July 21, 2014 - This article will explore the best techniques for waking up in dreams, and maintaining lucid dreams.
I realized I was dreaming, I raised my arms and began to rise… I rose through black sky that blended to indigo, to deep purple, to lavender, to white… there was the most beautiful music I have ever heard. It seemed like voices rather than instruments. There are no words to describe the joy I felt. It was a long, slow slide to wakefulness… the euphoria lasted several days, the memory, forever.” – from Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
The Autosuggestion technique involves suggesting to yourself that you’ll have a lucid dream the same night or another. This is all done while deeply relaxing and clearing the mind before sleep. The goal is to put yourself in the frame of mind of genuinely expecting a lucid dream to happen soon. This technique is especially effective with people susceptible to hypnosis.
Tip: Don’t try too hard to Autosuggest yourself. Too much effort can be counter-productive, as suggested by many lucid dream researchers.
2# MILD Technique
MILD stands for the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams. Created by Ph.D researcher Stephen LaBerge, this technique can be used with the above for an increased likelihood of lucid dreams. The technique relies on the principle that if we can manage to remember to do things in waking life, so we can while sleeping. How can we remember to do something in a dream that will help us become lucid? Mnemonic associations, or devices to help aid the memory, are the answer. Here’s a summarized version of what to do:
- Read the day’s targets. Memorize them. You’ll find a few examples of targets below.
- Look for the targets during the day. Every time one occurs, e.g. a dog barks, ask the question “Am I dreaming?” Justify the answer.
- Use a specially designated dream journal to record how many you noticed during the day.
- Examples of daily targets are: The next time I see a flower, The next time I feel pain, The next time I see a blue car, The next time I use the toilet, etc.
The target can be anything your mind can conceive. Once the week is up, you’re ready to apply this to the dreamworld. Before sleeping:
- Resolve to wake and recall your dreams.
- Upon waking, recall your dreams in as much detail as possible.
- When going back to sleep, single-mindedly concentrate on telling yourself: “Next time I’m dreaming, I want to remember I’m dreaming”. Block out any other thoughts. Focus solely on this.
- Before sleeping also visualize that you’re back in your last dream. Find a dreamsign (a peculiar symbol which shows the dream is unreal, e.g. you’re crawling instead of the usual walking) and visualize yourself becoming lucid.
- Fall to sleep thinking solely of your intention.
Tips: It’s recommended that you memorize at least 2 targets a day for the period of a week. Also, contrary to Autosuggestion, the MILD technique requires intentional effort.