Sad Boys Guide to Lucid Dreaming

Sad Boys Guide to Lucid Dreaming

Lucid Dreaming is part of my Sad Boys Guide Survival Kit where I’m diving into a list of topics that helped me personally overcome mental health and overall try to be less shitty of a person. On this journey, I became involved in learning a lot about dreamwork and one of those paths led me into the art of lucid dreaming and being able to produce lucid dreams on demand.

What is Lucid Dreaming?

If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re aware of the term but to keep it short and simple, it’s when the dreamer knew they are in a dream and can often manipulate the environment around them.

Okay, but why would I want to Lucid Dream?

  • Personally, it helped me heal a lot. I relived situations I wasn’t proud of and had closure on parts of my story that the chapter was left unfinished.
  • Overcoming fears
  • Honestly, it’s just fun and can really open the imagination. However, it must be respected.

There is an ongoing debate on whether lucid dreaming is healthy or negative for you. Please proceed at your own risk.

Preparing You and Your Environment

There are two things we want to do before we jump into lucid dreaming. First, we want to prep ourselves and make sure our resting space is adequate for lucid dreaming.

This includes:

  • Optimal room temperature around 60 degrees (high teens in celsius)
  • Blocking out ambient light with curtains or sleep mask
  • Using ear plugs or a soothing sleeping aid app if it’s noisey

Now that we set up our sleeping lab, let us get a little pre-sleep ritual down. Before bed, here is a small checklist to help get you ready for lucid dreaming

  • No drugs (this includes weed, alcohol and especially caffeine) in the evening. People will debate the weed part but I’ve had the most lucid dreams ever taking a tolerance break.
  • All electronics away at least 45 minutes before bed. No doom scrolling till you sleep.
  • Meditate and ease your mind 30 minutes before you lay down. Even if this isn’t something you normally do, give it a try.
  • During meditation, or however you want to relax before bed, tell yourself you are going to lucid dream almost like a mantra.

How to Lucid Dream

  1. Record, record, and don’t forget to record. Keep a written or audio journal next to your bed. Whenever you wake up, the first thing you will do is start recording your dream down.
  2. Reality Checking – Spend your day trying to be aware of every aspect of your life, minuscule or not. Becoming fully immersed around in your daily surroundings will help you reality check your dreams, which is notice the off details about your dream. Some common concepts are clocks are blurred or spinning, cell phones aren’t around or usable.
  3. Techniques: A 2017 study the journal Dreaming determined that a combination of reality testing, WBTB, and MILD works best. However, many lucid dreaming forums like Reddit claim that WILD is the most effective combined with WBTB.
    1. Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreaming (MILD) – this method was created by Stephen LaBerge who has dedicated his career to the study of lucid dreaming. As you can guess from the acronym, mnemonic is a learning technique to aid memory.
      1. As you lay in bed, repeat an affirmation or two in your mind. Stay focused on this until you start drifting off. Some examples
        • “I will lucid dream tonight”
        • “Remember, Recognize, Realize”
      2. As you feel yourself drifting to sleep, visualize your dream. You want to recall past dreams you recently had (this is why journaling is so important!) Imagine it having a different ending or different characters. Our goal is to fall back into a previous dream but with the awareness it’s a dream.
      3. If you’re having trouble, Stephen LaBerge research suggests that waking up after a few hours and regaining full consciousness for a minute or two can help, known as the WBTB method below. Then lay back down and repeat the steps listed for the MILD technique.
    2. Wake-Induced Lucid Dream (WILD) – often regarded as most difficult, is being able to achieve lucidity while in an awake state so you basically can lucid dream on demand.
      1. Sleep for 4-6 hours with setting an alarm if you’re a deep sleeper.
      2. Then lay back to bed with the goal of experiencing a hypnagogic hallucination, a hallucination that occurs when you’re half asleep / half awake. That moment right before you fall asleep.
      3. As you enter this sate, focus on everything your imagination is bringing to you. These images are just your thoughts visualized which are starting to create your dream environment.
      4. Next, you can start to hear auditory sounds emerge. The key here is to embrace the states shifting and allow the progress to happen.
      5. It’s now time to enter the dream. Engage with the visuals and other sensations you’re experiencing.
    3. Wake Back to Bed Technique (WBTB) – the most common and beginner friendly.
      1. Set an alarm after three-five hours of sleep.
      2. When you wake up, try to remember and record everything you were just dreaming about. Notice the patterns
      3. Spend twenty to thirty minutes in a fully conscious activity.
      4. Fall back asleep, bonus point if combining the MILD technique above before sleeping.

My Personal Lucid Dreaming Routine

I start with meditating twenty minutes before I’m ready to get into bed and repeating a mantra, “I will become lucidly aware of my dreams.” This is enough for me now along with sleeping pretty much straight on my back. Before this, I would set an alarm for five hours and then lay back to sleep with my hands on my side pretending to play the piano. Of course, I reality check myself daily and take the time to remember the little things. I also use a dream journal and write them down the second I wake up.

Bon voyage!