Lucid dream

How to Make Your Lucid Dreams Last Longer

Becoming lucid while you dream is actually the easy part, oneironauts. Now we’re going to learn how to hold on to it and make our nightly adventures last. Welcome to Week Four of our Lucid Dream Workshop.

How to Stay Asleep and Maintain Lucidity

If you’ve managed to become lucid for the first time, it probably didn’t last very long. For most people, the process goes a little like this:

Critical state test.

“Wow, I’m dreaming!”

Wake up.

This usually happens because novice oneironauts get too excited when they realize they’ve finally achieved lucidity. Don’t feel bad if that keeps happening to you. It’s hard not to be excited about it, after all.

Fortunately, getting past that barrier is easy to do as long as you’re persistent. The more often you can reach a lucid dream state, the more you’ll get used to it and find it less surprising. But there are other helpful tricks you can do within your dream as well. Try these three things in this order:

  1. First, stay calm and look at your hands. If looking at your hands is part of your critical state test (like mine), do it again. Stay focused on the fact that you’re dreaming, but let yourself ease into it. Don’t immediately go flying into the air shouting “I’m dreaming!”
  2. Now, practice some inner speech while in your dream. Develop a mantra of affirmation you can repeat over and over in your head, like “this is a dream, this is a dream, this is a dream…” If you have to say it “out loud” in your dream, that’s okay, but it’s better to do it in your head so it doesn’t dominate the dream experience.
  3. Once you’ve got your mantra going, perform some kinesthetic actions or movements to stimulate the brain. Something as simple as rubbing your hands together like a dastardly villain is more than enough. Actions like hovering or pushing your hand through objects are useful actions as well, but they might also jolt you awake if you’re still not used to the dream state. Make your actions subtle.

Practice those steps and you should have an easier time staying asleep and lucid. If that’s not enough, you can also try a technique called “dream spinning.” But we’ll go over that in the assignment section.

You should consider active engagement as a key player when trying to maintain lucidity. More often than not, oneironauts lose their focus and wake up because they weren’t stimulating…

How to Wake Up in Your Dreams

Now that you know what lucid dreaming is, and you know the benefits and risks, it’s time to give it a solid try. Get ready, oneironauts—we’re about to take off the training wheels. Welcome to Week Three of Lifehacker’s Lucid Dream Workshop.

How to Prepare for and Induce Lucid Dreams

To increase the likelihood of having a lucid dream, you need to prep your environment, watch what you eat, drink, and otherwise ingest, and fall asleep the right way.

For starters, you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep for lucid dreaming to be a possibility. You have more REM sleep in the second half of your night than you do in the first half, and more REM sleep means increased odds of having lucid dreams. In fact, the likelihood of you having a lucid dream increases more with each successive REM period. On an average night where you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep, you’ll experience about six REM periods. The last three of those REM periods happen in the last quarter (or two hours in this case) of the night. So, if you aren’t sleeping enough and only getting about six hours of sleep each night, you’re basically reducing your chances of going lucid by half. You need to get good sleep, and lots of it, for this to work. If you can find a way to extend your sleep at least one night a week, like on a weekend, do so.

What you put in your body affects your likelihood of having lucid dreams as well. Alcohol and drugs inhibit your REM sleep and disrupt your sleep cycles, so avoid nightcaps as much as possible. And while sleeping pills and melatonin can help induce sleep, keep in mind they may interfere with normal sleep cycles. Food and non-alcoholic drinks can play a major role in dreams too. Some people have more vivid dreams depending on what they eat, or report having nightmares if they eat certain types of food too late in the evening. I’ve personally had success with pickles, apple juice, peanut butter, and spicy foods as helpful elements. Also, reducing screen time before bed is always a good idea.

Lastly, you need to fall asleep with the intention of having a lucid dream. It’s not quite as simple as merely thinking about being lucid before bedtime, but that is actually a huge part of it. Oneironauts, this is the “MILD Technique,” from Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Howard Rheingold:

  1. Set up dream recall: Before going to bed resolve to wake up and recall dreams during each dream period throughout the night (or the first dream period after dawn, or after 6 a.m. or whenever you find convenient).
  2. Recall your dream: When you awaken from a dream period, no matter what time it is, try to recall as many details as possible from your dream. If you find yourself so drowsy that you are drifting back to sleep, do something to arouse yourself.
  3. Focus your intent: While returning to sleep, concentrate singlemindedly on your intention to remember to recognize that you’re dreaming. Tell yourself: “Next time I’m dreaming, I want to remember I’m dreaming.” Really try to feel that you mean it. Narrow your thoughts to this idea alone. If you find yourself…

What Recurrent Dreams Imply: Interpretation of Dreams of Common Themes

Dreams have an impact on most of us in some way or another.

I have had nightmares that rendered me unable to sleep; I have experienced vivid lucid dreams and astral projections; and I have had dreams that came true. But what do dreams mean 1?

Dreams Cultivate Successful People

Whether you realize it or not, dreams helped to mold our society in various ways.

  • The father of quantum physics, Niels Bohr, claims to have distinctly seen the composition of the atom in a dream, which led to our present day understanding of atomic structure.
  • Albert Einstein came up with the Theory of Relativity based on a dream that gave him a vision about how the universe worked.
  • Nikola Tesla, one of the world’s greatest minds and the inventor of Alternating Current (AC) power systems, functioned often in a “lucid dream-like” state to undertake complex scientific research.
  • Both Einstein and Tesla were practitioners of astral projection techniques.
  • Larry Page (founder of Google), Madame C.J. Walker (first female American self-made millionaire) and Elias Howe (inventor of the sewing machine) all got glimpses of their business ideas from their dreams.
  • Musicians such as Beethoven, Handel, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones attested that some of their compositions were based on music they heard in dreams.
  • Successful authors Stephen King, Mary Shelley, Robert Lewis Stevenson and Stephanie Meyers dreamt some of the books that they went on to write.

These occurrences are not uncommon, and the list is endless with such anecdotes.

Psychologists Say Dreams Are More Than Just Mental Pictures

Many parapsychologists believe that dream precognition 2 is a real phenomenon, while others have coined various theories in their quest to unravel the brain’s ultimate secret: what do dreams mean?

Psychologist, Carl Jung, felt that dreams were connected to the subconscious and that during sleep, the unconscious mind sought solutions to day-to-day problems…