Many of you may have read my earlier article on Lucid dreaming ‘A Flying Chair!’, while I outlined what lucid dreaming is, described couple methods involved and banished the myths of Lucid dreaming, I didn’t explain how to actually have Lucid dreams in nearly enough detail. Therefore, if you feel like discovering a whole new world encapsulated in your mind, read on! In this part we are going to discuss preparation for your first lucid dream!
Lucid dreams are not that different to any other dream, therefore, we still need to have a normal dream before becoming lucid. This itself is not much of a problem, as everyone has at least few dreams every night. The issue is we just don’t remember most of our dreams. We might not even remember if we had lucid dream! Therefore practicing dream recall is absolutely crucial in our efforts to become lucid. Luckily, even if you never remember any of your dreams, there are plenty of ways in which we can practice and drastically improve our dream recall in relatively short time.
Start a dream journal! This is the holy grail of dream recall. You should start seeing drastic improvements in dream recall within as little as 2 weeks (from my experience). In dream journal you will write down whatever dreams you have remembered that night and try to put it in chronological order, so that dream makes sense. Just writing about dreams teaches your brain to remember them the same way as writing down notes in classroom allows brain to remember concepts more easily. Writing about dream on top of thinking about it activates more parts of the brain causing more rapid process of remembering. The journal will be a valuable tool for many Lucid dreaming induction topics that will be described in the next part of this guide. Not too sure how to write a dream journal? Here are some pointers:
- Set up the journal. Get yourself a notebook and pen near bed, so that you can write down your dreams as soon as you wake up!
- Do you fear that your brother or sister may find the diary and tease you mercilessly? Or will they go as far as shooting a photo of it and chucking it onto Facebook? Don’t worry! It is 21st century after all! You can get plenty of Smartphone apps that will allow you to store your dreams in clear and coherent way. On top of that they will enable you to protect your diary with a 4 number password to save your dreams from prying eyes.
- Write the dream down as soon as possible. If you wake up after dream, grab your dream journal and write it down. Give your dream a title and write down every single detail you can remember.
- If you can remember only very few things from dream, still write down everything you remember. Also if you felt like you had a dream but you forgot it, write it down as well.
- If you are not using any pre organised diaries, organise your dream entry. I suggest you could put title and date of the dream at the top followed by main theme of dream (e.g animals) right below the title. Then you could proceed to writing down the details. This is one way of organising dreams, but the possibilities are truly endless!
Have you ever completely forgotten about chemistry homework but it popped back to your head as soon as you started talking with someone about it? You can do similar with dreams. As soon as you open your eyes think about dreams. You could also try thinking about dreams in different positions that you would sleep in, as there is a theory that brain will make neurone connections between given memories and all things associated with it, such as your body position during the experience. As soon as you start remembering anything, quickly jot it down in your journal.
Another clever trick to improve your dream recall is to get hyped about dreams.
Most dreams happen in REM phase (for more info, see A Flying Chair!), therefore you will need to get enough sleep to go into that phase couple times. While this may be obvious, it is unbelievable how many people neglect the need for sleep. You should aim to get at least 7 hours sleep, which will allow you to have roughly 4 REM phases, not to mention that it will be healthy for your body as well. The length of required sleep may vary from person to person, but this is rough average. Also, as you may have noticed, we tend to have most vivid dreams just before final awakening, therefore it is a good idea to experiment with sleeping times to find out when such situation occurs most frequently, however that is very hard to achieve and not really an absolute necessity.
That is the preparation recommended to achieve your 1st lucid dream! In the next part we will look at how to induce the actual lucid dreams.
Article written by: Hubert Bieluczyk