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  • Writer's pictureMonique Rickard

Have a Lucid Dream Tonight

Updated: May 6

For fast results, try these 3 simple techniques to induce lucid dreaming before you wake up tomorrow.

Text: How to have a lucid dream

What It's Like to be Awake in the Middle of a Dream

Experiencing a lucid dream for the first time is often dumbfounding. The moment when you stop taking your environment for granted or something unusual happens, your rational mind grasps for a logical answer and then you realize "It's all a dream."

At that moment, your world lights up in a vivid display of colors beyond a person's normal vision in everyday waking life. Typical laws of the universe don't apply- like gravity, breathing underwater, and object permanence.

You are released from the constraints of your body. You can rocket straight up into the heavens or plummet to the darkest depths of the ocean. You are no longer a physical manifestation of bones and organs. Your earthly body is asleep in bed, but your dream body is every bit as real. The thought, who am I? becomes the real question. And you understand on a deep level one simple truth… You are free.

Lucid is defined as:

Suffused with light; LUMINOUS or the ability to think clearly [1]

You become aware of your awareness. For example, imagine sitting at a green traffic light and the car behind you honks its horn. You suddenly become aware of the light and recognize your consciousness wasn't focused on driving. You went from being unaware to aware in one loud, heart-jolting moment.

Now imagine there is no car horn to "wake you up." You are all alone on the road. Will you sit at that green light all night long? Probably not. You have to be the catalyst for awareness. You become aware of your own alertness, which is a form of metacognition.

For some people, lucid awareness in your dreams can also be terrifying. You may wonder, am I trapped in this dream? Will I ever wake up? What if this dream turns into a nightmare? Sleep paralysis (the complete inability to move) can also invoke a vulnerable, powerless feeling.

Fears aside, lucid dreaming comes with some amazing benefits.

Anxiety becomes less of a problem.

Suppose you have an important job interview to attend in the morning. If you have a lucid dream that night, you can rehearse with a dream interviewer and gain confidence from the experience. Or you may ask your fears to take human form, then speak directly to your anxiety in a loving, gentle way. Essentially you can soothe your unconscious mindset just as a caring parent would comfort a child.

Your creativity improves.

If you googled something today- that was made possible by a dream. Larry Page, the inventor of Google, was inspired to download the worldwide web into one place while he slept. Mary Shelly wrote the classic Sci-Fi Novel Frankenstein in 1816 after a vivid nightmare. And Salvador Dali shared his dream world of melting clocks in Paris at Galerie Pierre Colle, then became one of the most famous surreal artists known today. [2] The unconscious mind is a playground for creativity. Many beautiful and disturbing creations have been brought into existence by the dreamer's ability to make their dreams luminous.

Healing miracle abilities.

Although there is little scientific evidence to back up the claims, some lucid dreamers can heal themselves in their sleep. Whether or not the dreamer experiences a placebo effect induced by the dream is up for debate. Still, it's hard to argue results when a cancer patient goes into remission with no plausible explanation [3]

Three lucid dreaming techniques:

There are numerous methods to induce lucid dreaming over time, but the three powerful methods below are the most likely to give you immediate results. All that is required is the commitment to practice awareness throughout the day with the mindful intention to become aware while you sleep.

1. First, raise your waking awareness by poking your palm.

When you start your morning, make your breakfast and pay close attention to the ingredients. Wait for them to do something odd, like fall through the counter or explode. If nothing happens, look around your kitchen and ask yourself, "Am I dreaming?" Your rational mind will decide you are not, but just in case… poke your palm with your finger. If you are dreaming, your finger will go all the way through your hand.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. On your way to work, wait for your car to fly. If nothing happens, ask again, "Am I dreaming?" and poke your palm.

At lunchtime, pay attention to anything that might be off-kilter. Ask again, and really wonder if your environment is as real as you believe it to be. Poke your palm, just to be sure. You will want to repeat this experiment all day long. In the bathroom, at dinner, watching tv on the couch, during your evening walk, and right before bed.

2. Next, set your phone to call your name.

If you were to have a lucid dream tonight, what do you want to do? Most people want to fly, and that's perfectly fine! You may wish to speak to a loved one that has passed away, or you may want to travel someplace tropical. Whatever you desire to do, visualize it now. If you were dreaming, what would it look like to fly? Next, use the standard microphone on most smartphones to record your voice. Say your name, then tell yourself to do what you desire.

For example: "Monique, it's time to visit your grandma."

Once you have recorded your name and intention, you will use the recording as an alarm. Open your phone's clock/alarm app and select alarm sound. You will probably have the choice of multiple alarm tones or "music." Press the music option, then find your recording. Set your alarm to go off 5 hours after your usual bedtime. Keep your phone near your bed and wake up to the alarm. (It's okay to use the snooze function once or twice, but eventually- you will need to wake.)

3. Then, sleep with your back propped up on pillows.

The process we are using is called the Wake Back to Bed Method. It works for a few reasons. Your brain gets the most restorative sleep in the first four hours of the night. After that time, your brainwaves shift, and dreaming begins to occur more frequently.

It's best to leave your bed and move to a sleep practice area like your couch or a spare room. Prop your back against two pillows so that you are reclining slightly. If you have a dream pillow, now is the best time to use it. Also, I recommend placing a journal close by so that you can record your dreams later in the morning.

As you fall back to sleep, propped up against the pillows, your body may jerk; you may hear someone call your name or other noise. Images may begin to appear as though you are watching a movie or reading a book. Just go with it. If you remain conscious during the beginning phase of sleep re-entry, you may experience the phenomena of sleep paralysis. Don't let your imagination get away with you. Paralysis is brief and temporary.

All the palm-poking you did throughout the day should carry over to your dreams. You may be in the dream and randomly notice your hands. Or, you may witness a flying car, exploding fruit, or anything too wonky for ordinary reality. That is when it will hit you. "I am dreaming!" Watch the colors in your dream world turn bold and vivid.

And most importantly, fulfill your desire. Fly, look for your loved one or an animal to guide you to them… Whatever your intention was, try to make it happen. The longer your attentive awareness is focused on the goal, the longer your lucidity will last.

Use all three techniques, and chances are you will experience what it is like to be awake in your dream tonight.



  1. “Lucid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2021.

  2. Walsh, Carl, 9 "Inventions Inspired by Dreams," 2nd November, 2016

  3. Hoss, Robert J; Valli Katja; Gongloff, Robert P, Dreams Understanding Biology, Psychology and Culture, Greenwood Imprent of ABC-CLIO, LLC 2019 pg. 297

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