How I brought Lucid Dreaming back into my life

by phil on Saturday Jan 17, 2009 11:29 AM
lucid dreaming, mainfeed, my little productivity hacks

Somehow, in December, I decided I wanted to bring lucid dreaming back into my life. These are the kind of dreams where you're aware that you're dreaming, and you can start to control them. Often in these dreams, everything looks and feels so real that you can't really tell if it's a dream or not.

This is not my first major attempt at lucid dreaming. I first started in 2004. There were two techniques that I focused on. The first was keeping a dream journal. The idea is that we have many dreams every night, and we simply just erase them when we wake up. By writing the dreams down, your recall will improve. This is important because if you don't remember a dream it's almost like you never had the experience in the first place.

The second technique is to habitually do reality checks. For example, light switches don't seem to work in dreams. So wherever you go, flip switches to check if you're in a dream or not. If you are consistent, then half of the time, you will realize you're in a dream and your world will become instantly plastic.

This is all fun when you're initially excited with lucid dreaming. However, once the novelty wears off, you may fall out of practice. You have to get to the level where lucid dreams happen with regularity to make it justifiably rewarding over the long-run.

In 2004, I think I only got half-way to that level. I eventually I got tired of writing in my dream journals; the last thing I want to do in the morning is start writing. Second, I simply fell out of the habit of dream-checking.

But now, in 2009, I think I've found a sustainable path into lucid dreaming. It involves convenience-hacks on those two techniques.

The first involves replacing dream-journals. Instead, while I'm lying in bed, I just try to recall 10 interesting features from my dreams, and then I try to cap it off by giving the dream a name. This isn't as strong as writing every detail down, but it does help jog your memory. Plus, it's a fun-enough exercise that you can do while cranky.

The second convenience-hack is a handy reminder to dream-check:

This is what my cell phone looks like whenever I turn it on. I created it by writing in the Notepad application and then taking a screenshot (hold down the power-button and press the home-button).

It's been a month now, and I haven't lost track of either techniques. Lucid dreams have gradually become more and more frequent. Eventually, who knows, I might keep this up and become a master lucid dreamer.

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