Most Effective Lucid Dreaming Technique
In this post, I will be talking about a technique and give you complete guidance on how to perform the most effective lucid dreaming technique which has been used by lucid dreamers to successfully induce their lucid dreams. The method I am talking about here is the “Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming Technique” also known as the “Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming Technique” which is undoubtedly the best way to have lucid dreams because, unlike most methods, here you consciously enter your dreaming state without losing your waking awareness completely when you fall asleep. Basically, this method is all about keeping your mind awake when your body is about to go into a sleeping state. This method is widely used by lucid dreamers because it has been the most powerful way of generating lucid dreams known to experts in the field of conscious dreaming. This term and technique were first introduced by Dr. Stephen LaBerge, who is a psychophysiologist whose contribution to the field of lucid dreaming revolutionized this particular subject and his book “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” which I have also mentioned in my “Best Lucid Dreaming Books” post is a gem of a material that has inspired thousands of lucid dreamers to take interest in their dream world.
This method is a lot similar to the ancient art of dream yoga that is practiced by Tibetan Buddhist monks as well as it is also used in yogic practices performed by Indian yogis called the Yog Nidra, however, those methods are practiced with the aim of spiritual advancement whereas here we use something similar for conscious dreaming. The WILD technique is not only useful for lucid dreaming but also for astral travel, you don’t need to be an expert lucid dreamer to be able to perform this technique but you surely need to understand the mechanism well to make proper use of it.
While performing the WILD method you are actually tricking your brain that you are asleep by not moving your body, when you do this you keep your mind active whereas it also drifts into the dreaming state while keeping the awareness of the waking state intact. This does not mean that you are not sleeping but all you are doing is that you are conscious of the fact that you are asleep. To explain this better I will first make you familiar with the mental states and sleep cycle associated with this process.
REM Cycle and Brainwave Pattern
Our brainwave frequency changes according to the state of consciousness. The state in which we are in the waking state is known as the beta state where we are fully awake and when we are in deep sleep our brainwave frequency goes to the theta state. However, between the waking state and the deep sleep, we go into a stage where our brainwaves are in the alpha state, there are many other brainwave states that occur between the alpha state and theta state which are associated with our sleep cycle. When we are performing the WILD technique, what we aim to do is to keep our waking consciousness while our brain goes from the alpha state to the theta state. Similarly, our sleep cycles every night goes from the REM stage to the deep sleep stage. During the cycle which is also known as the rapid eye movement cycle, our dreams are generated. We go through 4-5 cycles of these states every night. In order to be able to induce a lucid dream, we have to catch our dream when it has either completed a sleep cycle or when it is about to start one because we have to stay conscious during the REM phase to be able to become lucid in our dreams.
When we perform the WILD technique, this is the reason why we have to choose the time carefully because we need to stay aware during the time period when our alpha brainwaves are dropping and when we are about to enter into the REM phase.
Hypnagogia and Sleeping Time
If the above paragraph was confusing to you then I will suggest you not get too concerned about the technicalities and rather just focus on your time of performing this dream induction technique. All you have to do is to find the timing of the day or night when you are having most of your dreams, once you have figured out the time you can stay assured that you have identified your REM phase timing.
Here are a few most common sleep times when you can use this particular technique.
Before Falling Asleep: Many people prefer to use this lucid dreaming induction method before falling asleep. Here you are going to the first sleep cycle of your night so you can use the initial REM phase for lucid dreaming. However, from my personal experience, I have seen that it is very difficult to be able to stay conscious during the first sleep cycle because when you are going to your bed at night you are very tired to be able to stay awake. Also, if you will have dreams during the first cycle and you don’t wake up within a short duration after it then it will not be possible for you to remember the dream and it is really very difficult to wake up after the first cycle because once you are asleep during the initial cycle, you probably will only get out of your sleep in the morning.
Before Waking Up: To do this, you will have to identify your final sleep cycle and for that, you will have to experiment with your waking time by setting an alarm 1-5 hours before your time of naturally waking up. If you feel very tired and you can’t wake up easily then you might have woken up during the second phase of your cycle but if you find yourself quite awake when the alarm goes off then you might have completed a sleep cycle. All you have to do is find the time when your last sleep cycle has ended and then go back to bed while performing the WILD technique.
Afternoon Naps: My favorite time of having a lucid dream are the afternoon naps because during that time our mind is far more active and we don’t sleep for long-duration during noon, so most of the time we are only completing the REM phases of the sleep, that is why we remember our dreams when we sleep at noon far vividly than the other times.
Though it is not necessary that you will experience this state but often when people are going from the deeper relaxation phase after the alpha state, their brainwaves start to fall before the alpha level and during this period they may experience hallucinations that may be visual auditory or tactile, we call this state as Hypnagogia. Most commonly this hypnagogia is often experienced as the patterns and colors that form blurred images or you will begin to see clear visions. Hypnagogia can only occur if you have maintained your conscious awareness while drifting from the waking state to sleep. In this state, if you have succeeded to maintain your awareness then it becomes very easy to become lucid because what follows hypnagogia is a dream. Here you can also use affirmation to keep yourself conscious of the dream by saying affirmations like “this is a dream”, “I am now in control of my dream”, etc. repeatedly, or you can, as many lucid dreamers, use visualization to conjure images at will.
Visualization and Lucidity
Once you have successfully managed to keep your conscious awareness during the hypnagogia, you either enter into a dream with lucidity or you can create a lucid dream scenario by visualizing a dream scene. In her program “Lucid Dreaming Fast Track“, Rebecca Turner teaches how you can be the architect of your dreams with practice while showing you how to use the WILD technique properly but what I am trying to explain here with visualization is not about creating a dreamscape but it is about using any particular image to maintain your lucidity in the dream to which that image might lead to.
Visualization is a very complicated thing when it is used for lucid dreaming so it requires a lot of practice for one to be able to visualize the dream scene but in the hypnagogia state, you can use simple images to consciously enter into a dream. For example, if you imagine a book and you enter into a dream, that book will most probably appear in the dream while reminding you that you are dreaming.
Two Major Problems Related To WILD Technique
The most common problem with wake-initiated lucid dreaming is of course the loss of awareness when you go from the waking state to the REM cycle but with practice, one can easily maintain the level of awareness required for lucid dreaming and that’s when two of the biggest problems associated with the WILD technique occurs. For beginners, these 2 problems can be very dreadful and frustrating because it really messes up your mind if you have never experienced them before.
The 2 problems that we are talking about are sleep paralysis and false awakening. Both sleep paralysis and false awakening can be converted into a lucid dream pretty easily but in order to do that you will require a lot of patience and practice, but initially, you will have to understand these states well.
Sleep paralysis is probably the most commonly occurring situation when the WILD technique is applied for lucid dreaming because this particular state is most commonly associated with hypnagogia since during that time our body falls asleep whereas our mind is active. The reason behind the occurrence of sleep paralysis is our body’s natural mechanism that stops us from acting out during our sleep, the heightened relaxation of the body muscles results in a feeling of inability to move or speak which can be very scary for some people. However, this phenomenon is nothing you should be worried about, instead, many lucid dreamers use this particular state to their advantage for having a lucid dream or astral projection.
False awakening on the other hand is simply a dream where you think that you have woken up but you are actually asleep. As a beginner, it is very difficult for people to detect a false awakening and they end up having a usual dream that may end in another false awakening. When this process happens over and over again, we call it multiple false awakenings which can be very frustrating because you begin to realize that you are stuck in a dream loop without being able to wake up in real life. This phenomenon also can be very frustrating for those who are new to exploring their dream world but for advanced lucid dreamers, false awakenings are also a great opportunity to have lucid dreams. I have written posts on dealing with sleep paralysis and multiple false awakenings that you can check out if you want to be prepared to face these problems.
By now I guess you must have understood why I think that the wake-initiated lucid dreaming technique is the most effective method, it prepares you completely to successfully induce a lucid dream at the time of your preference. Depending on regular dreams to convert into lucid dreams will not help you to have frequent experiences of lucid dreaming whereas if you master this technique, you will be able to have lucid dreaming experiences almost every day.
If you are new to lucid dreaming and you are struggling to have your first few lucid dreams then I highly recommend you to join the “Lucid Dreaming Bootcamp course” which is a 30-day training program that is something I believe could be very useful for someone who is beginning their lucid dreaming journey.
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