I’m going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about lucid dreams.
I have HUNDREDS of articles about this topic, and from THIS post, I’ll link out to lots of them from each relevant question. This is a good place to learn about the wonderful world of lucid dreaming. The links open in new tabs, so you won’t lose your place.
If you’re ever had a question about learning to lucid dream, it’s probably on this FAQ page.
You can search this post as well, by pressing CTRL + F and then typing in your search term. Or if you’re using a Mac, press CMD + F. If you’re on mobile, I’m afraid it’s time to scroll.
We have partnered with the best sleep coach and lucid dreaming coach to offer you one to one personal coaching and tuition, if you need it!
- Learn more about Lucid Dream coaching
- Learn more about Sleep Coaching (improve your sleep quality)
What Is Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is the proven ability to become ‘self aware’ in your dreams, allowing you to control them and do almost anything within your mind.
It’s a skill that’s been used by a range of people for many, many years. It’s a very real and useful skill that ANYONE can learn to develop. There are many reasons you’d want to learn it too!
Here are some powerful benefits of lucid dreaming, if you’re not sure:
- You can decide what to dream about
- You can avoid nightmares and sleep better
- You can meet with lost family members or loved ones
- Decide WHAT to dream about and actually control the dream
- You could fly across the sky like a superhero
Is lucid dreaming Scary?
Lucid dreams can be scary, depending on what you’re doing in the dream. As the experience is in your mind, the experience is different for everyone, but some things within the dream can be scary, such as sleep paralysis. It can also be very vivid, and that can be unsettling for some people.
But don’t worry.
It’s not all scary, and in fact, once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll really start to enjoy it!
Some things, such as nightmares or vivid scenes while you’re aware can be a little disturbing, yes. It doesn’t matter though, as with practice you can stop these vivid scenes from happening.
The sleep paralysis demon is probably the scariest part of it. That’s just a hallucination that you can sometimes get, if you are trying certain techniques like the WILD.
How Fast Can I Learn?
You could learn to lucid dream tonight if you try, It entirely depends on how fast you can learn the skills needed, but there are certain things that will speed up the process. Things such as practicing regular Reality checks, or establishing a regular sleep pattern. It also helps if you already meditate and write your dreams down.
But the truth is?
It massively varies, and it will take different lengths of time for everyone.
Is It Dangerous at all?
Nope. Lucid dreaming isn’t dangerous. There’s nothing dangerous about it, because you’re just altering your mental state of awareness while you’re asleep. You’re not doing anything that could damage your body or mind.
Some people think it is:
Because they’ve not done it before or they’re not sure how it works.
Also, horror movies and Reddit stories make it sound scarier than it ACTUALLY is. Don’t listen to them, there’s nothing dangerous about lucid dreaming.
Is It easy to lucid dream?
It entirely depends on YOU. Some people find they can lucid dream almost instantly, without any effort at all, while others find it takes weeks and weeks of practice and trial and error. If it’s not something you’ve ever done, or even heard about before then it’s probably going to take a few weeks.
But that’s why we’re here, to help you!
It’s much easier when you know what to practice.
- You might want to try a couple of really EASY techniques like:
- The finger initiated lucid dream or
- The Senses initiated lucid dream
What’s the best lucid dreaming course?
There are lots of courses on the subject out there, but a lot of them don’t really know what they’re talking about.
There are a lot of ‘personal development gurus’ who seem to have jumped on the bandwagon with Lucid Dreaming and claim they know what they’re talking about.
Here’s the deal:
We think the most EFFECTIVE way of learning lucid dreaming is the 30 day bootcamp course. It’s a printable course that tells you exactly what to practice and do on each day for 30 days. By about 3-4 days you’ll have FORCED yourself to have a lucid dream, if you follow the steps.
What’s The Easiest Way To Lucid Dream?
The easiest way to start having lucid dreams is to start recording your dreams every morning, and throughout the day perform reality checks. Do those by asking yourself ‘Am I dreaming?’. In a few weeks or so you’ll do a Reality check in a dream, and become Lucid.
But of course, there’s more to it.
You’ll need to develop skills like self awareness, dream recall, meditation and critical thinking in a dream. Sounds complicated, but it’s actually easy to learn, if you know what to practice.
What are the benefits of lucid dreaming?
There are lots of benefits actually. Removing fear, emotional healing and boosting confidence are just a few, but you can really use the lucid state to practice or experience ANYTHING you want to.
For now, read our article about how you can practice skills in a dream.
You’ll also be able to sleep better, wake up with more motivation and energy, stop having nightmares, and experience your fantasies, just to name a few benefits.
What Do My Dreams Mean? (Dream Interpretation)
For the most part, your dreams mean what YOU understand them to mean. It depends on your personality, and your specific character traits, because although you can read an analysis of dream signs and meaning on the internet, it only means something if you can relate it to yourself.
Dream meaning is a very tricky subject, because dreams are so personal.
Sure, I could tell you one thing:
But whether that resonates with YOU is another matter.
I did write a long article about the most common dream meanings though, which you might find useful. OR check out all of our posts about dream meanings.
Can You Get HURT In A LD?
You can FEEL like you’re hurt in a lucid dream, but it doesn’t hurt you in physical reality. Pain is in the mind, so if you get bitten by a dog or something like that in a dream, it’s going to ‘feel’ painful, but you won’t get harmed in real life.
With practice you can avoid pain in a dream and gain more control.
It’s nowhere near as bad as you’re thinking, and with practice you can avoid pain in a lucid dream.
What’s more common is that you’ll have a lucid nightmare.
Does lucid dreaming make you more tired?
Not unless you’re doing a certain type of induction like the wake back to bed or the cycle adjustment method. There are techniques which require you to wake up really early (4-5AM) and then go back to sleep. Interrupting your sleep in this way WILL make you tired, and you’ll be sluggish all day.
We don’t recommend using techniques such as the WILD, they do work but there are better ways.
How Do Binaural Beats Work?
Binaural beats, or brainwave entrainment work by entraining your brain to a certain ‘type’ of brainwave activity.
Two different sounds are played, one in each ear (You need to use headphones) and the difference between these two sounds creates ONE pitch in your brain. Your brain activity is changed by these sounds causing it to act in a certain way, and some binaural beats can make you more likely to have a Lucid Dream.
They’re a REALLY powerful way of boosting your lucid dreams.
In fact, we have reviewed some of the more popular binaural beats providers:
- Ennora binaural beats
- Unexplainable store
- Blisscoded sound audio tracks
- Or you could read our regularly updated comparison of ALL binaural beats providers and their benefits.
What Is Sleep Paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is when you become ‘stuck’ to your bed, when your body has gone to sleep and your mind has remained active. In normal sleep, every night, the body shuts down your muscles to prevent you from leaping out of the bed when you fall over in a dream.
Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
This happens every night but when you intentionally try and keep your mind awake, you experience the paralysis consciously. It happens to most people, it’s nothing to worry about.
Sometimes if you’re trying CERTAIN lucid dreaming methods like the wake induced lucid dream, you can experience this paralysis state more often, but it can’t harm you.
Why was howtolucid created?
It sprung from a love of lucid dreaming. I wanted to share this love with as many people as possible, and that naturally evolved to teaching people through YouTube and email/blog posts. Read more about my story here or just read the dreaming blog.
Can I lucid dream in ONE night?
There are things you can do that will make it more likely that you’ll experience it tonight, but we’d recommend just learning the basics and starting off the right way, instead of jumping in the deep end and waking up at 4AM in the hopes of rushing it.
I’ve found that if you RUSH things and try to lucid dream too fast, you’ll get bad results.
It’s a skill:
And like any skill, you have to practice it slowly over time to REALLY get good.
What actually happens in a lucid dream?
Whatever you want! There are hundreds of different things you COULD do, but it’s your choice. Seeing as it’s you exploring your own mind and doing anything you can imagine, it’s just that.. anything YOU can imagine.
See where it takes you:
But if you’re stuck for ideas as to what to do in a Lucid Dream, we’ve got you covered. I explained what your first lucid dream will feel like.
How can you tell if you’re lucid dreaming?
The state you enter when controlling your dreams is one of self awareness, you can look at your hands, look around you and be sure that you’re ‘there’ and you’re the one experiencing it, in the same way that when you’re awake you KNOW you’re awake.
That being said, in a lucid dream, the level of self awareness is slightly different.
You know you’re aware but you don’t have the ability to exercise all of your critical thinking abilities and logic etc…
The annoying answer you probably don’t want to hear is that you’ll just ‘KNOW’ when you’re lucid dreaming. It will feel and seem so different to a normal dream, that you’ll think you’re really awake.
Is lucid dreaming real?
Lucid dreaming is very real! It’s been proven by many scientific studies, and there are people all around the world controlling their dreams every night. There are many sites dedicated to this area of interest, and the skill has been used for thousands of years.
Don’t believe me?
Don’t take my word for it. Read about:
- Some famous lucid dreamers who have explained their experiences
- The best RESEARCH about lucid dreams (I summarised it, with a timeline)
Can you can get stuck in a dream?
No. When you experience a vivid dream and things seem to become scary or intense, it can seem like you’re trapped and you can’t escape, but no hair will come to you, and in reality you’re only ‘trapped’ for about 1 minute or less in reality.
So don’t panic.
It seems like longer in the dream, but if you intend to wake up, you will wake up within a minute or so.
You can get ‘trapped’ in real life, in what’s known as Sleep paralysis. This is where you’re unable to move but your mind is aware and awake, so to speak. For more, read our explanation of sleep paralysis.
Is It Addictive?
It can be, and it’s one of the few side effects of lucid dreams, but not in the same way that a drug would be. You’ll enjoy it, and you may start to become middy obsessed with the concept of controlling your dreams after you’ve done it a few times, but after a while it will be like any other part of your life.
You can integrate it into a normal life and just use it to be creative and come up with new ideas.
I like to lucid dream as a healthy part of an exciting life. I do other exciting things in WAKING life, and then I lucid dream at night too.
How Do I STOP Lucid Dreaming?
If you want to stop lucid dreaming, that’s simple. Like any skill really, you either use it or lose it. If you stop writing down your dreams and practicing your reality checks you’ll just stop lucid dreaming. It’s a skill which you need to put constant attention and focus into.
The more common problem is that you can’t lucid dream to begin with.
But there are some people…
Who want to stop because they either have too VIVID dreams, or they don’t LIKE the feeling of a lucid dream. They think it’s too real, scary or they just want to rest.
What Stage Of Sleep Do Dreams Usually Occur In?
Normally the REM stage of sleep, of ‘Rapid Eye Movement’. This happens towards the end of the night, and so if you’re thinking of using lucid supplements or nootropics, this time is the BEST time to use them.
Lucid dreams are much, much more likely in the early stages of the morning.
That being said, you can have a lucid dream in various stages of sleep, it’s just more likely in REM sleep. It’s also more likely you’ll actually remember it during that stage too.
What’s The Future Of Lucid Dreaming?
Well, to be honest, that’s down to society and how people act regarding this topic. If enough people take it on board and share the idea with their friends, the world will be an amazing, happy and inspiring place to be.
I wrote an interesting article about the POSSIBLE future of lucid dreams, but I’m not sure what will actually happen.
What do YOU think the future is?
Is Shared Dreaming Possible?
Shared dreaming is not possible, at the moment, although some people claim they already can. It’s not scientifically proven, but there are stories of people ‘meeting up in dreams’ and there are even small communities of people who claim they can share dreams and refer to themselves as ‘dream walkers’.
At the moment we understand that dreams are an entirely subjective and personal experience, they only happen within the mind of the individual.
What do I think?
I am very optimistic about humans, the mind and reality.
I like to think that it IS possible, but that we haven’t found a way of proving it yet. I know this goes against what some other lucid dreaming influencers say, but I think the mind is much more than we can understand.
We’ve studied dreams, yes.
But we don’t REALLY know the nature of our reality, and because of that, we can’t honestly say whether or not something like shared dreaming is possible or not.
A few hundred years ago, there was no proof that normal lucid dreaming was real. now we know better, but before then? It still happened, there was just no scientific evidence of it.
How can I fly in a dream?
To fly in a lucid dream, simply look where you want to go, and jump up in the air. Expect that you’ll move towards the destination, and make yourself excited about what you’ll do when you get there.
Whatever you do, don’t try and flap your arms and use physical energy.
This can work for some people, but it also doesn’t work for others.