The WILD (Wake induced lucid dream) lucid dreaming technique involves keeping your mind awake while your body shuts down and goes to sleep.
It’s a powerful induction technique and will let you induce lucid dreams AT WILL whenever you want!
The basics of this technique are to stay focused, keep concentrating on staying awake, while letting your body go into what is called ‘sleep paralysis’. This means that you can bypass the need for reality checks by simply not going to sleep in the first place, at least not in your mind. Your body goes to sleep and undergoes what’s best described as being unable to move.
The muscles become paralysed and your temperature drops. You are essentially sleeping, but by remaining focused while you fall asleep, you are able to stay awake in the dream, thus creating and inducing a lucid dream.
It’s a good technique because it encourages you to relax and meditate before sleeping, which you should be doing anyway to promote overall physical and dream/sleep related health. Let’s begin.
How to perform a WILD
As the name suggests, the WILD lucid dreaming technique involves starting when you’re awake. Begin about an hour before you go into bed. Read a few articles on Lucid Dreaming, maybe some Lucid Dream stories or dream journal entries.
Go back over your old dream notes in your diary. Make sure that for this hour, you do not eat, drink or look at any digital media, no screens, TVs or phones etc.
This is the hour which you will use to get into a relaxed state, and to relax your mind before trying to sleep. It’s good to read your dream notes though, as this will increase the chances of you spotting a dream sign and recognising something from a previous dream when you fall asleep.
Now that you’re relaxed and you’ve read through some notes, maybe even done a few deep breathing exercises, you’re ready to sleep. Turn off all the lights, reduce any noise in the room to a minimum, and get into bed, making sure that you’re comfortable, and the temperature of the room is at a relaxing level. Not too hot, not too cold.
The WILD technique exact steps
Here are the steps needed to perform a WILD lucid dream. We’ll cover each one in a lot more detail further on.
- Step 1: Lay down and get comfortable
- Step 2: Relax all your muscles and don’t move
- Step 3: Try and visualize shapes and colours
- Step 4: Keep doing that until you feel yourself fall asleep
- Focus on keeping your MIND awake
- You’re in a lucid dream!
Step 1: Lay down and get comfortable
Lay down in your bed, scratch any itches you have, make sure your muscles are stretched out, you have yawned, sorted your pillows out etc, anything you need to do in order to go to sleep, do this now. It’s important because the following steps require you to not move at all! If you move past this point you’ll have to start again.
This is the time also to finally check your room, and ensure lights are all off, nothing is plugged in or making a light/noise. You’re comfortable and relaxed. Try and suppress any thoughts you are having, any worries or memories, just observe them, and let them slip away.
Don’t interact with them, or think about them such as what you’ll do tomorrow, just observe the thoughts, and let them drift away. Think of nothing. It might help to improve your sleep conditions by getting some incense or a decent mattress.
Step 2: The relaxation stage
Now you focus on your muscles. Feel the tension and let it go. Relax every single part of your body, do it in sections and move all along your body so that every muscle is relaxed, start at your feet, then up through your legs, back, chest, arms, neck and face.
There is a lot of tension held in the jaw and the face which is usually unnoticed, but it’s there. focus on your face and jaw more than the rest of your body, and let go of the tension. You should be completely relaxed and limp, supported only by your mattress.
Step 3: Control your breathing
Now that your muscles are relaxed, you can focus on your breathing, feel the breath go into your mouth and out through your nose, or whichever way is the most comfortable, but make sure you’re breathing deeply and in a fashion which doesn’t make you uncomfortable.
As you’re laying there, feel your heartbeat. Not with your hands on your chest, but rather just try and feel it beating through your chest. You can feel it if you pay attention.
Now try to lower it. This is something which takes practice, so if you can’t lower your heartbeat just by laying there, just move on to the next step. If you are able to do this, lower it to a relaxed rate.
Step 4: Try to visualise and hear sounds
Spend about 10-20 minutes on the last step, making sure you’re totally relaxed and comfortable. This is important for the later stages. Now you’re going to try and ‘see’ images and shapes. Your eyes are closed, and you’re relaxed but you’re going to visualise things.
Start by imagining a circle.
Just a plain ring in front of you. When you can see that circle, make it clearer. Now make it disappear. Get the circle back, and keep bringing shapes up this way and get good at thinking about a shape and then seeing it in front of you.
Now start playing around with it, make it bigger, change the colour, and make it start to move.
Spin the circle round. Now after a while you’ll be able to visualise more complex things, try seeing a beach. An island in the distance, and you’ll find that as you ‘go with it’ the environment seems to create itself. You need to do less and less, and are now just seeing it create itself.
Decide on a basic setting for the dream, such as a forest or an island, something easy with not a lot of movement, just the waves and the trees swaying in the breeze. Really visualise it and try to see the details, but focus more on ‘seeing’ them than imagining them. Think as though the beach is already there, but you just can’t see it.
Step 5: Insert yourself into the dream environment
Now you start to put yourself and your awareness into that environment. Start by looking around, turn in a circle in your mind, see what’s behind you. Now see if you can look down, do you see your feet? your hands?
Feel the temperature, and listen for the sounds in the background. What do you feel? the sand on your bare feet? Tell yourself that you’re dreaming, and that it’s all in your head. You can now move around, and interact with the world. Your body is asleep but your mind is now creating a world around you.
A note about the illustrations
I know they’re bad, you know they’re bad.. We all know they’re bad but they serve a purpose. There are about half of you who can’t stand to read loads of text, and for you guys we’ve got the illustrations. Hopefully they’re not SO bad that you can’t understand what I’m trying to say with them, but please understand that I’m not an artist. I only include these little illustrations to explain things to the visually minded of you.
You’re in a lucid dream now!
You’ve just created your Lucid Dream using the WILD technique! Now you’re in the dream, and you’re semi-lucid, it’s time to start stabilising the dream, maybe do a couple of reality checks, just to make sure, and it’s very important at this stage to keep calm, and not run around yelling ‘I’m Dreaming’, that’s a classic beginner mistake.
And that’s how to perform a Wake initiated lucid dream, or WILD for short. It does take a lot of practice because it’s not something you’ll be used to and it’s a new skill. When you do perfect it, however, it will allow you to directly induce a lucid dream. Some of my best lucid dreams have come from using the WILD technique.
Can this be used alongside other techniques?
This technique lends itself quite well to a few other things we’ve covered on this site, and that’s because this method requires you to just relax and visualise the dream, so it works great with things like the Cinema technique once you’ve actually induced the lucid dream, and also the meditation methods we’ve covered.
The WILD WBTB technique combination
It’s worth noting that this technique does work on its own as we’ve described here. You can do the WILD technique on its own just AS you’re going to sleep, but you can ALSO do it combined with another technique called the wake back to bed or the WBTB. Instead of clogging this article up just consider this:
The BEST time to do a WILD is when you’ve already experienced a lot of normal sleep in the night. This is because you’ll be entering the largest stages of REM sleep in the early morning. The WBTB technique shows you how to target that part of the night and perform a WILD at the time of the night when your REM sleep is longest.
Common problems and questions about the WILD
Doing reality checks to stablize the dream
A large number of people find that when they try the WILD technique, they struggle to do reality checks once they’re in the dream. If you find that you can enter the dream properly but you FAIL to do a reality check, you’re not alone. There are several little things that most people do that means they will always fail at reality checks, unless they change them. See my complete reality checks guide for more.
The swallowing or gag reflex
Some people report an urge to swallow their saliva or feel like they’re gagging when trying to perform a WILD. This is normal and it’s because when you start out, relaxing all your muscles while keeping your mind active is a FORCED habit and it doesn’t feel natural. For this reason your neck and jaw muscles are all tensed and feel weird.
Just keep practicing and start focusing on relaxing your muscles around your neck, shoulders and jaw MORE than any other area at first. This should stop you feeling like you need to swallow. If you HAVE to swallow, don’t worry it won’t affect the technique much just don’t keep doing it.
If you’re JUST starting to enter sleep paralysis however, then swallowing will ruin it. Make sure you swallow and make yourself comfortable before you attempt the technique as any movements, swallowing, or thoughts could make it stop working. A very simple way to stop the swallow reflex is laying on your side INSTEAD of your back.
If you can’t fall asleep
People sometimes report not being able to fall asleep when doing the WILD. That’s fine, and actually fairly normal. If you TRY to keep yourself awake, which is how the technique works, there’s going to be a lot of times when you just stay awake naturally. It’s all about relaxing your muscles. Try this:
- Make yourself more tired during the day by exercising
- Try doing it in the early morning comined with the WBTB method
- Be patient and keep trying
- Add in meditation to make yourself more relaxed and ready to fall asleep
- Practice doing it in broad daylight AND at night
Is it scary or dangerous?
There’s nothing scary or dangerous about the WILD method except maybe sleep paralysis. As you try to keep your mind awake, you’ll notice after a while that you can’t move your body. This is actually something that happens every night to all of us, it’s just you don’t notice it most of the time because you’re asleep.
Don’t be scared by that and you’ll be fine. The wake induced technique is not dangerous and in fact it’s one of the most effective and most commonly used or known about techniques out there. Sadly you can’t perform the WILD without experiencing sleep paralysis, because that’s essentially how the method works.
How long does it take?
The wake initiated method takes about 10-30 minutes to complete start to finish, depending of course on how long it normally takes you to fall asleep. It might take slightly less if you try it at about 4AM after having most of your nights sleep (set an alarm to wake you up early). You can keep a journal and write in it which times of night worked best for you.
Adding meditation into the mix
Meditation is something that REALLY helps you become more aware. If you meditate every morning and night, you’ll naturally find that lucid dreaming becomes a lot easier. Try a basic meditation technique every morning and you’ll notice that the WILD method is a lot easier and more successful.
If you’re stuck for things to do once you’re IN the dream, and you’re lucid, you’re also not alone. Lots of people find they just don’t know what to do. In fact, one of the most common things people try and do is fly, but that’s also one of the most common problems. You see, flying in a lucid dream can be difficult. Also, watch my video about lucid dreaming with the WILD technique:
Useful tools for the WILD
When learning this technique you’ll want to meditate every day, ideally while listening to some brainwave entrainment tracks so that your mind is as relaxed as it can be. Also make sure you have a dream journal ready to write your dreams down. If you’re already fairly good at this, check out the lucid superhuman guide.