START Technique For Lucid Dreaming Tutorial And Tips


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

The socially triggered awareness reality test (START) technique is a simple and non-strenuous, socially based form of lucid dreaming. The START technique is used by dreamers to induce lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming techniques are a very important part of becoming lucid.

BUT they’re not everything.

Have you ever heard of the socially triggered awareness reality test (START)?

Well, this is perhaps the time to learn what it is and to discover the START technique.

Whilst the START technique is designed for beginners, it works perfectly for those who are experienced in lucid dreaming.

Nonetheless, especially for those who are beginners in lucid dreaming, it is important to learn how to lucid dream easily for you to take full advantage of the START technique.

How To Lucid Dream With The START Technique

Lucid dreaming involves the dreamer being aware and able to control their dreaming. As mentined above, Techniques such as START allow beginners to practice lucid dreaming with ease. You can easily lucid dreaming using the START technique with the aid of reality checks.

However, this doesn’t come easy.

To be able to perfect lucid dreaming and get to an advanced skill level, you will require time, dedication, patience, and energy. this is not really what you WANT to hear, but it’s the truth. 

Reality checks are an important part as well.

A few examples of reality checks are;

  • Pushing your right palm using one of your fingers from the left hand
  • Visually examining your hands
  • Pinching your nose and trying to breath

In this case, if you are awake for example, when you try and push your finger through your palm, it won’t go through. Not while you’re awake at least.

However, if you dreaming, your finger WILL simply go through the palm or hand.

Similarly, if you pinch your nose and you can breathe, then, you are dreaming. However, if you pinch the nose and can’t breathe, then, you are awake.

By now, you must be asking yourself, what is the purpose of reality checks?

Well, reality checks are simply used to check if you are awake.

Therefore, conducting simple physical tests helps to let you know whether you are conscious or dreaming and asleep.

As you continue to conduct reality checks, your framing mind eventually adapts to the brain.

So how does this all relate to the START technique? 

The START Technique – Socially Triggered Awareness Reality Test

The socially triggered awareness reality test is easier and simple; requiring low effort than you think.

Yet, it tends to be quite effective.

To ensure maximum results, you must know how to employ the right techniques. 

The technique includes the following key parts;

1: Let People Around You Know

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should go around telling people that you are practicing START. Instead, you can use props. For example, you can wear a small badge that reads “I’m dreaming” and continue with your daily affairs.

Alternatively, you can incase in items that are designed for the START technique such as reality check stickers or bracelets.

This is most certainly bound to attract someone’s attention; prompting them to engage you and ask you if you’re dreaming or not.

When this unexpected interaction occurs, it is time for you to conduct a reality test – follow any of the techniques above.

When you establish whether or not you are dreaming, you can then, if you want to, share with the person what you are trying to do. You can even discuss the topic of lucid dreaming with them, and maybe even make a friend.

How To Perform The START Technique

There are several methods to lucid dream using the START technique.

The START technique is easy and designed for beginners.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that the process will be entirely easy and straightforward.

The good news is that there are ways to make the START technique easy.

For example, you can complement the efforts with techniques such as WBTB, MILD, and journal keeping.

After all, these tools are used been by advanced lucid dreamers.

Step 1: WBTB

Also known as the Wake Back To Bed, WBTB refers to when you train your body to go back to falling back asleep as soon as you awaken from a deep sleep.

During the WBTB step, your mind remains alert.

WBTB requires practice. But, over time, it becomes an easy technique to employ.

Once you master the wake back to bed lucid dreaming technique, your get right back to sleep whilst the mind conducts a sleep test – sending your brain message to conduct a reality check.

During this time, you want to resist moving to ensure the test is effective.

When the mind confirms that you are asleep, it gets full control; allowing you to continue lucid dreaming.

You will begin to see;

  • Different colors
  • Different shapes
  • Distinct scenery

Step 2: MILD

MILD is a prospective memory technique that aids in setting up and carrying out intentions of remembering what you are dreaming. In fact, it doesn’t require much effort as your mind is already programmed to do so.

MILD refers to the mnemonic induction of lucid dreams.

For example, think of how you remember to carry out simple tasks such as stopping by the grocery store to pick up ingredients for dinner.

The MILD technique simply trains you to remember; allowing you to employ the same technique as you did in the START technique.

MILD guides to plan to remember that you are dreaming to ensure successful lucid dreaming.

The MILD technique uses three steps also known as the 3Rs.

These include;

  • Rescript
  • Rehearse
  • Remind

The Rescript step involves resequencing your dream’s events.

It involves picking a stage in the dream where you recognize that it is a dream.

You can then rescript the dream because you will remain aware that you are dreaming.

The Rehearse step allows you to imagine yourself back in the dream – except this time you can have a different version of it – the dream becomes lucid!

You can visualize how the dream would’ve been and repeat the visualization as much as you can so you can see yourself back in the area – whilst remembering you are dreaming.

The Remind step allows you to set a mental reminder that you should begin to dream when you return to sleep. It’s sort of like an affirmation – telling yourself that you will become lucid when you dream next and that you will come across a dream sign to remind you of the dream.

Step 3: Dream Journaling

Journaling is an exciting and important part of improving your START technique. The purpose is to enhance your awareness of the dream state to make it easy to wake up in dreams.

Plus, it remains to be quite easy and fun!

The REM cycle gets longer as you approach the morning – thus, making it easier to remember dreams as you wake up.

This is the time to journal your dream!

The Limitations Of The START Technique

We’ve already established that the socially triggered awareness reality test is easy to execute – even when paired with other techniques. Nonetheless, it still comes with its fair share of limitations.

Some of the limitations of the START technique include;

  • It still requires a fair share of time and mental energy to develop the right skills
  • Even though START is a social-based activity, lucid dreaming itself still remains to be a private activity that lacks a social element.

But, there may be a solution to some of the problems – especially those surrounding the social dimension of lucid dreaming.

After all, human beings are social creatures.

This is evident in how our brains light up during face-to-face interactions and social activities.

The issue of social interaction is complex. However, it has s far proven to being vital in human life – perhaps even in activities such as lucid dreaming.

In fact, many aspects of social interaction such as mental processing and emotional regulation fall under the same brain areas that light up during lucid dreaming.

Therefore, pairing lucid dreaming with social interaction must be useful and effective. In fact, lucid dreaming can even improve brain areas that play a role in social interaction.

After all, the START technique uses the same brain areas during the waking hours to help trigger lucid dreaming during sleep.

Even our dream involves processing social interactions that happen during your waking hours – especially emotional events.

How To Make The Most Of The START Technique

The START technique can really help you make the most of lucid dreaming – especially if you recognize its power. To make the most of the START technique, you want to combine it with other components.

The START technique is easy and simple.

However, it still holds a complex principle – requiring you to combine multiple things at once – most importantly creating behaviors and memories.

After all, it is these two things that influence your dreams as they transfer them to your subconscious once you train yourself – remember the 3Rs?

One thing you have to remember is that techniques such as MILD, journaling, and WBTB let you control them.

The START technique is not self-generated and doesn’t occur when you have focused and cleared your mind. Instead, the START technique works by catching you off guard and at random when you least expect.

In most cases, you may be lost in thought, distracted with an activity, or generally, lack adequate awareness.

So when you prepare yourself and are aware, the START technique is an excellent and easiest way to get you to start lucid dreaming as a beginner.

Plus, since it is a social concept, everyone around will know that you partake in lucid dreaming.

Therefore, the START technique offers a potentially excellent way to meet fellow lucid dreamers.

To make the START technique even more fun, you can invest in reality check items such as reality check stickers.

Plus, with the right reality check items, you will not be as obvious for those who want to remain low key.

For example, a graphic tee that reads “I’m lucid dreaming” appears to be regular graphics like any other you will find from other regular stores.

Wearing such as a t-shirt will more likely attract fellow enthusiasts.

Plus, it’s a great way to prevent from looking weird in a crowd – walking around wearing a paper improvised badge.


As mentioned above, techniques such as WBTB and MILD are unique from reality checks – especially socially triggered reality checks. Nonetheless, they are still interconnected.

Consider the START technique and how similar it is to the MILD technique.

In the START technique, wearing a t-shirt that reads “I’m lucid dreaming”, for example, increases the chances of actually experiencing a lucid dream.

Yet, employing the 3Rs from MILD whilst wearing the t-shirt creates the mental expectation that you will be asked if you are dreaming at any point – which makes it easier to hack into your dreams and add your waking experiences into the dream state which makes you lucid dream.

The START technique is a perfect way for beginners to experience lucid dreaming.

However, it is not a replacement for traditional lucid dreaming. This is because it increases the chances of lucid dreaming, but, it is not necessarily a technique that guarantees lucid dreaming.