This is a technique which was created by ‘CosmicIron’. He runs a Chinese lucid dreaming forum and has recently translated his technique; The senses initiated lucid dreaming technique (SSILD), into English and it’s appeared on various social bookmarking websites.
I’m going to briefly explain the technique here, and add a couple of things I think might be useful for beginners to know. (I tried this a bunch of times, and it’s good).
What is the SSILD technique?
The SSILD technique is a hybrid lucid dreaming technique which involves several bits of various lucid dreaming induction techniques. It’s a mixture of skills.
He has a website which I’ll link to at the end, and this technique has been sort of tested by lots of people and ‘refined down’ to what it is today. It’s a great technique, and I have to say it actually does work rather nicely.
How does it work?
It works by making your mind focus on your surroundings so that when you enter sleep again you’re more likely to have a lucid dream. This combined with the fact that you’re doing it at a time when REM sleep is at it’s highest means it has a great chance of working.
What’s also worth noting is that it’s not as vague as some other techniques. It’s very clear and you can follow it to the letter, which will please the less creative and more practical types among you!
What’s good about the SSILD technique?
When I first learned and tried this technique there were a few things I noticed which are really cool.
The one thing I didn’t like about it is that you have to do it after 4-5 hours of sleep, so it does involved interrupting your sleep somewhat. That’s not the end of the world though, because there are some great pros to this technique!
The results don’t ‘fade’ over time – This is a big one for me. The results seem to stay pretty much the same if not better over time. With some techniques, it can be frustrating to see them becoming slowly harder and harder to get them to work but not this one. The results from the SSILD technique are pretty consistent.
It’s very beginner friendly – Anyone can read a guide on this and just go ahead and do it. Although this can be said about most techniques, with this one it’s actually a lot easier to get results from it. That means you can do this and the chances are, you’ll have a lucid dream! Of course, it’s still well worth knowing things like reality checks and dream stabilisation techniques. (In fact, it’s essential to know reality checks!)
How to perform the SSILD technique
It’s a fairly easy technique to learn and perform. To start with, just be aware that you’re going to be focusing on your senses as the name suggests, in turn. You’re going to do this for several ‘cycles..
Cycles of 3 steps
A ‘cycle’ consists of 3 steps. You should go through these cycles of 3 steps at the right time (More on that in a second). Each step should be performed for around 30 seconds. The first step is..
1: Your sight
What can you see? Of course your eyes should be closed, but just be aware of your eyes and what you can see. Sounds a little strange because you’ll have your eyes closed, but just do it anyway.
Don’t TRY to see anything, this is really important. When I first tried this, I really focused on trying to see something in the backs of my eyelids. You shouldn’t do that, instead just be passively aware of your eyes and any shapes or colors you may be seeing on your eyelids.
Now focus on your hearing. What do you hear? Again, don’t try to hear anything rather just ‘hear’ things. It’s much like meditation, where you don’t try to think about something, instead you just try to be passively aware of what’s going on. It’s totally fine to hear nothing.
In fact with any of these steps, it’s fine to experience nothing. In fact, most of the time you will experience nothing and that’s fine, it will still work!
3: Focus on touch (Somesthetic senses)
What do you feel? How does the bed feel on your back? Where on your body is the most pressure being exerted by the bed? Are your muscles sore? Be passively aware of how your body physically feels.
Don’t expect to experience anything
I’m going to stress this again because when I first tried this I did it wrong. You need to just be very passive about the whole thing. That’s another reason this is so beginner friendly.
All you have to do is shift your focus from sense to sense! You don’t need to put any effort into trying to feel something that’s not there. Just experience the sense.
Set your alarm for 4-5 hours time
Now what you’re going to do to actually do this technique is set your alarm for 4-5 hours time after you’ve gone to sleep.
Much the same as the WBTB technique. The reason for this is you’re targeting the part of your sleep where dreams are at their longest, and lucid dreams are most likely – REM sleep!
Don’t try this technique as you’re first going to sleep, because it probably won’t work. I’ve made this clear in other blog posts, but your best results will come when you’re targeting your REM sleep. You can do this usually by setting an alarm to wake you up just before or during your REM sleep stages, towards the early morning.
Perform the cycles quickly 4-5 times as a warm up
When your alarm goes off, you can get out of bed for 5 minutes if you want but I find that I can’t go back to sleep if I even leave the bed for 1 minute.
Everyone’s different, so if you find that you CAN go back to sleep, then maybe get up for 10 minutes and have a walk around. Then when you’re done, go back to bed and lay down in a position you feel comfortable in.
Perform the cycles we spoke about earlier but you can do them fairly quickly. This is sort of like a ‘warm up’ or practice run. For this practice run you can do the cycles faster, so each step could take about 5-10 seconds.
Perform the cycles again more slowly
When you’ve done about 4-5 CYCLES (So that’s 4-5 sets of the 3 steps) at the slower speed, now go and start again but this time make each step take about 30 seconds.
This is the stage that’s really going to prime your mind for lucid dreams and get you focused on your awareness and surroundings.
Now just fall asleep normally.
Your work is done! Now what you do is just let yourself fall asleep. Don’t put any effort into this, because usually when you force yourself to go to sleep, it’s more difficult. It happens naturally.
I’ve found that it helps if you’ve done some light to moderate exercise the previous day, as your body will be in need of the sleep more so you’ll find it much easier to fall back asleep. The one massive problem I have is that once I’ve woken up in the mornings, I can’t easily fall back asleep, and exercise helps with that.
The SSILD technique is great because it doesn’t require much effort at all!
You literally just focus on your senses and then let yourself fall asleep. When you fall back asleep, you have a very high chance of having a lucid dream. Once you enter a lucid dream, you’ll probably want to do a reality check or two just to make sure you can go ahead and fly off on your adventures!
What happens now?
You’ll find that as you’re doing the cycles, you may experience sleep Hypnagogia (Images flashing before your eyes). This is normal, don’t let it bother you. At the same time, it’s totally fine to experience nothing like this. The technique works regardless.
There is a pretty high chance that when you enter the dream, it will start off in your bedroom. Because you’ve made yourself so aware of the sounds and feelings etc around you, and it’s the last place you remember having just woken up there you’ll more often than not start your dream in your bedroom.
That being said, it’s also very likely that you’ll ‘wake up’ (actually start a dream) in your bedroom and not realise it’s a dream. This happened to me one night and I just had a huge long chain of false awakenings.
To combat this make sure that EVERY TIME you wake up, every day you do a reality check first thing.
Other techniques and tools
Here are some other lucid dreaming techniques you might want to try:
- The wake back to bed: A classic technique involving doing the WILD but after you’ve already slept for 5 hours
- The mnemonic induced lucid dream: Using mantras and visualisation to lucid dream randomly
- Dream induced lucid dream: Using the dream itself to make you lucid randomly
- The finger induced lucid dream: Using the subtle movement of your fingers to HACK your way into a lucid state
- My 90ILD technique: A combination of the most effective parts of all the other techniques
- Reality checks for lucid dreams: A guide on using reality checks to reliably lucid dream
- Writing your dreams down: How to write your dreams down properly
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