You may or may not know what lucid dreaming is, but once you do you will realize that it is possible to control and shape your dreams. A lucid dream is one in which you are aware that you are dreaming and they are usually very realistic. You may wake up from a lucid dream and ask yourself if it was real, but then realize the implausibility since you were asleep.
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Scientists tend to disagree on whether the individual is really in a state of sleep during lucid dreaming, or if they experiencing a brief period of wakefulness while sleeping. Whatever the nature of the lucid dream, here are a number of ways that you can realize you are lucid dreaming and possibly even control it.
1. Repeatedly Ask Yourself, 'Am I Dreaming?'
By reminding yourself regularly, during waking hours, to do a reality check, when you dream you will most likely do the same and be able to identify when you are experiencing a lucid dream. Throughout the day, ask yourself, 'Am I Dreaming?', and you will most likely remember this habit in your dreams.
Write down what you dreamt about immediately after waking in a journal that you keep beside your bed. Reviewing your dream journal later on can help you identify common elements and keep your brain in shape to remember dreams and certain aspects of them. Eventually, you may be able to identify your own unique 'dream signs' when you lucid dream and determine their meaning
3. Know When To Lucid Dream
Some studies suggest that the best time to lucid dream is during a nap in the morning hours after waking. This is because lucid dreams are associated with REM sleep, which is most common in the moments before you wake-up. Knowing this can help you time your lucid dreams and even mentally prepare for them.
4. Choose a Method and Stick to It
There are a number of methods that claim to maximize the amount of time and power of your lucid dreams. One of them is called the MILD (mnemonic induction of ludic dreaming) method, in which you should set an alarm clock or 4 1/2, 6 or 7 1/2 hours after falling asleep, and upon waking attempt to remember as much of the dream as possible before going back to sleep and trying to remember where you left off with your previous dream. The most successful method is the wake back to bed (WBTB) method in which you set your alarm clock for 5 hours after you fall asleep, and when wake, stay up for another hour with your mind focused on lucidity before returning to sleep.
Here are some interesting facts on lucid dreaming and special ways to vividly guide your consciousness in dreams.