A reward induced lucid dream or RILD, is a technique which involves training your mind to become lucid by REWARDING yourself every time you do, to strengthen the connection.
You’ve heard the saying ‘neurons that fire together, WIRE together’ and this is sort of related to that. By giving yourself a reward every time you have a lucid dream you’re training your mind to always lucid dream. The more you do it, and the more you reward it, the more it happens!
The neurons in your brain become fused together such that they anticipate the reward that is going to come as a result of lucid dreaming, so the brain becomes lucid more often in order to get the reward. It’s a win-win situation really because your brain gets a reward and strengthens the neurones and circuits responsible for Lucid Dreaming, and you get a lucid experience.
So how does it work, and how do you do it? Well, it doesn’t have to be complicated and if we’ve scared you off with all of that science-talk, we’re sorry. Let’s break it down into easy steps and explain how and why it works.
How does the RILD work?
Think of it like training a pet. You re enforce the good habits with treats and punish the bad ones by withholding treats or even spraying water at the pet if they’ve been bad. It’s more or less the same thing with this technique.
The RILD technique involves giving yourself a treat every time you awaken from a Lucid Dream. It’s best to do it the MOMENT you realise you’ve just had a lucid dream or it won’t work as well.
The way it works is it tells your mind to keep having these types of dreams in order to keep getting the reward. It requires you to ONLY reward yourself with your chosen reward when you’ve had a lucid dream. Keep this type of treat reserved only for this purpose. Let’s look at how to do it.
How to lucid dream using the RILD method
To perform the reward induced lucid dream technique you’ll need to select something you enjoy to use as the treat. This will be what you’ll use to train your mind, so choose it carefully and make sure it’s something you really do like.
Don’t just choose chocolate because most people choose that. It must also be something you can instantly receive in the morning, so holidays, cooked meals and other things which require planning are NOT good choices.
Here are some examples of rewards you could use for this technique..
- Small squares of chocolate kept next to your bed
- Watching your favourite TV show on your laptop
- Having some of your preferred drink
- Small sweets
- Some nuts and crackers (If you like that sort of thing)
- Other small treats
You get the idea. If you’re living with a partner you could ask them very nicely if sexual favours could be used for this purpose as well. The idea is to give yourself a treat that will make your mind remember to become lucid again.
1: Choose your reward
At this stage you should have chosen your reward and made sure that you’re only going to use it for this technique in the mornings. Keep the reward next to your bed so you have easy access to it in the morning and make sure no one steals whatever treat is in your morning bowl!
2: Wait until you have a lucid dream
Go about your daily life, and don’t have the reward until you have a lucid experience. Keep doing all the normal techniques you would usually use to try and induce a dream. This may seem like a boring method, but the effects aren’t really ‘instant results’ so to speak. You’ll see after a few weeks just how effective this is!
3: When you next LD, reward yourself!
Only do this when you’ve woken up and you KNOW you’ve just had a LD. It’s important to only do this when you know you’ve had the dream, otherwise again, you’re just eating (or rewarding yourself with your chosen method) for no reason!
That’s it. Keep doing it, just as regularly as you write your dreams down or do reality checks and after a while you’ll notice that by rewarding yourself you re enforce the habit and it starts to happen more and more.
Does it always work?
Using a reward or a treat to re enforce an action is a good technique for the short term, and it can make you Lucid Dream more than you usually would however it works by training your mind to get used to rewards when it performs certain action (becoming Lucid) and therefore over a long period of time, you’d actually start to see your reward system (psychological) get less effective.
I haven’t tried this method for a prolonged period of time so I can’t comment on what would happen but with things like smoking addictions and other such drugs, the brain physically changes as a result of the ‘reward’. The neurons (electrical signals) that fire in your brain when the ‘reward’ is triggered (lighting up a cigarette) become less and less effective over time, leading to addiction and a diminishing effect.
While Lucid Dreaming and this technique aren’t addictive, it’s possible that prolonged use of this technique would just simply not work regarding lucid dreams. After a certain point it’s possible that the rewards would stop re enforcing the action and you’d essentially just be eating chocolate for no reason.
That being said, it works in the short term, and especially if you’re going through a dreaming rut, it can be a good way to get back into the swing of things and try a new technique. As always, we suggest trying different reality checks and induction technique every now and then, simply to train all parts of your ‘dreaming mind’ and give yourself some variety.
Useful tips and tools
- The reward must be something you actually WANT and you must only give yourself the reward when you lucid dream
- Don’t cheat, and don’t give yourself the reward at any other time, or it won’t work
- To increase your chances of lucid dreaming, read up as much as you can about it
- Another great way to make lucid dreams more likely is listening to binaural beats like these
- Good luck!