World of Lucid Dreaming

Learn how to control your dreams

Why do some people master lucid dreaming, while the rest sleep on?
Light switches and synesthesia dreams

Light switches and synesthesia dreams

Here's the first video in a series of discussions that took place recently at London's Dream Research Institute to celebrate 40 years since the emergence of scientific proof of lucid dreaming. First up - the Q&A session, featuring Dr Keithe Hearne and Dr Clare Johnson on the light switch effect, parallels with shamanism and precognitive dreams.

Lucidology - Lessons in Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming

Lucidology - lessons in wake induced lucid dreaming

Nick Newport is a different kind lucid dreamer to myself. While I mostly work on establishing in-dream cues to become lucid (known as Dream Induced Lucid Dreams - or DILDs), Nick is experienced at inducing lucid dreams from waking (WILDs). To the uninitiated, this may sound a bit trippy. And it is. The experience of being physically awake and aware in your bedroom, then plunging into a lucid dream world without any lapse in consciousness, is truly exhilarating.

Lucid dreaming day 2015

Lucid dreaming day 2015

Lucid dreamers around the world are warming up to celebrate the annual Lucid Dreaming Day this April 12. There will be an opportunity to meet like-minded people, take part in dream challenges, win prizes and introduce the uninitiated to the wonders of dream exploration. The event is a collaboration between a growing number of lucid dream experts and researchers which is hosted online - so turn up in your pajamas and join the celebrations!

17 things I've learned in 17 years of lucid dreaming

17 things I've learned in 17 years of lucid dreaming

I've been lucid dreaming for almost 17 years now. That sounds like a long time. And yet, I've still got a lot to learn. To the newcomer to lucid dreaming - who has the whole exciting journey ahead of them - I want to share some of the most profound, useful and surprising lessons from my experience. I hope this sees you well on your dream travels.

1. Mindfulness is key. The easiest way to produce ongoing lucid dreams is to make it a mental habit to observe and question your reality.

Calea zacatechichi: the dream herb

Calea zacatechichi: the dream herb

Calea Zacatechichi is a herb that is scientifically shown to increase dream recall, dream intensity and hypnagogic imagery. About five years ago, I had my first Calea Z experience. It produced a night of highly meaningful and vivid dreams that left me waking up thinking WOW. They were like no other dreams I'd had before. (And I'm a lucid dreamer.) Though it can certainly open the gateway to lucid dreaming, the really meaningful aspect of Calea Z is its ability to take you on an incredible inner journey. I'm talking about the kind of dreams that change you - even more, perhaps, than many of your memorable waking experiences.

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What is a lucid dream?

A lucid dream is any dream during sleep in which you become aware that you're dreaming. This simple realization draws your waking consciousness into the dream, enabling you to:

In theory, everyone has the potential to lucid dream - but only a small fraction of people learn how to harness the ability and use it on a regular basis. This site is for people who are serious about learning the art of lucid dreaming and exploring its real world applications. Are you ready to learn this life-affirming skill?

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Is lucid dreaming scientifically proven?

There are many examples of scientific research that prove the existence of lucid dreaming.

Researches have used brainwave, bloodflow and eye movement data to validate higher levels of consciousness during lucid dreams.

Lucid dreams also provide credible explanations for various night-time phenomena like alien abductions and astral projection.

The first scientific proof of lucid dreaming emerged in 1975 from the British parapsychologist Dr Keith Hearne. He recorded a set of pre-determined eye movements from his lucid volunteer, Alan Worsley, via an electro-oculogram (EOG). It was a basic communication between the dreamer and the outside world.

More recently, this 2009 study by the Neurological Laboratory in Frankfurt revealed significantly increased brain activity during lucid dreams. An electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded brainwave frequencies up to the 40 Hz (or Gamma) range when lucid.

This measure is far more active than the normal dream state (which takes place in the Theta range, or 4-7 Hz). Indeed, some argue that it supports the need to classify lucid dreams as a new and separate state of consciousness.

Intruiguingly, the research also showed heightened activity in the frontal and frontolateral areas of the dreaming brain. This is the seat of linguistic thought and other higher mental functions linked to self awareness.

In 2014, this remarkable study out of Frankfurt University revealed that lucid dreams can be induced with "zaps" of harmless electrical stimulation of the brain.

When non-lucid dreamers were given 30-second jolts of electrical current to the frontal cortex while asleep, they reported spontaneously vivid dreams in which they fully recognized they were dreaming.

Incredibly, stimulation at 40 Hz was effective 77% of the time.

What can I do in a lucid dream?

A fully lucid dream can be perfectly tangible, rich and visually detailed.

When probed, it can generate seemingly impossible levels of self awareness - such as 360-degree vision, multiple simultaneous dreams, and even visual representations of the fifth dimension.

Because all of this takes place in your mind, the dream world is infinite. No laws. No boundaries. No limitations. Anything you can conceive of comes true.

You can take control of your dream and warp The Matrix like Neo. Fly and soar over cities like Iron Man. Slow down time like the dream levels of Inception. Have sex with celebrities. Fight like a ninja. Re-live childhood memories. Base jump. Survive death.

But a lucid dream is not merely a fantasy playground.

Dream theories suggest it's a chance to interact with other parts of your psyche (by talking to different dream characters) and even your co-conscious inner self (by talking to the very fabric of the dream).

Once you know how to become lucid in dreams, you will discover a strange new world - an entire universe, no less - of which you are fully aware and can manipulate with the power of thought.

How do I control my dreams?

Dream control kicks in the moment you become lucid (when you recognize that you're dreaming).

The more conscious you become of the dream environment, the easier it is to manipulate. There are a few different ways to shape your dreams as they occur, for instance:

  • Actively will what you want to happen, like waking life (eg, you walk up to a wall and will your arm to push through it). This is the most intuitive method but not always the most effective if your lucidity is waning.
  • Say your desire out loud and let the dream present it (eg, say "I have super powers and am the sole survivor of a zombie apocalypse"). You'll be empowered by your own words and the dream will oblige.

So, it takes a little getting used to controlling your dreams. That's because lucid dreams are a completely new and unique environment to you - in which your conscious and unconscious collide.

When fully lucid, you'll find that you can exert considerable control over your lucid dreams. Or you can passively enjoy this state of heightened awareness, watching the dream unfold in its originally intended state.

The golden rule for lucid dream manipulation is this: making it real in your mind... makes it happen in the dream.

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How do I stay lucid?

Beginners sometimes find their lucid dreams end prematurely. Usually it's the sheer excitement and adrenaline rush that causes you to wake up.

Other times, you can simply forget you're dreaming (remember, the brain functions differently during sleep and it's easy to forget things).

To make your lucid dreams last longer, cultivate a calm and focused mind set in the dreamworld. Remind yourself that you are dreaming often to stay mentally grounded.

A simple way to enhance your lucidity (and thereby prolong your lucid dream) is to rub your hands together while saying "I'm dreaming". This kinetic sensation stimulates the conscious brain, while drawing awareness to your dream body and away from your physical body asleep in bed.

Such techniques have enabled me to experience lucid dreams as long as an hour in real time.

How do I summon dream characters?

In your lucid dreams, you can seek out or summon any person, dead or alive, fictional or real.

A good way to do this is to heighten your lucidity, then visualize and expect the person you want to meet just out of sight. Ask the dream out loud to manifest that person too.

Don't be afraid to ask for unexpected consequences: "show me myself in 10 years", "show me my one true love", and "show me how my great-great-great grandchildren will live" are all valid requests of the infinite and create lucid dream state.

How do I change the scenery?

Making the dream scene morph in front of your eyes can sometimes be difficult. Your conscious self simply doesn't expect it to happen, because that is its experience of waking life.

This mental block is typical of a beginner complaint because it requires more confidence and a lucid state of mind.

Not to worry. Established lucid dreamers have been working the dreamworld long enough to have come up with some excellent solutions. In the case of changing the scenery:

  • Locate a "dream door": one that stands randomly in the middle of any landscape, and step through to another world.
  • Pass through a mirror portal: a liquid-like mirror that leads to another dimension, and emerge in any scene you choose.
  • Change the channel on a TV - then jump into the screen and allow the image to become 3-dimensional around you.
  • Turn away from the scene - and imagine a new location emerging behind you. When you turn back, everything will look different.
  • Spin around and imagine a new scene appearing when you stop spinning.

In fact, there are lots of creative solutions to issues of dream control. The important thing to remember is that your conscious expectation plays a major role.

Stay confident in your ability to summon dragons, teleport to the Bahamas, and fly like an eagle. You'll soon find that absolutely anything is possible inside a lucid dream.

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About The Author

About the author

Rebecca Turner is the founder and editor of World of Lucid Dreaming, where she offers valuable first-hand advice and tutorials. Learn more about her here and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and her Lucid Dreaming Forum.

10 Steps to Lucid Dreams

Receive free lucid dreaming tutorials

I'll show you how to develop a lucid night life and use it to improve your waking world with my 10 Steps to Lucid Dreams. More than 30,000 people have already subscribed.