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What is the SSILD technique and how does it work?
SSILD (Senses Initiated Lucid Dreaming) is a highly effective lucid dreaming technique, tested by a lot of people with overwhelmingly positive results. It is easy to perform, making it perfect for beginners.
In this article, I will share with you some specifics about this technique, as well as an easy guide that you can try tonight.
We are going to observe the following:
- What is SSILD technique?
- Why you should try Senses Initiated Lucid Dreaming (SSILD)?
- SSILD: A step-by-step guide
- Essential tips
- Successful combinations
1. What is the SSILD technique?
SSILD technique is an abbreviation for Senses Initiated Lucid Dreaming.
The technique works with your (three) senses – sight, sound, touch. Simple, right?
SSILD appears to have a lot of similarities with other lucid dreaming techniques (such as WILD, MILD, etc) which might be one of the explanations of why does it work so well.
2. Why you should try Senses Initiated Lucid Dreaming (SSILD)?
The method is not observed and researched, like MILD.
However, by applying SSILD, you will get consistent results over some time*
*give it a try for AT least a week.
When it is combined with other proven techniques, such as MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams) or with WBTB (Wake Back To Bed), the chances of experiencing a lucid dream are drastically increasing.
Another benefit of the technique is that it is beginner-friendly, and the method does not require any special skills.
All you need to do is – follow the steps!
3. SSILD technique: Step-by-step guide
Step 1: Focus on sight
Here, you should do the following:
close your eyes
focus on the darkness behind your eyelids
be relaxed, try not to move your eyes
you should do this for approximately 20-30 seconds, but do not count the seconds
some of you might see here shapes/lights/colors, others may not see anything. In both cases – it is all good and you shouldn’t be worried
Step 2: Focus on sound
now, shift your attention to the sounds that you hear
focus on the sound of your breath, your pulse, external sounds around your room/house, outdoor sounds
is it pretty much like meditating – be aware of the noises around you, but try to be relaxed and not think about them too much
if there are no sounds, don’t force to hear something, keep your attention and listen carefully
even if you hear nothing, just go with the flow and continue with the next part
Step 3: Focus on touch
lastly, focus passively on what your body feels
spot any sensations that you may have, like:
– the warmness under the blanket, the temperature of the air in the room
– the weight of the blanket, the softness of the pillow
– the rising up and down of your chest when you breathe, your heartbeat
The best way to perform the cycle is:
Firstly, complete the Cycle, 1) quickly, as a warm-up and repeat it 4-6 times.
Here, you don’t have to do each step 20-30 seconds, but less.
It will be a short exercise, so each step should be a few seconds (5-10).
Afterward, perform the Cycle 2) slowly (20-30 seconds) and repeat it 3-4 times. Here is the crucial part.
By taking extra time for each step, you will become sufficiently relaxed, and you will be able to focus on the senses much faster & easier.
During the slow Cycle, you may become distracted by a lot of random thoughts.
Don’t try forcibly to put an end to your thoughts – accept that fact and let them float, without having any interaction what you think.
4. Essential tips
1. Don’t forget to do the three cycles 4 – 5 hours after you went to bed
Similar to the WBTB method, interrupt your sleep with an alarm. For example, if you go to bed at 12 o’clock, the ideal will be to wake up at 4.30.
Around that period, you will be in your REM sleep, where the dreams are the longest and where is most likely to occur lucidity.
If you want to avoid falling asleep, just go out of the bed, for a few minutes.
Walk around, drink water, go to the toilet. Just wake yourself up (a bit) for the method!
2. Even if you decide to do only the slow cycle, repeat the steps
At least 4 – 6 times
3. “Meditative” state of mind
Don’t forget to be fully relaxed
4. You should perform each of the steps for around 20-30 seconds.
If you want to include first the “quick” cycle, do it first – each of the steps for 5-10 seconds with repetition of the whole cycle 4-6 times
Important: Don’t focus on time too much. This is just a guideline, meaning that it shouldn’t be exactly 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds. It could be more or less.
5. Don’t ”try too hard”
A common mistake that you should avoid! Some beginners want to see, hear and feel things, and they want to feel unusual and stranger things.
When nothing like that happens they feel discouraged and they give up.
A strategy that you should consider is: don’t expect anything special during the steps. Just follow them and wait until you fall asleep because that is the crucial moment!
6. Don’t stress if you start to lose focus at some moments.
If that happens, simply start from the beginning of the cycle.
Another frustrating thing is the thoughts – but again, if you practice meditation you will know that you should just let them float on the back of your mind without paying attention to them.
7. After you are done with all of the parts and repetitions – you are ready to fall asleep.
Don’t put effort into this one, just let it happen naturally.
When you go back to sleep the chances of YOU having a lucid dream are very hight so don’t forget to practice your reality check in order to find out that you are already sleeping.
Tip: Now, you should find a comfortable position and fall asleep – the quicker, the better!
5. Effective combinations
1) Choline supplement
Choline is produced naturally in the human body by the liver. It is used to make Acetylcholine in our bodies naturally.
Acetylcholine is a chemical that carries messages between brain cells and can deepen REM sleep and enhance lucid dreaming.
Vivid and longer dreams
Dream recall – Really important, simply because how can someone experience a lucid dream if he/she can’t remember the dream?
Raise consciousness while dreaming
When taking Choline, the nootropic will stay in your body and the effect of the pill will be active for quite some time
” CDP-choline increases serum concentrations of free choline at doses as low as 500mg which tends to occur 2-3 hours after administration “.
You can simply combine it with the SSILD technique:
Set your alarm after 4-5 hours of your sleep
Wake up, turn the alarm off, and then take a choline pill or two
Lay back in your bed, and DO SSILD!
Then, just go back to sleep and enjoy your lucid dream experience!
In the body, Choline will lose its efficacy after some time, that’s why people reported that they pair it with Galantamine.
In that way, the levels of Acetylcholine will continue to grow. (read more about Galantamine in our article here)
Simply said, the combination of both will assist you to become lucid. It is really effective and recommended for lucid dream experiences.
If you want to ensure a maximum result, simply combine them both.
For lucid dreaming purposes, use Choline with 300-500mg (300 mg = 1 tablet), combined with 4 mg of Galantamine
(4 mg = 1 tablet).
When to take Galantamine:
Galantamine can be taken just before going to sleep.
If you decide to combine both of the supplements, take a smaller dose – 300 mg (1 tablet) choline, with 4 mg of Galantamine (1 tablet).
Choline can be taken before bed too, but we recommend the given option above.
We always recommend taking forethought before trying any supplement.
Despite these are natural harmless supplements, there may be side effects, so check with your doctor before you take any of these or at least, inform yourself well by using reliable sources.
If you decide to take any of the products – do it at your own risk.
6. Senses Initiated Lucid Dreaming: FAQ
How SSILD technique works?
Similar to the WBTB method, you are interrupting your sleep, while you are in your REM sleep (find what was REM sleep in THIS article).
Then, you focus your mind on the surroundings – your vision, your hearing, and your touch.
Users shared that there are quite some similarities between SSILD with the self-hypnosis method by Betty Erickson which is also based on these 3 senses: seeing, hearing, feeling.
A second assumption is that by repeating and stimulating these senses, we are “preparing” our body & mind for entering the dream world.
The performance of the method went through a variety of revisions by its applicants with one purpose: increasing the effectiveness!
For someone, one revision can work better than another.
We will share with you underneath the one we think that will help you to become lucid easily.
The essential about SSILD is the 3-step “cycle”.
How was invented?
The technique was created and published in a Chinese lucid dreaming forum.
Because of the effectiveness of it, it was translated into English, where after appeared among various lucid dreaming websites.
Why repetition is necessary?
This repetitive stimulation of your three senses is helping your mind and body to “prepare” a mental state that is increasing the change for a lucid dream to occur naturally.
Will I really have a lucid dream tonight?
To be completely honest, there is a higher change that this method will not work on the very first try.
There are various things that can happen and prevent you to lucid dream the first night – you can fall asleep, or to make small mistakes while performing the method.
If nothing happens the first time, and you don’t have a lucid dream, just try it again the next night! Do not give up after one try.
On the contrary, if you have been practicing for some time certain lucid dream techniques, meditation and mindfulness, etc. – there is a higher chance that this technique will work, possibly the first night.
All in all, SSILD is an excellent technique and an easy way to experience different states of consciousness.
The features of the method are a great way to relax and to go deeper into a meditative state.
Best of all, it doesn’t require visualization of your dream, like other methods, so if you struggle with building-up your dream, you should consider trying the technique for some time.
Nevertheless, don’t expect miracles after one or a few times.
So when performing the cycle do we do it before we initially go to sleep, and then before we go into the REM period?
The technique requires you to wake up after at least 4-5 hours of sleep. The point is to hit the REM period.
It is not necessary to perform the technique when you go to bed in the evening. However, it won’t hurt if you try it out, just to test how does it work and to “prepare” yourself for the technique. Good luck!
Can you use this technique just as a prep for wild?