How to Lucid Dream and Wake Up Safely

Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Last updated: August 17, 2023
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Throughout lucid dreaming, the sleeper is mindful that he or she is having a dream but refuses to wake up. Some describe these experiences further as dreams in which the sleeper has power over various facets of their environment, though experiments have shown that this is not necessarily the case, and that some individuals are more predisposed to “lucid dream power” than some others. However, anyone can learn how to lucid dream.

According to surveys, about 55% of individuals have had a lucid dream in their lives, and 23% of individuals have lucid dreams at least monthly. Most studies have shown that lucid dreaming could be useful in treating nightmares. Other findings, however, contend that lucid dreams are harmful to mental health because they disrupt sleep and allow dreamers to confuse the boundaries between reality and illusion.

What are lucid dreams?

How to Lucid Dream and Wake Up SafelyWhile lucid dreaming has been thoroughly researched, much remains unclear about the phenomena. Some researchers suggest that activation in the brain’s prefrontal cortex is linked to the formation of lucid dreams. People are mindful of things and events within the unconscious state during non-lucid dreaming, but they are unaware of the dream itself and cannot tell the difference between being unconscious and awake. This has been due in part to lower cortical activation levels.

Dr. Stephen LaBerge, a psychophysiologist, has been a specialist in lucid dreaming science for the last 20 years. He not only invented one of the most common lucid dreaming strategies, but he has also directed numerous scientific studies on the topic.

LaBerge’s thesis also aided scholars in discovering the psychological effects of lucid dreaming. It can be beneficial in the treatment of disorders such as anxiety, repeating nightmares, and PTSD. Lucid dreaming normally occurs on its own. However, there are many approaches for learning how to lucid dream.


Many individuals have lucid dreams of their own and their minds are alert at the stage of sleep. Some people teach themselves to dream lucidly in order to harness the power of lucid dreaming and use them to their benefit. Lucid dreams have been shown to enhance motor skills, reduce anxiety, increase creativity, dispel phobias and help with insomnia.

Anxiety Reduction: Since lucid dreams exist somewhere between reality and dreams, people will use them to act out real-life scenarios. For example, if you are worried about an upcoming work interview, you should go over it in your head several times before going to bed. Your brain becomes used to the situation, and the likelihood of the scene unfolding out in your dream, where you have control over your behavior, is high. Watching and replaying the scene of your sleep and being mindful of what is going on helps to reduce anxiety. When you get more familiar with the situation, the fear of the unexpected disappears.

Address Recurrent Nightmares and PTSD: Nightmares are difficult to cope with, particularly if they occur on a regular basis. Nightmares may be a symptom of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can lead to depression. Since there is an understanding that the nightmares aren’t actual, lucid dreams aid in the treatment of nightmares—it aids in separating reality from dreams. When you realize the nightmare isn’t actual, the trauma associated with it lessens.

Develop your motor skills: Physical therapy may benefit from lucid dreaming. According to a Medical Hypotheses report, psychologically practicing motor skills will improve physical ability to perform them. This implies that people with physical disabilities can be able to learn motor skills while lucid dreaming.


How to Lucid Dream and Wake Up SafelyIn general, any risks associated with lucid dreaming are induced by induction strategies.

The following are some potential drawbacks:

  • Sleep issues. The symptoms of WBTB and MILD include waking up in the middle of the night. These interruptions will make getting enough rest difficult, particularly if you have a sleep problem or an erratic sleep schedule.
  • Derealization is the process of losing sight of reality. Sleep disruptions may result in derealization, or the perception that objects, objects, and your surroundings are not real.
  • Suffering from depression. The sleep disruptions caused by induction techniques can exacerbate depressive symptoms.
  • Paralysis caused by sleep. Lucid dreams can occur as a result of sleep paralysis, which can be brief yet frightening. Furthermore, sleep issues will raise the risk of sleep paralysis.

How to have a lucid dream?

Often lucid dreams happen on their own and you don’t have to work hard to achieve them. However, if you want to deliberately make things work for you, there are several tactics to employ.

Reality checking technique

Doing a reality check continuously tests the brain’s ability to distinguish between a sleep cycle and reality. To have lucid dreams, you must prepare your brain to be conscious when it is dreaming.

To do this, the brain must be properly able to distinguish between the sleep and wake states. To improve your ability to lucid dream at night, lucid dream experts recommend doing such things to measure your sense of reality at least 10 times a day.

The exercises below will help you distinguish between wakefulness and sleep.

  • Place one hand’s index finger on the palm of the other.
    Try to do this at least 10 times a day. When you are alive, your index finger will sense the resistance of your hand, but it will most definitely slip through in your dreams. You can only do this task while you are in a lucid dream and the brain has been conditioned to do so.
  • Look at the clock to see what time it is, then look down, then look again.
    In fact, the time will not shift, but it will most likely leap forward or backward in your dreams.
  • Look at the text on a page of a novel, then down, then back to the page.
    It will not shift in fact, but it will most definitely present a different page or diagram in your dreams.
  • Examine your hands and feet carefully.
    In reality, they will appear average, but they will most certainly appear blurred in your dreams.

A restful night’s sleep is a prerequisite for dreaming. Make your bedroom a relaxing sanctuary where you can unwind at the end of the day. Set the temperature, keep your bedroom cool, and sleep on a cozy, high-quality mattress or sheets to encourage dreams. And lucid dreams, like every other dream, need a solid basis for restful sleep. Some great pillows to help your lucid dream are thin pillows or memory foam pillows.

WBTB (wake back to bed)

In this method, you set an alarm for five to six hours after falling asleep. Once your alarm clock goes off, you are awake at the REM stage, when your brain is the most engaged, resulting in longer dreaming. If you wake up at this stage and then go back to sleep, you are likely to re-enter your dream mode and become more aware of it.

If you wake up in the middle of a dream, get up and write down what you remember, then try to fall back asleep while dwelling on your dream. As a result, your brain is dreaming about your dream while you sleep, raising your chances of being conscious of it the next time it occurs.

MILD (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams)

LaBerge developed a method called Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams in 1980. (MILD). It was one of the first approaches to trigger lucid dreaming based on experimental experiments.

MILD is based on a behavior known as prospective memory, which requires planning to do something later.

  • You set the goal in MILD to note that you’re dreaming.
  • To use the MILD approach, think of a recent dream when you fall asleep.
  • Identify a “dreamsign,” or something unusual or odd in your dream. The ability to fly is one example.
  • Consider returning to your dream. Recognize that the dreamsign occurs only while you sleep.
  • “The next time I sleep, I want to remember why I am dreaming,” tell yourself. Recite the word out loud.

Dream journal

How to Lucid Dream and Wake Up SafelyKeeping a dream log, also known as a dream diary, is a common way to begin lucid dreaming. When you write down your dreams, you push yourself to remember what happens in each one. It is said to assist in the recognition of dreamsigns and increase understanding of the dreams.

Log your dreams as soon as you wake up with the best performance. It’s also a good idea to read your dream journal on a regular basis. A good thing to do when you are planning your lucid dream is to is track your sleep. A good tool to assist in tracking your sleep is the Fitbit Alta.

WILD (wake-initiated lucid dreaming)

You don’t bother to write down the specifics of your fantasies by using this method. If you wake up in the middle of a dream, you were probably still in the REM stage of sleep. Try to shut your eyes and return to sleep, concentrating your mind on your fantasy. This increases the odds of seeing a lucid dream. However, before a lucid dream, you can suffer “sleep paralysis” during this process. Sleep paralysis is the sensation of being awake but unable to move when your consciousness is awake while your muscles are sleeping. If you awaken during the REM stage of sleep, you will most likely suffer sleep paralysis. Although the sensation can be disturbing and daunting for others, it is a natural and temporary process.

How to wake up from lucid dreaming

  1. Solicit assistance. It is said that screaming in your sleep signals your brain that it is time to wake up. Alternatively, if you manage to talk out loud, you can startle yourself awake.
  2. Blink your eyes. Blinking repeatedly can assist your mind in preparing to wake up.
  3. Go to sleep in your dream. When you realize you’re dreaming, go to sleep in your dream so you can awaken in real life.
  4. Open a book. In your sleep, try to read a sign or a book. This can stimulate parts of your brain that aren’t used during REM sleep.

Final Thoughts

When you are conscious that you are dreaming, you are seeing lucid dreaming Trusted Source The mysteries of 'lucid' dreaming | Consciousness | The Guardian Recent research into a kind of consciousness within the dream state is beginning to tell us more about the brain, writes Vaughan Bell. . Often, you have power over the dream’s plot and setting. It happens during REM sleep.

When used in rehabilitation, lucid dreaming can aid in the treatment of symptoms such as chronic dreams and PTSD. Researchers believe it may also help in physical therapy.

Try the strategies mentioned above if you want to lucid dream. These techniques will teach the mind to be aware of its own consciousness when sleeping. If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, PTSD, or another mental health issue, you should see your psychiatrist.

Lucid dreams are distinguished by the fact that sleepers are aware that they are dreaming and, in some situations, have control of their surroundings. Any research has related these characteristics to increased cortical function. Prefrontal cortex activation levels during lucid dreams are equal to levels when sleepers are awake, according to sleepers that have been studied during lucid dream experiments. As a result, lucid dreaming is often referred to as a “hybrid sleep-wake state.”


The mysteries of
Recent research into a kind of consciousness within the dream state is beginning to tell us more about the brain, writes Vaughan Bell.
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