The lucid dream could be called a self-directed dream. It is the sleep equivalent of daydreaming, except that you are on another level of consciousness. In dreams like this, you know that you are dreaming and it is possible for you to direct the dream by engaging with its characters and events, a bit like directing a movie. There are many accounts of people finding creative solutions to problems in lucid dreams, and you can learn how to lucid dream by following these five steps.
1. Get a good night’s sleep.
There are numerous studies to prove that the sleep-starved mind does not dream. When wondering how to sleep better, consider your bedroom. It should be a haven of harmony and comfort. Get rid of all the junk and clutter; the dog-eared magazines piled beside the bed and the heap of old clothes on the chair in the corner. In fact, the bedroom should contain little more than the bed. If the mattress is lumpy and uncomfortable, then replace it with a new one. Dress it with nice linen and a fragrant pillow; lavender is best. Paint the walls in shades of blue and violet, the shades of higher consciousness. It is impossible to exclude the outside world completely, of course. You will likely have a raft of worries that infiltrate your sleep. When wondering how to dream, remember the dream symbols you encounter will spring from these worries.
When wondering how to sleep better, consider your bedroom.
2. Write down your dreams.
Write down your dream images upon awakening, else you will forget them. You are more likely to remember the dreams you had towards morning and there are good reasons for this. Sleep happens in five stages. When you close your eyes and begin drifting into a pleasant, dream-like state, you are in sleeping stage one. Random images fill your mind. The second stage is a deepening of this state. These two stages are called NREM or nonrapid eye movement sleep. Next, you fall into stages three and four, known as slow-wave sleep. By now, you are sleeping deeply, your body repairing and renewing itself after the ravages of the day. You then enter stage five, rapid eye movement or REM sleep, and most dreams happen in this state.
On a good night, you experience four to five cycles like this, which each last about ninety minutes. As the night progresses, your NREM sleep phases take less time and your REM phase lasts longer. This is why the dreams that you actually remember happen towards morning. Studies show that sleep-deprived people spend longer in the NREM phases, their bodies catching up on missed sleep. This means fewer dreams, which is why good and regular sleep is vital. Have pen and paper at your bedside to write down your dream upon awakening.
3. Identify recurring dream symbols.
Psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung have disputed much on the meaning of dreams. However, they all agree that the characters and events that you encounter are archetypes or symbols for what is happening in your life. The problem with passive dreaming is that you are helpless while asleep, a feeling that may overwhelm you when you wake up. Lucid dreaming is a way of engaging with recurring dream symbols and taking control of your feelings and ultimately, your life.
4. Remember that you may have already dreamed lucidly.
If you have ever jumped awake on encountering a spooky character or situation when you had been drifting asleep, then you have been almost there. From now on, try not to awaken at this point. Instead, ask the character who he is and what he wants. The answer could be the solution to the problem that has been troubling you when awake.
5. Try to bring on a lucid experience during REM sleep.
This can only be achieved by establishing a habit situation. It is a little difficult but with practice, you can achieve it. Some people set a timed alarm or bell to go off while asleep. If you don’t want to disturb anyone else, try this: during the day, every time you sit down, look at your shoes and ask aloud: am I dreaming? The situation is bound to manifest during a dream and when your feet or footwear look strange, then you’ll know you are dreaming. Remember to try to direct the circumstance you are in.
What you achieve when dreaming lucidly depends on the goals you have in life. Clarke Peters, creator of the story Five Guys Named Moe wrote it with the help of lucid dream encounters with yogi Brahma Kumaris. Remember, lucid dreams are only ordinary dreams taken a step further and it is a power we all have.