Lucid Dreaming: A Beginner's Guide

John Smith making another title look like child’s play (no audio)

From 1994-1995 I had the great pleasure of training with wrestling legend John Smith, 2-time gold medalist and 4-time world champion (domestic freestyle record of 80-0; international freestyle record of 100-5).

He was famous for his low leg attacks that made even Olympic finals look like textbook demonstrations.

The problem was, of course, that I was in New Hampshire at boarding school and had never met John Smith. I only trained with him 45-60 minutes per night while I was lucid dreaming. I went on to have my best career season, which culminated with a more than 20-0 record before the national championships…

I’ve since used lucid dreaming to:

– Accelerate skill acquisition (example: yabusame)

Reactivate “forgotten” languages in less time

– Cultivate zen-like present-state awareness and decrease needless stress

Lucid Dreaming 101

I applied to Stanford University because I wanted to refine my clinical understanding of lucid dreaming: the ability to become conscious during dreams and affect their content.

This isn’t new-age nonsense, either. It’s been tested in the strictest of lab settings.

Dr. Stephen LaBerge of Stanford was considered the world’s foremost researchers in the science and practice of lucid dreaming, and he had pioneered proving its existence. How? It turns out that eye movement, unlike the rest of the skeletal muscular system, is not inhibited by REM sleep. Subjects could memorize horizontal eye patterns (e.g. left-left-right-right-left-right-left) and repeat the patterns upon becoming lucid, which researchers could observe, all while recording brain activity with an EEG to confirm that the subjects where, in fact, in a dream state. Tibetan monks have been practicing lucid dreaming for thousands of years, but it was considered fringe speculation until it was captured in a controlled environment.

There are now dozens of studies that explore the incredibly cool world of lucid dreaming and hint at applications (search “lucid dreaming” here on PubMed).

I recently had dinner with former PayPal employee Mark Goldenson, who was a researcher in both Stephen LaBerge’s lab and Phil Zimbardo’s psychophysiology lab at Stanford, and the conversation convinced me that sharing the basics was worth a post.

For those interested in experiencing lucid dreaming, here are a few simple training methods, including:

Step 1) Develop dream recall –

Have you ever thought that you didn’t dream on given nights, or perhaps not at all? If I were to track your REM sleep, as I have mine on even “dreamless” nights, you quickly realize that this isn’t the case. Undeveloped recall is to blame.

Put a pad of paper next to your bed and record your dream immediately upon waking. Immediately means immediately. If you get dressed first, or even stare at the ceiling for a minute, dream recollection will be nil. Expect that you might not get more than a few lines for the first week or so, but also expect to get to multi-page recall ability within 2-3 weeks. This alone will make you look forward to going to bed.

Step 2) Identify dream cues and/or do reality checks –

Some people, like Mark, can use their dream log to identify common dream elements that recur from night to night. Water seems to be particularly common. These elements are then used for “reality checks”: asking yourself if you’re dreaming when you see these cues during waking hours, and then testing.

Testing entails doing something like trying to fly (not recommended) or looking at your environment for clear indications of dream state. The latter is my preference, and I typically skip the dream log and default to a few simple tests at set action (every time I check the time or walk through a door, for example).

Since working memory can only hold around 7 +/- 2 bits of information, and you are constantly creating your dreamscape in real-time, there are a few things that change if you look away and then look back at them:

a. Text (e.g., written signs)

b. Digital clocks/watches. Fascinatingly, analog clocks appear to keep accurate dream time, which, in my case, also corresponds to real time passing.

c. Complex patterns

For the last category, I like to look at wall brickwork or floor patterns, look away, and look back to see if their orientation (e.g. horizontal vs. vertical) or tile/block size has changed, asking “am I dreaming?” If there are changes, guess what? You are either on some strong hallucinogens or you are dreaming. If you’re dreaming and answer in the affirmative, it is at this point that you will become lucid.

Step 3) Induce lucidity —


There are a number of techniques that help induce lucidity. One such technique tested by LaBerge, referred to as Mnemonic-Induction of Lucid Dreaming (MILD), involved — in my case — waking up in the middle of the night, setting the intention to lucid dream for 10-15 minutes, then going back to bed. I have found this to work best when I wake 5 hours or so after going to sleep (not just to bed). Here is a longer description from LaBerge’s FAQ.

I have also found duration of sleep to be an important variable. It will often be easiest for novices to achieve lucidity if they sleep to excess — more than 9 hours (think Saturday or Sunday mornings) — and then use the snooze button to wake every 10-15 minutes for another hour. This juxtaposition of waking and sleep blurs the lines and seems to make the lucid state easier to achieve.

Ancillary Drugs

Three drugs, in my experience, also seems to assist with induction: huperzine-A (200-400 mcg), melatonin (3 mg), and nicotine (standard patch). I don’t suggest combining them.

Huperzine-A is an acetyl-cholinesterase inhibitor, tested in Chinese clinical trials for treating Alzheimer’s, and will increase the half-life of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the synapse. This is my preferred tool if I’m using chemical assistance. Melatonin is involved with setting circadian rhythm and its release is controlled by the pineal gland and suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). Dreams on melatonin tend to be more colorful and more chaotic, as is also the case with nicotine. Nicotine is my last choice, as it is addictive and can cause total insomnia if you don’t time it properly. If you happen to be quitting smoking and will be using the patch regardless, be sure to put it on immediately prior to bed so the blood nicotine levels (and stimulant effects) peak well after you’ve fallen asleep. Mistime it and you’ll be one grumpy bastard the next morning.

Step 4) Extend lucidity duration

This is where things get a little strange, or even cooler.

The first few times you achieve lucidity, you will likely be so excited that you will wake yourself up. Two effective techniques for extending lucidity are spinning (a la a piroutte in place) and looking at your hands. Both techniques, I believe, originated with Carlos Castaneda, but LaBerge was the first to test them and quantify the effectiveness of spinning vs. hand rubbing:

…the odds in favor of continuing the lucid dream were about 22 to 1 after spinning, 13 to 1 after hand rubbing (another technique designed to prevent awakening), and 1 to 2 after “going with the flow” (a “control” task). That makes the relative odds favoring spinning over going with the flow 48 to 1, and for rubbing over going with the flow, 27 to 1.

Source: Lucidity Institute

Step 5) Once you’ve flown all over and had sex with every hottie you can think of…

Try to explore memory and performance. Indulge in the flying and sex binge, as all newbies do — no reason to rush that phase, of course — but then expand your carnal horizons in other directions.

Have fun and sweet dreams…

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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458 Replies to “Lucid Dreaming: A Beginner's Guide”

  1. Brilliant stuff. I’ve had a few lucid dreams over the years, but often it does get to that point where I realise it’s a lucid dream so I wake up out of excitement. Will try to follow step #4 next time though.

    1. Is it weird that my lucid dreams make me horny? The last dream I had, I became a walrus and was living with a clan of walruses and I began to feel horny so I woke up and proceeded to bang my wife this has happened consecutively for the past week. Has anyone else faced my certain “difficulties” with their dreams in the past? If so how did you overcome this, my wife is beginning to lose sleep because of my necessary pleasures and is contemplating making me sleep on the couch. I get so horny sometimes it has began to become a problem, so please respond ASAP to this posting. I have also begun contemplating wether I should begin ‘rubbing one out’ when these urges come on. I haven’t done this since I was 17 and a junior in high school… I am now 32 and married with a 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son. I cannot afford another child at this point

      1. Wear a condom to sleep? Meditate on the fact that being the Walrus King shouldn’t be making you horny?

      2. Stop waking your wife up just to bang on. Ever thought she might not actually want to be woken up in the middle of the night just to pleasure you? Rub one out instead. Jeez. Maybe rub one out before you go to sleep, to relieve some tension.

      3. While you are in REM sleep (which is necessary for dreaming) your body has physical responses, like the rapid moving of the eyes, higher blood pressure, and erections for both men and women. Typically you dream later in the night/early morning, hence why morning wood is so common. So chances are that because you are lucid dreaming and more likely to wake up after a dream and feel completely conscious, you are also aware of the fact that you are horny.

        It has little to do with your actual dream and more to do with the physiological response to dreaming.

      4. What the…

        I’m from Sweden and here no one would lift an eyebrow if a married man “rubbed one out”. Do yourself a favor and ignore those culturally induced sexual tresholds. They make no one happier.

      5. Just stay in the dream and bone the whole clan of walruses if that’s what does it for you.

      6. Well, I actually had a similar issue years ago. After a few years of recreational ecstasy use I had a similar problem, but for me I didn’t actually wake up. I managed to have sex with my partner without waking up myself. It continued for a couple of years after I stopped taking e’s but would generally only happen after drinking too much. The lucid dreams that I had stopped after 3 or 4 years.

  2. Hi Tim,

    Awesome post. I’m fascinated in lucid dreaming. I’ve been doing it since I was a child and long before I even knew the term “lucid dreaming”.

    I found that I had my most lucid dreams in my teenage years and I’ve struggled to get back to that point. Do you know of any reason for this? Or do I just need to redevelop and fine tune my technique?

    Other than sex and flying (Yep, I still revisit these favorites), I often find myself creating scenarios where I can practice my Mandarin Chinese. Do you have any tips for using lucid dreaming in this way?

    Thanks for this post! Hope you have an awesome day and an even better sleep.


    1. i have lucid dreamed once before(more or less) it was a place where everything was in chaos and i was being chased by 2 big dudes that were cut up and sorta gangstery and i remember hitting myself saying wake up wake up when i was cornered but have never mastered it

      1. If this were to happen again you need to learn you are able to own the dream your the boss you tell what your dream to do so if the guys were to try and beat you p you think of something you like then go there to stay away from the guys

      2. Or just go back to the dream with the two big guys, and believe that you are a martial arts master or something… Worked for me, one time… I turned into Goku… XD

      3. Just think you’re aang from the Avatar, and blast them away with your hands, really works, and pretty cool ^^

  3. Excellent post as always Tim. However, I wanted to share this quote of yours I found at that states:

    “Ben is the best designer I’ve ever working with — period. He has never been late and is often early. That is near unheard of when dealing with the rare animal that is an engineer who understands both programming and design. Ben puts both together, on time every time. Highest recommendations. — Tim Ferriss, NYT #1 best-selling author of The Four Hour Work Week

    Notice the first sentence.

    Thought you should know. Damn those typos.



    1. I had the ability as a child as well and now, as an adult, can not do it anymore. Perhaps something in the brain changes with maturity making it more difficult to achieve this wonderful state of mind.

      1. No I don’t think it’s age/maturity related, I’s more like available time/responsabilities. I was pretty good at lucid dreaming in my 30’s, but now in my 40’s it happens but not nearly as often. I feel it is due life distractions and being on “autopilot” mode.

  4. This sounds similar to a technique used by Napoleon Hill in “consulting” with his made up mastermind group as he went off to sleep.

    Interesting stuff. I’m definitely gonna try Steps 1 or 3 as soon as I get the chance (in a few minutes!)

  5. I like this a lot. Questions I would love to be answered in lucid dreaming 200:

    Why does spinning or looking at our hands have anything to do with extending lucidity?

    What are the best ways to learn something new (or hone our skills) while lucid dreaming?

    And I don’t think i’ve ever laughed so hard at a section title as I did at “step 5”

    1. when you look at you hands, you almost calm down and your mind focuses on something. when your excited your mind thinks of too many things at once. spinning in circles makes you feel calm. when i tried the method in my lucid dream, it felt like i was swimming, i then easily could do melodramatic things such as flying and swimming.

    2. In waking life we easily notice patterns. In dreaming patterns makes less sense and happen less. So if you think you might be dream you verify by trying something where the pattern will seem off if you are indeed dreaming…it slowly (and sometimes quickly) wakes you up a bit more to be aware within the dream. I wrote a how-to “Sparky’s Guide to Dream Control” on Amazon if you want to check it out.

      It’s the closest thing to being a god that you’ll have in this lifetime. 🙂

  6. Great post, Tim. I would love to see an expansive post on lucid dreaming; more techniques, examples of industrious application, etc.

    And thanks again for blogging.

  7. Hi Tim,

    Interesting post!

    I have had lucid dreams several times myself.

    It was incredible I could change what I was dreaming about, but still

    living the dream or waking up if wanted to.

    by the way…

    Your book changed my life.

    Klaus Tol

  8. The air in Nica must be inspiring you to write some of your best posts, either that or it’s just pure coincidence. I am totally ignorant to this concept but am rereading this. Does music have any affect on Lucid Dreaming?

    Eat some Gallo Pinto!!!!

    Jose Castro

    1. It’s actually not a good idea to listen to music, because it keeps you brain focused on something that is not in the dreamworld, and it is very hard to become lucid naturally.

    2. not music but binary music look up the effects of binary music on lucid dreams and in theory the sound is meant to change the way your brain is working and induce lucidity

  9. I love lucid dreams! I found that making a habit of checking and double checking a digital watch during waking hours carried over to dreams and helped me realize I was dreaming. Monitoring light levels also helps since my dreams are only able to get so bright.

    The only downside I’ve found are the false awakenings. I don’t have them with every lucid dream (maybe only 10% of the time), but they are maddening.

    1. Ever seen ‘Waking Life’? I just ask becuase the three things you mentioned, checking if you’re dreaming by checking light levels, checking a digital clock, and also false awakenings, are all main themes in that movie.

      Its a great movie btw, I’d recomend it.

  10. I discovered the ability of lucid dreaming after dreaming of “events that couldn’t happen.” An example would be meeting or talking to someone I knew was dead like a relative for instance. When I was in the Army and worked to the point of exhaustion I’d lucid dream all the time. Even now, if I’m super exhausted I’ll be able to control any dreaming I may have.

    Good stuff Tim!

  11. One of the best way to be able to recall dreams is not awake naturally, not to the sound of an alarm clock. Keep your eyes closed and lie very still for a few minutes recalling the dream. Then very slowly roll onto your side and write down as much about the dream as possible.

  12. Tim, thanks for posting this. Lucid Dreaming has been something that I’ve been working on for the last year.

    Is Huperzine the same as Galantamine? It’s also used in Alzheimer’s treatment too, so perhaps it’s the same thing. If so, the important thing is that you can’t use it all the time. I find that I can only use it once per week max, otherwise my body gets used to it, and it loses its effect.

    Also, I wake up and take the Galantamine about 3-4 hours after going to sleep. It takes an hour to kick in, at which time it’s at its strongest, so by the time I’m drifting back to sleep it coincides with my REM cycles and has a better effect. Taking it at the start of the night is a waste of time, since most REM and the best dreams are towards the end of the night.

    One other thing – Vitamin B6 (about 25 to 50mg) helps. It’s toxic in doses over 100mg, so it’s best not to over-do B6, and not to take it every ngiht. You can get B complex vitamins in a V8 vegetable juice drink which makes a healthy night-cap which also helps send you off to lucid land.

    The other thing about Lucid and non-Lucid dreams is that they often have the same “geography”. I often find myself driving down the same streets in some hypothetical version of a town. Drawing maps of those streets in my dream journal helps reinforce the dream imagery in my mind, which makes it easier to recognize the tell-tale imagery to help me go lucid.

    For the last couple of months I’ve been meaning to email you and ask for your thoughts on Lucid Dreaming. So I’m really glad that you wrote this article.

    Oh – one last thing. “Waking Life” is a great movie about Lucid Dreaming. A little verbose, but it has some helpful concepts and imagery. Have you seen it?

  13. Ha Ha Ha i love how you mention sex binges because that is the very first thing that anyone thinks of when they learn about lucid dreaming. The second thing is “how realistic will the sex binges be”

    Seriously though lucid dreaming has always been an interest of mine and even though i have studied the techniques extensively i have sadly never taken it off my “some day maybe list”

  14. Took a class on philosophy& neuropsychology (well actually neither really, it was one of those in-between, exploratory classes). Regardless, lucid dreaming was discussed and a method of inducing it is as follows: Write a big L and R on your left and right hands (or just any marks), and consistently throughout the day look at the marks on your hands so you develop the habit. This will apparently carry through into your dream, and when you see/realize the L and the R on your hand, you’ll realize you are in a lucid dream, and take control of your dream.

  15. I’ve definitely noticed more of a tendency to lucid dream when I take melatonin. (I suffer from Delayed sleep phase syndrome and the melatonin helps me sleep when nothing else does.)

    I also recommend the movie Waking Life. Fascinating concepts and beautiful to watch.

  16. Great post Tim, I never thought I would see you writing about Lucid Dreaming here on your blog. It was a pleasant surprise as I’ve been thinking of getting into it again.

    I was into Lucid Dreaming in the past and used to do it a lot, but over time I’ve just forgotten to write down my dreams and have a hard time recognizing the dream cues while dreaming. I still remember most of my dreams though, just woke up from one actually, I was playing golf with gnomes in the woods and there was some real funky music playing in the background. Yes, most my dreams are this weird and I can’t understand how I don’t recognize them as dreams sometimes (my life ain’t THAT crazy for me to not recognize them as dreams!).

    A tip from me is instead of writing your dreams down is recording it with your mobile phone or a dicta-phone (not that I think most people have one), it will make it that much easier to get them down when you’re sleepy and just want to go back to sleep because you can even do it while keeping your eyes closed (set the record on your phone to a quick button).

    Keep up the good work and happy dreaming!

    //Erik Åström

  17. tried any of the binaural frequencies?

    [affliliate site removed]. after listening to that a bit before went to sleep had the strongest lucid dreaming ever had.

    worth a mention is glasses that sense when you go to rem sleep and fire off a few leds.

  18. I was just looking into lucid dreaming after reading your sleep post the other day. I’ve been struggling to get into a good sleep schedule in the past few weeks, since I’m studying abroad and have had the jet lag, and a new place and temperature to get used to.

    I’ve flown quite a bit in my dreams. When I was a kid, it wasn’t lucid dreaming; I was simply convinced that I could fly. Fortunately, I never jumped off high points; I would always push off from the ground, and I figured it just didn’t work sometimes. Moving into my teen years, I experienced lucid dreaming intermittently, but now I’m trying to harness it for more useful projects.

    A tip for dream recall: Before opening your eyes, try to remember 3 specific instances from your dreams. Use a mnemonic to keep them all straight. Then, even if you wait up to a half hour to write them down, you’ll remember a fair amount of the previous night’s dreams.

    Personally, I’m not interested in using drugs to induce lucidity, so I guess I’ll go the natural route and see how it goes.

  19. Wow, what a coincidence. Since two days or so i’ve restarted my attempts at LD, and i was actually hoping to get more useful information.

    I’ve become lucid a few times in the past, my first time was actually a WILD (wake-induced lucid dream) where i “dream-sexed” one of the hottest girls i had ever met (she had a bf, so in real life she was unavailable).

    For some reason flying is really hard for me. All i can do is really high jumps. Once i was flying (take-off from a building) but i then spotted a pool and dived in. It takes a bit of motivation and effort to do it though, and the last months i was too lazy and busy with other things.

    One reality check i always do is look at my hand. In dreams it usually has 7-8 fingers (this is the case for everybody btw, for some reason hands look really distorted in dreams). This is a good introductory post, though like you said, it covers the basics. People who already did some research on it, will not find anything new.

  20. Talking to yourself in your ludic dream also works good to extend the lucidity duration. Making a piroutte never really worked for me, it makes the scene too chaotic.

  21. The late great physicist Richard Feynman has a chapter/several pages in his book – “Surely You’e Joking Mr Feynman” where he experiments with lucid dreaming and how he influences the details of what he sees and does in them.

  22. Hey Tim,

    Great post. Something “similar” happens to me regularly – and its actually helped me tremendously. I seem to be able to get the answers to the extremely difficult problems that I am facing while I am in the ‘twilight’ zone. Neither fast asleep, nor fully awake. Funny thing is – that these solutions never present themselves when I am fully awake, and they are always bang on target. Very very apt for the situation.

    Is there a way in which I can control this? I love the fact that this happens – but I want to be able to get to that level where I can decide when to have the answers – and when not.



  23. Can you provide a few more references (e.g. that working memory holds 7+/- 2 bits)? That would be awesome. Of course, references cost to make and readers can easily google their own – so maybe that’s why you left them out.

    Still, your blog would kick that much more @$$ if it was properly ref’d…

  24. Hi Tim,

    Great post!

    I’ve read about lucid dreaming before, but no other article presented the possible mental performance applications the way you did.

    Knowing that lucid dreaming is more than a form of entertainment means a lot!

    Also I’ve never been sure whether it’s just new age nonsense or not. Now that I know it isn’t I will give it a try for sure!

    All the best,


  25. Tim,

    You forgot to mention about the movie, Vanilla Sky. Anyone interested in lucid dreaming should watch it. Personally, Vanilla Sky is my best ever movie.

    There are also a few other lucid dreaming movies like Waking Life and Good Night (starring Penelope Cruz).



  26. I find I’m able to easily get into lucid dreaming if I sleep in late, in the morning. Because I’m well-rested after a good night’s sleep, I don’t sleep heavily, and then I have very vivid recall of my dreams and then I’m often able to steer what happens in my dreams. And I’ve found that this gives me huge shifts, in that I can rehearse something I’m going to do (for example, an upcoming presentation) in my lucid dream, and then when I do it in real life, I feel totally comfortable, as though I’ve done it before, and I perform much better as a result.


    1. Hi Cath,

      Good point. I have found this as well, and had my most extended lucid dreams at first on Saturdays and Sundays as a result.



  27. There are a few other methods of lucid dreaming. One theory right now which is relatively new and often criticized is WILD. Partially because it’s difficult to do early on, and partially because the theories for inducing a dream while awake are not proven yet.

    The theory goes: lay on your back for as long as possible. Your body will tell you to roll over or move, and even make it painful not to do so. This is simply a test. Your brain wants to be sure that you are actually asleep, and if you were mentally unconscious, you would not roll over even though there is some discomfort. If you can resist the signals your brain is telling you to roll over or change positions, you can supposedly enter a dream-like state from being awake (Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming, or WILD). This is only one technique.

    Others vary, but the key is to remain calm and allow for complete relaxation. You will go through what can be a very scary stage of hypnagogic hallucinations just before entering a full dream-like state. This happens every time you fall asleep, but you are not usually conscious to remember it. Feeling pressure on your chest, difficulty breathing, sensing the presence of something evil in the room, hearing noises, or other strange sensations can be common.

    I’m still testing these methods. I’ve found that WILD is a very difficult technique, but I’ve come pretty close several times to entering the dream-like state if I can get past the hypnagogic hallucinations.

    1. Wow, That’s pretty WILD. Do you think only experienced lucid dreamers should attempt this. It sounds kind of scary!

      (I’m trying it in 15 minutes regardless)

    2. It’s funny that you mention WILD. I was actually practicing this about 19 years ago.

      Here’s a way to avoid the “crushing/evil” feeling that worked for me then.

      Lie flat on your back as you mentioned on a firm surface. I used a comforter on the carpeted floor to avoid pressure points. Palms facing down and arms at your sides but not touching your body. It is important that you do not move your body.

      Mentally flex your toes but do not physically flex your toes. It sounds weird but is easy to do. Hold the flex as you slowly count back in your head from 10 and relax your toes for ten. Allow your toes to “drift away.” Again, that may sound weird but it is fairly easy.

      Repeat the steps on body parts as you move up towards the top of your head. Keep it symmetrical. Right and left side at the same time. I found it helpful to use small increments of my body when I started. Each toe, etc.

      In that state I found Lucid dreams possible but never

      My first dream was about leaping through the air over a small town. Every leap higher and further. For me there was a scary feeling of excitement. Once I learned to embrace what I was feeling it was “pure bliss.”

      I tried doing the sex thing but for me it felt scripted and too familiar. I know what that’s like. Jumping over small towns was a first.

      It’s still my go to LD.

  28. Why doesn’t this surprise me that you too have explored this ? ; )

    Was into this a few years ago, so I’m familiar with most of the techniques you mentioned.

    I will definitely try it out some more in the future for practical use.

    Thanks for an awesome post!

  29. Great post!

    I’ve experimented with lucid dreaming myself, but I never really got anywhere. I guess my starting point is an unusual one: I never rememeber my dreams. For me, it is normal to have “dreamless” nights. I don’t really mind, either, but I’d like to experience lucid dreams.

    Going to sleep with the intention of dreaming and becoming lucid and then writing down anything I could remember in the morning helped me. For a while, I remembered dreams several times a week and once, I became kind of lucid (I realized I was dreaming but wasn’t in control).

    Reading this post makes me want to try again.

  30. Lol. Tim, if I didn’t admire you so much I would think you were a nutter. So far you have inspired me to quit my job and move abroad and so now I am loving life in Bangkok and now I fear you will have me having sex with Megan Foxx within the next 24 hours. Tim I salute your awesomeness.

  31. I’ve had some lucid dreams, but I haven’t mastered it yet. My main problem seems to be dream recall. Anyway, I didn’t know you were into that stuff, and you even use it to accelerate learning. I’m impressed, please write more on this subject.

  32. I’ve done plenty of lucid dreaming in the past, but have to confess to never doing anything valuable with it – just had the best dreams ever. I haven’t managed it recently though – maybe I should give it another try and see if I can actually be constructive!

  33. Good intro!

    I didn’t understand step 3: “how to induce” until I clicked on LaBerge’s explanation. It explains the actual words to say and what to do. Looks like this could lead to some sleepless nights until you get it down.

    Tim, I’m also curious about the line “I applied to Stanford University because I wanted to refine my clinical understanding of lucid dreaming.” Why was this included and not expounded upon? When did you apply to Stanford? Did you get in? As an academic or part of their sleep lab? Recently or long time ago?

    Controlling dreams sounds a bit double-edged. I’d need to see specific examples of its benefits before hitting the sack to try it.

    Sleep tight everyone.

    Be well,


  34. I’m disapointed. The 4HWW is a great guide on making your dreams really happen. The ending of this blog post and seveal of the previous comments have reduced this to a forum on how to enhance your masterbation expierience. This seems to be the oppisite of going after the 10. I can tell you that the greatest joy of my life has been marrying my 10 and having 3 wonderful kids. No need to “dream” about girls any more………..

  35. Tim-

    I’ve had lucid dreams on occasion (1-4 times a year) throughout my life. Its fantastic. I’ve never “practiced”, however, so this is a great primer on something i’ve always found oddly interesting. (and SO FUN when it happened!)



  36. One caveat I would add is that lucid dreaming can be very tiring. After some practice I had to give it up because I was remembering 3+ dreams a night. As my dreams were fairly active I never woke refreshed in the morning.

    Also, an easy way to keep your mind alert instead of using drugs is just to drink a bottle of water right before going to sleep.

  37. Whoa… sounds like a script for “Flatliners 2”. I’m gonna have to come back to this article for a re-read but I’m definitely interested in this field. Thanks for sharing.


  38. It took me a while to learn how to fly. Here’s a tip I found very helpful: instead of attempting propel yourself (ala superman) try to envision the surroundings moving away from you.

  39. Question…. would there be a difference between a lucid dream and a “highly realistic dream where I dreamed I was having a lucid dream”? I was already wondering this when I read your post.

  40. I have been fascinated by the concept of Lucid Dreaming and have always wanted to try it. Perhaps I will give it better thought and attempt.

  41. I experimented with lucid dreaming in college, though could never maintain lucidity for long enough to do anything productive (spinning and looking at my hands was not helpful for me). I resigned myself to jumping out of windows and flying around until I woke up. It was fun for a while but not worth the effort invested.

    The best reality check I ever found is simply to try to breath with your mouth closed and your nostrils pinched shut. If you can still breath, you’re dreaming (breathing underwater works as well, but has other practical problems if you would like to practice while awake). This one can be done easily and very quickly, though my (sleeping) brain did once try to trick me into holding my breath. Not sure if this is a well known technique, but I did not see any mention of it in the books I was reading at the time.

  42. I’ve had a few lucid dreams in the past. The best example I can think of is the following:

    After a bout of flying I realized that what I was experiencing was actually a dream. So I thought to myself if this is a dream then I would like a cheeseburger. I looked down and then there was a cheeseburger in my hand. I thought to myself. Cool, now I have a cheeseburger, as soon as I discovered this new power I woke up…..

  43. I’ve also have found that my dream recall and lucid dreaming are highly correlated to the amount of sleep I get and the amount of stress in my life. It’s probably more the amount of sleep as more stress usually results in me getting less sleep. But when I can sleep multiple days in a row without an alarm clock to wake me up so I can choose to wake up when I want to wake up, and I have no appointments that day or feelings of haste, I usually have extremely crystal dream recall and more success entering lucidity.

    I don’t intend to spam with a link, but the link in my name on this comment has a collection of stories I gather from dreams. Haven’t been posting lately. Been too stressed 🙁

  44. Hi Tim,

    I have a reverse problem with lucid dreaming. I can very easily lucid dream, and realise that I am in the dream world with the simple test of “pinching myself”. But there are times where I lose control of the dream situation and cannot force myself to wake up. Almost like I have a fear of being trapped inside my dream. It then turns into sleep paralysis when I start to panic – difficulty to breathe, inability to scream, etc.

    What sort of training would I need to do to gain control?

  45. Tim,

    I have always been able to control my dreams, I didn’t know that was called lucid dreaming. My dreams are always very realistic, but it seems I can always control exactly what happens. Many times I have the “ah ha” moment where in the dream I realize I am dreaming, then I do what ever I want, fly go SS like a DBZ character or what ever.

    The neatest thing I think I have done so far, was I was having a nightmare, and of course it seemed very real. When I had the “ah ha” moment and realized it was a dream instead of changing the dream, I told myself just to wake up and I did! Since then I can wake my self up during dreams… or hit snooze on the alarm and fall back into the same dream (if it was a good one)…. maybe I’m just weird.

    Thanks for the post,

  46. Hmmm…I’ve been doing my own ‘version’ of this for quite some time. Interestingly, I had been disturbed by a recurrence of dreams where I fall off a cliff or some other high place, and I’d startle myself awake. It just occurred to me a couple weeks ago that instead of waking out of fear, I needed to fly. In fact, I just had one of my best flying sessions yesterday, a little wobbly, but I’m still a fledgling!

    Funny how that parallels my real life. Thanks for helping me grow wings 🙂

  47. If you really want to take it to the next level…

    I’ve found that my lucid dreams tend to precede out-of-body experiences. Once you become aware of the fact that you are consciously alert while in a dream state, try “willing” your awareness out of yourself. You will then start to feel tingling vibrations throughout your body, and then a sudden release. But just as with lucid dreaming, you may be so excited that you will wake yourself up.

    I’ve found that lucid dreams come more easily if I fall asleep on my back. (Unfortunately, I tend to snore on my back, and my wife’s sharp pokes to my ribs usually wake me before I get a chance to enjoy them.) Depending on your body’s rhythms, you may also find a mind-afternoon nap a good time to try and fly…


  48. Tim, this is my first post, I’ve been reading the blog for a while now and I had no choice but to post a comment after this one. I always find when I have a lot of time on my hands it takes a lot of effort to fill the void. Your life is such an inspiration – and it became even more so when I re-read the foreword to HST’s Kingdom of Fear and realized who wrote it. What is it that drives you?

    Wow! I will be working LD into my life starting tonight. So much potential here…

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Matty! I’m just a normal person who happens to write of my adventures 🙂 LD is a great tool for not only filling the void, but creating a more meaningful and productive life. I hope you enjoy it.

      All the best,


  49. Hi, Tim, good timing. It seems that sometimes I visit “parallel universes”. The oddest one was when I found myself in the body of a woman (not on this planet even, because she was not quite “human”) who was experiencing a troubled marriage and had decided to leave the body. So I went into the body and sat across the table from her traumatized husband (she had children too) and I said to him, “I think we can work this out…” He gave me a very suspicious look and I thought it best to get out of there, and I woke up. He was humanoid but not of the Earth variety.

    That happened a second time too and I found myself in the body of a male. I checked out the face in the mirror and decided that I liked the cute smile :-), but I left that body too because I am female and I was a bit confused because I still liked men, ha! That seemed more like a parallel universe experience because I knew one of the persons from this lifetime/universe.

    Of course, I often have sleep recalls of past lives and I usually recognize them as such and that is common when someone is doing subconscious clearing work as I am at the moment. Exploring past lives is also a whole ‘nother trip 🙂 It’s a bit like watching a soap opera with costumes, no commercials, and you are the star actor 🙂 However, punching holes in the Subconscious membrane is not recommended for the kids at home — best to get some initial professional guidance. I only do it to facilitate my spiritual awakening work.

    Can one go into the past (access the akashic records) using lucid dreaming?

    I don’t know if that is called lucid dreaming or just being a “night walker” ?

  50. @Neil Waking Life is a great movie on philosophy and dreaming, directed by the prolific Richard Linklater. This movie was the first thing that introduced me to lucid dreams.

  51. Hey, nice post Tim!

    One little trick I discovered that worked more reliably (for me anyway) than the MILD version is a littletwist on LaBerge’s WILD drill.

    (WILD = Will Induced Lucid Dream – instead of using mnemonics to wake up in the dream, you use willpower to hold consciousness as you drift into the state.)

    The challenge there obviously is having enough control of trance states to stay aware as you drift off… which is something this little tweak fixes.

    Simply describe aloud (albeit softly) in sensory terms what you see, feel, hear, smell and taste in your mental environment and keep this rapid flow description running as you drift smoothly into the dream.

    The description reinforces the stability and increases the intensity of the envionment which makes it much easier to concentrate.

    What’s really interesting is if you experiment meeting fellow dreamers during your dreams…

    Have fun;)


  52. I’ve had lucid dreams my whole life (before I knew what they were called). In the past year, by accident, I began to recognize when I would wake up in a hypnogogic state–the state between being awake and asleep. And it’s easy, for me, to go from hypnogogic to lucid dreaming. Now I have lucid dreams at least once a week and often for a few days in a row.

    Some of the “symptoms” of being in a hypnogogic state are hearing noises or voices that aren’t really there and having the rather unpleasant feeling that someone is in your room. You think you are completely awake but your mind is still partially in sleep mode.

    Once I realized this state preceeded lucid dreaming, I learned to recognize it and use it. Instead of being terrified that someone was in the room with me, I realized I was hypnogogic.

    I relax and try to feel my body falling through the bed or sometimes rotating clockwise around the bed. As soon as I feel my body moving, I know I’m almost there. In a few seconds I can stand up and I’m in full lucid dreaming mode. I usually start in my bedroom and then just imagine what ever environment I want on the other side of the door.

    I did some reading and learned that touching your “dream” body can help you stay in a lucid dream. Rubbing your hands together in the dream or rubbing your hands against your chest or legs keeps you in dream mode.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that I have to be well rested to have a successful lucid dream. If I’ve missed too much sleep for a few days, I won’t wake up hypnogogic. Or, if I do, and I make it into the lucid dream, it’s very fuzzy. I can’t control it or hold on to it for more than a couple of minutes. If I’m well rested, I wake up hypnogogic often, and the lucid dreams I have are vivid and easier to control.

    One tip on controlling lucid dreams is to believe something is going to happen. I tried controlling them with mixed results by repeating the thought of what I wanted to happen (e.g. I’m on a beach, I’m on a beach, etc). That did not work very often. But, if I *believe* that when I open a door the beach will be on the other side, it works.

    What is really weird is that, for me, my mind takes longer to form something the more complex it is. I can watch whatever it is taking shape. If I “conjure” a specific person, they show up in front of me like hot wax or the liquid Terminator. I can watch their face slowly take shape. Maybe this will get faster with more time.

    So, those are the things I have learned about lucid dreaming. Hope it helps someone.

  53. Hi Tim,

    Great as usual.

    Every old culture that had LIFESTYLE had some kind of lucid dreaming / shamanic kind of practice.

    No surprise that you would bring it to life here, with great stories, support material, and your unique flair.


    Mr. Twenty Twenty

    That guy who really did LEGALLY change his name to the number of perfect vision, because LIVING your vision PERFECTLY matters. Whoo yah!

  54. Very exciting to read that you’re a lucid dreamer. Usually when I mention the topic, people react as if I’m nuts. Perhaps you’ll lend the skill some additional credibility.

    Conciousness being the topic this morning, I’d like to mention a short but stunning speech by Krishnamurti in a short video here:

    If the link doesn’t work, Google “Krishamurti zeitgeist addendum outtake”.

  55. I found that just daydreaming could have very positive effects. It seems logical that lucid dreaming (which I admit I had never heard of before) be even more effective.

    I’ll have to give it a try, but my dreams are the stealthy type. I almost never recall them. It is going to require some serious practice.

    Thanks for that new door to open!

    1. I try to do that every night. Usually i play Halo or play with Phineas and Ferb (really, who wouldn’t).

  56. Tim-

    Very interesting, useful stuff, as usual. Thanks.

    You probably already know about the perfect film about lucid dreaming – which is, of course, about a lot more than lucid dreaming – called Waking Life by Richard Linklater. He uses a surreal style – a technology that I believe is called Paintbox – which makes it feel more like an hallucination but like any real poetry or philosophy it goes straight to the heart of the dream and longing and what we can control and what we can’t.

    It’s one of my favorite movies but, well, I’m a psychoanalyst so whattayou expect?

  57. I’ve been lucid dreaming regularly for about 3-4 years. They are more than worth the effort.

    There are many other drugs and supplements to assist in lucid dreaming — galantamine, piracetam, yohimbine, 5-htp, melatonin, etc (note: the nootropic piracetam would be used to improve the cholinergenic system, which would theoretically allow vivid dreams to occur more frequently).

    I wouldn’t recommend any of those drugs, per se. Galantamine in particular warrants certain caution. Personally, the simple drugs like melatonin or nicotine work sufficiently enough for me to have a LD frequency of about 2-4 a week.

    Great article

  58. I want you to know that you amaze me every single time I get a blog post by you. I never knew anything about this, but I’m definitely going to start studying it some because I think it can be very powerful. Awesome man. Thanks again for the great ideas!

  59. Wow, what a nice surprise!

    So I understand how you use lucid dreaming for performance but you also mentioned using it to ‘Cultivate zen-like present-state awareness and decrease needless stress’, is there any particular practice you use to do this or is it just a natural by-product of the lucid dream experience itself?

    I know Tibetans and others use lucid dreaming to practice meditation, Dzogchen, Tantra, and so forth…and I am curious if you have a meditation practice or what your opinion is on that?

    Thanks for this post, you may have just re-inspired me to get into this again.

    Last night I dreamed I was hanging out with Jack Nicholson (under very strange – dream – circumstances) and we were very close friends. Also had a dream of taking a nice bath with hottie! Perhaps the time is ripe.


  60. Another good natural dream enhancer is Artemisia vulgaris (aka Mugwort). Make a strong tea out of it and drink about 15-30 minutes before sleep. It has been known to cause restless sleep as well though, so be prepared for that.

    If your picking this in your back yard (as I do), please be VERY careful that your getting the right thing.

    dream well.

  61. Hey Tim,

    Great post man! I really found the LD FAQ’s really interesting. I haven’t had the chance to experiment with controlling my lucid dreams much yet, but I’ve had several randomly. I will say that they tend to happen during daytime naps.

    Also, there is another blogger out there named Steve Pavlina. He and his wife (who has a separate blog) have numerous posts on Lucid Dreaming and Astral Projection. While their posts are very interesting and informing, they don’t quite offer guidance to tapping into this ability as you have here. I will say that a lot of Steve’s posts have been very informative and helpful in my life.

    I just started law school in August and the reason I’m so excited about this is that I really think that the exercise of writing down my dreams right after I wake up will increase my ability to memorize and apply rules to various fact situations (which is what law school exams consist of).

    Thank you so much for finding and sharing this information. I have a feeling it is going to be hugely beneficial in my life.

    John B Good

  62. 3 more hints to improve lucid dreaming, especially among the 40+ crowd

    1) Get enough sleep, set aside 8 hours, ok?

    2) Exercise!

    3) Buy a new mattress if it’s more than 8 years old – you’re tossing and turning too much and interrupting dream cycles. I love my memory foam. ‘nuf said.

    4) Take krill oil. I can’t recall my dreams at all without this stuff.

  63. i have been a practitioner of lucid dreaming since i was 12ish? but either the journal’s where destroyed or throw-ed away recently i have made it a point not to do that anymore.

    i usually have up to 10 lucid dreams a week most are short and fuzzy but over all i love it in general.

  64. Can you please share more about how you use lucid dreaming for foreign languages? Is it simply a matter of having conversations using the language during your dream?

    Also, do you think there is any problem with practicing multiple foreign languages during a given dream session or is it best to focus on one?

  65. Thanks for the post Tim. It sounds interesting and confused me at first but I think I get what you are talking about.

    I have 2 questions (one is more of a request)

    1. Do you start dreaming and then become conscious or are you awake thinking purposefully while slipping into a sleep state?

    2. This post needs a follow up. I am sure many are curious as to your mental focus during the yabusame week (still waiting on news of your show), and are wanting to know the how-to on using lucid dreaming to accelerate skill building.

    please one more post about this applied to skill building.

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for the comment. You start dreaming and then become conscious. I’ll see what I can do on follow-up…



  66. @David,

    You can get into a lucid dream when you are awake or when you are already in a dream. A Dream-Initiated Lucid Dream is a DILD and a Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream is a WILD. Apparently WILDs are much more difficult to induce, but that is how I have lucid dreams naturally. I wake up at some point during the night and feel that I’m in that state between being awake and asleep (hypnogogia–which is also the state where sleep paralysis or “night terrors” occur). Once I know I’m in a hypnogogic state, I can consciously take myself into the dream state without ever losing conscious awareness.

    Wikipedia has a good entry on lucid dreaming that covers some of this.

  67. I read this immediately before going to bed last night. After reading LeBerge’s FAQ (that you linked to), I decided to give it a go. I already have really good dream recall, so I just jumped right in to focusing my intent.

    I took 2 melatonin and kept repeating to myself that I would start spinning once I was in a dream. TWO LUCID DREAMS LAST NIGHT…BOOYAH!!!

    Strangely enough, I was not as interested in flying as everyone else. I played around with telekinesis in my first dream (dunno why) and thought I would try dying in my second one. The dying one was awesome: nuclear explosion…vaporized!

    Anyways, thought you might like to know that someone already had success. Thanks!

  68. I, for one, am ecstatic with the anticipation of flying around and blowing stuff up in a giant robot after (ahem) *meeting* Felicia Day. God, I’m such a nerd…

  69. I’ve had lucid dreams in the past but they were never consciously induced. I had no idea there was such a following of people who not only attempt to lucid dream but, as judging from the comments here, actually are semi-successful at it.

    I’ve experimented with dream journals in the past but never last longer than a few entries. But if lucid dreaming is the end-result, I’ll give it another whirl!


  70. good post.

    I went to John Smith’s wrestling camp about 12 years ago..2 weeks of hell.

    In private, he asked one of the young wrestlers, “hey, what do you think about that woman over there?”. The wrestler replied, “Man, she’s hot.”. John replied, “Good…because I’ll going to marry her soon”

  71. @Paul

    Regarding dream journals, I think a lot of people give up the habit because they feel pressured to write down every detail.

    If you like writing long, elaborate paragraphs, go for it. Doesn’t work for me though.

    Instead, I just write down keywords. My entry for last night reads: tornado, storm, roof, dark, Sarah, phone, Berlin.

    I don’t keep a journal to do weird Freudian analysis, or to record weird stories that I can read several years from now. I keep a journal for one reason, and one reason only: to trick my brain into thinking dream recall is important.

    A few keywords accomplishes that goal just fine.

  72. wow tim…i never would have assumed that you would be into lucid dreaming as well.

    that being said, this is a really bad ass and to the point introduction to lucid dreaming. ive found myself stepping away from the practice, but this article has since inspired me w. new intentions and horizons to explore in the lucid world.

    speaking of which, have you seen waking life? if not, you MUST see it?

    i found myself, like most beginners, having sex w. every single woman that i saw in the dream world…this became a bit of a trap…

    the last time it happend i was in the middle of a good bang…next thing i knew a talking silver orb pulled me out of the dream and back into my bedroom to explain that i was wasting the ability.

    the orb then went on to explain the nature of RNA and DNA, along with a lot of other information i cant consciously recall right now.

  73. Cool article. I’ve been practicing lucid dreaming for a little while now, but the part about drugs is new to me. I’m surprised you even tried nicotine; congrats on quitting.

    One other topic that would have been good to hit on: drugs or practices to avoid. I’ve read from multiple sources that alcohol and marijuana severely inhibit lucid dreaming. Some of those same sources also said that suddenly ceasing to use them after habitual use causes a rebound effect in which you experience especially vivid dreams for a few days. I haven’t tested any of this myself, but I’m having a keg party this weekend, so I’ll report back next week with regards to the alcohol rebound claims.


    1. Hi John,

      Unless I’m mistaken, both alcohol and marijuana can inhibit vasopressin, which is important for short-term memory (i.e. dream recall and prospective memory), and this inhibition also partially explains excessive peeing while drinking, as vasopressin in an anti-diuretic hormone.

      Just a guess…


  74. When Lucid Dreaming, don’t look into mirrors. If you do, be prepared for a shock. Usually your reflection is pretty grotesque, and if you’re not prepared for it, it can be pretty scarey, and cause you to wake up.

  75. Tim,

    Thank you for another great post. I have been waiting for you to do a post on lucid dreaming since I first saw you mention it. I was particularly curious as to how you developed the skill.

    I developed Narcolepsy when I was an adolescent, one of the symptoms being excessive REM cycles, sometimes lasting for hours. This lead to me having incredibly and sometimes terrifyingly vivid dreams. Before I knew what Lucid Dreaming was, I developed the skill to cope with the often unpleasant dreams I would have. Over the course of about a year, I developed Incredible control over my dreams, to the point where I could fall asleep and begin Lucid Dreaming immediately (being Narcoleptic and all). During a few years in my early teens when my narcolepsy was still undiagnosed and untreated, I kept a continuing story line throughout my dreams, something of a Greek epic. I have now been having Lucid Dreams almost every night for over ten years. I figured I would try and give some pointers and answer some peoples questions from my own experience.


    1: Have a Home Base – Try to begin every dream from the same local. You do not have to physically be there, but it helps if you start within your dream from a familiar place. I found my bed at home to be the most natural. It really helps with the progression into a Lucid Dream.

    2: Stay as neutral as you can – Try to keep your heart rate normal and breathing consistent one you enter a Lucid state. I find the faster my heart beats and the harder I breath the fuzzier the dream get until I eventually wake up. This is hard in the beginning when you are indulging in Tim’s step 5, but believe me, you can do both.

    3: Play the TV or Music softly in the background – This is applies more once you get the hang of Lucid dreaming. Playing a TV show or movie in the background will help give your mind a setting to project, especially if it is a show you are familiar with. It also has the added advantage of helping in the learning of fun dream skills. I use to watch adult swim on Cartoon Network and one of the first things I learned to do in my dreams was the Kamehameha from Dragon Ball Z.

    4: To use Lucid Dreaming to aid in skill learning, try to have that skill be the last thing you actively think about before going to bed – It doesn’t have to be the last thing you do, but it should be the last thing you really concentrate on. I have used Lucid dreaming to help learn guitar, practice Kata, and improve my marksmanship.

    Those are the best tips I can think of for now. I will chime in later if I can think of anything else.

  76. Flying and banging every girl in sight isn’t the only superpower available while lucid dreaming. While I’m dreaming, I’m still involved in the “storyline” of the original unintentional dream, except that since I know I’m dreaming, I know I have whatever powers I can muster from my imagination.

    Sometimes I’ll be in fights in dreams, and I’ll channel lighting bolts or fireballs through my fists at my enemies. That’s always fun. I usually also have telekinetic powers.

    Flying is a given. By the way, for those who aren’t regular lucid dreamers who sometimes dream of falling, make yourself stay awake for when you hit the ground. (most people wake up before hitting ground). You’ll be surprised…one of two things always happens to me…1) I bounce back up very high and start flying, 2) I land on the ground and the dream switches gears.

    I had some interest experiences trying to achieve an “out of body experience” back in my more experimental college days, but ultimately I decided it was probably just a more vivid LD. For those interested, I think the author’s name is Robert Monroe who did a lot of research on OBEs.

  77. Mr. Ferris,

    I am only on page 22 of your book and already run around with this bracelet (that I had to change from right to left within seconds, my friend thinks it’s fashion and looks really cool) and watch myself preparing a dream diary and reading up on lucid dreaming! Fun!!!!!!!!

    I expect myself to take off any time .

    You have to try a good German Riesling, they are amazing this year.

  78. Ben, good mention of Robert Monroe. My mother has done a lot of stuff at the Monroe Institute and keeps trying to get my brother and I to attend but we’re constantly doing something else and haven’t bothered making the time. The binaural music/frequencies that Steve mentioned above are used heavily there to induce lucid dreaming and OBEs (secondhand info from Mom) so I’m thinking there’s definitely something to that.

    From my [limited] understanding, lucid dreaming is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we can accomplish with our minds. I’ve seen some firsthand results of TMI’s MC² course and it’s very cool stuff with energy manipulation and psychokinesis.

  79. Fantastic article. Your stuff is all over the place, but it is incredibly interesting and well written/planned out and the timeliness is fantastic. I was just talking to my friend about a lucid dream I had with him. We were heading to school and he was concerned with something and I looked over and said “don’t worry about… you’re not real, we’re in a dream.”

    I have had lucid dreams 3 times in my life. Each time I was able to keep it going by literally forcing myself asleep (during times I started to slip). At these times (when I was beginning to wake up) it felt like I was just on the line between asleep and awake and if I concentrated I was able to stay in the dream. Should I have another lucid dream, and start to slip I will try your suggestions.

    I have also been able to continue a lucid dream after waking up (to urinate) by keeping the memory alive and completely visualized in my head (not turning on any lights and generally doing nothing except what is necessary).

    I hope your suggestions don’t work too well and we all end up just sleeping all day, in order to fornicate and fly in our dreams.

  80. A few musical dream experiences:

    Recently I was working on a song arrangement and dreamed up a new harmonization that would go under the melody. On waking I tried it out and it sounded great (it’s still in the arrangement). The significance of this didn’t strike me until later in the day, at which point I emailed some friends: “I CAN WORK IN MY SLEEP!”. 4-Hour Workweek eat your heart out, I’m aiming for 0.

    It shouldn’t have surprised me, though, since I once dreamed I was in a World War II film as a kid and wrote down the soundtrack on waking up. It was better than most of the stuff I wrote when I was awake, and I don’t think it was plagiarized as I’ve never heard anything similar since. (Paul McCartney supposedly wrote “Yesterday” the same way.)

    I find if I’m falling asleep while listening to music the music starts making sense to me in the same way that English does, only much more so. For instance, at college I was dozing off during a string quartet recital and thought that there were four people holding a debate on stage. I look forward to experimenting with lucid dreaming and music!

  81. Don’t wanna get all loony on you guys – but the intelligence associated with the crown chakra, or what the Maya call eagle energy is paramount in dreams and dream manipulation. You can open it up by doing some guided imagery meditation as well.

    Tim, I’m sure you know – but this aussie who has taught me a lot about financial education – Jamie McIntyre – has a whole heap of 4HWW in it about building internet businesses. In his original book – “What I wish I learned at school” he talks about a Dream Day – where you write out a perfect set of circumstances about a particular day in the future. I’m very disciplined about writing this out at least once a day – then I drop it for a month or so to see what it does. Do you (or anyone else) reckon this would get in the way of my lucid dreams? Since I’m writing a hypothetical circumstance as a conscious effort? I can’t remember the last time I had a lucid dream.

    Be careful investigating dreaming too deeply y’all. It can really turn the volume down on the physical world if you let it.

    Peace. T

  82. Hi Tim,

    Do you have any thoughts about (or experience with) the plant Calea zacatechichi?

    It is said to be smoked and/or taken as a tea by the Chontal Indians in Oaxaca, Mexico for divination and dream induction. I’ve read that expected results are mild euphoria, mental clarity, increased imagery (with eyes closed), and vivid dreams. Since it is not a controlled substance I’m tempted to buy some seeds and give it a go in my garden.

    Thanks for another informative post.

    – Eric D

  83. Tim,

    Thanks for the post. I’m a keen reader . I generally get your stuff and with this article, perhaps more than others, you’ve aroused my curiosity.

    However, with this article I feel you’ve assumed a bit too much knowledge about lucid dreaming. Could you provide a bit more detail please?

    A bit more of an introduction and a few more explanations of what it is would be good. A couple of good links in the intro would probably suffice.

    I guess because I don’t know anything about lucid dreaming I was left wondering why do steps 1 and 2? Again a couple of links to more explanations would be good if you have the time.


  84. “Unless I’m mistaken, both alcohol and marijuana can inhibit vasopressin, which is important for short-term memory (i.e. dream recall and prospective memory)”

    In regard to this, I thought I’d also mention that researchers have demonstrated that THC ingestion decreases SWS and REM sleep, and has sometimes been found to eliminate REM sleep altogether in rats, rabbits, and cats.

    Since REM sleep is the time the brain consolidates important short-term memories into long-term memory, the combination of inhibited vasopressin and inhibited REM sleep could prove disastrous to the brain of a chronic chronic smoker!

    – Eric D (sorry for the double-post)

  85. Great Post!

    I’ve heard about it, first time with Carlos Castaneda and I tried for a while. It’s very hard and I can remember only on lucid dream when I was able to open the doors of every locked car I found (I was doing that to see if I am dreaming) But you need to have great ambition, otherwise you’ll give up or forget to try after a while…

    I’ll be trying again I think 😉

    Best regards