If you’ve heard of lucid dreaming, you’ve probably felt at least a hint of curiosity about what it would feel like to be awake in your dreams. What fantasies might you live out? Fly. Have a conversation with a loved one who’s passed. Travel to a place you’ve always wanted to go. Sleep with a coworker who’s off-limits. With lucid dreaming, your imagination is your only limitation.
What Does Lucid Dreaming Feel Like?
It feels weird, in a word. Exhilarating. Something everyone should try once. To me, it never felt exactly as real as my waking life — the dream world still has a strange quality to it — but it does feel quite real.
How to Start Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming is something that happens quite naturally for some people, yet most can’t do it on-demand. It’s probably not going to happen overnight for you, and you’ll need some patience.
The first step is boring, but necessary:
You need to keep a dream diary.
You’re going to need to remember all of your dreams.
If you’re like, “yeah right, I barely remember any of my dreams” I feel you, but I promise it’s possible. If you can’t remember your dreams reliably, then how are you going to remember the lucid ones?
Set the intention to remember, and you will. Follow my guide on how to remember your dreams here.
Train Yourself to Test Reality
In order to lucid dream, you have to realize you’re dreaming. You might think that’s obvious, but it’s probably something you’ve never had to think about.
Ask yourself if you’re dreaming right now. You can answer no and feel quite sure about it, but how can you know for sure? One way is to do reality-testing.
Some things don’t work normally in dreams. It’s because the entire world is your mental construct; there aren’t constants like in the real world.
For example, in the real world if you look at a magazine cover, look away, and look at it again, the magazine cover won’t have changed. In a dream, it will always change.
A few times a day, ask yourself if you’re dreaming. Check out clocks. Words in a book. A sign on a wall. They will all be different if you look away, and look again. I can tell you from experience that it is WILD the first time you confirm you’re dreaming with reality-testing.
That’s all there is, really. Practicing these three things will ensure you’re able to lucid dream (and remember doing so!).