On the market today there are rather a lot of free apps to aid you with Lucid Dreaming. There’s Lucid Dream Ultimate by Android, Can Lucid Dream by Windows and DreamZ by Ios, but do you really need them? In my opinion: yes and no; after all, anything which makes it easier for you to start on the path of Lucid Dreaming is great (especially if it’s free), and yet then again if you don’t have an all singing, all dancing smart phone or wouldn’t know an app from an apple, you needn’t worry either because the smartest piece of kit you already own is already installed, it’s already up there in your noggin aka your brain (this is more or less true, even for Justin Bieber). Quite simply, the human brain is rather nifty, fantastic, about as smart as it gets, and each of us use this oh-so-fantastic super computer all the blinking time; indeed, it’s the gizmo you’re using right now, not only to regulate blinking but to absorb these here words; the same spongy grey tech that allows us to think, “sleep… perchance to dream” (a Shakespeare quote ever-so-slightly out of context there, do excuse me).
Anyway, speaking of dreaming, what the heck is Lucid Dreaming, other than being the theme for a particularly confusing Leonardo DiCapriofilm?! Well, Lucid Dreaming in a dream-like nutshell is being aware you’re dreaming whilst you sleep. It’s conscious dreaming, a state of self awareness said to occur during REM sleep, and I’d be so bold as to hazard a guess the vast majority of us, no matter how much we choose to ignore it, have had one of those dreamy but clear (lucid) moments when we realise we’re not quite asleep, but not quite awake either – mine usually involve an attempt to fly by running really fast, and almost skipping up into the air, at least before I fully awake, starting to panic how I’m going to get myself down from the lampshade. For all I know, your own Lucid Dreams may involve you and Justin Bieber DUI and on the way to a clan rally: they’re your dreams and I’ll cast no aspersions or judgment.
Of course, for those who already know a fair bit about Lucid Dreaming it isn’t only about being aware one is dreaming. It’s also about taking control of those dreams and manipulating the experience you have in the imagined dreamscape. For instance, instead of allowing Justin Bieber to drink and drive under the influence, and spout all kind of ill-thought-out racist hogwash, you take control and force feed him a can of whipass until he explodes into a much more useful collection of butterflies, and perhaps you even find yourself flying on the backs of said butterflies toward a phone shop to buy a new Smartphone, because they may not help you to Lucid Dream but they are darn useful.
Okay, to quickly recap… Lucid Dreaming is being aware you’re dreaming, and by extension taking control of said dreams, but how do you, I and Justin do it? Well there are countless techniques and practical things you can do, and so before I sign-off and fix my lampshade, allow me to share a couple.
1: The Wake Back to Bed method:
This involves setting your alarm clock an hour or two before you’d usually get your bag of bones up. Remember, REM sleep occurs most frequently just before you wake up so when the alarm sounds and hopefully jolts you from a dream, you wake and get up, perhaps wandering around the house for ten or so minutes allowing your conscious mind to take control. When you return to sleep you should discover it far easier to re-enter the dream world, appreciating you are in fact in a lucid state of mind whilst dreaming, and able to take control of the dream.
2: Reality Checking:
Spend the day affirming you are awake. This may combine using certain visual nods and cues, for example when switching on a light or closing a door: these are perfect times to ask the question “am I awake?”. It may sound odd but there’s method to the madness because by asking the question when awake your mind will hopefully ask the very same question when asleep (kind of like muscle memory). Once you ask the question in a dream there is then a greater chance you will start to appreciate you are indeed dreaming and take control.
So there you go, if using apps on phones isn’t your thing, don’t worry because the only tech you truly need is already wedged into your own beautiful mind (though perhaps consult a book or further blog posts for yet more tips). Anyway, enjoy and have fun in the dream world, wonderful sleepy people!