How To Control Your Dreams: 12 Dream Control Techniques


🌙 Written by Stefan Zugor, international lucid dreaming expert and teacher. Learn how to lucid dream in 7 days or less.

So this is a long overdue post. Lucid dreaming is the ability to control your dreams and become self aware during them, right?

Well, for some reason I’ve not yet written a post explaining how to CONTROL your dreams, as in decide what to dream about, where to go and how to change things in the dream like: 

  • The weather
  • Where you go
  • Object manipulation and superpowers
  • Flying
  • Shape shifting
  • Changing the FEEL of the dream
  • Experiencing things like lucid sex and other fantasies

So this post is going to be entirely focused on CONTROLLING the dream once you’re already lucid. 


That means I’m NOT going to explain how to actually get lucid in the first place in this post. If you’re still not sure how to have a lucid dream to begin with, read the following posts FIRST, and then come back here:

  • How to lucid dream for beginners: A simple guide showing how to have lucid dreams as fast as possible
  • How to remember your dreams: Essentially you’re going to NEED to be able to recall your dreams to a high level in order to really start having regular lucid dreams. This guide shows you how to recall more of your dreams
  • How to fall asleep faster: 50 ways to fall asleep faster, even if you’re not tired. This is going to really help you out because once you know what you want to DO in a lucid dream, the biggest obstacle you’ll have to overcome is actually just falling asleep fast enough and getting on with it
  • Performing reality checks for lucid dreaming: Again, reality checks are explained in the above guides as well, but you’ll need to master them in order to reliably have lucid dreams

Alright, so you’ve read those posts, you know how to lucid dream hopefully, right? Now we’ll look at dream CONTROL techniques and manipulation methods for the dream scene. Lets go!

12 ways to control your dreams

So here are some techniques and methods for controlling your dreams more. This is all about your expectation and choice, but each technique is a standalone guide here. I’ll try and link to relevant articles I’ve written to explain each thing in slightly more detail, but the summary is here. 

Some useful tools for this:

  • Binaural beats: Audio tracks that you can listen to while you fall asleep or induce a lucid dream, to make the dream more vivid and increase your dream recall
  • Lucid supplements: Lucid dreaming pills that you can use to make your dreams last longer, but don’t rely on them! They’re just for a quick boost
  • Lucid dreaming tips: Some tips and tricks I’ve researched and experienced over the years, this might also give you a little boost

The golden rule for all of these

So before we get into this, here’s one really important tip that applies to ALL of these dream control techniques: 

What you EXPECT to happen, will usually happen. 

This also means what you subconsciously expect to happen. So you might for example have a subconscious belief about gravity, (of course, right?) that when you jump up, you’ll be pulled back down. This expectation is what causes most people to NOT be able to fly properly in a lucid dream.

So be aware that most of the things that happen in your lucid dreams are either a direct or indirect result of your expectations. You CAN however CHANGE your expectations and beliefs, but you can’t do this in one day or even one week.

The flying one is a great example actually. You can over time, convince yourself that you’re able to fly (in the dream of course). You know you’ve changed that belief when you enter a lucid dream and flying is no problem for you, ever. You can effortlessly float up and you don’t need to TRY and fly, you do it as naturally as walking around.

1: Changing the weather

Alright so the first tip for controlling your dreams is changing the weather. These aren’t in any special order by the way, but a lot of people like to be able to play around with the weather. 

This is actually probably one of the easier ones to manipulate. So to change the weather in a lucid dream, simply think back to a time when you LAST experienced that weather. Let’s say you were caught in a snowstorm last Winter. Think back to that time and vividly remember what it felt like.

Then look up at the sky, and just imagine the snowstorm being there.

After a few moments, the clouds will start to shift and the snow will start to fall. This can happen slowly or quickly, it really depends on how VIVID your memory of that weather was. You can also create weather that you’ve NOT experienced in real life.

For that however, you’ll be recalling a film usually. Most things you want to simulate in a lucid dream require SOME sort of memory of that thing (usually). Say you want to simulate a volcano, you’ll need to recall a memory of a volcano from a film. This is because otherwise, how would you have a concept of what a volcano is like?

Most of our concepts or ideas about things come from memories, either REAL life waking memories, or films and media we’ve consumed. So when you create weather in a lucid dream like a volcano or a tornado, you’re recreating it from a memory. 

2: Staying lucid for longer

Prolonging lucid dreams is something EVERYONE wants to learn once they’ve had a few lucid dreams. 

Here’s the thing:

Your first lucid dream will be very short usually.

My first lucid dream lasted probably about 10-15 seconds and then I wake snapped back to reality. Much to my confusion, I was just there, laying in my bed wondering what had happened. Most people have the same experience until they learn to prolong and control the dream.

It’s actually pretty easy to prolong the dream though, once you know what you’re doing. Here’s the main ways you prolong a lucid dream: 

  • Meditate every morning for about 10-15 minutes
  • Meditate in the evenings. The meditation is just to get your awareness and focus up, so you’re more easily able to focus on something for a prolonged period of time
  • You can try things like spinning around on the spot
  • Also rubbing your hands together can help make the dream last longer, but only if you THINK it will. You have to really believe that it will help
  • You can do simple math problems to engage your pre-frontal cortex more, but don’t overdo it or it has the opposite effect and wakes you up. Simple things like 4+7 for example.

3: Creating dream characters

Dream characters are part of your subconscious mind. 

Most of the time, they’re essentially background people or filler people.

Your mind creates them because your waking life memories are likely FILLED with random people walking around int he background. People you’ve never met or talked to, but you’ve seen them. They’re just there, in the background milling around the places you’ve been in your life. 

Your mind creates these characters partly to fill the dream and also because they’re in your memories. The interesting thing is that your mind sometimes (often) creates dream characters from parts of your mind or personality.

For example, you might see a dream character that represents your fear, desire, confidence and so on.

You can directly talk to these characters, which are literally fragments of your subconscious mind. This makes dream characters one of the most interesting and profound elements of a lucid dream.

You might find it useful to create or spawn dream characters, to talk to or interact with. You can use this for reuniting with lost relatives or friends, having fantasy sex with people or just to create an adventure companion for your dreams. 

So to create dream characters here’s what you do: 

  • Start by finding a door or a portal and get ready to open it
  • Before you open the door or window, vividly imagine the character you want to create
  • Then as you open the door or window, VIVIDLY expect and imagine that you’ll see the dream character there
  • Imagine it in such detail that you’re not in any way doubting whether they’ll actually be there
  • When you open the door, you’ll see the dream character

There are of course lots of ways of doing this but that’s the most effective way I’ve found. To learn more, read my post about spawning dream characters if you want to go into more detail on this aspect of dream control. 

4: Re-entering the same dream

Now this is a slightly misleading heading because you can never re enter the EXACT same dream. That being said, you can create a dream fairly accurately.

The best thing you can do is this:

You can design or create a dream to be roughly how you want. In this way, you can create a dream that’s very similar to one you’ve already experienced in the past. The best technique for doing this is the VILD or visually induced lucid dream. It’s not for beginners and it requires a lot of patience and focus. 

Here’s how it works: 

  • Think up roughly what you want the dream to be about or look like
  • Spend the day constantly thinking about and DRAWING that dream
  • If you know of a film which has a similar scene, watch it and VIVIDLY imagine yourself in that film (or dream)
  • When you go to sleep, don’t TRY and dream about it, plan out what you’re going to do WHEN you enter the dream scene
  • That last one is important because you nee to make yourself TRULY believe that you’re just about to enter that dream

5: Creating portals and doors

To move around a dream, you’ll want to use dream portals.

A dream portal is a gateway to another part of your mind or the dream world. 

Lucid doorway

Controlling your dreams is all about manipulation and guidance, so for this method, you’ll need to be relaxed and ready to enter the new part of the dream. Find yourself a doorway or something that can be opened.

If you can’t find one (unlikely) you can just create one by drawing on the ground. You can literally draw a doorway on the ground like the characters in the lucid dreaming film, Anamnesis. 

Then look at the doorway, and just like with spawning dream characters, expect that when you OPEN it, you’ll be in the new scene. This is the fastest and most reliable way of moving around the dream and avoiding dream loops or getting stuck in the same scenes. 

6: Making the dream more vivid

Dream vividness for the most part can’t easily be controlled while you’re IN the dream itself.

It’s usually things you do in your waking life like: 

  • Getting enough sleep and exercise (just living healthily)
  • Eating a good diet, ideally plant based or completely vegan
  • Meditating every single day
  • Being able to REMEMBER your dreams (This is a big one)
  • Taking supplements if you want to, that make your dreams more vivid

That being said, there are some ways you can make your dreams more vivid.

This one I’d like to just directly lead you to my article on how to make your dreams more vivid, because there’s a lot to go over. It also all sort of works together, so it’s not something I can just extract one tip from. 

7: Asking the dream questions

The dream itself is actually created by your mind, remember?

So you can ASK your dream itself questions, and your own mind or the subconscious mind will reply to you, the dreamer. This means you can directly interact with the dream world itself, as if it were a specific person or entity. 

Lucid dreaming mindset tips

By doing this, you reduce the separation between you the dreamer, and the dreaming world.

Once you’ve mastered doing this, you’ll be MUCH more in control of your dreams. In fact this applies in some ways to waking life as well. By realising that there is no separation and we’re all connected, suddenly you have the power.

The power to ask the dream (or the world) for something, and hear an answer. So specifically in a lucid dream, just try asking something out loud. It can be something as simple as ‘turn up the brightness’ if your dream vision is getting blurry. Try it next time you’re lucid and see what happens!

8: Object creation

Objects can be used for all sorts of things in a dream, like fighting, creating things or even just exploring the dream world. Objects I like to use in dreams are: 

  • Enchanted compasses showing you the way to what you seek
  • A magic map, that you can touch and it teleports you to that place
  • A magic key that opens any door
  • A time travel portal that fits in your pocket
  • Anti gravity shoes that let you jump really really high
  • Gloves that let you climb up buildings easily like spiderman

Now, the great thing about objects is that they let you HACK your mind in a big way.

Remember how I said that your mind is full of subconscious beliefs that LIMIT your dreaming body?

Beliefs like:

  • You can’t fly, and when you jump you’ll be pulled back down
  • Time moves in a linear way and you can’t go back
  • You can’t stick to surfaces like spiderman
  • And so on?

Well, to get around the ‘backdoor’ of these beliefs, you can create or find OBJECTS in the dream that you tell yourself will have certain powers. It’s a VERY powerful and super effective way of controlling your dreams and it lets you completely ignore normal rules or limits of the dream world. 

So to create objects like this, use the same expectation you’ve used for dream characters and creating a dream portal. Just find something that you can’t see behind, expect the object to be there and then open or reveal the thing. Now one thing to keep in mind with this, is to attach the belief about the objects POWER first.

Tell yourself exactly what the object can or will be able to DO, and how it will do it. For example let’s say you’re creating anti gravity boots. Tell yourself you’ll find them behind the door, and then imagine how it feels to jump and feel weightless because of the boots. By telling yourself the OBJECT has the power, you skip past your limiting beliefs about yourself.

Because you’ve never tried anti gravity boots in real life, you don’t have any limiting beliefs that will stop them working! 

Hopefully you can see how powerful this method can be, and how helpful dream objects can really be in a lucid dream. They’re GREAT for having more control over the dream scene and how it all behaves. 

9: Dissolving the dream state

A few years ago, I experienced probably my most intense lucid dream ever. I dissolved the dream state, and experienced pure awareness and peace. I was floating on an ocean of white energy, and it felt like I was experiencing every emotion ever, all at the same time.

Extremely overwhelming and not for beginners. I woke up crying and feeling a profound sense of purpose, energy and at the same time, humility.

To do this, I’d suggest reading my post about lucid transcendence, and learning how to do it from there. There’s quite a few steps and you need to be able to have regular vivid and detailed lucid dreams first. You also need to be able to write them down and remember them in detail, most mornings.

10: Overcoming nightmares with lucid dreaming

Nightmares are something nobody really wants, they’re annoying and scary. They also affect your stress levels, and you take some of the stress you feel back into waking life. 

Nightmares ACTUALLY affect your heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. It’s not healthy to have regular nightmares, especially if they also wake you up before your normal wake up time, so your sleep quality suffers.

There are a few ways of turning a nightmare into a lucid dream though. Firstly, every time you experience something scary or that you don’t like in waking life, do a reality check. This helps to cement the idea of asking yourself if you’re dreaming when you experience something you don’t like.

Next, make sure that you ALWAYS do reality checks as soon as you wake up. False awakenings are a very common scary type of dream that people have. It’s where you dream ABOUT waking up, and it’s hard to tell whether you’ve actually woken up or not.

By reality checking every time you wake up first thing, you massively reduce the changes of having a false awakening or a lucid nightmare. 

11: Designing your own dream scene

This is a very common way of creating your dream scenes and manipulating what you dream about. Use the techniques I mentioned earlier int he VILD step. Try and design your dream scene using nothing but emotions and FEELINGS.

Don’t create specific layouts and designs, because the dreaming mind won’t create them. Instead, focus on the feeling of it. For example, imagine the dream scene like a beach for example, and then focus on how it feels.

  • Is it raining?
  • Cold? Windy?
  • What sounds can you hear?

By focusing on the feeling of the dream, you’re more likely to induce and create that particular dream scene. If you try and create or imagine really specific details like the furniture or layout, you’ll find your dreaming mind just blurs the details out and the dream scene will change anyway.

12: Time dilation

Time in a lucid dream is entirely relative. 

If you focus on doing lots of new things in the dream, you’ll experience time much slower, and it will seem like you’re fitting more time into the same dream. This is how you can make it feel like time is standing still. It’s also where those stories online of dreams feeling like they’ve gone on for hours come from.

Stopping time

It’s very simple, all you do is just focus on DOING more things in the dream, and making the things you do diverse and interesting. By the way this tip also applies to waking life. You might remember that week or day that felt like a month? 

It’s often when you pack lots of new and engaging activities into the day.

Dream control summary

So remember, to control your dreams better, you need to be able to expect what you want to happen. That’s the whole key to controlling your dreams and deciding where you want the dream to go.

But remember, you can CHANGE your beliefs, expectations and fears (in waking life AND in lucid dreams).

It just takes a little bit of time. Hopefully you’ve found this useful! If you are looking for a sure way to get started lucid dreaming, I think you’ll really like my lucid dreaming bootcamp. 

It’s a step by step guide to lucid dreaming that FORCES your brain to lucid dream within 20 days or less. Check it out and keep dreaming! Good luck.