This post and the photos within it may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a commission at no extra charge to you.
What is WBTB method and can it help with lucid dreaming?
In this article, we will go through the step-by-step guide of this very popular and effective lucid dreaming technique, called Wake Back To Bed, or in short – WBTB method.
Here is a quick preview of this article:
- WBTB method: How does it work?
- PROS and CONS of the WBTB method
- WBTB: a step-by-step guide
- Tips for the WBTB method
1. WBTB method: How does it work?
The technique is a powerful way to increase the chances of becoming lucid, as it requires waking up during the night.
The goal is to hit the REM sleep – the last stage of sleeping, where the brain is the most active and dreams usually appear during this period.
The REM sleep is getting longer as the night goes by.
The longest REM cycles are happening after 4.5 – 6 hours of sleep.
So waking up between this hours is a perfect time because you stimulate your conscious brain at a time you would normally be experiencing REM sleep.
Therefore, the act of interrupting your sleep during this time drastically increases the chances of becoming AWARE that you are dreaming, as the idea of the method is to temporarily delay your regular REM sleep.
When you go back to sleep, you will directly jump into the REM sleep, from a conscious state.
The whole point of WBTB is to wake up your body and mind at the beginning of a REM cycle.
When you aim to hit this cycle the steps are easy –
wake up for a period of time, go back to sleep, falling back directly into REM.
2. PROS and CONS of the WBTB method
Let’s go through some positive as well as negative aspects of this technique!
The technique is a very simple way to begin with lucid dreaming! The best part is that it really takes pretty little practice to do it.
The only thing you should do, that is a bit hard, is to stick with the technique for a little longer.
I’m saying that it is hard because most likely you won’t have significant success in your first trials, which might demotivate you.
It might be hard to catch the REM sleep as a beginner. The key is stick to the WBTB method for a couple of weeks.
2) Beginner friendly
Some other techniques require additional understanding and experience. However, WBTB requires only the WILL to do it.
The steps are extremely easy, which makes the method ideal for lucid dream beginners.
All you need to do here is to follow the steps and then to repeat them until you succeed!
3) Good for combinations
It is ideal as it comes for combining other methods!
It’s necessary to understand that the method is all about your sleep cycle.
Honestly, it might be a little tricky to precisely wake up during REM stage.
Unfortunately, we don’t know EXACTLY how our sleep phases move during. But don’t get discouraged!
The best way to catch your REM sleep is simply to repeat the method over and over until you figure WHEN is the perfect time to perform the method, for YOU!
Another possibility is to play around with how long you stay awake.
Perhaps, if you stay for a longer time, your brain will get too active, which will prevent you from falling back asleep.
Or if it is too short, you may not be able to set your full intention to the technique.
2) Interrupting your sleep cycle / Hard to fall back asleep
Sometimes, you might find it hard to go back to sleep. But don’t worry, you are not alone!
If you find that interrupting your sleep doesn’t work good for you, then simply change the method.
There are a bunch of other successful techniques, that can fit you much better, including:
However, if you really want to try exactly this method, but you are worried about interrupting your sleeping patterns, simply limit your attempts to 1-2 times per week (the weekends, for example).
3. WBTB: a step-by-step guide
STEP 1: Wake up after 5 hours of sleep
Just go to bed as usual, but set your alarm to wake you up after 5 hours of sleep.
So, if you to go to bed at 23, then put the alarm to wake you at 4 in the morning.
Your goal is to figure after trial and error the most accurate time where you have REM sleep.
This will vary from person to person, so try the first few times to wake up after 5 hours, then try to wake up after 4.5 hours, 6 hours, etc.
STEP 2: Stay up for 20-30 minutes
The important part of this step is to wake up to full consciousness!
Increase your mental clarity by stepping out of the bed. Occupy your brain with something, so you can fully wake up.
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR 20-30 MINUTES IN 4-5 IN THE MORNING?
To increase the chances of becoming lucid, simply focus your attention on:
1) Read a bit from a lucid dreaming book, if you have one
2) Use a part of this time to meditate
3) Write down in your dream journal any dreams you might have had, or if you cannot remember them, simply read your previous dreams
STEP 3: Go back to bed
After the waking period, go back to bed. Lay on your back and start relaxing.
Create an intention that you will have a lucid dream and think about your next dream.
Try to visualize your next dream. WBTB will be work the best if you can get back to sleep relatively quickly.
If your mind is too alert and you find it hard to fall asleep, listen to some guided meditation or some brainwave entrainment (find FREE binaural beats in this article).
That’s basically everything!
When you go back to sleep, you will dive straight into REM sleep.
4. Tips for Wake Back To Bed (WILD) method
For a much higher success rate, you should definitely think of using some additional techniques and starting some of the following:
This is a must for everyone who wants to be a lucid dreamer.
It will simply give you a huge advantage when it comes to becoming lucid.
For instance, if you write in your dream journal for a while, you will be aware of your dream symbols, as well as you will have much more vivid dreams than if you don’t have a dream journal.
So, be sure to have a notebook that is only for your dream stories!
This is a perfect addition to the WBTB technique. When you wake up during the night, you can meditate.
Furthermore, it can help you to go back to sleep – faster and easier.
It is great for your overall lucid dreaming practice.
It will help you to become more mindful, which is essential for lucid dreaming.
– The action that will help you to understand if you are in the real world or in the dream world.
Reality checks are another ”must” if you want to lucid dream.
For more details about the study, check this article.
As mentioned above, they are a great way to fall asleep again.
The effect of the binaural beats is to slow down the brain, which will allow you to reach deep relaxation states.
The beats are stimulating changes in your brain and what is most important, they can enhance lucid dreaming!
Chemicals called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEls) promote lucid dreaming, and galantamine is one of them.
A recent study proved that treatment with galantamine stimulates lucid dreaming.
It is another great addition to WBTB since the best time to take the pill is after 4-6 hours of sleep (it will gain its highest activity in an hour).
Evidently, taking melatonin increases dream activity in some people.
Studies showed that improved sleep quality after only 3 weeks of nightly supplementation.
Specifically, the total sleep time and sleep efficiency were drastically improved. So it is another WBTB combination.
In case you cannot go back to sleep with this technique, melatonin will eliminate this issue.
6) Good night sleep
You NEED to have a good sleeping routine with at least 8 hours of sleep.
You cannot expect to have irregular sleeping patterns and to be able to learn lucid dreaming.
If you have any of the problems below or a similar one, find a solution to it first! To have lucid dreams, you should avoid:
going to sleep very late (2-3am)
having a messed up sleep schedule (going to sleep and waking up differently all the time)
waking up all the time due to noisy roommates/neighbors/other reason
You can also find 20 tips for better sleep – right here!
Why should you bother with lucid dreaming?
You spend more than two hours dreaming each night.
You dream every 90 minutes of sleep, for 15-20 minutes, and by the night goes by, the dreams are getting longer!
Approximately, we sleep one-third of our lives… that’s A LOT.
Instead of literally ”wasting” this whole time, you have the opportunity to do SO MUCH MORE with it!
Check some of the amazing benefits of lucid dreaming, and decide for yourself!
What is the best time to attempt lucid dreaming?
As mentioned, we dream during REM sleep, which occurs every 90-minutes.
As the night goes by, the REM stage gets longer, as well as our dreams.
You should schedule an alarm during the later sleep cycles. Try different times, and see which works the best for you:
– after 4.5 hours of sleep
– after 6 hours of sleep
– after 7.5 hours of sleep
What is the most important part of the WBTB technique?
One of them is definitely your mindset. You have to be very motivated.
You need to STICK with the technique, and you need to put additional effort, if necessary.
Unfortunately, for some, the effort needs to be much more than for others.
You may spend week after week, then month after month in order to learn how to lucid dream.
Luckily, it will be faster and easier if you start from the beginning with the RIGHT approach.
Practice the right things, and be motivated, and it will happen!
As a matter of fact, our FREE 14-day challenge can guide you through the steps and it can help you to build the essential habits and fundamentals of lucid dreaming.
All you need to do is write down your email and within an hour you will get our 14-day calendar.
For deeper explanations, you can also see the article, that explains everything about the challenge!