How to Stop a Lucid Dream

woman waking up from a lucid dream

Lucid dreaming can be a lot of fun and can also be very rewarding. But what happens when you find yourself in a lucid dream and want it to stop? Can you stop a lucid dream while it is happening?

It is possible to stop a lucid dream while you are experiencing it. You can wake yourself up using an advanced lucid dreaming technique. This is as simple as moving your dream body’s eyes in very specific ways which will cause you to wake up. 

When lucid dreams go bad

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you will already know the many great benefits that lucid dreaming offers.

Apart from the obvious fantasy fulfilment aspect of lucid dreaming, and the reality altering ways in which you can use it to improve your life, there are a ton more advantages to practising this skill. Of course lucid dreams don’t become real but they can be used to affect reality in other ways. For example, you can use lucid dreaming to help you manifest your goals, improve your sports skills, study more efficiently and even to make you smarter.

But what if you find yourself in a lucid dream that you want to get out of. Why would you want to end a lucid dream? Well, maybe you are having a scary dream or a full blown nightmare and just want to wake up. Or, perhaps you have been lucid dreaming every night and just want them to stop because they are disrupting your sleep.

No matter what your reason for wanting to stop a lucid dream, what do you do when no longer want to be in a lucid dream?

How to stop a lucid dream while it’s happening

If you ever find yourself experiencing a lucid dream that you don’t want to be in and you can’t get out of it there is no need to panic. You can’t get stuck in a lucid dream. If you are an experienced lucid dreamer all you have to do is change or alter the dream environment to escape the fear generated by the current scary dream.

However, there have been occasions when lucid dreamers find that they are unable to escape a nightmare (usually due to a lack of training or insufficient training) and find that all they can do is run within the dream.  Obviously this can be scary stuff. But even in these extremely rare cases it is possible to get out of the dream.

If you ever find yourself as one of the very, very few lucid dreamers who experience a lucid nightmare that you cannot get out of all you have to do is wake yourself up. However, sometimes a lucid dreamer may find that they cannot wake themselves up from a lucid dream when they want to.

Now, if you can’t change the dreamworld or alter the dream scene then how on earth are you supposed to wake yourself up out of the dream completely? It’s actually pretty easy when you know how.

In the article how to stop lucid dreaming I not only outline how to prevent lucid dreams from happening but I give very detailed steps you can take to wake yourself up from any lucid dream, even from the type of lucid nightmares where you have no control. Likewise, you can also use that technique to wake yourself even if you are experiencing multiple false awakening.

Below is a summary of the steps you can take to stop a lucid dream and wake up from it. Additionally, at the end of this post I will reiterate these steps in quick bullet points. I do urge you to read the following text though, and not jump to the bullet list, as you will miss key information.

In all dreams, including lucid dreams, almost all of your body remains paralysed. This prevents you from sleep walking and acting out your dreams (which can have some dire consequences). The only parts of your physical body that remain active and that can move freely while you are dreaming are your eyes. Your eyes move while you dream and this is where we get the phrase used to represent dream sleep, R.E.M.

R.E.M. stands for Rapid Eye Movement.

We can use the fact that our eyes are not paralyzed while we dream to help us wake up from a lucid dream. Here’s how we do it.

While you are in a lucid dream that you want to wake up from you should close your dream eyes. This will only work if you close your eyes in the dream. You are going to move your closed dream eyes in specific ways.

With your eyes closed simply realize that when you move your dream eyes, your physical eyes will be moving in exactly the same way in your body as it lies asleep on the bed.

Once you make this mental realization you should start to move your eyes from side to side, with your eyelids still closed in the dreamworld. Start by moving your eyes from left to right for about 10 seconds. Then rest for 2 seconds and move your eyes from right to left for about 10 seconds. Remember to keep your eyes closed at all times and keep in mind that while you are moving your dream eyes your physical eyes are also moving in the same way.

Once you have completed this sequence of eye movements, rest your eyes again for 2 seconds. Then begin to move your eyes up and down keeping your dream eyelids closed. Do this for about 20 seconds. While you are doing this keep in mind that your physical eyes are doing exactly the same thing as your body sleeps.

Once you have completed the up/down eye movement sequence simply open your dream eyes, keeping in mind that your physical eyes will do the same thing.


You will find that when you open your eyes in the dream your physical eyes open and you will be back in your room and awake.

Now be aware that it may take your body a few moments, or in rare cases a few minutes, to move from its own state of paralysis to the wide awake state even though you are mentally awake. I explain why this happens a little later don’t worry if it happens to you as you will have successfully woken your mind from a lucid dream and it may just be taking your body a bit longer to catch up.

Six steps to stop a lucid dream

Below is a bullet list of the information I gave you above so it is easy to digest and follow.

Remember that your physical eyes are the only things that can move while you are in REM sleep and dreaming. By closing your dream eyelids and moving your eyes in a lucid dream you will make your physical eyes move in exactly the same way. You will use this to your advantage by following the six simple steps below.

How to stop a lucid dream in 6 simple steps:

  1. Close your eyelids in the dream.
  2. With your eyes closed move them from left to right for 10 seconds and then right to left for 10 seconds. 
  3. While you do this realize that your physical eyes in your sleeping body are doing moving in exactly the same way.
  4. Then, with your dream eyes still closed move them up and down for 20 seconds.
  5. Again, while you complete the step above realize that your physical eyes in your sleeping body are moving in exactly the same way.
  6. Then open your eyes in the dream. You will find that your physical eyes open at the same time and you will be back in the real world.

Be aware that when you do wake up, because you have just come out of a lucid dream, you will be mentally awake but your body may still be asleep. This is known as atonia or sleep paralysis and it can be scary when you don’t understand what it happening. It is completely normal and actually a byproduct of something that happens in sleep that is vitally important for your own safety and the safety of others.

While you dream your body becomes temporarily paralyzed so you cannot move, otherwise you would start sleep walking and acting out your dreams. Usually when we awaken from sleep or dreams we are slightly groggy mentally and the time it take us to become mentally aware is all that is needed to remove the temporary paralysis from our body. We simply don’t realize that our body is paralysed.

However, because you remain fully conscious at all times during and after a lucid dream that you force yourself out of, your body does not get this time to reactivate and you become aware that you can’t move it.

So, if you find that you are physically immobilised after waking yourself from a lucid dream don’t panic, just allow your body to wake in its own time, which may take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

If you are interested in learning how to induce lucid dreams and how to control every aspect of them then consider making the small investment required to get a good lucid dreaming course that can teach you both.

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