A few questions from a beginner...

Hi! As you can probably guess, I’m (very) new to this forum, and the whole lucid dreaming topic (just found out about it yesterday :smile: ), and I’m fascinated by it.

However I have a few questions. I tried looking up answers by myself, I serached the forums, I read the Wikibook (actually it was through a link in Wikipedia that I found out about LD), but couldn’t find answers, so I’d be most grateful if someone more experienced could answer some questions for me.

First off, how do you “take control” over your dream? Every resource I have found talks about how to realise that you are dreaming, but what happens next? I’m asking, because I realized, that even before finding out about LD, I had suprisingly often (I think at least once a month on average) been “naturally” (without knowing about LD, and using any techniques) realising while dreaming that I’m in a dream. But I still wasn’t able to “take control” of it. It was still like watching story unfold before me (though from first person perspective), watching what I do, not actually doing it. I couldn’t control even myself, much less the dreamscape… Sometimes I was able to wake up prematurely if some unpleasant things started happening, but that’s all. No flying, no fun stuff (unless it was in the story for today).

Second, which of the techniques would you recommend to a beginner? I’m lucky, because even before finding about LD I liked to try to remember my dreams (hey, even non-lucid are too fun to just throw away from memory), and I think I’m already ready to skip the “learning to remember dreams” phase (I’m at the one dream a night treshold, or at least very close), and I’d like to start trying to LD now. I thought that WBTB was the best for a novice, but unfourtunately I can’t do it - I’m a math student, and I can’t afford to disrupt my sleeping cycle, or the integrals will get angry :wink: ) What would you recommend to a beginner?

Third, how do the reality checks work? If the fact that I’m in a fantasy wonderland, with fairies, dragons, and full of magic, sometimes even doing the magic myself (I very often have fantasy-themed dreams) often isn’t enough to give me a hint that I’m dreaming, will “just” not seeing my nose when I close one eye really change anything?

Fourth: how does WILD work that it’s so cool? As I understand it, it allows to remain conscious until you enter the phase of dreaming. That way, you’d have to wait through the NREM1 to NREM4, then back to NREM2 (long and boooring!), until you get to REM, and even when you get to REM, it’s the first during the night, and therefore shortest (just 10 minutes of fun!), as well as the least likely to be remembered! Not to mention that sometimes you get attacked by Old Hags, and other mean stuff! What that I don’t know makes WILD so cool?

And finally fifth: How long was it since you started using techniques described here (which of them?) until your first LD?

Whew… That was rather long winded… Please feel free to omit some questions if you don’t know the answer, (or just don’t have the time to answer them all). Thanks in advance for all answers!

I’m going to answer on the control part.

You have to realise that whatever you dream, you are creating it somehow, consciously or unconsciously.

I first controlled a dream aspect by saying a vocal command. I gave a command to a DC and expected the DC to obey me like a robot. Perhaps that’s why some of my DC’s in LD’s act like robots now. :wink:

For me WILD is immediate. I even managed to do it without trying recently. I had taken 1.5mg melatonin before sleeping however.
I recommend combining MILD and WILD if you can. Because if your WILD fails and you drop to sleep, your intention is still maintained most likely…
I don’t think in WILD you have to get back to NREM1 because you’ve already rested a few hours, so you re-enter REM. But don’t take my word for it. It does seem instantaneous at any rate.

I have never had old hags, and my entering the dream phase with WILD is immediate (when it works and I don’t just drop off to sleep unconsciously).

Try the laberge recording method perhaps to help.


It doesn’t sound to be like you were lucid. Maybe you were getting there… but I’ve never heard of an experience such as the one you described. I find it hard to imagine having a dream in which you were yourself, but did not control yourself. Even in ND, it feels (to a degree) as though you’re controlling yourself.

Quite simply, once you realise you’re dreaming you move about just like you would in real life. As for doing tricks (such as flying) you simply have to expect them to work (for example – you have to expect that running and jumping will make you fly).


Well, you could still do WBTB (unless you’re sharing a room). I find that once I’ve woken up, I can go to strait back to bed (I skip the staying awake part…) and then result is that it doesn’t dirupt my sleeping cycle too much.

MILD is good for beginners, but I suppose you can start with any. As long as you stick with it for a while.


You seem to be missing the point on this one…

When you go to sleep, most of the rational part of your brain shuts down. However, when you take a RC, you’re doing it to consciously check if you’re dreaming. If it says you are, you then know.

To get them to work, you should take them in real life too. This is because it’ll cross over into the dream world (and lets face it – you can never be sure you’re not dreaming – you could be dreaming right now…).

I’d say, take them whenever

You remember
You think something is even slightly weird
Whenever you’re feeling an extreme emotion (such as lottsa fear)
Whenever you wake up
Whenever you hear about/talk about/think about LD’ing.


I don’t do WILD, so I dunno…


It took me around two weeks. I used MILD (badly) with no WBTB.

I have an answer for the fourth. The thing about WILD that is so cool, is if performed correctly, you enter your dream with a degree of conciousness. Meaning, your lucid from the very beggining of the dream. As for making them long/longer, all you need to do is spin or rub your hands. There are tons more ways to make them longer.

Now…are you talking about WILD without WBTB? Because that…is extremely hard. You should at least wake up in the middle of the night for like 1 minute. It wont disrupt your sleep cycle at all, unless you have severe insomnia problems. Using WBTB with wild allows you to go straight in the dream. WILD before you even sleep at all…I’m not sure if that is something you want to start out with.

Other questions were answered…so I hope you have everything you need! If not, I’m here to answer. :razz:

Dreamers do this naturally. They don’t think about. Sometimes, they take control, sometimes they don’t. That’s why there is no stuff about. However, your question is interesting. It MUST be a technique that makes you more aware of taking control in LD. I think that practising RCs when you become lucid, or even suggestioning oneself before sleeping (for instance, in order to fly ) can give you more control on the dream.

DILD/MILD. Trying to find one’s hands in a dream gives good results. WBTB is not necessary.

When you perform a reality check, you are pre-lucid. You wonder if you’re dreaming, sometimes you already know you’re are dreaming and just want to verify. This acting gives you more lucidity.

I can’t WILD. But major interest of WILD is that you can LD at will.

Technique : Finding my hands in a dream : 1 month. There is already a topic about, full of answers :
How long did it take you to become lucid?

I agree with Sureal it does not sound like you were fully lucid.

My definition of a lucid dream:
Knowing that you are dreaming + understanding what that means = lucidity

Now it sounds like you got the first part you knew you were dreaming. However you did not fully understand what that means (mainly that you can control the dream). Do not distress any as this is actually a good sign. The concept of lucid dreaming is starting to leek through to your dreams. Just keep practicing and believe me you will get there.

Yes WBTB can be difficult for some people. As suggested above you can try to go right back to sleep after you wake up this should not disrupt your sleep. That has already been discussed by bendrummin58 and I do not have much to add to that. I am a recent convert to the WBTB method. I used to do WILD at my bed time because I could never get back to sleep with WBTB. It is possable to do WILD at bed time but it will take a lot more patients and practice on your part. My suggestion would be to do both. Try WILD at bed time if you do not get anywhere in 45 minutes to an hour then just allow yourself to fall asleep ( this can sometimes have a MILD like effect and you may wake up in your dreams later). Then, wake up later and go right back to sleep using WILD as suggested above. This gives you at least 2 chances to practice lucid dreaming per night without disrupting your sleep. As a final disclaimer I will tell you that WBTB is much easier but, I do not want you to be afraid of trying it at bed time either.

The thing with doing reality checks is that you do not want to just mindlessly do RC’s throughout the day. The point of the exercise is to seriously question your reality while awake. Ask yourself “Am I dreaming right now”. Be serious and really try to prove that you are not dreaming. Here is where you can use your RC ’s to prove that you are awake. Then reaffirm your intention to recognize the next time you are dreaming. You want to do this a lot at first. I am talking at a minimum of 30 times a day. (Optional but recommended) after you think you have proved that you are not dreaming you can try to experience everything as if it was a dream. Imagine seeing a dream sign then, imagine yourself doing something you want to do in a dream. You don’t have to do this every time you do a RC but the more you can do it the better.

That is what I am hoping you are going to find out. :smile: All I can tell you about this is that WILD is the most awesome experience I have ever had. As for all the other stuff, if you meet the “old hag” and that’s a big if, you just have to realize that it is not real and ignore what ever you experience. WILD is my main technique and I have never once encountered the “old hag”. Just understand that it is nothing more than a hallucination.

I am not even going to answer that one as I do not want you to get a time frame stuck in your head. All I will tell you is that if your practice seriously and have patients you will succeed. It could happen tonight or 3 months from now. However have no fear because it will happen.

Happy Dreaming :grin:

Thanks to you all for your replies, that clarifies a lot. However… (okay, let’s break down those however’s in points like questions…)

(1) Well, I must be doing something wrong here… It happened again. Long story short, this night I’m dreaming, I look at the sky, I see the clouds part, and instead of the usual blue, I see… an image of Mandelbrot set (you know, that most famous fractal). I think “well, it can’t be happening. I mean, the laws of physics don’t allow that kind of stuff. This is a sky, not some bloody billboard. (moment of silence) Oh, silly me, that’s probably one of the side effects of the fact that I’m dreaming”, and I still didn’t get control of my actions after that. It still felt like watching movie from first person perspective. The funny thing is, that the “I’m dreaming” thought came to me as if I already realised this earlier, and only remembered that it can cause that kind of funny stuff. I hoped, that now that I know what lucid dreams are, realising that I’m dreaming would automatically give me control over myself. Turns out, not so… Aaargh, it’s so frustrating… If I only could know that this effect would go away in time, and I won’t be struck forever with it!

(2) Well, thanks for the suggestions, I think I will try to use MILD for now. WILD looks to be very difficult to me, perhaps I’ll try doing it after I’ve had few LDs using easier techniques, and after I’ve gained some skill and confidence (though it could be the answer to my “not being able to control myself in a dream” problem, since you don’t “slip off” into unconsciousness before dreaming, and therefore never loose control… What do you think?)

(3) Looks like I failed to express that question properly… I know that the purpose of doing the reality checks in real life is to increase chances that I’ll do one in a dream, however, if I do one in a dream, what is it that makes the shock of not seeing one’s nose powerful enough to make you wonder “am I dreaming?”, while the shock of being chased by a dragon is usually not enough?

(4) Well, that clarifies a lot… So, it is only an exception if someone does WILD just after going to bed, as almost everyone does it after waking in the middle of the night? The Wikibook made it look like the “waking in the middle of the night” step is completely optional, and most people just use WILD immediately after going to bed… Perhaps someone (someone more skilled in English than I am) could correct it for future generations? :wink:

(5) milod789, perhaps you are right, that I shouldn’t set a timeframe in my head…

Well, thanks again to anyone who answered!

That is not quite right it in my opinion. My belief is the point of the exercise is to develop a habit of critically questioning your state. Normally your critical faculty is asleep while you dream which is why you accept that dragon as being real. However, by questioning your state while awake you will awaken your critical faculty in your dreams and when you see that dragon you won’t just accept it. Instead you will say, “That’s a dragon I must be dreaming!”

So the point here is that it’s about questioning your reality and not the RC. A RC is just a tool you use to prove/disprove that you are dreaming.

Is that making more sense to you?

I’ve probably written that part. Sorry. I’ll change the emphasis.

Edit: I don’t see it…

(Emphasis added)

I’ll just leave it, I guess.

I would take you time. It took me around a month. It varies from person to person. It may be three days. It could be 3 years. However long it takes keep on trying.

The standard definition of Lucid Dreaming is Knowing that your dreaming + Understanding that no harm can come to you. Now whether you know you can control your dream or not is another matter.

Yes, and use voice commands. Command what you wany done. Try spinning to increase the intensity of the dream.

It because you have consciously set up gaurds for only certain things. The more you can expand this guard to common irregularities, the more lucid you will become.

I still don’t quite understand what’s happening with your first question.
So, you realise your dreaming, but you don’t control your body (which just moves by itself). Like being trapped in your own head?

  1. When you take a RC, you’re doing it specifically to check if you’re dreaming. Whereas, if you see a dragon, you’re not doign ti to check if you’re dreaming, and so take it as reality.

About the control in dreams… I think such dreams are not quite lucid. I had one such dream the day before yesterday, and it is very annoying to wake up after such dream and regret not having done this or that. But, on the other hand, in my lucid dreams I usually prefer not to change things too much. I just walk about and see what it is like… Because I am only a beginner myself, and I want to get used to the idea of a LD first. If I jump out of the window, it usually means I am beginning to lose lucidity.
About the RC… My opinion is that standard RC make recognizing a dream easier. You don’t need to be at a low-lucid level to do a RC. You don’t need to be critical or remember what LDs are. The only thing you have to do is performing a usual ritual you do thirty times a day, almost unconsciously, automatically. Then this habit is carried into dreams, and you do RCs there, the same way - unconsciously and automatically. Only after a RC has shown, that it is a dream, you remember what it means.
But the final goal is not transforming into a machine for having LDs, but making your waking life more conscious. So, RCs are a good step for a beginner, but it is necessary to learn to recognize a dream without their help. They can be used later to make sure it is a dream, because weird things sometimes happen in real life, and sometimes a bad joke or a surprise from the government make everything look nightmare-like. But a dragon must be already enough to begin to wonder where it comes from and, probably, do a RC more consciously.

I’m a newbie and I just signed up. I heard about lucid dreaming from a friend when I began to realize my dreams felt almost real. I can understand the not being able to control the dream even though you are able to know you are dreaming. It often happens that I just continue with the dream story, sometimes I become partly lucid and I try to re-enter a normal dream. The act of realizing that you’re dreaming is a lot easier for me then stopping and deciding to change the dream, and my mind is still not lucid enough to suggest things to do. It is very irritating to have this problem. I think that me current plan to overcome this problem is to learn to become lucid more often before I can try and control things. Now, I only have to work on how. I’m not sure about reality checks either, a few night’s ago a DC walked on water and I didn’t react, strange dreams don’t surprise me enough to wake up.

Are you sure that your not gaining lucidity, and then losing it a second or two later?

Because, when your lucid, all you have to move like you normally do in real life.

Unless you mean taking control of your dream world, and doing stuff like flying. Which is simple once you get your head around it - just believe you can do it.

To help increase lucidity, try:

taking RC’s.


saying out loud, ‘increase lucidity now!’ or ‘increase lucidity times 1000!’


consider how realistic it is

If I’m wrong, or you have some other problem, feel free to respecify it :happy:.

P.S. Welcome to the site :wink:.

I think you might be right because I’ve had some really lucid or prelucid dreams. Ex: I fly fairly often, used to have “flying sessions” without conciuosly being lucid or knowing about it to overcome the flying obstacles, trying to convice people I know that something’s wrong and I’m dreaming because I can’t remember how I got to school. But it is still irritating because it happens infrequently and I can’t control when or what happens. I think this site will help, I got a great tip only last night.

I understand what Stardust means completely.

The realisation of dreaming does not mean that control follows naturally.

There is a difference.

Realisation is one thing. Control is another.

Even to this day, I still hesitate when flying in a dream.

For example, I realise that I am dreaming. So that therefore means I can do anything I wish ? Well, yes, but there is still an element of the unknown in taking a further (adventurous) step.

I am maybe not explaining this very well but I have been lucid dreaming for about 7-8 years now and yet on ocassions I still achieve lucidity without being able to control the dream.

I see it as like two locks needing opening.

Firstly (whether by RC or whatever) you realise you are dreaming. That is like the first key unlocking.

Secondly, you try to influence the dream (i.e. fly or make someone/something appear as if by magic). When you achieve this your dream clarity intensifies even further. However, ther have been ocassions when I have tried to control something but it hasn’t happened.

My guess is that Stardust has certainly unlocked one door but needs to unlock the second.