Lucid Dreaming

I listened recently to one of the most inspirational podcasts around recently – Tim Ferriss’s second interview with Josh Waitzkin, the child chess prodigy who has made it his life’s study to deconstruct learning and the mind.  If you haven’t listened to it, do yourself a favour and check it out:

It’s a really heady episode with lots of ideas and concepts which are hinted at, which I’ll go into more detail about in other posts.  One thing that I hadn’t heard much about, if anything, is the topic of “lucid dreaming.”

So apparently, the concept of lucid dreaming is that you are aware that you are dreaming while you are in the dream.  This happens spontanously about once a month, so you may be familiar with something like this happening yourself.   I spoke about this with my business partner and he vividly recalled experiencing such things.

Now, the benefit of being aware that you are dreaming while in the dream state is that with that realisation it gives you power to say “hey – well if this is a dream, then I can decide what I dream about” – and so effectively to take control of the dream state.

This is something that has been a part of Buddhist and eastern teachings for over 1000 years, but interest in the West only started in around the 60’s and 70’s and it still seems to be a little-known and seldom discussed subject.

When I hear of something that a top performer like Josh Waitzkin is into, it definitely sparks my interest, so I’m keen to get started on the journey to “lucid dreaming.”  I am deeply curious about this as I often don’t remember my dreams, so I’d love to delve deeper into this world to explore it.  More practically, the idea of using sleep in an efficient manner, as a way to gain insight, reach understanding, improve skills is very enticing!

This is a pretty good video which introduces the concept:

I found some other interesting resources which you might be interested in, if you’d also like to learn about this a bit more:

Dreaming Yourself Awake – recommended by Josh Waitzkin.

I bought this one first, haven’t started reading yet.

And I also found an online course on Lucid Dreaming:

This is one, there are quite a few others if you search on Google.


First Steps in Lucid Dreaming

After a search on Google for how to perform lucid dreaming, it seems that the consensus in order to get started is as follows:

  1. Make the intention before you go to sleep to be aware that you are dreaming in your dreams.
  2. To facilitate the above, you can give yourself some sort of queue.  For example, make the intent to notice your hands in the dream.  When you do this, you will realize that you are dreaming…
  3. Keep a dream diary.  Put a journal and pen next to your bed.  First thing when you wake up, record the details of the dream.  I guess this helps to put the focus on your dreams.

So far, I’ve been at it for 1 night 🙂

No lucid dreams so far.

What I can say, is that I definitely made the intent before I fell asleep to be aware during my dreams.  I found myself lying awake early in the morning.  I didn’t look at the clock, but if I’d have to guess I’d say it was around 6 am or 05:45 am.  As I lay there, I realized that I had just finished dreaming and so I took to diligently recording my dream in my dream diary besides my bed.

Once I finished recording the dream, I lay in bed, hoping to fall into a dream state again. I was hopeful that this time I would be lucid in my dream, because I would be in that state between sleep and consciousness… But again, no lucid dream, but I had another short dream, which I again recorded…

How I Plan to Go Forward

So here are the steps that I’ll continue to take.  I guess it will be good to accompany my 30 day writing challenge with this lucid dreaming challenge 🙂

  • Keep a dream diary and record dreams as soon as I am aware of them. (Already started)
  • Make the intent before I drift off to sleep to have lucid dreams.
  • Read the two books above – I’ll try and make a summary of them available on this blog also.
  • Take a(n) (online) course on lucid dreaming – might be more “practical” than a book and maximize my chance to have the experience that I’m looking for.


Author: David Janner

David Janner is a former M.D. and the Editor-in-Chief of MAKE APP Magazine. His passion is app development and app marketing. You should follow him on Twitter and Facebook and Google+ in order to get the most important industry related news, hot off the press. If you would like to arrange a 15 minute app marketing session to discuss your App Store Optimization strategy, contact him here.

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