Lucid Dreaming/Induction Techniques

This page describes a number of lucid dream induction techniques. It is recommended that you be able to recall at least one dream per night in order to maximize the effectiveness of these methods.

Preliminary Knowledge


Certain elements are common to many of the lucidity-inducing techniques discussed later in this chapter. To better understand these techniques, these common components will be discussed first.

Sleep Interruption


An element shared by many of the techniques is sleep interruption. Sleep interruption is the process of purposefully awakening during your normal sleep period and falling asleep a short time later (10–60 minutes). This can be easily done by using a relatively quiet alarm clock to bring you to consciousness without fully waking you. If you find yourself resetting the clock in your sleep, it can be placed on the other side of the room, forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off. Other biorhythm-based options involve drinking lots of fluid (particularly water or tea, a known diuretic) prior to sleep, forcing one to get up to urinate.

Sleep interruption is a natural part of the MILD technique (described below) which trains you to arise immediately after your dreams end.

Sleep Continuity


If you have trouble initially falling asleep, avoid drinking water for about an hour before going to bed. Otherwise, you may find yourself running to the bathroom, disrupting any attempts at lucidity. Also, try to avoid caffeine and sugar before bed. However, depending on your sensitivity, caffeine may only stimulate your mind as opposed to your body. This extra grip on consciousness could be helpful in inducing lucid dreams. Exercising during the day is an excellent way of preparing your body for sleep. However, be sure to not exercise inside the three hours before bedtime, as your body will be stimulated for a short time afterwards. The morning or afternoon is the best time for this.

If you still have difficulty getting to sleep, try reading about lucid dreaming just before going to sleep. Your subconscious will likely absorb this information, increasing your chances of experiencing a lucid dream. If you do decide to read before going to sleep, keep a lamp next to your bed as physically getting up to turn off the lights may reawaken your body.

Reality checks


A reality check is a test you can perform to see if you're dreaming or awake. It might seem odd to test reality when you are sure that you're awake, but making a habit out of one or more of these reality checks will hugely increase your chances of having a lucid dream. If, say, you hold your nose and try to breathe in through it several times throughout the day then you're very likely to dream about doing it. And when you dream about performing a reality check, then of course the results should come out differently, in this case you'll find that you are somehow breathing in through your closed nostrils. You'll know that you're dreaming, and be able to take lucid control!

So here are some reality checks. You should be familiar with the entire list even if you only use a few.

Reliability Speed Inconspicuousness Overall False positives False negatives
Breathing Can you breathe with your fingers tightly sealing your nose and your mouth shut? 5 5 3 4.33 - Very Rare
Jumping When you jump, do you float back down? 5 5 1 3.67 - Rare
Reading Do sentences change when you read them? Read, turn away and repeat it to yourself, and then turn back and read it again. Do this twice. 5 4 4 4.33 - Rare
Vision Do you have perfect vision? This only works for people who have at least slightly blurry vision in the waking world. Alternatively, if you have perfect vision in the waking world, you may have blurred vision in the dream world. 4 5 5 4.67 - Common
Hands Do your hands have a strange color, too many fingers (sometimes they disappear and reappear when you try to count them!) or other abnormalities? Can you push your finger through your other hand? 4 5 5 4.67 - Occasional
Time Does your watch or clock tell a reasonable time? Are you even able to read the time off it? Sometimes clocks have the wrong number of hands or have strange symbols. Try reading the time twice, like the Reading check above. Note: Digital clocks often work better for this reality check. 4 5 4 4.33 - Occasional
Powers Are you able to fly (just visualize it), unlock doors, or use other magical powers? Try to change the shape of your body, or walk through a wall, window, or mirror. 4 5 3 4 - Common
Light switches Does a light switch work? 4 3 1 2.67 Occasional Occasional
Mirrors Do you look normal in a mirror? 3 3 3 3 - Occasional
Nose Can you see your nose with one eye closed? 2 5 5 4 - Rare
Memory Are you able to remember how you got here, why you are here and what happened an hour ago? 2 3 5 3.33 Rare Common
Identity Do you have the same gender, age, job, relationships and responsibilities as usual? 2 3 5 3.33 - Occasional

Choose a few reality checks which you will do regularly. Take them seriously, do not assume you are awake (even when you know you are). If you practice performing these checks very thoroughly while awake, then you're more likely to perform them thoroughly while dreaming. You should always carry out more than one reality check. If you find that it is not a dream, look around you and think of what would be different if it were a dream. If you do this it will make it more likely that you will do a reality check in a dream.

Apart from doing reality checks throughout the day, you also need to do a reality check immediately after you wake up. This helps you become lucid in false awakenings, when you dream that you have woken up but in fact are still dozing. Using a digital alarm clock or mobile phone display to do a Reading check, every single time you wake up, is a quick and reliable way to catch false awakenings.

If you have trouble bringing reality checks into your dreams then before going to bed imagine yourself in a dream, noticing odd details and doing a reality check. Then do a reality check in real life. If you do this a few times before bed you will find that you will do it more often in dreams.

If you are in a situation where you cannot do a reality check, such as at a public speaking, try to do one as soon as possible. You can do some reality checks very inconspicuously, such as looking at some text on a sign. If you start to say “well, I can't do a reality check now” you should not be surprised when you make this mistake in a dream!

Which reality checks are best?

When selecting reality checks, the most important properties of a reality check are reliability, speed, and inconspicuousness.

  • The reliability of each reality check is how likely you are to recognize the dream-sign's results as showing that you are dreaming once you do them in a dream. It changes for each person but some reality checks are overall more accurate than others. The figures in the table above are rough only and differ for each person.
  • It is important for a reality check to be fast. It wastes dream time if you have to search around for a book or (perhaps worse) a mirror. Plus, it could also give your subconsciousness more time to produce real-life results, especially if you believe that the check will give real-life results.
  • Third, a reality check should be inconspicuous; that is, it should not draw too much attention to you when you do it in the waking world. Suddenly jumping in the air or trying to walk through a wall as a reality check could cause much embarrassment!
  • Fourth, a reality check should not have "false positives". These occur when the reality check shows you are dreaming in real life. When you get a dream result, do another reality check to be sure!
  • A final important note is whether or not a reality check should have "false negatives". These occur when a reality check shows you are in real life when you are actually dreaming. If you think you may be dreaming, keep doing tests until you prove yourself right!

On the table above, these are scored out of 5.

I have trouble remembering to do reality checks throughout the day. What reminders can I use?

You are lucky to have an interesting day and forget about lucid dreaming! You can tag your mind to remember dreaming when you think of certain things, like your friend or your homework. It isn't advisable to explicitly write “reality check” or “lucid” on your hand, as this could create an over dependence on this reminder, which may not exist in a dream. However, you might want to just draw a dot or small circle on your hand. This should be enough to remind you to do a reality check.

Try putting a little label on your clock, mobile phone, or watch, reminding yourself to do a reality check. (Some weird colors will make it more noticeable and it will take longer for you to get used to it and ignore it.) If you check these regularly during the course of your waking day, you will be doing lots of reality checks.

A simple coffee mug with a reminder such as "Are you dreaming?" printed on it or random alarms can also serve well, but try not to become too dependent on them. You can find examples of these at LD4All.

Another technique is to write down three things you do regularly in a day. Examples include hearing your name, going through a doorway, turning on a TV, beginning to read a book, or seeing a stranger. In the morning, choose three such events and intend to do a reality check whenever they happen in the following day.

I did a reality check in a dream but it said that I was not dreaming. What went wrong?

Some reality checks work perfectly for some people and awfully for others. These are mostly the light switches one and the hands one. If you find that the light switch works or that your hands are perfectly normal, you need to change to a different technique.

I did a reality check in a dream but I did not quite realize I was dreaming. What went wrong?

An example of this is looking into a mirror and seeing some huge boils or a gray mist on your reflection and not realizing that you are dreaming. This is rare if you actually intended to look into the mirror as a reality check. You need to be more careful when doing your reality checks in real life or pick more reliable reality checks which show more obviously that you are dreaming. Also try to pick reality checks that are easy to do. For example, don't rely the Time Reality Check if you never wear a watch, and don't pick the Mirror Reality Check if you rarely look in the mirror during the day or you know that you won't find a mirror in your dream.

Another good remedy for this problem (and a good practice in general) is to perform two or three reality checks at a time. The Time Reality Check, for example, can be easily combined with attempting to push one hand through another. Or, for those with glasses, testing your ability to read text fits naturally with checking for "perfect eyesight w/o glasses".



When you read through these techniques, remember that different techniques work for different people. There is no “best technique” and most techniques could be used to have 2–5 lucid dreams every night! You could have several lucid dreams in a night, but you will not know it unless you remember them!

However, you will probably want some advice as to which technique you should try first. Consider whether you want to use a method which starts from a dream or a method which starts from being awake.* If you master a technique which starts from being awake, you will eventually be able to have lucid dreams on demand when you sleep. For other techniques, you have to rely on your luck to give you lucid dreams after you have done your technique. Here are some advantages and disadvantages for specific techniques:

(Remember, it is essential to be able to recall at least one dream per night before attempting these techniques)

Technique Summary Advantages Disadvantages Best for... Rating


Wake after some sleep and then return to bed.

  • Simple
  • Can be very reliable, especially when used with other techniques
  • Disrupts sleep cycle

People who want to strengthen other techniques, or who wake up in the middle of the night anyway.



Let yourself genuinely believe that you'll become lucid—without intending to become lucid—so that you really will.

  • Simple
  • Less effective than some other techniques (such as MILD)

People who are susceptible to hypnosis or practice meditation.


(Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams)

Fall asleep while focused on your intention to remember that you are dreaming.

  • Simple
  • Can be boring

People with a good prospective memory (remembrance of future intentions).


(Wake-Initiation of Lucid Dreams)

Keep your consciousness while falling asleep and go straight into a dream.

  • Lets you truly induce lucid dreams at will
  • Can cause frightening experiences
  • Can take long to master

People who want to reliably have lucid dreams.


(Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams)

By repetitive visualisation, incubate a dream in which you do a reality check.

  • Also lets you induce lucid dreams at will
  • Works extremely well for some people...
  • ...but not very well for others
  • Visualizing can keep you awake

People who have good visualization skills.

Green/ yellow

(Cycle Adjustment Technique)

Adjust your sleep cycle to encourage awareness during the latter part of your sleep.

  • Requires relatively little effort other than adjusting your sleep cycle
  • Is very effective
  • Requires you to wake up early on some days
  • You are only likely to get a lucid dream on every other day (though this could easily be more frequently than with other techniques)

People who have a very regular sleep cycle.

Green/ yellow

* The usual acronyms in forums for this are DILD (Dream-Initiated Lucid Dream) and WILD (Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream). All the techniques that induce WILDs are described under WILD on this page.


Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

WBTB stands for “Wake-Back-To-Bed”.

Wake yourself up after 4 to 6 hours of sleep, get out of bed and stay up for anywhere between a few minutes to an hour before going back to bed. It is preferable that you do something related to lucid dreaming during this time (such as reading about lucid dreaming), but it is not required. This is best combined with other techniques; many people have amazing results with a MILD/WBTB combination. The WBTB technique significantly increases your chances of a lucid dream, and using MILD (see below) in conjunction increases your success rate if you are planning to sleep an hour or more after your WBTB session. However, you might need plenty of sleep time and therefore you may only be able to use it on weekends.

If you are sleeping too deeply to become lucid, then you can modify this technique. Try returning to sleep somewhere different than where you usually sleep, e.g. on a couch, a different bed, or even on the floor. If you are unable to do this, try changing the way you sleep, e.g. try sleeping with a lighter blanket or reversing the orientation of your body while in the bed (that is, swapping head and feet). Do this in order to teach your body that these different surroundings mean you want to have a more conscious sleep rather than a deeper sleep. In the beginning, different surroundings will also make you more alert, which can heighten your level of consciousness during sleep.

I am sometimes awake for very short times, but cannot pull myself together enough to get up and out of bed. What can I do?

Put a bright piece of paper on the wall or ceiling so that you will see it when you wake up. Other stimuli could be a hot water bottle, a light turned on under your bed, or an alarm clock. A good technique is to place an alarm clock out of arm's reach so that you are compelled to physically get up from bed and turn it off. If this is still insufficient to restore consciousness, try making a note of your intentions to remain awake and place the note on your alarm clock. After you get a lucid dream with this method, you'll find it easier and easier to get out of bed because you'll have more motivation.

Threads about the WBTB technique at The BIG WBTB topic


Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

This technique describes how to use auto-suggestion to have lucid dreams. It can be especially effective for people who are highly susceptible to hypnosis or understand meditation, but for most people, MILD will probably be more effective.

As you are falling asleep, suggest to yourself that you will have a lucid dream either that night or in the near future. You can use a mantra (such as “I will recognize that I'm dreaming”) if you want, but make sure you don't try too hard to get a lucid dream. Instead of putting intentional effort into the suggestion, try to genuinely expect to have a lucid dream. Let yourself think expectantly about the lucid dream you are about to have, but be patient if you don't get one right away.

You may also use auto-suggestion to improve dream recall. Just use the technique as described above, but instead of suggesting that you'll have a lucid dream, suggest that you'll remember your dreams when you wake up. You could also use a mantra with this, such as “When I wake up, I will remember what I dreamt”. Just be careful not to put too much intentional effort into the mantra — try to genuinely expect to remember your dreams instead.


Rated green. This technique has been detailed in Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge.

MILD stands for “Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams", or sometimes, “Mnemonically Induced Lucid Dream". The MILD technique was developed by Stephen LaBerge, and is described fully in his book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.

With the MILD technique, as you are falling asleep, you concentrate on your intention to remember to recognize that you are dreaming. Repeat a short mantra in your head, such as “Next time I'm dreaming, I will remember I'm dreaming”. Think about what this means (i.e., that you want to remember that you are dreaming—in the same way you might go to a grocery store and suddenly remember that you need bread), and imagine that you are back in a dream you've had recently, but this time you recognize that you are dreaming. For example, if you recently dreamed of flying, imagine realizing that it is a dream because you are flying. Keep repeating and visualizing the mantra until you are sure that your intention is set in your mind or you fall asleep. If you stop repeating and visualizing the mantra, then still try to make sure the last thing in your mind before falling asleep is your intention to remember to recognize that you are dreaming.

In general, the MILD technique can be practiced when you first go to bed at night, or after you have awakened from a dream during the night. If you practice the MILD technique after you have awakened from a dream, you should first run through the dream to ensure that you remember it. Some people find it helpful to jot down a few notes about their dream in their dream journal.

Once you have committed the dream to memory, go back to sleep and follow the steps above. But this time, visualize the dream you just had. Move through the dream in your mind until you encounter a dream-sign you originally missed. Now, instead of missing the dream-sign, imagine yourself recognizing it and becoming “lucid”.

Repeat this until you have fallen asleep. You will re-enter the dream, and you will recognize the dream-sign and finally, become lucid.

Threads about the MILD technique at The BIG MILD topic I II | MILD at Midnight? | MILD Mantras threads about the MILD technique from (offline): Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) | Getting more help with MILD from your subconscious


Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

WILD stands for “Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream”, or “Wake-Initiation of Lucid Dreams” to refer to any technique that involves falling asleep consciously. These techniques are similar to self-hypnosis. Some people believe that WILDs are not actual dreams, but are instead astral projection. Various detailed resources are available under that moniker.

For most people, they are far easier to induce in the early morning after waking up or in afternoon naps, as the sleep cycle will continue with a REM period. Once you are experienced with inducing WILDs, you can try to induce them at other times.

For WILDs to occur, it is best for your body to be completely relaxed. When you go back to bed, lie down comfortably. Now tense and relax your body, starting from your shoulders and working downwards, then back up to the face. This (or similar relaxation, meditation, or trance techniques) should make your body feel slightly heavy and relaxed.

There are many different ways to induce WILDs, but they all involve simultaneously attempting to keep the mind aware, while attempting to have the body fall asleep. A few techniques are detailed below.

One of the common ways used to induct oneself into a concious sleep, is using an anchor. Anchors can be anything in your environment that you can focus on. These can be either internal, external, or both.

An external anchor could be your breathing, white noise, quiet music, the sound of your fan, the ambiance of your room, any external stimuli that you can't control. An internal anchor is a feeling, sensation, or motion that doesn't really exist. These could be an image behind your eyes, moving the hands or fingers of your "dream/spirit body", or going through the motions of falling asleep. These anchors are meant to keep your mind awake, while you fall asleep, and should not be something that will keep you awake.

If you pay attention to your physical body while using these techniques, then you will likely enter sleep paralysis (which usually happens after you are already asleep) without losing conscious awareness of your body. You will get a tingling and buzzing sensation (this might be unpleasant). These sensations might be so strong that you feel that you will die (e.g., you might feel a choking sensation), but don't worry, this is perfectly safe! In fact, this process happens to you every time you sleep, you are just not conscious during it. Sometimes you can simply wait until you fall asleep straight into a lucid dream. However, if you do not fall asleep, and you become completely paralyzed (with the exception of your eyes), do not try to move. Imagine your dream hand (or spirit hand if you prefer) going up and leaving your physical hand behind. Now you should have two separate bodies, a dream one and a real one. Control your dream body only — if you control your real one, you will wake up. Now you can try to roll out of bed into your dream world (alternatively, you can get up and walk through a mirror, or sink into your bed). There is a possibility that after waking up from a dream that you initiated using this technique, you may still be paralyzed. If this phenomenon occurs, it may be accompanied by hallucinations. For example, you may wake up from a lucid dream that you started using one of the WILD techniques, and you will still be paralyzed, this is a state of Sleep paralysis.

If you have the experience then you have been given an example of what your mind can do, even without your direction. Before the phenomena was understood, as Sleep paralysis also occurs outside of Lucid Dream experiments it had been given a general negative outlook, while the experience is truly unique (partial awareness, unable to move, and multi-sense hallucinations) it is often linked to cultural fears, nightmares and other night terrors, Americans call it Old Hag, Japanese people call it kanashibari, Korean people call it kawi nullida (being pressed by a pair of scissors), Turkish people call it karabasan and in old French it was called Cauquemare, which was later transformed into the term cauchemar. In any case as soon as you rationalize what is happening you should lose any fear by the temporary loss of muscular control and contextualize any hallucination.

Chakra Technique

Rated green/yellow. There have been anecdotes from a few people of this working on the DreamViews forums.

Using Chakra ("third eye") meditation is one way to achieve WILDs. Basically, one has to focus solely on his third eye and breathing to achieve a lucid dream. This is a technique over 5000 years old, taught to Parvati by Shiva.[1] He is quoted as saying:

With intangible breath in center of forehead, as this reaches heart at the moment of sleep, have direction over dreams and over death itself.[1]

Eyelid Patterns

Rated yellow. There have been some anecdotes from at least one person of this technique working, although there is no scientific research proving it.

This has been found to be very effective in many cases. However, it may lead to strange after effects, such as up to 15 dreams in one night, but otherwise, nothing harmful. This technique is as follows: When you go to sleep, ensure the room is completely dark. Then, with eyes closed, try to focus on the little dots that should appear to be moving on your eyelids. You will find that you can change their color at will. Continue focusing on these dots; make them dance around and form patterns and change colors, and eventually you should enter a Lucid Dream. This may take a little practice, but is usually very effective for summoning Lucid Dreams at will. Works better in conjunction with WBTB and other techniques mentioned above, but is still extraordinarily effective on its own.

Hypnagogic Imagery

Rated green. This technique has been successful with a large amount of people, in scientific research, and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

Stimulate your thinking patterns by constantly switching your attention. After doing this long enough, the images and sounds should begin to take a momentum on their own (this is called hypnagogic imagery), and may they get very strange and illogical. You should enter a dream at this point and quickly become lucid. Otherwise, you will eventually realize you have entered sleep paralysis consciously (see above). Because hypnagogic sleep paralysis involves full consciousness, dreaming can sometimes be frighteningly real. There is often a feeling of being flipped upside down, spun, or being tugged upon by an outside force. Hypnagogic hallucinations may also include strange auditory hallucinations, dark beings and flying. It is possible to observe waking reality while in a hypnagogic state, but this is limited to the sensations of your physical body. Most hypnagogic sleep paralysis states occur when sleeping face up. There is evidence that the tendency toward experiencing Hypnagogic sleep paralysis may be hereditary.


Rated green. This technique has been successful with a large amount of people, in scientific research, and/or is part of a commercial book about lucid dreaming.

Another technique is to count up to 100 in your head, optionally adding (for example) an “I'm dreaming” between each number. Alternatively, you can imagine stepping down stairs and reading each floor number, from 100 to 0. Try to make this image as vivid as possible — include not only what you see, but also what you hear, feel (touch the banister), and smell. At some point this image should continue into a dream or you will begin to get sleep paralysis as described above. It is easy to lose count, especially with counting up to 100 with an 'I'm dreaming' with each number. But stay focused: you are not going to sleep; your body is, and you must concentrate fully.

Sound Technique

Rated yellow. There have been some anecdotes from at least one person of this technique working, although there is no scientific research proving it.

[Important advice regarding this, may be unsafe, just do one of the other methods instead. Some people have gained the hissing sound of Tinnitus permanently (throughout the day) using this method. See discussion page under Facts to know about Tinnitus]

This method is for people, who can hear the "tinnitus". The idea is pretty much the same as the other WILD methods, which is to remain conscious while entering the dream state. In order to use this method, you must sleep in a perfectly quiet place. You need to hear the inner buzzing sound inside your ears. Lay your body down and relax as much as possible while trying to hear the sound. If you are too tired, you will fall asleep too fast and it will be difficult to remain conscious - in this case you should combine it with WBTB. By time you realize that the buzzing sound will increase in intensity. This might frighten newcomers, but be assured - nothing bad is going to happen. No, you will not be deaf when you wake up, it’s perfectly safe! *It is just an effect caused by your brain is trying to change mode, from listening to the ambient sound, to listening to the sound of dreamland, which is not real sound but just electrical charge inputed to the part of the brain to create a sensation of hearing. By that time, you will enter the hypnagogic state. All you need to do is concentrate, do not be afraid or think of anything, just be still, and in time your dream body will float, separating from your physical body, and there you go, you arrive in the dreamworld.

Note: These sounds can be heard when you concentrate, even throughout the day - when you pay attention to them, but they shouldn't be heard much aloud if you are not in silence and concentrating on it - *as author said. The formula to hear it is quite simple: come into complete silence close your eyes and listen: is there only absolute silence or is there - something else? some...? do not create some sound just concentrate - :-) The best thing on this tech is - you can do it when you want.

Slight Physical Discomfort

Rated yellow. There have been some anecdotes from at least one person of this technique working, although there is no scientific research proving it.

For the purpose of helping to retain your conscious awareness, slight physical discomfort is useful while performing any WILD technique. This prevents you from just drifting off to sleep. If you are lying down on your bed to do WILD and you are totally comfortable then your chances of going to sleep instead of remaining conscious are very high. The WILD technique relies on a form of deep trance induction, and many people who induce trances for other reasons rely on slight physical discomfort — for example the lotus position, or sitting in a hard-backed chair. Depending on your own preferences and your requirements of discomfort for success, you could choose from the following methods, arranged in ascending order of discomfort:

  1. Stacking pillows so that you can sit up in bed — the discomfort is caused by not being in a normal sleeping position.
  2. Lying down on a hard floor.
  3. Lifting your forearm vertically upwards, with the rest of your arm resting on the bed.
  4. Sitting in a hard chair.

Incubating Dreams

Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about dreaming.

To incubate a dream about a specific topic, you should first think of a phrase that summarizes that topic (e.g., “I want to go to Atlantis.”). It may help to write the phrase down. If there is something you want to do in the dream, think of a phrase to summarize that too (e.g., “I want to watch Atlantis sink into the ocean.”). If you want to become lucid in the dream, then you should probably write something like “When I dream of [the topic], I will remember that I'm dreaming.” beneath your topic phrase. Immediately go to sleep and focus on your topic phrase. Visualize yourself dreaming about the topic and (if you want to become lucid) realizing that you are dreaming. If there is something specific you want to do in the dream, visualize yourself doing it once you become lucid (not very likely to work if you don't become lucid in the dream). Think about your phrase and topic (and intention to become lucid) as you fall asleep. Make sure that the last thing in your mind before falling asleep is your intention to (lucidly) dream about the topic you want to dream about. You might want to wake yourself up when the dream starts to fade so that you remember more of the dream; you can do this by ignoring your perception of the dream environment — the opposite of dream stabilization techniques (just make sure you do a reality check when you wake up to make sure you are really awake).

Chaining Dreams

Rated green. This technique has been successful in scientific research and/or is part of a commercial book about dreaming.

Dream-chaining or “chaining dreams” is a method to re-enter your dream after you've woken up. It can work for lucid and non-lucid dreams, but you will probably want to enter your dream lucidly.

Once you wake up from a dream (if you don't think you were dreaming before you woke up, it may not work well) you should stay still and keep your eyes closed. Small movements are okay, but the less movement, sensory stimulation, and less time awake, the better. Ideally, it should feel less like you've woken up, and more like you've taken a 30 second break from dreaming. Once you are prepared to go back to sleep, close your eyes and either visualize yourself back in your dream, or use the “spinning technique” given in the next chapter to imagine yourself spinning back “into” your dream. Spinning is a little faster than visualization. Be sure to maintain the fact that you are dreaming (unless you don't want to be lucid), or you may lose your lucidity while falling asleep. Once in the dream, stimulate your senses as early as possible (see the next chapter).


Rated green/yellow. There have been anecdotes from several people of this working on the forums.

VILD stands for “Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams”, or sometimes, “Visually Incubated Lucid Dream”. This technique has been perfected by Peter Harrison, known as Pedro on the forums at You may wish to read the main thread about the technique. The version described here has been adapted slightly.

First, make sure you are relaxed. You can use the relaxing technique mentioned in the description of the WILD technique. You can also imagine your brain emptying out and becoming sleepier. If you have a hard time falling asleep quickly, it should help to read a book (preferably about lucid dreaming) for a while before you go to sleep, until you feel very sleepy.

Now, you need to visualize a dream which you had prepared earlier. Here is an example of a prepared dream:

I am in a red room with one door. A friend next to me asks me to show them what a reality check is. I do my reality checks (which show that I am dreaming), tell them that I am dreaming, and head towards the door.

Make sure you know exactly what the dream would be like, such as which friend, the exact words they say, and which reality checks you do. Reality checks that require no props, such as books or clocks, are recommended. Visualize this dream slowly three times, to make sure that you know every detail. Then, start going full-on and visualize the dream over and over. You should visualize the dream as though you are looking through your own eyes, not from a third-person perspective. If you find your thoughts drifting, ignore them and continue to visualize the dream continuously. You will need patience for this — don't just give up if you think it won't work.

When you actually dream this, you will not notice the difference — until you do your reality checks! Continue with the dream as you incubated it (e.g., remember to thank your friend!) before continuing through the door.

I tried to visualize the dream until I fell asleep, but I just stayed awake. What went wrong?

If visualizing keeps you awake, the VILD technique is not the technique for you! You should use a different technique.

Threads about VILD at I can LD at will!!!! I II III | VILD...Visually Incubated Lucid Dream
Topics about VILD at The Lucidity Institute: The VILD Technique
There is an appendix on VILD.


Rated yellow. There have been some anecdotes from at least one person of this technique working, although there is no scientific research proving it.

LILD stands for “Lucid Induction of Lucid Dreams”, or sometimes, “Lucidly Induced Lucid Dream”.

To use this technique, you need to have a lucid dream in the first place, but it can help you to get more later. The idea is to do something in your dream that will help you to become lucid the next time you are dreaming. For example, you could ask a dream character for help — ask them to meet you the next night and tell you that you are dreaming. If it works out the way it should, then the next time you are dreaming, the dream character will walk up to you and tell you that you are dreaming, and so you'll (hopefully) become lucid. There are many variations on this technique; you could set up signs in your dreamworld that remind you to do a reality check or eat lucid pills instead! This technique is not likely to be very effective, but it can work; it relies on the chance that you'll subconsciously induce the reminder (i.e., the dream character or sign or whatever you used) during some later dream, and become lucid because of it.

Note that LILD is best used in conjunction with dream-signs and auto-suggested non-lucid dreams. The basic idea as explained above is to have something in your dream that triggers the transition from normal dream state to lucid dreaming. To simply tell a character to tell you that you are dreaming the next time you fall asleep is usually not enough. There is no guarantee that you will dream about that character and there is no guarantee that your subconscious will believe the character enough to make you snap into lucidity (make you realize that you are in fact dreaming).

Now as this technique suggests, you must have some previous alternate means of having a lucid dream. Whatever technique you employ to get into this initial lucid dream state is not really important, but you should try to remember to use this technique (LILD) once you do get into a lucid dream state. Thinking of this before falling asleep (MILD) sometimes helps and usually takes many lucid dreams before finally remembering. Once you are in a lucid dream, make up a dream-sign. It can be anything. It can be an object. It can be food or a drink (that doesn't taste like anything). It is usually best to pick something that isn't quite right. Something that on the surface would appear normal in the real world, but that upon closer inspection is not quite right. Food or drinks are good as they can have no taste or not be refreshing in a dream. But try and pick something that you dream about a lot so that there is a better chance of you dreaming about this dream-sign later on. Now pick something else that only appears or happens in your lucid dream. It can be anything. If there is nothing in your current lucid dream, create something really strange. Something that could never be confused with the real world. Now mentally associate the dream-sign (food) with this unusual item or event that could never happen in the real world. But at the same time, this unusual item or event should equate to "lucid dreaming". When you see the unusual item, it should only make you think of when you have a lucid dream as this should be the only time you encountered it. So we have a 3 item associative link. Do all of the above while in a lucid dream.

The next time you dream about your dream-sign, your subconscious will think of the unusual item or event. The unusual item or event will make you think of lucid dreaming. The two combined impossibilities (1. dream-sign that cannot exist in the real world 2. item or event that only appears in lucid dreams) will make your unconscious try to make a decision on all this. This will make your conscious mind come to the surface and hopefully you will come to the conclusion that you are dreaming. Many times, you will not want to deal with it because you are too tired (that is why you are sleeping, no?) and fall back into a normal dream state. This is why it can take a few tries. Eventually, your subconscious will start putting clear signs in your dreams like billboards that spell out "YOU ARE DREAMING". But once it triggers, it is quite the realization that an instant before, you had no real control over your actions and now you can do whatever you want. Another note... if it failed, you will usually know why. So next time, you can choose another dream-sign or slightly different technique or something more shocking. Once you get this working once, it is relatively easy to use over and over as the hard part just described is over with. Sometimes disassociative techniques are needed if used too much.

To sum up, this technique is a way to force a reality check while in a normal dream state where your subconscious has no choice but to come to the conclusion that you are in fact dreaming. Once your mind knows that you are dreaming, there will be no other conclusion than your conscious mind taking over. And this is what lucid dreaming is all about.

Rated green/yellow. There have been anecdotes from many different people of this technique working.
  1. For one week, go to bed at the same time each night and get up 90 minutes earlier than you usually do. Spend those 90 minutes doing reality checks every 2–5 minutes.
  2. Thereafter, on alternate days: follow the routine from step one, and set the intention to do your reality check routine at its regular time, while getting a full night sleep. This will cause the reality check conditioning to kick in during REM prime-time.

For detailed information on the Cycle Adjustment Technique, see the appendix on CAT.

Tibetan methods


Tibetan Buddhists practice what is known as Tibetan dream yoga. Probably the most time consuming way of inducing lucid dreams, it is also, according to the practitioners, the most rewarding. The basic practice is awareness. Awareness should be practiced while sleeping just as well as while being awake. Meditating on the question “who is aware?” might catapult you into a higher degree of awareness according to Buddhist beliefs. Keeping this level of awareness is another matter. The Tibetans have developed many yogic exercises and disciplines to be practiced. Maybe the most interesting difference between Tibetan dream yoga and modern western methods of lucid dream induction is the Tibetan claim of the possibility to be aware during deep sleep, not only in the REM periods of sleep. For the reader who is interested in these methods a good start is to begin to regard all experience as a dream. After all, from the countless multitude of matter and radiation reaching our senses the nervous system tunes in only to a small fraction of this chaos. For members of the phalanx that believes we, more or less, create our own reality in the above sense this practice should feel natural. In general though, it is recommended to gain instruction from a teacher in the flesh rather than from books (like this one!).

The Tibetan Methods are not "time consuming" if the goal is to go into deeper than Lucid states. From a Raja Yoga stand point, from a Daoist standpoint, and from a Tibetan Yoga standpoint the goal is not to "play" in Lucid Dreams, but to dispel the delusional nature of what we call "reality." Also, to heal and to develop super-learning, and to increase the "energy" you find most attractive: innovative, creative, joyous, blissful, love, power, wisdom, mirth. Are you Ambitious-Worldly or Ambitious-Spiritual? All these factors play into it.

These techniques are very easy to learn and are rooted in a deeper science than the WILD, VILD, LILD -- one that does not use auto-suggestion or forced recall. In conclusion, the Tibetan methods are advanced yogic techniques that only an accomplished practitioner can fully teach. If one does not have access to a Tibetan dream yogi, one should probably concentrate on techniques that are more mundane from a Western point of view.

Other techniques

Rated red. There have been no anecdotes found of these techniques working.

Many of these are combinations of other techniques with some addition or modification.

  • Inducing dream-signs - You can become lucid by trying to induce specific dream-signs to watch for during your dream. You can use auto-suggestion (see above) to associate a specific dream-sign with doing a reality check, or you can just get used to doing a reality check whenever you encounter the dream-sign while awake. Some dream-signs you can use:
    • Thirst - Avoid drinking for very long. Wake up later in the night and put salt on your tongue or eat chili to make you even thirstier. Fill a glass of fresh cold water and take it with you back to bed. Hopefully, you'll dream of getting something to drink. Don't use this technique if you have trouble falling asleep while thirsty.
    • False Awakening - Set your intention as you fall asleep to wake up in the middle of the night. If you are a heavy sleeper, you'll hopefully dream of waking up in the middle of the night. If you are a light sleeper, you are probably more likely to really wake up.
    • Bladder - Drink large amounts of water before going to sleep. You should dream of having to go to the bathroom. You may wet your bed! This technique should be used carefully, to avoid the possibility of water intoxication.
  • Conditioning - Strictly punish or reward yourself after a dream where you failed to realize you were dreaming or when you do have a lucid dream. This could increase motivation but not necessarily cause lucid dreams in itself. Cognitive psychology, however, states that this punishment/reward system is very counterproductive, because it ties our self-esteem to the outcome of the endeavor. The opposite of this system would be to see each attempt, including those that fail, as another step towards success.
  • Muscle Exhaustion - Lift slight weights with one's arms and legs for about fifteen minutes before one begins to fall asleep. One should not, however, lift anything that strains the muscles too much, for that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and excites the body. The method should cause a release of tension in the muscles and tire them out. This combined with relaxation techniques and any of the -ILD's should produce a positive result.

Other methods


Food and drink


There are various foods and drinks that you can consume which seem to have some effect on sleeping and dreaming. Note that for most of these there is no explanation or scientific study of how they work, and some may simply be placebos.

Don't go overboard with the consumption of any of these, as overdosing could have nasty effects (well, milk should be safe unless you are allergic). Don't experiment without accumulating enough knowledge first. The authors in no way encourage the use of legal or illegal drugs.

  • The amino acid tryptophan, which can be found in warm milk amongst other sources, is a precursor for the hormone serotonin, and has been proven to help you fall asleep.
  • Vitamin B6 and others of the B group are important for neuronal functions.
  • Melatonin is a hormone with neuronal effects. It is produced by the pineal gland in darkness and is suppressed by blue light. Wearing blue-blocking sunglasses or avoiding bright light in general the hours before bedtime maximizes night-time melatonin secretion.
  • 5-HTP or L-5-HTP is a supplement that is related to serotonin, which some claim has induced lucid dreaming on approximately half the nights it is taken.
  • Caffeine is useful in WILD techniques, as it helps the mind stay focused and think vividly. Please notice that caffeine is an addictive substance and may have negative effects on your health.
  • An Amino Acid Blend made up of 2000mg L-aspartic acid, 4000mg L-glutamine, and 300mg L-theanine can substantially increase your odds of having a Lucid Dream.
  • Galantamine - acetylcholinesterase inhibitors extract from plants such as Lycoris radiata (Red Spider Lily) or from chemical synthesis. Works best when taken together with choline and/or alpha-GPC.

Some people who practice Lucid dream (LD) or Out of body experience (OBE) use Galantamine to increase their odds to achieve LD or OBE. By taking small amount of Galantamine (around 4 to 8 mg) after 5 to 6 hours of deep sleep and practice the induction technique such as meditation, MILD or WILD many people report more success with Galantamine.

There also report that taking Galantamine without proper induction technique will not lead to LD or OBE but will result in only a vivid dream instead. It should also be noted that due to a long half life Galantamine will stay in the body for a period of up to and over 48 hours, as such it is advisable to space out the use of Galantamine over a period of three days so that the body does not build a resistance to the drug ruining its effectiveness.

Some people report mixing Galantamine with other Nootropic can enhance the degree of lucidity but this is still controversial since some mixtures may work for some people, but lead to failure for others.


For an in-depth guide to using supplements for lucid dreaming, see the book Advanced Lucid Dreaming - The Power of Supplements.



Dissociatives and hallucinogens can be used to create a (more or less) lucid dream-like state, though whether or not these help with lucid dreaming is debatable. The authors do not recommend use of these substances for induction of lucid dreams, nor do they condone the breaking of any applicable laws.

Some dissociatives and hallucinogens are:

For more info, see Erowid Vaults



There are various gadgets you can use to become lucid easily. They generally detect when you are in the REM state and then provide a light and/or sound signal. This signal is supposed to be adjusted so that it doesn't wake you up but does enter your dream. The signal is then recognized as showing that you are dreaming, and you become lucid.

The most well-known device is the NovaDreamer from the Lucidity Institute. However, this product is no longer produced. Be sure to check for recommendations for devices from lucid dreaming forums.

A similar device is the DreamMaker. The DreamMaker works very similarly to the NovaDreamer but without the Dream Alarm feature, which worked to wake the dreamer in the middle of the REM state. This device comes with a mask, a circuit board with adjustable controls, the batteries needed to operate it, a short owner's manual, a lucid dreaming workbook, and the Stephen LaBerge book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. The circuit board is supplied completely ready to use, but you have to insert the batteries and put the circuit board into the mask yourself.

An alternative is the Kvasar. The Kvasar costs about $20 in raw materials, but needs to be constructed by somebody skilled in electronics as it is not sold commercially. It can also be hard to operate.

Another do-it-yourself alternative to commercial dreaming masks is Nate True's Lucid Dream Mask, which does not bother with difficult-to-calibrate sensors and just uses a timer for flashing lights, and has (ostensibly) competitive results with all of the former gadgets.

The owners of Wellness Tools, who makes the DreamMaker, and Kvasar have not had friendly relations; see



There are many programs for your computer that can assist with lucid dreaming. These can give out verbal cues while you sleep, or assist in doing your reality checks:

  • iLucid Dream for the iPhone. Dream journal, reality checks, induction techniques, binaural beats for deep sleep and much more!
  • Lightened Dream is available for Windows as freeware. It can be used as a dream journal and a dream-sign list. One of its more notable features is that you can have it play a voice or song each time you enter a REM sleep period.
  • DreamDoze A web application for Social Dream interpretation and dreams journal management
  • Gnaural is a multi-platform programmable binaural-beat generator. Gnaural is released as free software under the GNU General Public License. (For a browser based demo, see Gnaural Java))
  • SBaGen is available for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux. It works by playing binaural beats into your ears, changing your brainstate.
  • Neuro-Programmer is available for Windows. This is powerful software that creates binaural beats and can work in conjunction with special goggles to induce certain mental states.
  • LucidWeaver is available for mobile phones and PDA that support Java (J2ME). It includes a Dream alarm with sound cue which can be adjusted to a personal REM-sleep cycle for improving dream recall and lucidity training. Randomized reality tests can be set and it can be used as regular alarm clock.
  • Lucille 2.0 is an application to assist with doing reality checks.
  • Unexplainable Store Lucid Dreaming Brainwave Entrainment MP3
  • Sleep Check Reminder for Android.
  • iLucid for iOS (iPod, iPhone, iPad).
  • Sleep As Android is an Android sleep tracking app. It has a feature where it can play a sound file (by default, a soft voice that says "You're dreaming..." and echoes out) when it detects that the user is in a deep sleep.

There is also a list of programs available at, under the “How” section.



The techniques commonly referred to as hypnosis is based in a set of hypnotic suggestions are commonly composed of a series of instructions and ideas that may be delivered by a hypnotist in the presence of the subject, or they may be self-administered ("self-suggestion" or "autosuggestion"), even in a conscious state.

Hypnosis is not a science. In fact, it has in almost every aspect eluded scientific analysis, as it is extremely hard to generalize (each individual responds differently and at different levels) and the methodology is so diverse and based on yet to be completely understood mental/biological phenomena, most related with faith or the placebo effect. For the phenomena to work, whom in aggregate we define as hypnosis, the mind has to be able to turn the suggestions into reality. All hypnosis is ultimately self hypnosis. If you, for instance, take into consideration the problems that faith beliefs have caused to the human race, or even the problems in the field of psychology, you can appreciate the problem of scientifically studying hypnotic phenomena, as they are extremely open to individual interpretation and to one's ability to be open to suggestibility (self-induced or otherwise).

The Wikibook's work on Hypnosis will covers the subject in greater detail. It will also offer support material, or reference it, such as methods to induce, or reinforce specific mental states (or states of mind) and any attitudes and beliefs that impact the phenomena. Including information on techniques or procedures for hypnotic induction and hypnotic suggestion.




  1. a b 112 Meditations from Shiva to Parvati. Internet Archive. Accessed on 2009-09-18.
  2. 5000 year old WILD technique. Very easy, and very effective. DreamViews forums. Accessed 2009-09-18.