Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced lucid dreamer, you’ve certainly come across the most frustrating part of lucid dreaming. Just when you’ve realized that you’re ACTUALLY dreaming and you get excited about all the possibilities, you wake up!
Then you start to wonder what was the point of all that training in the first place if all you can do is become aware just before you wake up. Well, making your dreams last longer and become more stable is actually very easy to do. You’ll be able to lucid dream for as long as an hour after this!
Why do lucid dreams end so fast?
Well, this is mostly due to inexperience. Since beginners don’t have a lot of understanding of how to stay lucid, they tend to wake up as soon as they realize they’re dreaming. It’s important to stay focused on the idea that you are dreaming and you need to stay calm. Although this is a very exciting experience, any adrenaline rush can easily wake you up.
6 ways to prolong lucid dreams
If you memorize the techniques below and remember them the next time you are lucid dreaming, immediately performing any one of them until you feel that the dream is at full intensity is the best approach. You’ve already done the work on becoming lucid, now it’s just a matter of staying that way.
1: Stay calm!
First of all, it’s extremely important that you stay calm under all conditions. So avoid running around while screaming at the top of your lungs that you’re really dreaming. Telling people isn’t going to change anything. In fact, for whatever reason, the people in your dream are going to try convincing you that you’re in reality. And another thing, this is the easiest way to get over-excited and wake yourself up.
2: Rub your hands together
Next, try rubbing your hands together. According to research, many kinesthetic actions within dreams can serve to stimulate your brain even further. This can also ground you inside the dream. Combine this with staying calm, and watch the magic happen.
Try looking at your hands. This is also a great way to become lucid. If you make a habit of looking at your hands during the day, you’ll also remember the habit while you’re dreaming. Studying your hands closely during your dream will shift your focus, enhance your dream vision and help you stay calm after the initial realization.
3: Do a reality check
Doing a reality check is also always a good idea. One thing that certainly never works while you’re awake is pushing your fingers through your hand. Obviously, this is impossible in reality, but very possible when you’re lucid dreaming. As I’ve said dozens of times reality checks are super important for lucid dreaming. Not only when you’re awake, but when you’re ALREADY lucid, reality tests can help you prolong the lucid dream and stay there for longer. Here’s a few videos I made about them:
4: Demand clarity from the dream
You can also demand clarity from your consciousness. Being firm in your lucid dreams will lead to the request becoming true, according to scientific research.
You can try asking out loud, or just thinking about it in a demanding manner, and any phrase you choose can work. However, make sure that anything you think or say is positive. Because if you think about something along the lines of ‘Don’t wake up’ you’re using a negative construction and you are going to wake up due to unclear instructions.
5: Do simple maths problems
No matter how much you hate or love it, doing math can lead to a more stable lucid dream. And no need to do some complex quadratic equations, you can do any simple sum and it will do the trick. The goal here is to engage a higher functioning area of your brain in order to build your consciousness.
6: Take a supplement
Taking supplements shouldn’t be considered as the easy way out. Give your body a boost with some herbs or supplements and you’ll easily achieve lucidity after a few nights. If all else fails, try the following two physical activities: spinning around or falling backward.
These last two techniques are based on the same kinesthetic principle that we already mentioned where the goal is to get a body part moving, or, in this case, your entire body. Do note that spinning can cause losing the dream vision with some people as if they are a bodiless point of consciousness that is freely floating through space. If this happens, visualize a new dream scene, and you’re good to go.
Meanwhile, with falling backward, you are going to have a very vivid physical sensation. However, be careful with this one too, because, in these last attempts to stabilize your dreams, you may find yourself snapping awake due to the sensation, which is why these two should be your very last resort.
As soon as you learn how to become lucid, you are going to need to start working on staying lucid. And after some practice, you’ll be able to prolong your dreams from seconds to minutes. And if you have some free time, you can stay in bed and try falling back asleep several times in the morning in an attempt the various techniques to prolong your lucid dreaming experience.
We also go over some advanced prolonging techniques (far more than in this article) in our lucid bootcamp course or in the lucid dreaming video course on Udemy!