This FAQ is a brief introduction to lucid dreaming--what it is,
what it takes to do it, and what can be done with it. Please note
that this is not the full extent of knowledge available in this
area. References to more comprehensive sources are given below. If
you are serious about learning to have lucid dreams yourself, then
consider taking advantage of the excellent resources.
The goals of the Lucidity Institute are to make lucid dreaming
known to the public and accessible to anyone interested, to
support research on lucid dreaming and other states of
consciousness, and to study potential applications of lucid
dreaming. We have a membership society with a quarterly newsletter
(NIGHTLIGHT) and a product catalog to keep interested people
informed of the latest developments, and to enroll them in
participating in ongoing research. You are invited to get
involved! Email comments and inquiries to [email protected]
WHAT IS LUCID DREAMING?
Lucid dreaming is dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming.
The term was coined by Frederik van Eeden (see Green, 1968), using
the word "lucid" in the sense of mental clarity. Lucidity usually
begins in the midst of a dream, when the dreamer realizes that the
experience is not occurring in physical reality, but is a dream.
Often this realization is triggered by the dreamer noticing some
impossible or unlikely occurrence in the dream, such as meeting a
person who is dead, or flying with or without wings. Sometimes
people become lucid without noticing any particular clue in the
dream; they just suddenly realize they are in a dream. A minority
of lucid dreams (according to the research of LaBerge and
colleagues, about 10 percent) are the result of returning to REM
sleep directly from an awakening with unbroken reflective
The basic definition of lucid dreaming requires nothing more than
becoming aware that you are dreaming. However, the quality of
lucidity varies greatly. When lucidity is at a high level, you are
aware that everything experienced in the dream is occurring in
your mind, that there is no real danger, and that you are asleep
in bed and will awaken shortly. With low-level lucidity you may be
aware to a certain extent that you are dreaming, perhaps enough to
fly, or alter what you are doing, but not enough to realize that
the people are dream representations, or that you can suffer no
physical damage, or that you are actually in bed.
Lucidity and control in dreams are not the same thing. It is
possible to be lucid and have little control over dream content,
and conversely, to have a great deal of control without being
explicitly aware that you are dreaming. Nonetheless, becoming
lucid in a dream is likely to increase your deliberate influence
over the course of events. Once you know you are dreaming, you are
likely to choose some activity that is only possible in dreams.
You always have the choice of how much control you want to exert,
and what kind. For example, you could continue with whatever you
were doing when you became lucid, with the added knowledge that
you are dreaming. Or you could try to change everything--the dream
scene, yourself, other dream characters, etc. It is not always
possible to perform "magic" in dreams, like changing one object
into another or transforming scenes. A dreamer's ability to
succeed at this seems to depend a lot on the dreamer's confidence.
If you believe that you cannot do something in a dream, you will
probably not be able to.
On the other hand, the easiest (and perhaps wisest) kind of
control to exert in a dream is control over your own behavior.
This comes in especially handy in nightmares. If you become lucid
in a bad dream, you could try to do magic to escape the situation,
but many times this does not work very well. It is generally much
more effective, and better for you psychologically, to recognize
that, because you are dreaming, nothing can harm you. Your fear is
real, but the danger is not. Changing attitude in this way usually
defuses the dream situation and transforms it into something
IN WHAT STAGE OF SLEEP DO LUCID DREAMS OCCUR?
Lucid dreams usually happen during REM sleep. Sleep is not a
uniform state, but is characterized by a series of stages (1, 2,
3, and 4, and REM) distinguished by certain physiological markers.
REM sleep, stands for "Rapid Eye Movement" sleep, and is
pronounced to rhyme with "them", not "R. E. M." Stages 1 through 4
are often lumped together under the label non-REM (NREM) sleep.
Stages 3 and 4 are both referred to as "delta" sleep, for the
large, low frequency brain waves evident in these stages. Although
this is certainly a gross oversimplification of the complexity of
the physiological and mental events in sleep, research has
demonstrated that most vivid dreaming occurs in REM sleep. It is
characterized by an active brain, with low amplitude mixed
frequency brain waves, suppression of skeletal muscle tone, bursts
of rapid eye movements, and occasional tiny muscular twitches.
The sleep stages cycle throughout a night. The first REM period
normally happens after a period of delta sleep, approximately 90
minutes after sleep onset, and lasts from about 5 to 20 minutes.
REM periods occur roughly every 90 minutes throughout the night,
with later REM periods occurring at shorter intervals and often
being longer, sometimes up to an hour in length. Much more REM
sleep occurs in the second half of the night than in the first.
How do we know that lucid dreaming happens in REM sleep?
Dr. Stephen LaBerge and his colleagues at Stanford University
proved this with deliberate eye movement signals given in by lucid
dreamers during REM sleep. Most of the muscles of the body are
paralyzed in REM sleep to prevent us from acting out our dreams.
However, because the eyes are not paralyzed, if you deliberately
move your "dream" eyes in a dream, your physical eyes move also.
LaBerge's subjects slept in the laboratory, while the standard
measures of sleep physiology (brainwaves, muscle tone and eye
movements) were recorded. As soon as they became lucid in a dream,
they moved their eyes in large sweeping motions
left-right-left-right, as far as possible. This left an
unmistakable marker on the physiological record of the eye
movements. Analysis of the records showed that in every case, the
eye movements marking the times when the subjects realized they
were dreaming occurred in the middle of unambiguous REM sleep.
LaBerge has done several experiments on lucid dreaming using the
eye- movement signaling method, demonstrating interesting
connections between dreamed actions and physiological responses.
Some are described in his books (see below).
WHAT PURPOSES CAN LUCID DREAMING SERVE?
Upon hearing about lucid dreaming for the first time, people often
ask, "Why should I want to have lucid dreams? What are they good
for?" If you consider that in dreams, *if* you know you are
dreaming, you are in principle free to do anything, restricted
only by your ability to imagine and conceive, not by laws of
physics or society, then the answer to these questions is either
extremely simple (Anything!) or extraordinarily complex
(Everything!). It is easier to provide a sample of what some
people have done with lucid dreaming than to give a definitive
answer of its potential uses.
The first thing that attracts people to lucid dreaming is often
the potential for adventure and fantasy fulfillment. Flying is a
favorite lucid dream delight, as is sex. Many people have said
that their first lucid dream was the most wonderful experience of
their lives. A large part of the extraordinary pleasure of lucid
dreaming comes from the exhilarating feeling of utter freedom that
accompanies the realization that you are in a dream, where there
will be no social or physical consequences of your actions.
Unfortunately for many people, instead of providing an outlet for
unlimited fantasy and delight, dreams can be dreaded episodes of
limitless terror. As is discussed in the books LUCID DREAMING
(LaBerge, 1985) and EXPLORING THE WORLD OF LUCID DREAMING (EWLD)
(LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990), lucid dreaming may well be the basis
of the most effective therapy for nightmares. If you know you are
dreaming, it is a simple logical step to realizing that nothing in
your current experience, however unpleasant, can cause you
physical harm. There is no need to run from or fight with dream
monsters. In fact, it is often pointless to try because you have
conceived the horror in your mind, and it can pursue you wherever
you dream yourself to be. The only way to really "escape" is to
end your fear; as long as you fear your dream, it is likely to
return. (For a discussion of reasons for recurrent nightmares, see
p. 245 of EWLD.) The fear you feel in a nightmare is completely
real; it is the danger that is not.
Unreasonable fear can be defused by facing up to the source, or
going through with the frightening activity, so that you observe
that no harm comes to you. In a nightmare, this act of courage can
take any form that involves facing the "threat" rather than
avoiding it. For example, one young man dreamt of being pursued by
a lion. When he had no place left to run, he realized he was
dreaming and called to the lion to come on and get him. The
challenge turned into a playful wrestling match, and the lion
became a sexy woman (NIGHTLIGHT 1.4, 1989, p. 13). Monsters often
transform into benign creatures, friends, or empty shells (see
Saint-Denys, 1867/1982) when courageously confronted in lucid
dreams. This is an extremely empowering experience. It teaches you
in a very visceral manner that you can conquer fear and become
Lucid dreaming can also help people achieve goals in their waking
lives. EWLD contains many examples of ways that individuals have
used lucid dreams to prepare for some aspect of their waking
activities. Some of these applications include: rehearsal (trying
out new behaviors, or practicing them, and honing athletic
skills), creative problem solving, artistic inspiration,
overcoming sexual and social problems, coming to terms with the
loss of loved ones, and physical healing. If the possibility of
accelerated physical healing, suggested by anecdotes from lucid
dreamers, is born out by research, it would become a tremendously
important reason for developing lucid dreaming abilities.
IS LUCID DREAMING LEARNABLE?
The ability to have lucid dreams may be within the reach of most
human beings. Research on individual differences has not turned up
any factors of personality or cognitive ability that substantially
predict lucid dreaming frequency. So far, the only strong
predictor of frequent lucid dreaming is high dream recall. This is
good news for would-be lucid dreamers, because it is fairly easy
to increase dream recall (more below).
One question frequently asked about learning lucid dreaming is:
How long does it take? The answer, or course, is that it varies
depending on the individual. How well does the person recall
dreams? How much time is available for practicing mental
exercises? Does the person use a lucid dream induction device?
Does the person practice diligently? Is the person's critical
thinking well developed? And so on. Case histories may provide a
more tangible picture of the process of learning lucid dreaming.
Dr. LaBerge increased his frequency of lucid dreaming from about
one per month to up to four a night (at which point he could have
lucid dreams on demand) over the course of three years. He was
studying lucid dreaming for his doctoral dissertation and
therefore needed to learn to have them on demand as quickly as
possible. On the other hand, he had to invent techniques for
improving lucid dreaming skills. Thus, people starting now,
although they may not be as strongly motivated as LaBerge, have
the advantage of well-developed techniques, complete training
programs, and electronic biofeedback aids that have been created
in the 16 years since LaBerge began his studies.
Lynne Levitan, staff writer for NIGHTLIGHT, describes her
experiences with learning lucid dreaming as follows: "I first
heard of lucid dreaming in April of 1982, when I took a course
from Dr. LaBerge at Stanford University. I had had the experience
many years before and was very interested to learn to do it again,
as well as to get involved in the research. First I had to develop
my dream recall, because at the time I only remembered two or
three dreams per week. In a couple of months I was recalling 3 to
4 or more per night, and in July (about three months after
starting) I had my first lucid dream since adolescence. I worked
at it on and off for the next four years (not sleeping much as a
student) and reached the level of 3 to 4 lucid dreams per week.
Along the way, I tested several prototypes of the DreamLight lucid
dream induction device and it clearly helped me become more
proficient at realizing when I was dreaming. In the first two
years we were developing the DreamLight, I had lucid dreams on
half of the nights I used one of these devices, compared to once a
week or less without. In considering how long it took me to get
really good at lucid dreaming, note that I did not have the
benefit of the thoroughly studied and explained techniques now
available either, because the research had not yet been done nor
the material written. Therefore, people now should be able to
accomplish the same learning in far less time, of course, given
DEVELOPING DREAM RECALL
As mentioned above, the most important prerequisite for learning
lucid dreaming is excellent dream recall. There are probably two
reasons for this. One is that if you do not remember your dreams,
you are unable to study them to discover what about them could
help you realize that you are not awake. Another is that you might
have lucid dreams without knowing it, because you do not remember
The procedure for improving your dream recall is fully detailed in
EWLD, and A COURSE IN LUCID DREAMING (see below) as well as many
other books on dreams. The core exercise is keeping a dream
journal, and writing down everything you recall about your dreams,
no matter how fragmentary. You must not wait until morning to take
notes on dreams recalled in the middle of the night because, no
matter how clear they are at the time, they are apt to disappear
entirely from your memory by the time you get up in the morning.
You also should write them down first thing in the morning, before
you even think about anything else. In A COURSE IN LUCID DREAMING
we advise that people build their dream recall to at least one per
night before proceeding onto lucid dream induction techniques.
Another dream-recall related exercise introduced in EWLD, and
further developed in A COURSE IN LUCID DREAMING is identifying
"dreamsigns." This is a word coined by LaBerge referring to
elements of dreams that indicate that you are dreaming. (Examples:
miraculous flight, purple cats, malfunctioning devices, and
meeting deceased people.) By studying your dreams you can become
familiar with your own personal dreamsigns and set your mind to
recognize them and become lucid in future dreams. The COURSE also
provides exercises for practicing noticing dreamsigns while you
are awake, so that the skill carries over into your dreams. This
exercise also relates to lucid dream induction devices, which give
sensory cues--special, artificially-produced dreamsigns--while you
are dreaming. To succeed at recognizing these cues, you need to
practice looking for them and recognizing them while you are awake
LUCID DREAM INDUCTION TECHNIQUES
THE REALITY TESTING TECHNIQUE
This is a good technique for beginners. Assign yourself several
times a day to perform the following exercise. Also do it anytime
you think of it, especially when something odd occurs, or when you
are reminded of dreams. It helps to choose specific occasions
like: when I see my face in the mirror, when I look at my watch,
when I arrive at work or home, when I pick up my lucid dream
induction device or the NIGHTLIGHT. The more frequently and
thoroughly you practice this technique, the better it will work.
1. Carry some text with you or wear a digital watch throughout the
day. To do a reality test, read the words or the numbers on the
watch. Then, look away and look back, observing the letters or
numbers to see if they change. Try to make them change while
watching them. If they do change, or are not normal, or do not
make sense, then you are most probably dreaming. Enjoy! If the
characters are normal, stable, and sensible, then you probably
aren't dreaming. Go on to step 2.
2. If you are sure you are awake, then say to yourself, "I may not
be dreaming now, but if I were, what would it be like?" Visualize
as vividly as possible that you are dreaming. Intently imagine
that what you are seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling is all a
dream. Imagine instabilities in your environment, words changing,
scenes transforming, perhaps you floating off the ground. Create
in yourself the feeling that you are in a dream. Holding that
feeling, go on to step 3.
3. Pick something you would like to do in your next lucid dream,
perhaps flying, talking to particular dream characters, or just
exploring the dream world. Continue to imagine that you are
dreaming now, and that you try out the thing you plan to do in
your next lucid dream.
MNEMONIC INDUCTION OF LUCID DREAMS (MILD) TECHNIQUE
(Modified from EWLD, p. 78)
Developed by LaBerge and used by him to induce lucid dreams at
will during his Ph.D. study, MILD is practiced during the night.
1. Setup dream recall.
Set your mind to awaken from dreams and recall them. When you
awaken from a dream, recall it as completely as you can.
2. Focus your intent.
While returning to sleep, concentrate single-mindedly on your
intention to remember to recognize that you're dreaming. Tell
yourself: "Next time I'm dreaming, I want to remember I'm
dreaming." Try to feel that you really mean it. Focus your
thoughts on this idea alone. If you find yourself thinking about
anything else, let it go and bring your mind back to your
intention to remember.
3. See yourself becoming lucid.
At the same time, imagine that you are back in the dream you just
woke from (or another one you have had recently if you didn't
remember a dream on awakening), but this time you recognize that
it is a dream. Look for a dreamsign--something in the dream that
demonstrates plainly that it is a dream (see NIGHTLIGHT 1.3 & 1.4
for more about dreamsigns). When you see it say to yourself: "I'm
dreaming!" and continue your fantasy. Imagine yourself carrying
out your plans for your next lucid dream. For example, if you want
to fly in your lucid dream, imagine yourself flying when you come
to the point in your fantasy that you "realize" you are dreaming.
4. Repeat until your intention is set.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your intention is set; then let
yourself fall asleep. If, while falling asleep, you find yourself
thinking of anything else, repeat the procedure so that the last
thing in your mind before falling asleep is your intention to
remember to recognize the next time you are dreaming.
LUCID DREAM INDUCTION DEVICES
The Lucidity Institute offers several electronic devices that help
people achieve lucid dreams. They were developed through
laboratory research at Stanford University by LaBerge, Levitan,
and others. The basic principle behind all of these devices is as
follows: The primary task confronting someone who wishes to have a
lucid dream is to remember that intention while in a dream. We
often remember to do things while awake through reminders: notes,
strings around fingers, alarms, and so on. However, such reminders
are of little use in dreams, although there are other kinds of
reminders that are in fact helpful. The observation that some
sensory events are occasionally incorporated into ongoing dreams
(like your clock radio or the neighbor's saw appearing disguised
in your dream rather than awakening you) led to the idea of using
a particular sensory stimulus as a cue to a dreamer to become
lucid. For example, a tape recording of a voice saying "You're
dreaming" played while a person is in REM sleep will sometimes
come through into the dream and remind the person to become lucid.
In our research we settled on using flashing lights as a lucidity
cue, because they had less tendency to awaken people than sound
and were easy to apply. The DreamLight and NovaDreamer devices
also have a sound cue option, which is useful for people who sleep
The DreamLight, DreamLink, and NovaDreamer all work by giving
users flashing light cues when they are dreaming. Users work with
their devices to find an intensity and length of cue that enters
their dreams without awakening them. In addition, device users
should practice mental exercises while awake for the best
preparation for recognizing the light cues when they appear in
dreams. The devices are based around a soft, comfortable sleep
mask, which contains the flashing lights. The DreamLight and
NovaDreamer detect the rapid eye movements of REM sleep, when the
wearer is likely to be dreaming, and give cues when the level of
eye movement activity is high enough. The DreamLink lacks the eye
movement detection circuitry; the user sets its timer to trigger
the cues at times likely to coincide with REM periods.
These lucid dream induction devices offer a second method of lucid
dream stimulation. This method arose out of the discovery that
while sleeping with the DreamLight, people frequently dreamed that
they awakened wearing the device, and pressed the button on the
front of the mask to start the "delay," a feature that disables
cues while you are drifting off to sleep. Ordinarily, the button
would cause a beep to tell you that you had successfully pressed
it. However, people were reporting that the button was not working
in the middle of the night. Actually, they were dreaming that they
were awakening and pressing the button, and the button did not
work because it was a dream version of the DreamLight. Dream
versions of devices are notorious for not working normally. Once
people were advised that failure of the button in the middle of
the night was a sign that they were probably dreaming, they were
able to use this "dreamsign" reliably to become lucid during
"false awakenings" with the DreamLight. This "reality test" button
turned out to be so useful that it became an important part of all
the lucid dream induction devices developed by the Lucidity
Institute. Research suggests that about half of the lucid dreams
stimulated by the devices result from using the button for reality
HOW WELL DO LUCID DREAM INDUCTION DEVICES WORK?
The Lucidity Institute's lucid dream induction devices are
designed to help people achieve lucidity by giving them cues while
they are dreaming and a reliable means of testing their state of
consciousness. They do not *make* people have lucid dreams any
more than an exercise machine makes people have muscles. In both
cases the goal, muscles or lucid dreams, result from practice. The
machines just make it easier to get the desired results. Several
factors enter into success with one of these devices. One is how
well the device (or in the case of the DreamLink, the user)
catches REM sleep with the sensory cues. Another is how reliably
the cues enter into the dream without awakening the sleeper. A
third factor is how well the device user does at correctly
recognizing cues in dreams and becoming lucid. Finally, the user's
commitment to performing reality tests every time upon waking up
wearing the device has a lot to do with success. All four of these
factors are, to some extent, controllable by the device user:
adjustment of eye movement sensitivity to catch REM sleep,
selecting a cue that enters dreams without causing awakenings,
mental preparation to recognize cues in dreams, and resolution to
do reality tests. Therefore, it is difficult to obtain a truly
representative measurement of the effectiveness of the devices.
Nonetheless, research with various versions of the DreamLight have
shown that it definitely helps people have more frequent lucid
The most recent study was done with the current model of the
DreamLight. A complete write-up of the experiment is in NIGHTLIGHT
5.3. In brief, fourteen people who were well-versed in DreamLight
use compared two conditions. They believed they were trying two
different types of cues. However, in fact in one condition they
received no cues at all, as a sort of "placebo" condition. It was
possible for the subjects to not know they were not getting any
cues, because the DreamLight generally does not give cues when the
wearer is awake (the result of the body movement sensor). Thus,
the study examined how much the DreamLight's light cues
contributed to the achievement of lucid dreams. Nights on which
the DreamLight gave cues were called "CUED" and no-cue nights were
Eleven of the 14 subjects reported at least one lucid dream during
the study. Eight of the 11 (73%) had more lucid dreams on CUED
nights, two (18%) had equal numbers, and only one (9%) had more on
the PLACEBO nights. The average number of lucid dreams per person
in the CUED nights was 0.30 (one lucid dream per 3 nights) versus
0.09 for PLACEBO nights (one lucid dream every 11 nights), a
statistically significant nearly three-fold increase in lucid
dreaming frequency. Clearly, the DreamLight cues help people to
become lucid. Subjects reported about nine times more cue
incorporations on CUED than on PLACEBO nights (CUED: 73 total,
0.90 per night average; PLACEBO: 9 total, 0.11 per night average).
Dream recall was also higher on CUED nights; subjects recalled an
average of 3.2 dreams per night in the CUED condition, versus 2.6
per night in the PLACEBO condition.
An earlier study with a different version of the DreamLight showed
a five-fold increase in lucid dreaming frequency when people used
the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming (MILD) mental technique
in conjunction with the device, compared with using no device and
no mental technique. Using the device without mental techniques
worked about as well as just using the mental technique, which was
in both cases an improvement over using nothing.
In summary, at this stage the lucid dream induction devices can
definitely help people learn to have more lucid dreams, or to have
lucid dreams in the first place. Important factors contributing to
success are good dream recall (and the DreamLight and NovaDreamer
also can be used to boost dream recall), diligent mental
preparation by the user, and careful adjustment of the device by
the user to fit individual needs for cueing and REM detection. No
device yet exists that will *make* a person have a lucid dream.
Q. Is there a way to prevent yourself from awakening immediately
after becoming lucid?
A. At first, beginners may have difficulty remaining in the dream
after they become lucid. This obstacle may prevent many people
from realizing the value of lucid dreaming, because they have not
experienced more than the flash of knowing they are dreaming,
followed by immediate awakening. Two simple techniques can help
you overcome this problem. The first is to remain calm in the
dream. Becoming lucid is exciting, but expressing the excitement
can awaken you. Suppress your feeling somewhat and turn your
attention to the dream. If the dream shows signs of ending, such
as a loss of detail, vividness and apparent reality of the
imagery, "spinning" can help bring the dream back. As soon as the
dream starts to fade, before you feel your physical body in bed,
spin your dream body like a top. That is, twirl around like a
child trying to get dizzy (you don't get dizzy during dream
spinning because your physical body is not spinning around).
Remind yourself, "The next scene will be a dream." When you stop
spinning, if it is not obvious that you are dreaming, do a reality
test. Even if you think you are awake, you may be surprised to
find that you are still dreaming!
WHERE TO FIND LUCID DREAMING TRAINING
Over the past decade, exercises, techniques and training materials
have been developed and refined to the point where most anyone
should be able to learn to have more lucid dreams if they are
willing to give it some time and effort. The Lucidity Institute
offers lucid dreaming training through several modalities. To
start, most bookstores carry (or can easily get) the book
EXPLORING THE WORLD OF LUCID DREAMING by LaBerge and Rheingold
(Ballantine, 1990), or you can order it from the Lucidity
Institute. It presents a step- by-step training program with
exercises and an introduction to the various possible applications
of lucid dreaming. The basic structure in this book is greatly
expanded and augmented by the Lucidity Institute's workbook A
COURSE IN LUCID DREAMING. The course is five units, taking a
minimum of 4 months to complete, and it guides you through
completing a series of progressive exercises to build up your
lucid dreaming ability. It uses EWLD as a textbook.
An intensive overview of lucid dreaming techniques is presented at
Lucidity Institute Lucid Dreaming Training Programs. These
workshops are often offered as a package with the purchase of a
Lucidity Institute lucid dream induction device (DreamLight or
NovaDreamer). So far, most of the Training Programs have been held
in California, but the Lucidity Institute will give one wherever
there is enough interest. Dr. LaBerge also gives weekend seminars
at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California about once a year,
as well as occasional lectures and workshops at other venues. To
find out about upcoming events, contact the Lucidity Institute
(via Email at [email protected] or telephone at 415-321-9969).
RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON LUCID DREAMING
This is a selection of some recommended books and tapes on lucid
dreaming. The titles marked with an asterisk (*) are available
from the Lucidity Institute.
LUCID DREAMING, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D., (Ballantine, 1986)
This is the seminal work that first brought lucid dreaming to the
attention of the general public and legitimized it as a valuable
field of scientific inquiry. It is still the best general
reference on lucid dreaming, and a pleasure to read. The
phenomenon of lucid dreaming is explored from many angles,
beginning with the history of the practice in human cultures.
LaBerge describes the early days of the scientific research and
tells the story of his successful challenge of the established
school of thought in sleep research, which held that awareness
while dreaming was impossible. He discusses many methods of lucid
dream induction, including the way he taught himself to have lucid
dreams several times in one night. Other topics covered include:
applications of lucid dreaming, the relationship of lucid dreaming
to out-of-body and near-death experiences, and the possibility of
lucid dreaming serving as a gateway or stepping stone on the path
to spiritual enlightenment.
EXPLORING THE WORLD OF LUCID DREAMING, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D.
and Howard Rheingold (Ballantine, 1990)
A practical guide for lucid dreamers. The first half of the book
establishes a basic understanding of sleep and dreams, followed by
a progressive series of exercises for developing lucid dreaming
skills. These include cataloging "dreamsigns," your personal
landmarks that tell you when you are dreaming, the Reflection-
Intention and MILD techniques for becoming lucid within the dream
and methods of falling asleep consciously based on ancient Tibetan
Yoga practices. After presenting the lucid dream induction
techniques, Dr. LaBerge explains his understanding of the origin
of dreams, founded on current views in the sciences of
consciousness and cognition. This provides a foundation for the
methods of employing lucid dreams to enhance your life, which are
detailed in the second half of the book. The applications
considered are: adventures and explorations, rehearsal for living,
creative problem- solving, overcoming nightmares, healing, and
discovery of expanded awareness and spiritual experience. Many
delightful and illuminating anecdotes from lucid dreamers
illustrate the use of lucid dreams for each application.
CONSCIOUS MIND, SLEEPING BRAIN, edited by Jayne Gackenbach, Ph.D.
and Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. (Plenum, 1990)
Nineteen dream researchers and other professionals contributed to
this scholarly volume. It represents a wide spectrum of viewpoints
in the field of lucid dreaming study, and is an essential
reference for anyone interested in studying lucid dreams or
applying them in clinical practice. Topics include: literature,
psychophysiology, personality, therapy, personal experience,
related states of consciousness, and more.
LUCID DREAMS, by Celia E. Green (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1968)
This is the book that inspired Dr. LaBerge to begin his studies of
lucid dreaming. Green reviews the literature on lucid dreaming up
through the 50's, including the Marquis de Saint-Denys' work
described below. She also presents case histories of lucid
dreamers and well characterizes much of the phenomenology
(subjective experience) of lucid dreaming.
DREAMS AND HOW TO GUIDE THEM, by The Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-
Denys, edited by Morton Schatzman (Duckworth, London, 1982) A
great pioneer of the art of lucid dreaming, the Marquis first
published this exploration of lucid dreaming in 1867, yet this is
a very modern, and, yes, lucid, thesis. He describes his personal
experiments, and the development of his ability to exercise
control in his lucid dreams.
PATHWAY TO ECSTASY: THE WAY OF THE DREAM MANDALA, by Patricia
Garfield, Ph.D. (Prentice Hall, 1989)
Delightfully told story of Patricia Garfield's transcendent and
erotic adventures with lucid dreaming.
CONTROLLING YOUR DREAMS, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. (Audio
Renaissance Tapes, Inc., 1987, 60 minutes)
This audio cassette tape captures the essence of Dr. LaBerge's
public lectures on lucid dreaming. It is highly informative and
inspirational. Use it as an excellent introduction to the topic or
a concise refresher. Dr. LaBerge begins by portraying the
experience of lucid dreaming. He then presents methods for
learning the skill, including the powerful MILD technique. The
descriptions he gives of possible applications of lucid dreaming,
from creative problem solving and rehearsal for living, to
overcoming nightmares and achieving greater psychological
integration, will encourage you to learn this valuable skill.
TRANCE INDUCTION OF LUCID DREAMING, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. (The
Lucidity Institute, 1993, 40 minutes)
Dr. LaBerge's trance induction is designed to help you create a
mind-set in which lucid dreaming will happen easily. The hypnotic
induction begins with progressive relaxation accompanied by guided
visualization of calming images. Once you have attained a peaceful
state of mind, Dr. LaBerge gives you suggestions for creating your
own certainty that you will succeed at having lucid dreams. You
will come up with a personal symbol for conjuring your confidence
in your ability whenever you desire.
LUCIDITY INSTITUTE CONTACT INFORMATION
The Lucidity Institute maintains a WWW site at
http://www.lucidity.com/ and an anonymous ftp site at
ftp://ftp.lucidity.com/. Currently available files include the
Lucidity Institute Catalog, workshop announcements, this FAQ, and
various articles from NightLight. Files can also be emailed on
request. Email: [email protected] Telephone: 415-321-9969 or
800-GO LUCID * Fax: 415-321-9967 Postal: 2555 Park Blvd., #2, Palo
Alto, CA 94306-1919
Copyright 1994 by The Lucidity Institute, Inc. All rights
Permission for non-commercial use is hereby granted, provided that
this file is distributed intact.