2 weeks into LD practice my sleep is struggling

Today it’s been officially 14 days since my first LD, a life changing experience. Being able to be conscious in a limitless environment and to interact with the materials of my subconscious was really exciting. The LD came after watching a video on the subject and since then I started learning more - mostly here! - and attempting to induce it again. My dream recall quickly improved and on the 8th day I had another LD, though this time it was way less stable and it didn’t last as long. Throughout this whole time though what I noticed is that my sleep started getting all messed up. Now I always wake up at exactly 4h30min after falling asleep, and after that I struggle to fall asleep again. Sometimes I’m able to sleep but not too deep, and I have a number of very short dreams - which I recall very vividly. It’s as if my body has forgotten how to simply doze off… I’m wondering if the WILD attempts gave me too much knowledge of what happens behind the scenes and I’m a little scared. Or maybe because WILD requires us to stay conscious through the whole process I’m finding it hard to let my consciousness go away… Idk… Do any of you have had any similar experiences? Is it possible to strengthen my LD skills without messing up my sleep? I’ve suffered from insomnia in the past so I really don’t want to go down that path again… Ok, that’s way too much writing already. Thanks to whoever had the patience to read all this!

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So glad to hear you’ve been finding Lucid Dreaming fulfilling!
Curious if you’ve been interrupting your sleep as part of your WILD attempts? Your body could be learning a pattern if you’re waking yourself up regularly. Also how is the rest of your sleep hygiene? Do you have a regular bedtime and wake up time?

I’ve had great trouble sleeping when I’ve tried WILD. I have trouble remaining conscious without dialogue and thoughts running through my head, which results in me being unable to fall asleep for hours. I would usually try WILD in combination with WBTB (getting up after 4-6 hours of sleep), after which I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep and would lay there struggling and frustrated until the sun came up. haha.

My solution?
MILD! I quit regular practice of WILD because it interrupts my sleep too much! (but sometimes still manage to do it without planning to)

I find that I also wake up regularly in the middle of the night, actually pretty close to way you say, between 4-5 hours of sleep. Instead of staying up like a traditional WBTB, I get up, go to the bathroom, get a sip of water if I’m thirsty, then lay back down. I’m careful not to wake up fully because it’s too hard to fall back asleep. When I lay back down I focus on a MILD mantra for a few minutes, (like 5 or 10 at most) Usually “This is a dream,” Or “when I realize I’m dreaming, I’ll [fill in whatever my goal for my next LD is].”

Then I just let myself fall asleep as normal. This method works pretty well for me, and doesn’t disrupt my sleep like WILD does.
So I’d say if WILD is disrupting your sleep too much, find a different method! MILD can take a few weeks to sink in as a collection of practices (like finding the right mantras, thinking about RCs as a habit, building self awareness into your life, etc), but it’s rather simple method that relies on prospective memory instead of the delicate balance WILD requires as you’re falling asleep.

Alternatively, if you like WILD, you might benefit from trying a WILD spin off, like FILD

Hope my perspective is helpful!

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Thank you @Splash it is very helpful indeed to read about your experience.

As for your questions, my sleep has been getting interrupted naturally, maybe because I’ve read so much about the importance of WBTB when attempting LD. My sleep hygiene is average. I do have contact with screens right before bed though not in the bedroom usually. I go to sleep around the same time every night, and wake up naturally at around the same time - or used to, before all this.

I think you’re 100% right though, I should focus on MILD. The idea of WILD is very enticing - going straight from awaken life to dream world - but it has certainly messed me up. MILD seems so hard though! Maybe because it involves trusting dream me too much and dream me is really a fool. Last night I was fighting a giant and I didn’t even stop for a second to question what was going on. I guess it will take some time… Like you said, bringing awareness into my everyday life seems like an obvious aid. One thing I have to thank LD for is that for the first time in my life I’m sticking to a meditation practice, hopefully that will also help with my awareness on the other side…

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts! I don’t really have anyone to talk to about this whole crazy thing.

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Sounds like your sleep hygiene is pretty good then. My girlfriend suggested to me that the strange waking up could be my body trying to go into a biphasic sleep schedule. I kinda shrugged it off because I don’t want a biphasic sleep schedule, but it might be worth researching. I think I’ve slept through the entire night once in the past 4 months. Although I’m not sure I see much of a problem or experience too much of a disruption for being up 5-10 minutes (and, as mentioned, it allows me to try a MILD in the middle of the night).

Compared to WILD I find MILD to be much easier hahaha. I think MILD is actually pretty simple. My unsolicited advice: Keep your journal well. Over time you’ll start to notice your dream signs. Build those into your mindfulness and mantras. (For example: “When I see [[insert dream sign here]], I question my reality.”)

This thread might be helpful: *Suggestability test: Make MILD/Auto-Suggestion Work for YOU
I use auto suggestions like these when I go (back) to bed.

MILD is more like building up a habit than WILD. It takes consistent effort, but I find it far more approachable and less frustrating than WILD and after you build those habits it gets easier.

Let us know how it goes!

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Thanks! That’s all very helpful and just reassuring to hear from someone who’s been on this journey for longer. You’ve sold me on MILD. I’ll give it a more consistent try and also improve my journaling - I might have been a little lazy about it. Let’s see how it goes from here. I’ll keep you posted :slight_smile:

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