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Lucid Dreaming

What is lucid dreaming?

Ever have a dream in which you say to yourself “I’m dreaming”? Once you are aware within your dream that you are dreaming, you are experiencing a lucid dream. This isn’t the same as controlling your dream, but it makes it easier to have some control over the dream.

Why bother?

  • Fantasy — use your own imagination, you don’t need me
  • Overcoming nightmares — recurring dream you are being chased by a lion? Prime yourself to remember that lions aren’t running loose in Maryland so if the dream re-occurs, you’re more likely to realize you are dreaming, turn around and roar back. Odds are the dream won’t return.
  • Rehearsal — visualization at its best, practice for that speech at work or skiiing for the first time
  • Creativity and problem solving — Let your dream mind run wild on a particular problem
  • Healing — visualization again
  • Transcendence — animal guides, spirits, etc.

How to promote lucid dreaming?

  • Dream recall — practice recalling your dreams when you wake up, keep a journal
  • Reality testing —
    1. Do a reality test,
    2. Imagine that your surroundings are a dream,
    3. Visualize yourself enjoying a dream activity
  • Dreamsigns — look for clues that you are dreaming, things which can’t really be occurring, like purple cats, flying, etc.
  • Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) — This uses the idea that you can set yourself up to remember to do something in the future. The proper time to practice MILD is after awakening from a dream, before returning to sleep.
    1. Setup dream recall;
    2. Focus your intent;
    3. See yourself becoming lucid;
    4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until your intention is set (or you fall asleep)
  • Napping — wakefulness interjected during sleep increases the likelihood of lucidity, that is, it’s easier to experience a lucid dream after a short period of wakefulness after sleeping.

Websites to check: (this is where I pulled some of this info from)



By Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D., (Ballantine, 1986; ISBN 0-345-33355-1)


By Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Howard Rheingold (Ballantine, 1990)


By Celia E. Green (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1968)


By The Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys, edited by Morton Schatzman, M.D. (Duckworth, London, 1982)


By Malcolm Godwin (Simon & Schuster, 1994)