Lucid Dreaming FAQ

I stumbled upon an excellent FAQ site about LDing. It contains some very helpful information. I divided it into four posts: prolonging LDs, sleep paralysis, reality checks and dream control.

Q: My LDs fade quickly upon reaching lucidity. How can I prolong my lucid dreams and make them sharper?

A: There are several methods to achieve this. The effectiveness of each technique varies from person to person, sometimes drastically. Try the different techniques to find out which works best for you.

1. Spinning. Make your dream self spin rapidly in place when you feel that your dream is fading. This can help stop the fading or sharpen a normal LD, but has the side effect that it can sometimes cause an unwanted “scene change.” Unlike the rapid movements technique, this can work once your visuals have faded to black.

2. Rapid movements. Specifically, eye and head movements. Move your eyes and/or head back and forth (or up and down) rapidly. While this basically uses the same mechanism to keep your LD going as spinning, it doesn’t cause a scene change as often. The downside is that it doesn’t include the sense of balance. I have never heard of this technique working once the dream has faded to black.

3. Tactile. This is a good technique for when your dream has already faded to the point where all the visuals have gone to grey/black (which is often; your sight is the first thing to go). Your other senses remain after your sight has gone. Try to feel your surroundings. You can even try smelling, tasting, etc.

As you can see, these techniques all involve making your mind think about the pseudo-sensory input to keep the lucid dream going. Here are a few slightly different techniques.

4. Teleporting. There are two ways to do this. You can “will” the dream to be at another location. An easier way is to imagine a “teleporter mechine” behind a door or around the corner. Open the door (or walk around the corner) and you will (hopefully) see the teleporter you expected to be there. Step on/in the teleporter and reappear elsewhere. The reason teleporting works is that often the dream will become clearer when there is a “scene change.” The roundabout method of teleporting can be easier because it doesn’t require a drastic change in perception of your immediate surroundings, which your brain naturally resists. I guess for clarity we can call these willed teleporting and mechanical teleporting. You can also imagine your complete scene behind the door or around the corner. See the “around the corner” technique in the HOW TO CONTROL DREAMS section.

5. Modified teleporting. This is my little creation. :> Basically, in your dream you stare at a 2D image of where you want to go (it can be a photo, painting, TV, movie screen, or just force the image to appear in your view if most of the visuals are gone). This image must take up most (say 80%+) of your field of view to work. As you look at the image, your brain processes it. The more it processes the image the more “real” it becomes as far as your brain is concerned. The image will gain depth and detail (mostly more depth) until it becomes the actual place you are standing at. This is handy because your brain is changing the location for you in stead of fighting you.

Please realize that these are things you do while in the fading dream. Don’t spin yourself to sleep or anything like that! ;>

6. Acting. You act like the dream isn’t fading. Just keep walking, talking to dream people etc. You act like your dream is stable, so it becomes stable. This technique can work after visuals are gone.


Q: I woke up once and couldn’t move! I couldn’t talk and had trouble breathing! I thought I was going to die! What happened?

A: Sleep paralysis (SP) happened. Every night when you go to sleep, your brain shuts down your ability to move so that you don’t act out your dreams. This usually happens around REM sleep cycles (which is why sleepwalking doesn’t normally occur in REM sleep).

However, sometimes your conscious part of your mind wakes up before the rest of
the brain can re-enable its ability to move your body. That is why you couldn’t move when you woke up.

Q: Why did I feel pressure on my chest and have trouble breathing?

A: You weren’t really having trouble breathing, although I know from experience that the “pressure” can make it seem that way. The pressure you are feeling is believed to be just a result of the lowered blood pressure and relaxed muscles in your body. It is a common feeling. There is nothing wrong with you, and you will not suffocate or die or anything like that.

Q: But the aliens/old hags/etc. were after me! I could see and hear them!

A: Since part of your brain is still basically asleep, seeing and hearing things while under sleep paralysis is not uncommon. Put simply you are kind of dreaming.

Q: That was frightening. How can I make it never happen again?

A: Well, you can’t really. Some people even want sleep paralysis to happen to them (as a jumping-off point for LDs, OOBEs, or self-hypnosis). It isn’t so scary once you understand what is happening.

Q: How can I get out of it?

A: There is an easy process to get out of it.

1. Be calm. The paralysis happens every night. You are just now aware of it.

2. Move the fingers on one hand. Just focus on moving those fingers. The whole point of the paralysis is to prevent your body from doing large-scale movements while you are asleep, so focus on the small movements first. It will take a few seconds before they move, and even then it will be somewhat slow movements.

3. Once you can get those fingers to move some, focus on moving that entire arm.

4. About when you get that entire arm to move the paralysis will be lifted from your entire body.

Q: Once when I got out of bed I nearly fell over! I couldn’t walk it off for several minutes, and in the meantime it felt like I was walking sideways!

A: This sometimes happens when you get out of bed too fast after waking up. Basically it is a combination of sleep paralysis partially in effect and some confusion over how to interpret sensory information in the inner ear (which deals with balance).

Don’t worry too much about it. It can feel weird but usually doesn’t make you fall.

Q: Is sleep paralysis common?

A: Apparently. Most of the people I have talked to in real life have felt it at least once. It isn’t something people normally talk about, but it seems to be very common. I also see many people asking about sleep paralysis in newsgroups, wanting to know what happened. Hopefully this section will be of help.


Q: What is a reality check? How does it make me lucid?

A: Basically when you see something in a dream that can’t be real in some way, you may realize that you are dreaming and become lucid. A reality check is when you are actively checking in your dream (or real life) to see if it is real.

Q: That sounds kind of impractical. If it worked good, I should be realizing I am dreaming whenever the purple elephants come. Why doesn’t it work?

A: You have to train yourself. You need to make doing reality checks a regular part of your waking life in order for it to occur to you in your dream to reality check. There is a great variety of different reality checks people have come up with that you can do in real life without looking like a nut. It is also good to make a list of unreal elements that are common in your dreams (you writing that dream journal?) and “keep and eye out for them.”

Q: You con! I have been doing a RC every hour for the past 3 weeks and it hasn’t given me a single LD yet! -or- I only got a single LD after a few days and never got another one even though I kept doing daily RCs. What is the deal?

A: Both getting one LD right off with no more and never getting an LD are common – at first. Basically, once you have made daily RCs for about 3 weeks and have had one LD or no LDs it is time to take a break. Just stop all your regular RCs. Many people find that they have an LD in the first couple of days after stopping.

Q: So do I do periods of actively doing RCs followed by “break” periods forever or what?

A: I don’t have a super-encompassing answer for that yet. You need to try what is good for you. If your initial break period yields periodic LDs on a reasonably regular basis, you may not need to keep up the pattern. If you “dry up” I suggest actively doing RCs for a while again.

At this point I must also remind you that there are also other things than RCs that increase your chances of LDs that cannot be ignored. Keep up that journal, it helps with dream recall (what good is an LD if you can’t remember it?)

Good reality checks:

1. Jump up in the air and see if you can float or fly.

2. See if you can walk through or put your hand through solid objects.

3. Read some print, or the time on a digital watch, and see if it is nonsense or if it changes with subsequent reads. (Does not work for everyone! Print says the same in dreams for some people!)

4. See if the light switches or other electrical devices fail to function properly – this is often referred to as mechanical failure.

Things to keep an eye out for:

1. If you’re in a familiar location, look for discrepancies with reality (furniture in the wrong places etc.)

2. Spontaneously flying or seeing other people/things fly.

3. Seeing things change, either while you look at it or when you are looking away.

4. Your image in the mirror is not accurate or changes.

5. Wearing clothes you don’t actually own.

6. Anything that works on a mechanical basis may also fail to work appropriately, like an analog watch, the toaster or even turning on a tap. Sometimes even the pedals and steering wheel of a car don’t work.



Specifically, lucid dreams. Control and lucidity are two unrelated factors. Many people, including myself, have good dream control while less than lucid, yet as lucidity increases control decreases to almost nothing. This does not apply to everyone. Other people effortlessly gain control of their dreams when they become lucid. Some struggle and are somewhere in between. It merely demonstrates that lucidity and control are two totally different things. Becoming aware of dreaming doesn’t grant control over the dream in itself.

Q: So how do I control my LDs?

There are actually several different ways to control and manipulate your dreams. The main problems you face is that your brain resists major changes in what it perceives and tends to wake up when there is a major shock(when you break that resistance and change something suddenly in other words). If you are trying to make an item appear or change scenery, obstructing your view in some way (shaking your head, closing/covering your eyes, turning away, etc.) can reduce the amount of resistance from your brain. Staring at whatever you want to change makes it harder. You can use willpower, magic, “things around the corner,” or “acting.”

Q: Alrighty then. My mind is strong. I have outrageous amounts of will! . . . Why doesn’t it work?

A: Although willing things to change or appear in front of you is a fairly obvious idea and seems like a good idea, it is not. Forcing your brain into accepting major changes in it’s perception is a bad idea. For example, many people have trouble maintaining lucidity because that change alone is too much.

Q: Dang; if changing your way of thinking is enough to wake you up no wonder willing things in dreams doesn’t work well. Is it possible at all?

A: Yes, most people can will things to happen to some extent right off, but it usually wakes them up. As your brain gets used to the changes to lucidity in dreams and by manipulating things in other ways, direct willpower changes won’t be such a shock to it. It won’t resist as much and won’t have such a strong tendency to wake you up.

Q: Magic is kool! I want magic! What is the deal with this?

A: Well, there are many versions of dream magic. Each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

1. Wishful thinking is the traditional psychiatric understanding of magic. As it applies to your dream, you hope for and/or ask for whatever it is you want to come to you or appear. It isn’t always successful in dreams, but since it lets your brain supply whatever you are asking for it has less of a shock factor than the willpower control method.

2. Command is basically the same as wishful thinking, but instead of asking you vocally command whatever you want to appear/change/whatever. You may shout “Tree!” to make a tree appear. You may shout “Fireball!” to shoot a fireball from your hand. Although this has a better chance of actually getting something than wishful thinking, it can have more of an impact on your brain as well, which tends to wake you up. This and asking are both often recommended to newbies because it takes little skill to get dramatic results. It also can be a stable method of control (doesn’t wake you up) once you get used to it.

3. Cards is a method of “magical” dream control that I came up with. ;> It is a combination of roundabout ways that should be able to give you great results with minimal impact. You need to have a pack of cards in your hand (how you get them in your dream doesn’t matter). When you want to do something, you think that it will be the top card of the deck. You draw that top card and it should have a picture of whatever it is you want. Then it isn’t much of a stretch for your mind if you make the pre-existing image “jump” off the card in some way. You could draw a tree card, then hold out the card so that you see the image of the tree where you want a tree to appear in your dream. You can make the card dissolve into a tree or move the card away and expect a tree to be in the space blocked from view by the tree card. Another good example is a bolt of lightning card. You draw your lightning card, then point it the card in the direction you want it to strike. Make the image grow and “leap” off the card and let the electricity discharge onto a pole, the ground, etc. As you can see, there is a lot of variations that are left to the individual user, but it is easier in that every change occurs in steps, minimizing the shock to the brain that would cause you to wake up. Since it even helps you out with the “creation” of the appropriate card, there is less resistance to forming the change as well.

Q: Wow, that can get pretty round-about. Is there another way than magic?

A: Sure, the “around the corner” method. All you need to do is expect whatever it is you want to be around a corner or behind a door. This is different than willpower or magic in that you are not “exactly” changing anything. Your brain hasn’t perceived what is behind that door or around that corner, so it won’t resist the idea much or be too shocked about whatever it is you put there. In this method, your brain even helps to supply whatever it is you put there, minimizing the shock further.

Q: So how the heck is acting going to help?

A: If you want an object or effect, acting like it is already there can make it appear (or have whatever effect you want). This one is good in combination with other techniques. For example, if you use Command magic to summon a gun, but don’t get one, act like you did. Show it to people, shoot the bad guys etc. There will be some resistance, but before long your “gun” will start doing damage to things you shoot. The main problem that I have experienced with this technique is that dream characters act like you are a nut until your gun or whatever materializes or has an effect like it has. I keep saying have the effect like it has materialized because the other side effect is that often your gun (or whatever) won’t actually become visible, but will still shoot and do damage (or whatever it is your item does :smile:. It seems that focusing on “acting” like the item is really there can make the dream just act like it is there.

Q: Which techniques can I use right off?

A: You need to experiment. Most people can only use a few of the techniques in the beginning, but which ones work very from person to person. Once your brain gets used to these changes, it becomes easier to control your dreams.

Q: There is a lot of weird crud in here. What is the point of chucking fireballs and whatnot in lucid dreams?

A: Well, there is no point in having lucid dreams as opposed to regular dreams if you aren’t going to control it in some way (unless you just want dreams that are more vivid, but it seems like a lot of work for just that). The more you change dreams, the easier creating more and greater changes becomes. Doing things that are outside of normal physics or break laws of physics (like chucking fireballs) makes major changes become easier. How you use your control is up to you. You may want to explore the virtual world of your mind. You may want to just fly around and blow stuff up. Some people like to practice for sporting events or to take a practice exam. An idea used so much it has become like a saying is “having sex on a roller coaster with a supermodel,” which some people do. It is all up to you.


I hope it helps :wink:

all the faq has given me a better general understaning, im going to try some of them methods/techniques next time.
cheers :good:

Thanks :ok:

Thanks mystic, great faq

Yeah, that is a good FAQ. It reminds me a lot of what I have seen in my own LD’s.

Excellent FAQ, thanks mystic

Hey, this FAQ is perfect for LD-noobs like me! :content:

It pretty much sums up the things I already knew,
and gave me some useful tips & tricks. Nice!

BTW: Is there any chance we could sum up all the tips from the MILD-,
WILD-, WBTB-, etcetera topics in one big FAQ? Sometimes it’s hard to find a method that suits you, and it’s tiresome to browse through all the topics looking for one. :help:

That was excellent for newbies but it wasn’t that simple either. It gave really good insight into a lot of things, I’m impressed. Thats a top quality FAQ! I’m sure everyone would get a few good tips from that no matter how good there are at LDing. Hey Lucidity-Master? I love your signature! I got the book too and that was my fave thing about it for ages lol. Don’t know why…

Perhaps we could call it The Big Big Topic!