Reality checks are a powerful way to have more lucid dreams. It’s an action that you perform during the day that (hopefully) will enter your dreams, and cause you to become lucid.

The result of a reality check will either prove you’re awake, in which cause you go about your day or prove that you’re dreaming which causes you to become ‘lucid’. Becoming Lucid means as I’m sure you know – To be aware of the fact you’re dreaming.

It means you can choose what to do and where to go in the world of your dreams. One of the best ways to do this and to become lucid is to do these ‘reality checks’ throughout the day and even in some of your dreams. You may be wondering, what’s a reality check and how do I do it?

What are reality tests?

In order to lucid dream, you’ll need to be able to tell the difference between REALITY and A DREAM. Reality checks are a powerful way of doing this, and you’ll be able to prove to yourself you’re awake, (or dreaming).

Reality checks are something you do in real life throughout the day which you hope will show up in your dream. It’s a moment during the day where you ask yourself ‘Am I dreaming?’ while at the same time TESTING your reality and doing a ‘check’ or physical action which has DIFFERENT results in waking life compared to the dream.

It’s something you can do which has one outcome in real life, and a different outcome in the dream, meaning you can use the result to know whether you’re dreaming or not. Here are some common lucid dreaming reality checks, and how they work. Here are some common reality checks:

1: The finger palm push

In real life, you will always get the same response and the same feeling, the resistance, the tension and the feeling of your finger pressing your palm will be constant. In the dream however, the finger will go through your palm, and you likely won’t feel it either. It will certainly feel strange, and you’ll realise that something’s not right, therefore allowing you to become Lucid.

2: Checking your watch

Or look at the time somewhere in the environment you’re in, so glance at a computer clock or a clock on the wall. The time will be different every time you look at it in the dream, whereas in real life it will hardly move. Make sure you clearly see the time, and then when you turn to look again, check that it’s the same. If it’s not, you’re dreaming.

Watch reality check for lucid dreaming

3: Reading some text

Writing and words in a dream are often very hard to make out. You will be able to tell instantly by looking at writing or a paper/book that you’re dreaming. In real life obviously the writing is clear, it doesn’t move and you can understand it, whereas in a dream, it will appear to shift around the page, and it will be blurry.

4: Look down at your hands

Your hands will always look strange in the dream, and it’s hard to explain why, but by looking at your hands, you can generally tell if you’re dreaming or not. Ask yourself ‘Am I dreaming’ whilst looking at your hands, and you’ll know the answer.

Someone looking at their hands

When it eventually happens in a dream, you’ll understand what is meant by this, but your hands will give it away, they won’t be any different, but the feeling and thoughts that go through your mind when you look at your hands and ask if you’re dreaming will let you know the answer.

5: Mental reality checks

It may be sometimes difficult to do a PHYSICAL reality check, specially if you’re around friends or work mates. If you’re worried about this, you can do some types of reality check in your head. These are known as mental reality checks, and might be a much easier way of testing if you’re awake without making people think you’re strange!

Remembering to perform them

Lots of people report that it’s difficult to actually remember to do these reality checks during the day. If you don’t actually DO reality checks a lot during the day, nothing will happen! There are some easy things you can do to make sure you remember to test your reality:

  • Write a note on your door reminding you
  • Set your phone background to a lucid dreaming picture or ‘Are you dreaming?’
  • Read our ultimate reality checks manual front to back!
  • Set a timer on your phone to go off every two hours, reminding you to do one

List of all the lucid dreaming reality checks ever

Well, maybe not EVER, but this list will give you pretty much all the common and not so common ways to test your reality for lucid dreaming. This is a long list of examples of reality checks you can use to control your dreams:

  • Lucid dreaming app – Get yourself a lucid dreaming app and set it to remind you at certain time intervals to check your reality!
  • Ask yourself in your head – Look around you and really question if things are unusual.  Where are you, and why are you here?
  • Ask someone if you’re dreaming – Turn to the person next to you (or go and find someone if you’re not in public) and ask them ‘Is this a dream?’. Sometimes they’ll reply and tell you!
  • Check your pulse – Does it feel strange? Sometimes in a dream you can’t actually even feel your pulse.
  • Look in the mirror – Try to really notice details that are strange about yourself. In a dream you’ll always look strange in a mirror.
  • Take your glasses off (If you wear them) – Can you still see clearly? If you can take off your glasses and still see the same then you might be dreaming.
  • Check an objects color – A great addition to the list of reality checks – Look at an object and try and remember which colour it is. Then look away and look back; has it changed?
  • Look at a digital clock – Just like in Anamnesis, the digits on a digital clock are always skewed and weird looking in a dream!
  • Flip a coin and make it float – Expect the coin to float in the air before landing on your palm. If it does, you’re dreaming!
  • Jump and expect to float – Same as the one above, but this time expect YOURSELF to float!
  • Play some music and really listen – Listen to the sounds. Does the song sound the same as always or is that guitar solo missing?
  • Flip a light switch – In a dream, flipping a light switch won’t change the lighting much.
  • Look at your phone – Can you clearly see the battery bar and signal at the top? Phone screens in a dream often miss out these details!

Some useful tools

The lucid talisman is a very useful ‘totem’ you can use to reality check. It’s a custom designed coin with engravings and lucid dreaming symbols on it. Also, make sure to follow our 30 day lucid dream bootcamp, to ‘force’ yourself to lucid dream. Reality checks are a big part of the bootcamp!


If you struggle to get reality checks to show up in your dreams, or you’d like to have a deeper understanding about them then our ultimate reality checks manual will help. We created a super detailed Ebook guide for you guys to show exactly what reality checks are the best, when to do them, plus LOADS more.