10 Mistakes Made By Novice Lucid Dreamers
So, you are continuing learning how to lucid dream but may be making some mistakes. These are the top 10 mistakes made not only by novice lucid dreamers, but also by those that are more experienced as well.
So without further ado...
Mistake #1: No Will and Determination
Learning to lucid dream will take some commitment. Just like any skill, it takes practice and patience to achieve. Failing to commit is the number one mistake commonly made by beginners.
It can be frustrating to put so much time and effort into lucid dreaming without experiencing the results. But if you've only been trying to lucid dream for a day, a week, or a month and are thinking of calling it quits, you need more will, more discipline, and you need to commit!
What you are doing is priming your subconscious to lucid dream. Eventually you will lucid dream, it's inevitable. The first few weeks can be the least rewarding because you are learning a completely new skill. It's important to remember that this is a lifelong and extremely rewarding skill. Your time is not wasted.
It may take you three days or three weeks to lucid dream, but knowing you will have one eventually makes it absolutely worth it. Self-discipline is key. Have patience grasshopper.
Committing means that every day you are recording your dreams, performing reality checks, meditating, doing mnemonic induction techniques like using dream totems, and performing the MILD or WILD before bed and after awakenings.
Once you begin lucid dreaming it tends to become easier with time. Your mind is well primed and you will have lucid dreams more frequently with greater degrees of control and lucidity. Remember to stay on the path and do not lose your way. Many become lazy and forget altogether the potential within dreams. Don't let that be you, young padawan. Don't let your dreams die.
Mistake #2 Dream Recall
To put it simply, if your dream recall sucks, you won't be able to lucid dream. If you can't even remember your normal dreams, how are you going to remember your lucid dreams!?
Dream recall is your foundation, the very first thing to improve when learning to lucid dream. This is THE KEY. We cannot stress how important dream recall is.
Novice lucid dreamers tend to try and do more advance techniques like WILD without first having a decent amount of dream recall to begin with. Dream recall initiates the beginning steps to subconscious induction. When you try to remember your dreams it basically does two things:
1. Teaches your subconscious mind that dreams/lucid dreams are important and must be remembered.
2. Begins to draw your awareness into the dream state. It allows you to begin experiencing dreams as being more vivid, and most importantly, knowing how it feels to be dreaming. This is very important in doing DILDs
Keeping a dream journal is crucial in placing dream significance in your life. Writing at least one dream down per day will help you discover dream signs and recurring themes that can help induce lucidity.
Check out our article How to Remember Your Dreams for more.
Mistake #3 Sleep Deprivation
Who knew, right? Haha
It's pretty simple...get enough sleep. Quality sleep = Quality dreams
Go to bed early. Don't pull an all-nighter and expect to have a lucid dream when you fall asleep the next day. Chances are you wont remember anything and you lose your chance of lucidity. Allow yourself enough sleep to wake up naturally in the morning.
By naturally I mean without an alarm clock, lights, a person, cat etc. Given, if you don't have an infant or small child to take care of, you should be able to accomplish this pretty easily. If you need 9 hours of sleep and need to be up at 6am every morning, go to bed at 8:30pm. Give yourself 30 extra minutes to sleep and wake.
If you tell yourself you need to wake up at 6am you will usually wake around 15 minutes earlier, thanks to your subconscious intention. No alarm clock needed. IF you go to bed early enough to get your recommended hours of sleep.
Getting enough sleep also helps you remember you dreams. Take this extra time to write your dreams down.
When an alarm or something similar wakes you up in the morning, you miss out on all the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep at the end of your sleep cycle. REM is the stage of sleep when lucid dreams occur. Since morning is when your mind begins to wake in the sleep cycle, and REM sleep also closely mirrors a waking brain in activity, this is the golden hour to lucid dream!
TIP: Take advantage of mornings in which you don't have a set time to wake up. Lie in bed and see if you can drift back into a lucid dream.
Mistake #4 Doing Substances Before Bed
A no-no for reasons too obvious to explain. Don't pound down the Kalaxian Crystals before bed...Do your best to avoid substances that are Rapid Eye Movement (REM) suppressants and impair memory function. Do your research.
Mistake #5 Forgetting to Increase Lucidity
In dreams, even while lucid, your memory along with your mental cognition is impaired. To make up for this, when you're in a lucid dream you will need to frequently remind yourself that you're dreaming.
Reminding yourself increases your level of lucidity and prolongs the lucid dream. When you've first realized that you are dreaming, your conscious awareness is still fragile and could fade easily. You need to increase your lucidity by doing a reality check, reassuring and solidifying the fact that you are dreaming. Plug your nose and try breathing through it or start looking at your lucid dreaming ring.
Because memory is impaired, it's important to have a lucid dream intention to recall. Lacking lucidity, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the dream and forget the things you actually want to do.
Throughout the dream, about every minute or so, you should remind yourself that you're dreaming by doing a reality check. Increasing your lucidity helps you stay lucid for longer periods of time, which in turn, extends the length of your lucid dream. You are also able to control the dream to a greater degree while maintaining high lucidity.
Mistake #6 Failing to Stabilize the Dream
After increasing lucidity, the next thing you'll need to do is stabilize your dream. Many novice lucid dreamers skip this important step. Stabilizing the dream draws your awareness into the dream by activating kinesthetic associated neurons.
Rubbing your hands together and feeling the heat and friction greatly increases the vividness, and in turn, the lucidity of the dream. Do this while saying to yourself, "I am lucid, this is a dream".
Stabilizing the dream prevents you from premature awakenings and being trapped in a semi-lucid state. These are some of the very first things to do when lucid dreaming.
Mistake #7 Trying To Do Too Much At Once
We know you may have had expectations to be like Morpheus the Greek God of Dreams, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. You wanted to enter your first lucid dreams with the power to create an omniverse, be everywhere at once, and transcend space and time.
You became lucid, lifted up your hand, spoke the chosen words and then.....nothing.
Epic Fail, Denied, Negative...
You set yourself up. While a select few may achieve this experience, most initiates don’t.
There are different levels of lucidity which determine things like dream control. Intention, expectation, and mental deconditioning are also important factors in dream control. Utilizing these factors will take you from having no control to lucid mastery.
We go over a more in depth discussion on how to control your dreams at the link before these seven words.
Mistake #8 Dreaming about Lucid Dreaming
Okay, so this isn't a mistake, but thinking that this is a mistake is the mistake. Confused?
Some novice lucid dreamers feel as if they only have dreams about lucid dreaming. For example, someone in your dream comes up to you and tells you that this is a dream, but you fail to realize that it was actually is dream.
This is actually a very good sign. It says that you've been anchoring the notion of lucid dreaming so strongly into your subconscious that you're having dreams about lucid dreaming.
But why aren't you lucid dreaming?
In waking life, if some random person came up to you and told you that you were dreaming would you really check?
Most people’s minds are conditioned to not even consider the possibility. You HAVE to ACTUALLY consider that this indeed may be a dream. And then check. If you don't do it while you're awake, you won't do it while you're asleep.
TIP: Anytime you see or hear something about dreaming or lucid dreaming, do a reality check.
Mistake #9 Failing to Practice All Day Awareness (ADA)
When you are more aware while awake, you will most likely be more aware while asleep.
All Day Awareness or ADA is a technique that basically improves metacognition, or the ability to be conscious of one's thoughts or awareness by practicing to.... well, just be aware all day er' day. For the same reason explained in #8, when you observe your thoughts and your environment throughout the day and question it, you will perform the same tasks in dreams.
Incorporate meditation into your schedule and you will be on your way to mastery.
Mistake #10 Overestimating the Power of Supplements and Dream Technology
Many out there will advocate the use of dream herbs, supplements, and brain technology for lucid dreaming. While there is an inherent recognition of its value, when used responsibly, it seems these tools have the potential to inhibit one from actually building up the awareness and physiological responses necessary to completely master lucid dreaming.
We have an article on this, but in short, using these tools as crutches, in the long term, will not allow you the mastery that comes with consciously ingraining the awareness, the recall, and the recognition of lucid dreams into the conscious and subconscious mind. With long term use, they could prevent the neural memory that forms from having a lucid dream in response to using one's own awareness. So try to limit your luxuries and do things naturally. If you are interested in which lucid dreaming supplements can help increase lucidity and how, check out Top Lucid Dreaming Supplements.
Thus concludes the mistakes commonly made by lucid dreamers. Stay aware and keep Livin' Lucid Dreams...