So you are unsure if you’ve had a lucid dream, or perhaps you are just curious about the experience of lucid dreaming. Either way you want to know, how do you know when you’re lucid dreaming? Let’s find out.
You know you’re lucid dreaming when you become consciously aware that what you are experiencing is not real and only a dream. This causes lucidity in the dream. Dream lucidity is becoming fully conscious while dreaming in the same way that you are fully conscious now. However, you may find yourself conscious in a dream where you can’t control anything making you unsure if you are lucid dreaming. You are, and can force yourself to take control.
- How to tell you’re in a lucid dream
- What happens when you know that you are lucid dreaming?
- Knowing which type of lucid dream you are in
- What causes you to know that you are lucid dreaming?
- What to do if you know you’re lucid dreaming but have no control
- What to do when you know you’re lucid dreaming but have no dream control
How to tell you’re in a lucid dream
It is very easy to tell when you are in a lucid dream. Although regular dreams and lucid dreams are no different in structure (they are both created by the subconscious mind in exactly the same way) the experience of each one is very different.
You cannot confuse a normal regular dream with a lucid dream because you experience each one very differently.
Lucid dreams feel very different from regular dreams.
Where in regular dreams you consciously feel groggy and everything is hazy and somewhat unclear, in lucid dreams you feel just as awake and aware as you do in the normal waking everyday world. The main difference between a regular dream and a lucid dream is your degree of conscious awareness.
Because you are consciously aware in a lucid dream you know that you are lucid dreaming.
There is no confusion because you feel just as awake in the dream as you do right now in the real world.
In fact it is the very thing that causes a lucid dream to occur in the first place that is the very thing that lets’ you know that you are lucid dreaming.
What is that?
When you become aware that the experience you are having is just a dream, that is when lucidity occurs. The act of realizing that you are in a dream is all that is needed to turn a regular dream into a lucid dream.
It is when you realize that you are dreaming that you tend to become consciously aware, or at least more consciously aware than you were before the realization. The act of realizing that you are in a dream is enough to “wake you up” within the dream. When you wake up in a dream you know that you’re lucid dreaming.
What happens when you know that you are lucid dreaming?
When you become consciously aware in a regular dream, that dream then changes into a lucid dream. A lucid dream is the same as a regular dream except you are aware that you are dreaming and that you are not actually in the real world.
It is this conscious awareness of the fact that you are dreaming that makes a regular dream a lucid dream, hence the name lucid (which just means “clear” or “understandable”). You understand that you are dreaming and have a clear mind that what is happening to you is happening in a dream and is not real. You are in a lucid dream and you know you are.
However, although this realization is enough to make you lucid in a dream (i.e. consciously awake in the dream) it also has some very powerful and fun side-effects.
Although there are two different types of lucid dream – 1. A controlled lucid dream and 2. An uncontrolled lucid dream (more on that in a bit) – in both types of lucid dream you will have full conscious control over your own actions and reactions, in just the same way you do while you are awake.
This means you can deliberately investigate your dreamworld and have a little adventure within the dream. Because you are “awake” consciously but still dreaming you are more in control of how you interact with the dream than you would in a regular standard dream. And even uncontrolled lucid dreams tend to feel much more real than regular dreams do. There are very specific reasons for this that I won’t go into now.
So, when you realize that you’re lucid dreaming, the dreamworld will feel more real and substantial than it does in a regular dream with varying degrees of clarity that are almost always dependent on your level of consciousness in the dream. In lucid dreams where you are fully awake and as focused as you would be in real life, the dreamworld will be very clear and vivid and everything will feel just as real as it would in real life.
Realizing that you are dreaming, and thus realizing that you are in a lucid dream, will also make the dream more colorful and more vibrant. The level of vividness and clarity of the lucid dream will depend on which type of lucid dream you find yourself in which is a result of how conscious you are while dreaming.
Let me explain in simpler terms.
Knowing which type of lucid dream you are in
There is a lot of discussion about lucid dreams online, especially on YouTube and in forums. But very few people talk about the two different types of lucid dreams. You see not all lucid dreams are created equal!
I have mentioned the different types of lucid dreams several times on the website especially when covering topics like lack of control in lucid dreams and being unable to fly in lucid dreams. But, because it is directly related to the topic of this article I will again cover the two types of lucid dreams briefly.
The 2 types of lucid dreams are:
- Uncontrolled lucid dreams.
- Controlled lucid dreams.
An uncontrolled lucid dream is exactly what it sounds like. You are awake and aware within the dream but you have very little control over anything in the dreamworld. The only control you can exert in an uncontrolled lucid dream is control over your own dream body and the actions you take.
This type of lucid dream is not as rare as you may think with up to 55% of the population remembering experiencing at least in their lifetime (they probably have a lot more but just don’t remember them). Then there are 19-37% of population who lucid dream regularly, experiencing at least one lucid dream per month. That’s a huge number of people.
For spontaneous lucid dreamers, who lucid dream naturally, most of these lucid dreams will be of the uncontrolled variety however. It is controlled lucid dreams that are the really fun ones.
Although you can interact and investigate your surroundings and talk to dream characters in an uncontrolled lucid dream (which is fun) in a controlled lucid dream you can do anything you want. You have full control over your own actions, the actions of every dream character and the narrative of the dream in a controlled lucid dream. Experienced lucid dreamers, who have been trained, have omnipotent god-like powers within their lucid dreams.
In a controlled lucid dream you can visit anyone you like, go anywhere you desire and even go back in time if that interests you. You can also use your lucid dreams to affect reality, in some really super cool ways, when you can control them.
So, you should know that when you become aware that you are dreaming, and hence enter a lucid dream, you can enter either of the aforementioned types of lucid dream.
It is the level of your awareness i.e. how well you actually accept mentally that you are in a lucid dream, that tends to determine which type of lucid dream you find yourself in.
The more conscious of the fact that you are lucid dreaming you become, the better able you are to control the dream. Unfortunately, for spontaneous lucid dreamers they never make this leap in conscious awareness, which is a same because it is actually very easy to do. Spontaneous lucid dreamers tend to stay in a conscious state that hovers somewhere between fully conscious awareness and unconsciousness.
Trained lucid dreamers can, and often do, change uncontrolled lucid dreams into controlled ones by using specific dream-control techniques (as taught in good lucid dream courses). I myself will often “awaken” within an uncontrolled lucid dream, but due to my past training I am able to focus my attention and change the lucid dream from uncontrolled to controlled. When this happens a byproduct of this increased awareness is increased clarity and vividness in the dreamworld – everything becomes clearer and more like the real world.
The more you practise advanced dream-control techniques (that are actually very easy to do) the better you become at lucid dreaming.
What causes you to know that you are lucid dreaming?
There are several ways that you can become conscious during a dream i.e. several things that cause you to know that you’re lucid dreaming.
As I mentioned previously, there are spontaneous lucid dreamers who become lucid in their dreams naturally. They simply realize that they are lucid dreaming without any effort on their part. Unfortunately though, most of their lucid dreams are uncontrolled and they therefore miss out on the many benefits that lucid dreaming offers.
When it comes to deliberately inducing lucid dreams there are several causes each of which has its roots in actions you take while you are awake. You can read the steps in my free lucid dreaming course but if you want fast and guaranteed results you would wise to make the small investment required to be trained professionally via a proven lucid dreaming course. That way you will not only learn how to induce lucid dreams but also learn how to control every aspect of them.
What to do if you know you’re lucid dreaming but have no control
Uncontrolled lucid dreaming, as you have learned, is not the same as the controlled lucid dreams you hear about online. No-one really talks about uncontrolled lucid dreams because they are as cool and rewarding as controlled ones. But the truth is that you are more likely to have an uncontrolled lucid dream rather than a controlled one unless you become experienced in the skill of lucid dreaming.
So, even if you use all the lucid dreaming induction techniques available to you, which have been designed to help you know when you’re dreaming and thus induce dream lucidity, you will probably still lack the ability to control the dream even though you will be conscious in it.
Now, there are still lots of fun benefits from experiencing an uncontrolled lucid dream. For instance, you can still explore the dreamworld and learn things about yourself by interacting with dream characters. And, it can be fun to simply roam around the dreamworld and just be in awe of how real everything looks and feels. But you will be missing out on a lot if you stay in this phase of your lucid dreaming journey.
Controlled lucid dreaming is where the real fun is at. These lucid dreams not only allow you the opportunity to experience your innermost desires and fantasies but they can also be used for a wide range of real-world benefits such as making you smarter, helping you to study better and, some believe, they can even help you to shift realities.
What to do when you know you’re lucid dreaming but have no dream control
The first thing you should do when you know your’re lucid dreaming is make the dreamworld clearer and more vivid. A simple act of will or intention is usually all that is required to achieve this, though some lucid dreamers find that calling out aloud to the dream to become clear and vivid also helps.
Why make the dream clearer?
When you make the dream clearer you tend to become more conscious within the lucid dream. The act of making the dream more solid, forces you to become more consciously focused and awake within the dream. The more conscious and mentally awake you are in a lucid dream the more control you will have over the dream. Why this is we do not know. Just rest assured that this is the way things go in lucid dreams.
This is all you need to do, to turn an uncontrolled lucid dream into a controlled lucid dream. I know it sounds simple, and in reality it is, but of course just because something is simple doesn’t mean it is easy. So, you need to practise dream-control techniques often and over time you will hone your skills and become a master lucid dreamer who is able to do anything and everything in their lucid dreams.
The good news is that lucid dreaming gets easier the more you do it. So keep at it and really consider getting some advanced training so you can really get the most from your lucid dreams.