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Are you looking for different lucid dreaming techniques?
In this article, you can find 10 of the best ones!
If you are entirely new to lucid dreaming, don’t worry; the techniques are great for beginners, too.
Here is a quick overview of this article:
- DILD and WILD: The 2 Main Lucid Dream Induction Techniques
- 10 lucid dreaming techniques:
1. WILD method
2. Counting technique
3. Dream Chaining
4. Hypnagogic Imagery technique
5. Autosuggestion technique
6. Wake-Back-To-Bed technique
7. Hypnosis Induced Lucid Dreaming (HILD)
8. Third Eye Method
9. Cycle Adjustment Technique (CAT)
10. Visual Incubated Lucid Dream (VILD)
- A few extra tips for lucid dreaming
DILD and WILD: The 2 Main Lucid Dream Induction Techniques
Lucid dreaming is a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming.
To experience it, you need to ensure that your mind is conscious within the dream state.
Studies like this one proved that lucid dreaming is a learnable skill, and specific techniques can help you become conscious inside your dream world.
There are two main lucid dreaming techniques – WILD and DILD, and each of them has sub-techniques.
The difference between WILD and DILD is:
1) A Dream – Initiated Lucid Dream (DILD) is where you are dreaming naturally, then it hits you, “Oh, I’m dreaming.” It is the spontaneous realization that you are dreaming.
2) A Wake – Initiated Lucid Dreaming (WILD) is where you induce the dreaming state directly from a waking state.
Below, you can find some of the best WILD & DILD techniques.
10 Powerful Lucid Dreaming Techniques
Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream Techniques:
This Mind Awake / Body Asleep technique will let you enter a lucid dream – directly from the waking state.
In one study, the WILD technique produced five WILDs within 6 days!
WILD (Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream) includes 4 steps:
1 – Lay down on your bed and with your eyes closed –
you can perform it when you are going to sleep or during the night. If you choose the second option, wake up during the night, after 4-6 hours of sleep.
The first step is simple yet super essential.
You simply need to relax, physically, and mentally. The most effective way to become more relaxed is by meditation.
That will help you get into a lucid dream state. You can simply lay, preferably on your back (or in whatever position you are comfortable).
You shouldn’t move, and you have to try to empty your mind.
2 – Observe your hypnagogia –
After your body is relaxed and loose, you need to concentrate on the darkness behind your closed eyes and let the mind wander around.
After some time, you might start seeing or feeling things.
This state is called hypnagogia.
A hypnagogic hallucination is a vivid, dream-like sensation that an individual hears, sees, feels, or even smells. It occurs near the start of sleep.
Observe anything you see or feel, and of course – stay calm and relaxed, as before.
3 – Create the dream scene –
The more carried away you become, start creating the scene for your dreams and the characters.
Begin to visualize with as much close-up detail as possible. Explore the surroundings, and in that way, your visual awareness will become higher.
4 – Mind Awake/Body Asleep –
Your body should become asleep while your mind should remain conscious.
Once everything is in play, you should successfully enter from a conscious waking state into a conscious dreaming state.
Stabilize your awareness in the dream by saying, “I’m dreaming” and a reality check.
While the steps of WILD are simple, it can be challenging to learn. Combining WILD with other lucid dreaming techniques will increase your chances of experiencing a lucid dream. (WILD + WBTB is a good combination)
Interestingly, Stephen LaBerge, a lucid dream expert, and researcher commented that “WILD, a form of lucid dream initiation, is a skill that improves with motivation and practice.” So, a longer time frame with more rest would probably improve the efficacy of the technique.
2. Counting technique
The Counting technique can allow you to enter the dream state without losing conscious awareness – this idea has ancient origins in the Tibetan dream yoga tradition¹.
The technique is a fantastic way to fall into a dreaming state, slow and steady.
Count from 100 backward, and in between the numbers include the phrase – “I’m going to have a lucid dream.”
Make sure you follow the pattern and let your mind focus on the dreaming state.
It is beneficial, and the aim is to recall the numbers and add the phrase to make sure you successfully enter a lucid dream.
Imagine that you are going downstairs or looking at the pages in a book, from 100 to 0, or 0 to 100. Meanwhile, do not forget to imagine it as clear as possible.
It is easy to lose count, especially counting up to 100 with an ‘I’m dreaming’ with each number.
But stay focused: you are not going to sleep; only your body is, and you must concentrate fully.
How many times do you need to perform this technique until you succeed?
This is highly subjective, but in a study, the participants were instructed to keep still and focus on counting while falling asleep, 43 out of 191 attempts [23%] resulted in lucid dreams.
3. Dream Chaining (DEILD)
Dream Chaining, also known as Dream Exit Induced Lucid Dream, is an extension of the WILD technique that allows you to have multiple lucid dreams.
The technique works by interrupting your dream by putting an alarm to wake you up and then going back into your next dream, which is supposed to be lucid.
The goal is to experience sleep paralysis and let it aid you into a lucid dream.
Here are the steps:
1 – Set the alarm for 2 hours before you usually wake-up. The goal is to aim to hit the time you are entering REM sleep (the stage of sleep where dreams occur).
Important: Use download an app (such as the “Alarm Xtreme Free”) where the alarm sound stops automatically without needing to hit the off button.
2 – Wake up and do not more.
This could take a little practice, but when your alarm clock sounds, do nothing – stay still & acknowledge it without moving your body at all.
3 – Enter sleep paralysis.
Since your body will remain still, you will enter a state of sleep paralysis. From that point, you want to convert sleep paralysis into a dream. This can be achieved by one of the following methods:
4 – Visualize yourself in your dream scene.
Make sure you try to use all five senses to really “experience” your surroundings. Once immersed in your dream scene, hop right into it, and begin lucid dreaming.
5 – Simply be patient and let sleep paralysis “wear off.”
After a brief moment when the sensation of sleep paralysis has died down, you’ll find that you’ve entered a dream. This is the perfect time to perform a reality check.
Focus on the feelings and sensations of sleep paralysis. For example, if you feel like you’re drifting, then go along with this and let this move you forward into a dream.
If you want to lucid dream without experiencing sleep paralysis, this method is not for you.
4. Hypnagogic Imagery technique
The Hypnagogic Imagery technique has similar properties to the WILD technique.
It works by making you stay aware throughout the transition from awake to falling asleep.
Try it during your peak REM state, around one or two hours before your standard wake-up time.
When you go to sleep, allow yourself to be still and relax.
After you close your eyes, you’ll probably notice after some time that visual images start to appear.
Just allow them to come and go and don’t try to focus intently or follow any of them. Just think of yourself as a relaxed observer.
You’ll then start to notice that the shapes and colors become more and more complex. Eventually, they’ll begin to resemble a dream scene.
Allow yourself to be drawn into the dream scene. Try to remain aware of what’s going on while staying relaxed and passive enough to ensure you don’t wake yourself up.
As you drift off to sleep, you’ll become fully immersed in the dream as it starts to become lucid.
5. Third eye method
The third eye method is also referred to as the Chakra technique.
It is one of the traditional methods for lucid dreaming, and it involves focusing on your third eye /the space between your eyebrows/.
In addition to that, you need to have synchronized breathing in a pattern to help you achieve lucid dreams.
It falls under meditation forms of WILD, so you can use this method to have a wake-induced lucid dream.
Here are the steps:
1 – Go to bed and relax.
This technique works best if you wake yourself up after 5-6 hours of sleep.
The primary key to this method is that you have to focus entirely on your third eye chakra.
2 – As falling asleep, try to visualize that you have a lucid dream.
This method is similar to WILD since you might go straight from the real world into the dream world.
3 – Focus.
You need to concentrate entirely on your third eye as well as your breathing to achieve a lucid dream.
Dream – Initiated Lucid Dream Techniques:
The Autosuggestion technique is all about believing that you are going to have a lucid dream.
It is considered as a self-hypnosis technique, and it is even closely related to the placebo effect.
There are many ways you can suggest to your mind that you want to be aware that you are dreaming.
You should do this:
1 – Repeat a mantra:
Simply repeat to yourself, throughout the day and most importantly, before sleeping, that you will have a lucid dream.
2 – You can use a mantra, such as:
– “I will recognize that I’m dreaming”
– “I am going to have a lucid dream”
– “Tonight I will become lucid in my dream”
3 – Continue to repeat until you fall asleep.
Be focused and make sure that you are saying one phrase to enhance continuity and declare to yourself that you will be lucid in the dream.
It may sound too simple, but it works. This technique has been successful in scientific research, done by Stephen LaBerge. Performing the Autosuggestion technique resulted in a range of 1 to 13 lucid dreams per month.
Remember NOT to force it.
Instead of putting intentional effort into the suggestion, try to expect to have a lucid dream genuinely.
This technique could be remarkably effective for people who are doing meditation or hypnosis.
7. Wake-Back-To-Bed technique (WBTB)
The Wake-Back-To-Bed is another laboratory tested lucid dreaming technique.
For the WBTB technique, you need to interrupt your sleep with an alarm. Go to bed, and put an alarm that should wake you up after 4 to 6 hours of sleep.
Then, you can choose between these 2 options –
Wake up during the night, after 4-6 hours of sleep
Stop your alarm – that should be your only movement. Then try not to move at all.
Stay calm, relax, meditate… essentially, perform the WILD technique.
After a while, you should enter a lucid dream.
Wake up during the night, after 4-6 hours of sleep.
Turn off the alarm, then go out of the bed for some time – usually, the period could vary for each person. Usually, it is best to stay awake between 10-30 minutes. Sit and relax on your bed.
You can try to meditate or read a book. You can also think about lucid dreaming – focus on what you want to do inside your dream and visualize it.
After 10-30 minutes, go back to bed. From that point, you can still use the WILD technique.
(just know that you may try this technique for at least a week until you reach the lucid state )
If you have trouble with this, you can move your alarm somewhere far from you, so you would have to go out of the bed to stop it
In my experience, I prefer to do the second option, since the first one could be tricky and I can easily fall asleep without realizing it.
Choose the one that you think will fit you better.
8. Hypnosis Induced Lucid Dreaming (HILD)
Hypnosis is a powerful tool that has helped millions of people overcome fears, quit addictions, and achieve personal goals like weight loss.
Can we use hypnosis to help us lucid dream? Yes, of course! Here’s how:
First off, you need to think of an affirmation.
To do this, decide on what dream you would like to have.
For example, if you want to be in a tropical paradise, then visualize this while saying to yourself, “I’m now entering a lucid dream at my tropical paradise.”
Now, it’s good to run through the steps below before you go to sleep at night.
Ideally, to achieve a lucid dream, you should aim for it to be one or two hours before your regular waking up time.
So, if you usually wake up at 8:00, wake up around 6:00 and try it out.
Here are the steps for this powerful lucid dreaming technique:
- Get comfortable. It’s usually best to be lying on your back.
- As you breathe in, start to tense the muscles of your body slightly.
- On the out-breath, let the muscles relax.
- Continue to do this for a few minutes, and allow your muscles to become more and more relaxed each time you breathe out.
- Allow yourself to enter a trance state. If it helps, count down from 10 to 1, and as you say to yourself each number, allow your level of relaxation to double.
- Once you reach a trance state of purely focused relaxation, repeat your affirmation over and over again (in your mind).
- By practicing this technique repeatedly, you should increase the chance of becoming aware of your dreams and experiencing a lucid dream.
For this method, it is essential to have good visualization skills.
You need to visualize your desired dream location, so pick one that you know good.
WILD and DILD Combination*:
* a technique that’s a combination of both WILD and DILD.
9. Cycle Adjustment Technique (CAT)
The Cycle Adjustment Technique (CAT), created by the lucid dreaming teacher Daniel Love, can be useful for beginners and allow you to have up to 3-4 lucid dreams per week.
The method is not difficult to follow, although it requires some discipline since you have to intentionally get up earlier.
1) Go to bed at your usual time each night.
2) Set your alarm clock 90 minutes before your normal wake up time.
3) Do this every day for one week, to reset your body clock before you try to lucid dream.
4) After the first week, start alternating each day between your usual wake up time and 90 minutes before your normal wake up time.
For example, if you usually wake up at 7:30, you would wake up at 7:30 one day, and 6:00 the next. Continue to cycle between the two.
5) After the first week, your body will have gotten used to being stimulated and waking up at 6:00.
So, on the days that you’re not waking up until 7:30, you’ll find yourself getting an extra “kick” at 6:00.
This will enhance your awareness while priming yourself for lucid dreaming.
Incorporating binaural beats can be useful.
10. Visual Incubated Lucid Dream (VILD)
Master this lucid dreaming technique, and you’ll be able to incubate lucid dreams at will. In short, it’s a lucid dream that you “practice” before going to sleep.
By mentally repeating a dream many times during the day and right up until you go to sleep, you’ll be setting the scene for what’s to come when you dream for real.
Also, by getting familiarized with your dream scene, you’re less likely to find yourself waking up when you’re lucid dreaming.
One of the essential keys is to carry out a reality check each time you perform your lucid dream rehearsal.
If you are not sure what a reality check is, it is a simple action that will test whether you are awake or dreaming. (For more details – take a look at this article.)
Here are the precise steps to follow for the VILD technique:
1) Start carrying out 20 reality checks per day and keep your dream journal up to date.
A few days of ensuring you have the basics covered will ensure that you are ready for the VILD technique
2) Design a dream scene for yourself and plant a reality check into the scene.
For example, if your dream scene is in a forest, maybe a dear walks by, turns to you, and says, “you’re dreaming right now.”
3) Visualize yourself spending time in your dream scene just before you go to sleep (when you’re already in bed).
Make sure you’re relaxed and evoke all the senses as you rehearse your dream. Immerse yourself in it and perform a reality check.
4) Go to sleep.
When you begin to have your desired dream, perform your reality check, and you should enter the realm of a lucid dreaming state.
5) To stabilize the dream even further.
Try spinning around a couple of times
The more you get used to doing reality checks, the more your chance of doing a reality check increases.
A few extra tips for lucid dreaming
To increase the success rate of these lucid dreaming techniques, follow some of these tips –
Keep a dream journal:
Your dream journal is the place where you write all of your dreams.
It will help you improve your awareness within the dream state, and you will be able to remember more details about your dreams, just in a couple of weeks. Find a free dream journal template that I’ve created here.
Improve your dream recall:
Needless to say that this one is another essential part. I created an easy guide with dream remembrance methods and action steps that you can implement immediately. I advise you to check it out if you struggle with dream recall.
Listen to binaural beats:
The binaural beats are sounds that stimulate and change your brain state. They can enhance our sleep, relaxation, lucid dreams, and more! Find FREE samples and how to use the Binaural beats for lucid dreaming.
Try meditation before sleeping. It can help you to enhance your consciousness and improve your self-awareness inside your dreams.
Lucid dream books:
There are plenty of good lucid dreaming books that will boost your motivation, and you will learn amazing hacks from real experts.
You can read or listen to some of them before performing some of the techniques.
You can listen (FOR FREE) some fantastic lucid dream audiobooks, too.
Don’t give up on a technique after a few trials:
If you try a technique and you fail immediately, don’t drop it!
Instead, ask yourself if there is anything you can do better to improve your lucid dreaming chances.
Make sure to stick to a technique at least for 1-2 weeks. Consider combining a few methods, too.
Experiment with lucid dream herbs/supplements:
Some specific herbs and vitamins can positively affect your dreams.
Check my article for more information and find 15 potent lucid dreaming supplements.
Don’t fear sleep paralysis:
Sleep paralysis is a state that paralyzes your body temporarily, while your brain is conscious.
It can be an odd or scary experience, but the truth is that it is a natural condition that many people encounter.
The lucid dreaming techniques above can help you start learning how to lucid dream, and it is a good idea to combine any of the methods with the lucid dreaming basics, which are:
For some, lucid dreaming could come very naturally, and for others – it will require some extra work. Just remember that practice is the key!
Which of these lucid dreaming techniques will you try first? Share in the comments below!
- Ian Wickaramasekera II, Psy.D (2014). Lucid dreaming: A Wake-Initiated-Lucid-Dream (WILD) approach. DOI:
- Tadas Stumbrys (2012). Induction of lucid dreams: A systematic review of evidence. DOI:
- Wangyal, T. (1998). The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. New York: Snow Lion Publications. DOI:
- Stephen P. La Berge (1980). Lucid Dreaming as a Learnable Skill: A Case Study. DOI:
- Daniel Erlacher1, and Tadas Stumbrys2 (2020). Wake Up, Work on Dreams, Back to Bed, and Lucid Dream: A Sleep Laboratory Study. DOI: