What's the easiest way to have a lucid dream?

The best technique for learning to lucid dream and is to combine three efforts: keeping a dream journal, performing state tests, and practicing Wake-Back-to-Bed (WBTB). This final technique – Wake-Back-to-Bed – is an extremely reliable way to induce a lucid dream.

It is difficult for Wake-Back-to-Bed to work without first having a solid foundation of dream familiarity and dream recognition. That's why we recommend starting with keeping a dream journal and performing state tests before trying Wake-Back-to-Bed.

Get Ready for Wake-Back-to-Bed

Recording dreams in a dream journal develops familiarity with the dreamworld, making it easier to recognize when you're in a dream. Even if you just remember a fragment of a dream, write it down. You’ll likely remember more details.

Performing state tests (also known as reality checks) builds the habit of questioning reality and serves as the entryway to lucidity: if you perform a sincere state test in the dreamworld, you'll almost certainly become lucid. Follow our tips for performing sincere, reliable, and convenient state tests and reality checks.

With those two foundational techniques incorporated into a nighttime practice, that leaves one high-powered lucid dreaming induction technique.

Wake-Back-to-Bed (WBTB)

One of the most reliable techniques to trigger a lucid dream is called Wake-Back-to-Bed, or WBTB. To practice Wake-Back-to-Bed, set an alarm to go off between sleep cycles then stay awake for 20-30 minutes to become fully conscious. Finally, going back to sleep with the strong intention of having a lucid dream.

The ideal time for the WBTB alarm depends on the dreamer. Get started by setting the alarm for 2 hours before normal morning wake up, or use a sleep tracker or dream analysis tool to detect peak dreamtime.

When you wake up, be sure to stay awake for at least 20 minutes. We recommend doing household chores or some other activity to stay awake and become fully present. You might consider reading entries from your dream journal, examining dreamsigns, or meditation. After 20 minutes of wakefulness, go back to sleep with the strong commitment to realize that you're dreaming.

Other Techniques

Wake-Back-to-Bed is a favorite lucid dream induction technique that can be practiced occasionally, nightly, or even many times within a night. With a solid foundation of dream awareness and state tests, it works.

Other lucid dream induction techniques include Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD), Wake-Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD), and Yoga Nidra.

For those looking to integrate lucid dreaming into their daily lives, we strongly encourage exploring a meditation practice.

Learn how to lucid dream by downloading the Shape app. Readers qualify for 10% off the annual plan.
Download Shape
More Articles