Today, we are going to learn about how to lucid dream in only 7 minutes. Now, let’s begin.
Almost 50% of people will never experience a lucid dream in their lifetimes. Of the remaining 50%, only a small fraction will experience one or more lucid dreams per year. An even smaller fraction will have at least one lucid dream per month. Most inexperienced lucid dreamers assume they are one of the many people who never has a lucid experience.
But what if we told you, in only 7 minutes, you could reliably trigger lucid dreams on a daily basis?
In 2020, a study from the journal Frontiers in Psychology discovered a lucid dreaming technique that can stimulate lucid experiences in up to 54% of participants, even people who have never had a lucid dream before. In other words, this reliable method gives you approximately a 50/50 shot of experiencing a lucid dream. And it only takes a few minutes of your time.
If you’re one of many people who’s never experienced a lucid dream, you may be wondering, “what does a lucid dream feel like?”
During a lucid dream, your brain becomes self-aware, allowing your conscious mind to “wake up” without alerting the rest of your body. Your eyes remain closed. Your body remains still, while your conscious mind wanders through a vivid and dreamy world created by your subconscious. Some lucid dreams can be magical, breath taking experiences. You can break the rules of reality, leave your physical body behind, and journey into a vibrant dreamscape.
For some people, lucid dreaming is like watching an extravagant movie unfold inside your mind. For others, it’s like flying through a universe of your own design. But here’s the problem. Sleep scientists have been studying lucid dreams for decades, struggling to find a scientifically legitimate method to consistently trigger lucid experiences.
However, a few experimental dreamers have developed methods that supposedly increase the likelihood of having a lucid dream. One of those experimental dreamers was a dream researcher named Stephen La Berge. In 1980, La Berge created a language-based lucid dreaming technique called Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreaming or MILD.
La Berge found that dreamers could stimulate more frequent lucid experiences by reciting mnemonic phrases like, “When I fall asleep, I will remember that I’m dreaming.” Theoretically, these mnemonics train you to recognize when you’ve entered a lucid dream. La Berge tested his technique over many months. Before MILD, La Berge had about one lucid dream every 30 days. But, when he started using MILD, their frequency skyrocketed.
La Berge averaged between 18 and 26 dreams every month, sometimes experiencing 3 or 4 lucid dreams in a single night. La Berge, and many other experts in the field, have proven just how impactful this lucid dreaming technique can be. It isn’t exactly a scientific solution — and lucid dreaming remains a speculative science — but case studies like these move us one step closer to understanding lucid experiences. But there was a problem with La Berge’s work.
When he began his dream study, La Berge was already experiencing one lucid dream every month or 12 lucid dreams each year. That’s 11 more than many people experience in their entire lives. If you’re less prone to lucid experiences, or dreaming in general, it can be more difficult to induce lucid dreams using mnemonic repetitions.
But that’s exactly the problem his 2020 research study aimed to solve. This study purposely selected participants with no lucid dreaming experience. Still, they could reliably induce lucid dreams up to 54% of the time. So, what made the difference?
This study used another popular lucid dreaming technique, which relies, not on mnemonic phrases, but on careful disruptions to your sleep cycle. The origins of this method, called Wake Back to Bed or WBTB, date back to the 1990s. At the time, an amateur dream enthusiast created WBTB to increase his own chances of lucid dreaming. Unlike MILD, WBTB was largely unproven for many years.
Finally, in 2020, researchers put this method to the test and what did they find? Turns out, there’s more truth to this method than people realize. Before we get any deeper, let’s talk about how WBTB works.
Every night, when you fall asleep, you experience between 3 and 5 periods called REM cycles, in which your brain becomes more active. Because your brain is active, people are most likely to dream during REM cycles. So, naturally, any lucid dreamer wants to target those REM cycles to induce states of lucidity. But the problem… not all your REM cycles are the same length.
Your first REM cycle, about 90 minutes after you fall asleep, is only 10 minutes long. That’s not very much time to squeeze in a lucid dream. Luckily, your REM cycles get longer as you sleep. Your first cycle is only 10 minutes long, but your last cycle spans approximately one hour.
Not only do you have more time to dream, but you’re more likely to dream more vividly, setting the stage for an incredible lucid experience. For WBTB, we’re going to target your last and longest REM cycle, which occurs about 60% of the way through your sleep cycle. If you go to sleep at midnight, for example, set an alarm for 5:00 in the morning.
That way, you can wake up before your final REM cycle, the period where vivid dreams are most likely to occur. But here’s where many people run into trouble. When your alarm goes off at 5:00 in the morning, you’re going to feel tired and groggy.
In the moment, you won’t care about having a lucid dream. You just want to go back to sleep. But if you manage to stay awake a little longer, you can significantly increase your likelihood of experiencing a lucid dream. Some studies show lucid dreamers should remain awake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes after rising in the middle of the night. Others have shown as little as 7 minutes is all it takes. If you remain awake for just 7 minutes in the middle of your sleep cycle, you may increase your chances of having a lucid experience. But when you’re using WBTB, there’s a couple important things to keep in mind.
First, don’t change your sleep cycle when you’re trying to lucid dream. It’s important to go to bed and wake up at regular times. That way, you can make accurate predictions about when your final REM cycle will occur. It’s also important to adjust your alarm based on the length of your average sleep cycle.
Some people function best with only 6 hours of sleep. Others sleep for 9 or 10 hours every night. If you’re a short sleeper, you may set your alarm 4 hours into your sleep cycle. Meanwhile, a long sleeper will need to wait 6 hours for their final REM cycle to begin. This is something you’ll have to figure out yourself. But, with a little practice, you’ll learn what time frames work best for you. That way, you can stimulate lucid dreams as consistently as possible. Of course, it’s not just time frames you need to worry about.
There are other factors that hurt your chances of having a lucid dream. For example, you may have trouble falling back asleep after you wake up. Let’s say your alarm goes off at 5:00 in the morning. You decide to wake up, make breakfast, or take a shower.
By the time you climb back into bed, you’re wide awake and ready for your day. No matter how hard you try to sleep, your brain is too active to sleep any longer. If eating and showering are too stimulating, what should you do during this all-important 7-minute window?
Some people watch videos or listen to music. Others play games, but a 2020 study uncovered something even more effective. Researchers combined the two techniques we’ve discussed in this article to create one reliable, lucid dreaming routine. It begins with WBTB.
In the study, participants’ sleep cycles were interrupted just before their final REM cycles. During that interruption, researchers asked participants to remain awake for a brief period before falling back asleep. But here’s the twist, during that brief window, researchers also asked participants to use MILD by repeating mnemonic phrases.
The combination of WBTB and MILD yielded remarkable results across three different field studies, stimulating lucid dreams in up to 54% of their participants. This study, like many others, doesn’t prove or explain lucid dreaming, but it does give aspiring dreamers a routine you can use to trigger lucid experiences at home. All you need is a bed, an alarm-clock, and 7 minutes of your time.
With these three things, you can combine WBTB and MILD to experience the wonders of lucid dreaming for yourself. For some people, this routine will work right away. But don’t be discouraged if you’re not one of those people. Don’t give up after a few unsuccessful nights. Because you might be lucid dreaming without even knowing it.
We all know that dreams are difficult to remember. And lucid dreams are no exception. Many inexperienced dreamers have lucid dreams but can’t recall their experiences in the morning. If this happens to you, don’t worry. You can strengthen your dream memory, also known as dream recall, with one simple habit. Every morning, as soon as you wake up, write down information from your dream in a dream journal.
Write down everything you can think of, even if it doesn’t make sense. At first, you may not remember much. But your dream recall will improve over time. You’ll start to remember people, places, and objects in your dreams. You’ll remember the sensations you felt and worlds you explored. In combination with a lucid dreaming routine, you won’t just experience lucid dreams. You’ll wake up in the morning and remember exactly how it felt.