinners and can increase the risk of stroke or hemorrhage. The Benefits of Omega-3: 1. Reinforces the brains memory centers and improves dream recall 2. Contributes to growth of nerves, particularly ocular nerves

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3. Helps prevent various types of cancer The Drawbacks of Omega-3: 1. Overuse increases chances of unprovoked bleeding or stroke (only in large quantities) 2. Risk of premature (or under-mature) birth in pregnant females

2. Vitamin B
Much like Omega-3, Vitamin B improves the function of the brain, particularly memory and dream recall. It can also increase the vividness of dreams, creating more intense and memorable experiences during sleep. Vitamin B converts the chemical tryptophan (a sleep-inducing chemical found in turkey meat) to serotonin (which regulates sleep cycles). B Vitamins act as a natural stimulant and are found in many popular energy drinks. Regular, large doses of this vitamin can cause adverse effects, but it is a completely natural (and necessary) substance for humans. This vitamin can produce noticeable effects after only a few days of use. Lucid dreamers can use Vitamin B to improve their long term dream recall and increase their ability to focus or meditate. How to Take Vitamin B: When: A daily or semi-daily dosage is recommended for optimum effect, but even occasional supplements yield tangible results. How Much: The recommended dose of Vitamin B varies depending on the size, age and health of the consumer. A dose of 2.4 mcg is the standard daily dose for an adult. Interactions: Unfortunately, Vitamin B interacts (sometimes dangerously) with a variety of medications. Possible dangerous interactions include: medication for high cholesterol, Diabetes and digestive problems. Consult a doctor if you think Vitamin B will interact with any other medication or supplements you take. The Benefits of Vitamin B: 1. A natural boost of energy, dreams may be more vivid 2. Improves brain function (especially memory) and dream recall

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3. Increased absorption of other necessary chemicals and vitamins The Drawbacks of Vitamin B: 1. Can cause flushing, headaches or digestive problems 2. May cause dizziness, fatigue and can interfere with various medications

3. Melatonin
Melatonin is an organic hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is located near the center of the brain (in humans). This chemical helps regulate sleeping cycles and controls the bodys circadian rhythm. Melatonin is a popular over-the-counter sleeping aid, but can also be used to achieve lucid dreams. The human body synthesizes Melatonin from other chemicals and hormones. The perception of light (even artificial light) can stop or slow Melatonin production. Melatonin is not as powerful as a sedative; rather, it creates a gentle urge to sleep. Leaving the lights on or staring at a computer/television screen can hinder the production and efficacy of Melatonin. Melatonin is often sold as a small, round pill and is widely available. Swallow Melatonin tablets with water and expect results within 30 minutes to 2 hours. How to Take Melatonin: When: Melatonin is a sleep-inducer and should be consumed about 1-2 hours before sleep. How Much: There is no standard dose for Melatonin. High doses (roughly 50mg) have been reported to increase the duration of REM sleep in some individuals. Doses as low as 3-5mg can produce noticeable results. Interactions: Melatonin, as a naturally occurring chemical, is safe to use with most other supplements and medication. Drugs that induce drowsiness (such as allergy medications) may interact with Melatonin to produce excessive drowsiness or an upset stomach. The Benefits of Melatonin: 1. Naturally occurring, can be used repeatedly 2. Confirmed results by some Lucid Dreamers

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3. Easy to locate and purchase The Drawbacks of Melatonin: 1. May induce drowsiness or stomach upset (low probability) 2. Weak compared to other supplements or drugs, some users report no noticeable change after consuming Melatonin

4. Choline
Choline is a naturally occurring B vitamin and is considered an essential nutrient by health authorities. It is produced by the body in small amounts and is acquired by consuming foods such as eggs and beef. Cholines primary functions include the synthesis of acetylcholine in the brain. Choline is reported to increase intelligence, enhance mood and improve memory recall. Choline is hailed in the lucid dreaming community as a great supplement that helps the dreamer recall their dreams more vividly and for a longer period of time. A combination of Choline and Galantamine is reported to significantly enhance a dreamers ability to remember dreams and increase lucidity while in a dream. Some members of the lucid dreaming community claim that Choline is only useful when combined with Galantamine, others report positive results from taking only the Choline supplement. How to Take Choline: When: Take one dose before bed (or in the middle of the night if you are using WBTB technique), this supplement takes effect within one hour. Some users claim that repeated use (over the course of weeks or months) will increase long-term ability to recall dreams. It is not recommended to take Choline more than a few times a week. How Much: The amount varies from user to user. Consuming a single tablet (roughly 200mg) once a day for several days has been reported to yield positive results for lucid dreamers. Some users ingest 400-800mg to receive effects.

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Interactions: Significant interaction with the supplement Galantamine. The combination of Choline and Galantamine has proven successful for many lucid dreamers and is widely available in formulas designed for dreamers. The Benefits of Choline: 1. Increased memory, mood and brain function 2. Extremely potent when combined with Galantamine 3. Naturally occurring The Drawbacks of Choline: 1. Some side-effects possible (sweating and nausea) 2. Designed for occasional (not regular) use

5. Galantamine
Galantamine is often sold under the brand name Reminyl and is used to treat Alzheimers disease and some forms of minor dementia. This substance is harvested from various plants, including the red spider lily, the common daffodil and the Snowdrop plant. Galantamine temporarily strengthens the brains memory storage and recall centers. Galantamine is popular in the lucid dreaming community, especially in conjunction with the supplement Choline. While both drugs have individual effects beneficial to a lucid dreamer, the combination is often an effective cocktail for inducing and maintaining lucidity during dreams. How to Take Galantamine: When: This supplement can be taken daily to improve long-term memory and dream recall or temporarily for immediate results (particularly in combination with Choline). How Much: Daily doses range from 4mg-12mg, the supplement is manufactured as single dose capsules within this range. The dose can be doubled (or more) for significant temporary effects or to be used in combination with Choline. Interactions: Strong interaction with Choline and, according to the lucid dreaming community, the combination increases dream recall and the chance of successfully entering a lucid dream.

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The Benefits of Galantamine: 1. Improved memory and dream recall 2. Can induce Sleep Paralysis (according to some users) 3. Reported as highly effective and reliable by lucid dreamers The Drawbacks of Galantamine: 1. Alters brain chemistry, usage should be limited
2. Can cause minor side-effects like dizziness or nightmares

6. Calea Zacatechichi
The Calea Zacatechichi plant (also known as the Dream Herb) is native to regions of Mexico and was integral to the local shamanistic culture for thousands of years. It can be inhaled (via pipe or other device), consumed as a liquid (tea) or swallowed as a capsule. While some practitioners of shamanism claim that this substance grants the user prophetic dreams, it is certainly an interesting option for the curious lucid dreamer, whether they believe in the possibility of prophecy or not. Calea Zacatechichi is reported to greatly enhance the lucidity and vividness of dreams. Users claim the drug works best when consumed immediately before sleeping or after waking during the night. This substance affects the REM Cycle, so consuming it in the middle of the night and going back to sleep may be the best way to maximize its lucid dream inducing effects. Studies report that this substance increases the number of spontaneous awakenings during night-time sleep. How to Take Calea Zacatechichi: When: No recommended dosage information available, user discretion is advised. How Much: No recommended dosage information available, user discretion is advised. Interactions: This substance is considered to be a hallucinogen in some states and/or countries. Interactions are unknown, so consult a doctor if you are taking any medication that might interact with Calea Zacatechichi. The Benefits of Calea Zacatechichi: 1. Used for thousands of years with reported success

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2. Naturally occurring, can be grown and is widely available The Drawbacks of Calea Zacatechichi: 1. Very little medical information available 2. May be illegal in some states or countries
3. May cause hallucinations or other side-effects

7. Huperzine-A
Huperzine-A is a botanical supplement, which has been used in China for centuries to augment memory and treat brain degeneration. This substance, extracted from certain types of moss, has garnered recent attention in the medical community for its effectiveness at improving memory. Huperzine-A functions much like Galantamine or Choline, providing long-term benefits to the brains memory centers. How to Take Huperzine-A: When: This supplement should be taken daily or semi-daily (5-7 times a week) for full effect. How Much: There is no set dosage, but users say 200-600 mcg per day provides the beneficial effects with little or no side-effects. Interactions: Very little is known about interactions with this supplement. Ask a doctor before you take Huperzine A if you are taking medications to treat a memory or age-related brain condition (like Alzheimers). The Benefits of Huperzine-A: 1. Relatively safe and naturally occurring 2. Improved memory and dream recall reported 3. Helps prevent age-related brain degeneration The Drawbacks of Huperzine-A: 1. May interact with medications for Alzheimers or similar disorder

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8. Mugwort
Mugwort is a common plant found across the globe. It is thought to have originated in Europe and Asia and has been used in religious ceremonies, to regulate menstrual cycles and as an alternative to hops in beer production for hundreds of years. While little official research connects Mugwort with lucid dreaming, many in the lucid dreaming community claim that the drug enhances dream recall and increases the intensity and visual stimulus of dreams. Some lucid dreamers report no effect after taking Mugwort, while others report definite results. How to Take Mugwort: When: Daily or semi-daily supplements are reported to provide beneficial effects. How Much: In capsule form, 400-600mg may be taken 2-3 times a day. Fresh Mugwort (as a tea or sprig) has no set dosage, user discretion is advised. Interactions: Mugwort is not recommended for pregnant women, as it can cause complications for both mother and fetus. The Benefits of Mugwort: 1. Natural remedy for a variety of mental and physical health issues 2. Reported to increase lucidity and vividness of dreams 3. Easily accessible as capsule, sprig or seed The Drawbacks of Mugwort: 1. Can cause complications during pregnancy 2. Overdose (or overuse) may be toxic (daily supplements for more than three or four weeks)

9. Silene Capensis
Silene Capensis (also known as African Dream Root) grows in portions of South and Eastern Africa and is associated with the local shamanistic cultures there. According to the local

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tradition, Silene Capensis was used to invoke lucid dreams as part of an initiation process for budding shamans. The effects of this plant are similar to those of Calea Zacatechichi. Lucid dreamers report dramatic, startling results from ingesting (chewing or swallowing) Silene Capensis. Despite the repulsive taste, users report lucid or vivid dreams following consumption of this substance. Very little is known about this plant but no significant side-effects have been associated with it. How to Take Silene Capensis: When: Much like Calea Zacatechichi, there is no recommended dosage frequency for Silene Capensis. How Much: No recommended dosage available, user discretion is strongly advised. Overdose effects are unknown. Interactions: As a possible hallucinogen, anyone taking medication of any kind should consult a doctor before consuming Silene Capensis. The Benefits of Silene Capensis: 1. Reported to greatly increase chances of achieving lucidity 2. No significant or severe side-effects have been reported The Drawbacks of Silene Capensis: 1. Very little is known about this drug, user discretion is advised 2. As a possible hallucinogen, this drug may be illegal in some countries and/or states

10. Malarone (Atovaquone)


Atovaquone (named Malarone by manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline) is a prescription drug designed to prevent and treat Malaria. While this drug is not meant to produce lucid or vivid dreams, a significant portion of users report increased dream frequency, abnormality and lucidity.

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This drug is only available by prescription and is not considered a recreational drug. If you are prescribed this drug, you may want to capitalize on the dream-enhancing side-effects while you have the chance. Keep in mind that it may be a controlled substance in some countries and/or states, so be sure to research any local regulations or restrictions before using Malarone. How to Take Malarone: When: Prescribed as a once or twice daily treatment for Malaria. This drug is designed for temporary use (ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months). How Much: Typical dosage is 250mg per day. Interactions: Possibly dangerous interactions with kidney disease or disorder (and related medication) as well as digestive problems. Do not take Malarone unless it has been prescribed to you by a doctor.

The Benefits of Malarone: 1. Studies consistently report increased probability of having lucid dreams 2. Relatively safe with few side-effects (if prescribed) The Drawbacks of Malarone: 1. Prescription drug with limited availability (designed for Malaria prevention) 2. Can be dangerous if used without consent/permission of doctor

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General FAQ
What is a Reality Check? Reality checks are used in almost every technique in this book and are the primary tool of almost every lucid dreamer. A reality check is a simple thought-process or action that you consistently practice (during waking life) to evaluate whether you are dreaming or not. This may sound silly, but the more you practice, the more likely you will be to do it in your dreams. Select a reality check that you can do often. You can think to yourself Am I dreaming? and look around for a moment to take in your surroundings. You can also hop up and down for a few seconds to test the reality of your environment. Practice your chosen reality check whenever you encounter a specific stimulus of your choosing. Every time you walk through a doorway, for an example. If you perform a reality check EVERY time you walk through doorway in waking life, chances are you will do it in your dreams after a week or two. A common reality check is looking at your fingers and hands. During dreams, most people find that their hands appear to melt when they look at them. This is a common, reliable reality check if you do not wish to make one of your own. What is Intention Setting? Intention setting is the act of focusing your intentions on a specific task. Even though intending to do something may not sound very scientific, it is a lab-tested fact that it significantly increases the chances of successfully lucid dreaming. In fact, an entire lucid dreaming technique revolves around intentions (MILD), which should say something for the power of intention. In order to set your intentions, you must truly desire to accomplish the task. Build this desire by citing your motivations for lucid dreaming. Dont wish that you will succeed at lucid dreaming; just know that you will succeed. Pause throughout the day and intend to have a lucid dream that night (or whenever you decided to try one of the techniques). Mantras and meditation may help you increase the potency of your intention setting.

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What is a False Awakening? A false awakening is a dream that nearly perfectly resembles reality. The only way to distinguish a false awakening from a real one is to perform a reality check. False awakenings often come in spurts, so you may experience several consecutive true awakenings before the false one happens. False awakenings may occur when you strongly desire to continue or have a lucid dream, but your mind is trying to wake your body. A false awakening is a vivid, memorable experience, which stands out as a peculiarity among dreamers. Both WILDs and EILDs commonly experience false awakenings. The easiest solution is to be disciplined about performing reality checks each time you wake up. (Note: be sure to choose a reality check that can be performed without moving, lest you spoil your chances at performing an EILD). What is the REM Cycle? The Rapid Eye Movement cycle is a short span of time (between 10 and 20 minutes) during each 90 minute sleep cycle. The only time you dream is during the REM portion of sleep, the remaining 7580% of sleep is referred to as non-REM or deep sleep. Because dreams only occur during this tiny window in the sleep cycle, some techniques (like EILD) require that you calculate when REM will occur in your cycle. If you wake after the REM cycle, you will not be able to enter a lucid dream until the next 90 minute period has passed. An easy to way discover your REM cycles is to drink a lot of liquid before going to bed. Most people wake up after each REM cycle and immediately fall back to sleep. However, if you wake up with a full bladder, chances are you will retain consciousness long enough to go to the bathroom. You can use this method to record the times you wake up. You wake roughly fifteen minutes after the beginning an REM cycle. REM occurs every 90 minutes, so continue to experiment until you believe you figured your cycle out. Remember that you wake roughly 15 minutes after the cycle, so set your timing back 15 minutes to account for this. What is Hypnagogia (aka the Hypnogogic State)?

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Hypnagogia is a state of in-between sleep and consciousness. Everyone experiences this state as they fall asleep, but many do not remember the experience because their minds are already on autopilot. Developing mental awareness allows an experienced lucid dreamer to let their body fall asleep while they intentionally place themselves into a lucid dream without losing consciousness. Manipulating your thoughts and awareness in hypnagogia is exceedingly difficult and requires weeks or months of practice. During hypnagogia, sensory stimuli are synthesized and perceived by your brain. Patterns of lights, sounds, smells and scenery appear before your senses. The only way to enter and control this state is through strict meditation and practice. Please see the WILD/HIT section for more information on how to navigate this state and enter a lucid dream. What is Sleep Paralysis? Sleep paralysis occurs immediately before or during hypnagogia. It can also occur immediately after waking, particularly after a vivid dream. During sleep paralysis, you cant move some (or all) of your bodyit can be a frightening experience. This phenomenon occurs as you fall asleep, your mind unplugs from your physical body in preparation for the dream state. During the dream state, your mind fabricates a complete set of sensory information that is often completely unrelated to external stimuli (like your body). If you suddenly wake from a dream or enter hypnagogia consciously, be aware that sleep paralysis may occur, but it poses no danger to your health. To overcome sleep paralysis, simply breathe for a few minutes and focus on moving your hands and arms. As your mind reconnects with your body, you will regain movement.

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