This is my guide to the CAT technique for lucid dreaming or the ‘cycle adjustment technique. This is actually now one of my favorite techniques for inducing a lucid dream and for good reason, it REALLY works.
It’s perfect for beginners and it’s very easy to learn. You can read this article in about 3 minutes and start doing it later on tonight. The ‘setup’ for this takes a week but then after that, it should give you 4 lucid dreams roughly every week. All you need is your alarm clock and some patience.
This works even if you’ve not had much experience, and you don’t know ANY other techniques. All you need to do along side this, is your reality checks during the day but especially as soon as you wake up each morning. Make sure to also be writing your dreams down.
The technique was created by lucid dreamer Daniel Love (Check out his book, it’s great!) in 2004, making this one of the most recent lucid dreaming techniques that we know about! The others have been about for a lot longer than this one. Here’s a video I made about the CAT method for lucid dreaming:
How to perform the cycle adjustment technique
It’s not hard, and there are really only 2 steps to this, but I’ve got a lot of notes and things to cover as well so read right to the end please! There are some little tips for if you’re going to do this long term, and some things I’ve discovered myself as well.
Step 1: Reset your body clock
The first step is the setup work for the CAT method, and it involves resetting your body clock. you’re going to set your DAILY alarm for 90 minutes BEFORE when you’d normally wake up. This means you’re going to wake up 90 minutes earlier each morning.
If you normally wake up at 8, set your alarm for 6.30 and ACTUALLY get up at that time, for the next week. Don’t miss a day as it will just make it less effective. There’s plenty you could do at that time of the morning, like writing in your lucid journal!
Step 2: Alternate between two ‘wake up’ times
Now once you’ve completed the week of getting up earlier, you are going to ALTERNATE the times you wake up every other day. So one day, you’d wake up at the new earlier time, and the next you’d wake up at your previous time, for example 8AM.
So an example week of wake up times could look something like this:
Expect to wake up at the earlier time
It’s important that EVERY night when you go to sleep, you always prepare yourself for the earlier time. So you’re going to bed expecting to have to wake up at the earlier time. There’s a good reason for this.
How does the CAT technique work?
Your mind expects to wake up early, so it prepares to wake up and activates the ‘awareness’ areas of the brain. It allows you to enter a lucid dream every other night, with hardly ANY effort besides setting your alarm.
We’re all programmed by our circadian rhythms which are the cycles which determine when we wake up and feel sleepy. They’re mainly ruled by sunlight and darkness but by manually changing the cycle like this technique tells you to, you can get in the middle of the natural process of waking up and going to sleep.
This allows you to have regular lucid dreams! Your mind expects to wake up early, so on the days when you DON’T set the early alarm, your mind starts to wake itself up slowly from the earlier time, meaning you’re much more likely to become aware in your dreams on that morning.
It’s perfect for beginners, easy to learn and results of the CAT technique can be seen in less than two weeks. You do have to practice it every day, however, so make sure you’re able to do that.
How long will it take to get results?
It can take as little as a week and a half to get results, because it’s so effective.I’ve had lucid dreams the first night I changed the rhythm over and I’m sure you can do the same! It might take you slightly longer, or slightly less time but it does work and it’s well worth a try!
Are there any side effects or dangers of the CAT method?
The first week is the hardest with the CAT method, and you’ll find that out yourself. Changing your wake up time is hard no matter WHY you’re trying to change it. Your body won’t like it and you’ll feel tired during the day for the first few days at least, but after that you’ll easily get used to it.
There aren’t really any dangers or terrible side effects with the cycle adjustment method other than you might not want to try this if you have a full time job. It’s a lot easier for students or people who don’t need to be up early to do something specific like a job.
More tips for the CAT method
There are a few things worth noting about this technique which you should focus on. I’ve tried this on and off for a few months and have some comments, you don’t have to listen to these but if you’re still here, then you may as well read them! I imagine lots of people would have been too excited by this point and just gone off the site to try it!
Do reality checks when you wake up!
One of the BEST times to do a reality check is as soon as you wake up. This is because one of the most common types of dreams are false awakenings, where you dream about waking up and going about your morning routine. For this technique PARTICULARLY it’s very important to do reality checks the moment you wake up.
RESET the cycle once every 2 months
If you’re going to do this technique long term and use it as your regular technique, I’d suggest resetting your sleep cycle every 2 months.
This keeps the technique effective and working properly. Otherwise, your body could even get USED to waking up at alternate times each day, and you might just see diminishing returns. Just set aside one week every 2 months to do what you did at the start again, waking up at a certain time each day for a week solid.
That’s about it for the CAT technique, hopefully you use this to have many, many more lucid dreams! Please go and show some support for the creator of this technique by buying his book on Amazon! The reviews are GREAT.