Submitted Date 01/27/2019

Dreams are, and have always been, a shared mystery for all humankind. Research suggests that most people dream every night even if they don’t remember it. And yet, we know very little about what they are. Though academic research on dreams has only been conducted for around fifty years, people of all cultures have been exploring their dreamscapes for centuries. Using a series of simple techniques these explorers found that they could actually control their dreams. Now, these ancient techniques have been brought together and condensed into a single discipline: Lucid Dreaming.


Lucid dreaming is a natural process whereby an individual finds themselves aware and in control of their dream. Research indicates that most people have had at least one lucid dream during their life—perhaps you’ve had one yourself. But, like many dreams, lucid dreams are often forgotten. They also have a tendency to startle the dreamer awake and end the dream prematurely. Some lucky people are natural dreamers, but with practice just about anybody can learn to control their dreams. Let’s take a look at some methods you can start practicing tonight!


There are several different ways to induce lucid dreaming, but the easiest technique for beginners is known as the MILD Method. MILD stands for “mnemonic-induced lucid dreaming.” The basic idea is to remind yourself during the dream that you’re dreaming, causing you to become fully conscious without waking up. Again, there are a number of different ways to achieve this, and some methods work better than others (from person to person). With experimentation and practice, most people are eventually able to achieve success in controlling their dreams using the MILD method.


MILD Techniques:


1. Keep a dream journal. This technique is among the most powerful, especially when combined with one or more of the others. Keeping a journal helps you increase your dream memory, which is useful in its own right. It also helps you learn about your own dreams: what they look like, feel like, and what kind of things you dream about. After keeping and studying a dream journal, you’ll begin to realize when you’re seeing dream imagery. Then, you’ll become aware of the fact that you’re dreaming.


2. During the day, check and see if you’re dreaming. Look around and ask yourself, “am I dreaming?” Many people set an alarm or chime on their phone reminding them to check every hour. The idea is, that if you make a habit of checking to see if you’re dreaming, eventually you’ll do it during your dreams. Since the things we see during a dream are often strange or impossible, you may realize that you’re dreaming and gain lucidity.


3. Look for “reality checks.” A reality check is something that is consistently different during a dream. For instance: in a dream, letters and numbers are usually weird-looking. Your hands frequently look strange or abnormal. Light switches don’t work, and lighting in general will be strange. If you make a habit of this, you might reality check during a dream and realize that you are dreaming. You can search online for a comprehensive list of reality checks that people use.


4. As you’re going to sleep, try to program your dream. Scientific evidence suggests that we tend to dream about things that happen during they day. The claim is that if you focus on what you want to dream about, you’re more likely to have that kind of dream. If you program your dream to be extra weird, you’ll be more likely to realize that you’re dreaming.


These methods have been demonstrated to work for most people who try them. Each person is different, and some methods may work better than others for you. The ones listed here are a good starting place, but there is a whole world of information out there to help you improve your dreams. If you’d like to explore the mysteries of dreaming, all it takes is a little research and practice!


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  • Tanya Marion 4 years, 2 months ago

    Will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tomas Chough 4 years, 1 month ago

    Hey James! This is crazy stuff! I remember my younger brother writing down his dreams everyday and me thinking it was weird. Now I get the point. It's insane how complex the human brain is and what it's capable of. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks!