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If you have never done it before, lucid dreaming is basically when you become aware of the fact that you are dreaming. This state can range from a deep understanding and ability to control the dream, or just merely recognizing you are in a dream state and then waking.

Oftentimes, the first time we become lucid, we are in a normal dream state and randomly realize we are awake. For me, the first time this happened, I tried to start running and doing whatever I wished, and I was unable, and woke. After some time of practice, and learning, I am now able to control them at will. However, it takes time and it also takes effort.

The science behind lucid dreaming is that during the times we become aware of our dream state, our frontemporal cortex shows higher activation. And researchers have also noted that there is an observable increase in gamma waves that is synchronized firing by groups of neurons at a frequency that is associated with conscious awareness.

With all the ‘jargon’ out of the way, have you ever wanted to take control over your dreams? If so, then try these three steps.

1. Try doing ‘reality checks.’

Throughout the day, to make it a habit, ask yourself ‘Am I dreaming?’ Next, pinch your nose and close your mouth. Can you breathe?
Or look to your hands and feet. If they are distorted, you are dreaming.

Now, you may be shaking your head, of course I know when I am and am not dreaming. But the point of the exercise is to create a habit that will continue into your dreams.

2. When you are falling asleep, tell yourself to be aware of your dreams. Say it like an affirmation.

3. And this one, my personal go-to is to set an alarm, wake-up and go back to sleep.

When you wake, write down if you were dreaming. Close your eyes, and focus on the same dream. Make sure to give yourself ample time to start dreaming to begin with. Try to force yourself back into the dream. If you recognize you are in the dream, then success, you are lucid dreaming!

Practice these each night for better control and to become more capable of controlling your dream state.