Lucid Dreaming Recipe

Lucid Dream Recipe

How to cook-up the perfect lucid dream:

The key ingredients create your base and foundation to create a lucid dream, whilst the optional ingredients will make your lucid dreams unique and extraordinary.

Key ingredients: 

1] Dream Journal (essential)

2] Dream Signs/Triggers (and/or) 3] Reality/State Testing 

4] Wake Back to Bed (can be used sparingly, but some is needed)

The icing on the cake:  

5] Meditation and Mindfulness (use liberally)

6] Diet 

 

1/ Dream journal 

It’s vitally important to keep a dream journal. When you keep a journal your dream recall improves drastically, you start remembering more dreams and in greater detail. This is essential, because there’s little point working at having lucid dreams if you can barely remember them and when you wake up unable to recall the details of the dream it’s truly frustrating.

 

Apart from improving recall, the process of keeping a dream journal alone can spark lucidity. Investing time in and paying attention to your dreams will make you more likely to notice a dream as it is occurring. A dream journal is also a wonderful thing to have even if you don’t become lucid, as non-lucid dream are richly loaded with helpful guidance and information that can really benefit your waking life.

 

If you’re not a fan of writing in a journal, you may want to type dreams directly into your phone or verbally record the dreams onto your phone or a voice recorder. If you’re recording your voice make sure you speak clearly as when you listen back to your sometimes half-awake, half asleep rambling they can sound more like incomprehensible murmurings than a understandable dream. Another downside of voice recording is that it can be difficult to find past dreams that you want to remember.

 

Some people find their dreams difficult to put into words or any kind of logical order, in which case it can be helpful to draw sketches, or to write down emotions or impressions. Even if you don’t feel that you remember your dreams, make a habit of entering something into your journal every morning. It might just be one word, one color or one emotion to begin with, but this will soon turn into full dreams full of details that you never imagined you’d be able to recall when you began.

 

Helpful hint: to improve recall, try to wake up without using an alarm. When we wake up naturally we normally do so at the end of an REM period, so we’re fresh out of our dreams. When an alarm wakes us up if we’re in the middle of an REM cycle we’re likely to remember dreams, but these can slip easily away due to the shock of the alarm and also moving to turn off the alarm can cause us to loose memory of our dreams as we’re best able to remember them when we stay as still as possible. It’s also likely that the alarm will wake you during a non REM cycle, in which case any dreaming will be a distant memory form previous sleep cycles and very difficult to recall.

 

By keeping your journal your creating a really positive habit and training your memory, specifically your dream recall. This is a truly essential part of the process. When people tell me they’ve stopped having lucid dreams, the first thing I ask is ‘are you keeping a journal?’. Nine times out of ten, they’ve stopped keeping their journal, which has caused their lucid dreams to take a downhill slide. When I stop keeping a journal I almost completely stop having lucid experiences. I’m sure that my spontaneous experiences as a child were a result of keeping a dream journal and that they stopped occurring when I stopped writing down my dreams. If there’s only one thing that you do and only one thing that you choose to practice, I would suggest it be to keep a dream journal.

 

When you get to the point that you are remembering lots of dreams, read through them all and look for reoccurring elements in your dreams. These are called dream signs, because they can act as triggers to help you realize you are dreaming…

 

2/ Dream Signs/Triggers 

Dream signs or triggers could be situations, people, objects, places or emotional states that are common themes in your dreams. You might have a recurring dream in which you find yourself in an identical scenario night after night, or you might frequently dream about the same person or object, but in different settings. Maybe you frequently dream of running out of time to do something, or appearing naked in public! If there is something that you dream about often, you can train yourself to recognize this as a trigger to help you realize you’re actually dreaming.

One of the advantages of keeping a dream journal is that you can look over your recent dreams and notice if there are any current themes, people, objects or places cropping up repetitively in your dreams. If you do have a reoccurring element you want to use as a trigger, start affirming to yourself frequently in your waking state ‘when I…I’ll know I’m dreaming’. For instance, if you frequently dream about your high school Art teacher, you might say to yourself ‘When I see Mister Crayola, I’ll know I’m dreaming.

By affirming to yourself in the waking sate

When you have identified a dream sign, reaffirm to yourself as often as possible in your waking state, ‘when I see/hear/feel___________I’ll know I am dreaming’ eg, ‘when I see my old school teacher Mr Dozer, I’ll know I’m dreaming’.

 

3/ Reality/State testing 

Another great way to get lucid is to get in the practice of testing what state of reality you are experiencing. What a lot of people don’t realise is that when we are dreaming we are conscious and believe we are experiencing normal reality as it is feels so real at the time. Our logical mind is mostly switched off and our subconscious mind rationalises everything we encounter so that, for instance; it doesn’t occur to us in the dream state that it’s perhaps a little bit odd that you made it all the way to work before realising you forgot to get dressed in the morning!

Ways to state test:

  • Pinch your nose and try to breathe through a closed nose and mouth. In the dream state you’ll be able to breathe easily. You can also breathe underwater in the dream state.
  • Try putting your finger through your hand…if it goes through you’re definitely dreaming!
  • Look at you hand and will it to change. In the dream state our hands often look strange, they can morph, melt, shrivel and stretch.

State test as often as possible in your waking life, after a while you’ll do it out of habit in a dream and realise you’re dreaming!

4/ Wake back to bed 

When we sleep we go through cycles of sleep, which last on average 90 minutes. Towards the end of each cycle we experience REM (rapid eye movement) which is when we dream. The length of REM increases with each cycle. The first two or three cycles each night contain very little REM, so we need to get those out of the way before we attempt to have lucid dreams.

A very effective method for lucid dreaming is the ‘wake back to bed method’ as it promotes REM rebound, increasing the length of the REM. REM rebound occurs when we disrupt our sleep cycle and we experience an extended REM period in the subsequent sleep cycle to compensate. We are also able to go directly from Stage 1 sleep to REM, which is impossible in the earlier sleep cycles and is essential to enter a dream lucidly, directly from waking.

  • Set your alarm so that you will wake up 4 and a half hours/6 hours after you go to sleep. Get up and turn a light on.(Make sure you get out of bed so you don’t go straight back to bed. Avoid doing anything too stimulating that will stop you going back to sleep. The best thing to do is to read through your dream journal or a book about lucid dreaming).
  • After 30-45mins turn the lights off and go back to bed and do the following meditation…

(If the wake back to bed method sounds like it’s really not your cup of tea, afternoon naps are also a good time to lucid dream)

5/ Meditation 

Meditation has been shown to increase the frequency of lucid dreams, so it’s incredibly beneficial to develop a regular meditation practice, if you don’t already have one. This will impact every area of your life in a positive way!

Mindfulness 

Another thing that will help you to wake up within a dream is the daily practice of mindfulness. As often as possible bring your awareness to your present moment, completely and fully. So often we’re so absorbed in thoughts about the past or future, that we’re not fully experiencing our present moment in time. The more mindful you become in your ‘waking’ reality the more likely it is that you will notice when you’re in the ‘dream’ state. Question yourself constantly, ‘what state am I in now…am I awake or am I dreaming?’

 

6/ Diet 

Cognitive functioning is key, so it’s important to have a balanced diet, where you get plenty of vitamins and minerals. Green drinks that contain things like alphalpha, barley or wheat grass are great, as well spirulina.

Supplements that affect neurotransmission and memory: 

B vitamins (especially B12, B3 and B6)

Magnesium

Choline

Omega-3s (chia seeds are a great source if you don’t eat fish, soak them in water before adding them to food/a smoothie for the most benefit)

There are other supplements available that are taken to increase lucid dreaming, but I like the ones above because they are naturally found in our diet and completely safe. I’m also a big fan of the herbal supplement Ginko Biloba for dream recall, which can be taken as a tea, a tincture and in Pill form.

 

Another thing that will really help is:

Early nights and plenty of sleep! You’ll find the dream recall is much better and the length of REM cycle is longer.

Try experimenting with the ingredients. You might want to try using one ingredient at a time, or you might want to mix them all up. I hope the recipe helps

Happy dreaming!