Dreaming is something we do every night. We may think that we have no control over what happens in our dreams, but that is not completely true. Learning to lucid dream can give you a level of control over your dreams. A lucid dream, or the ability to be aware that you are dreaming during a dream state, is usually something that takes some effort. It does not usually occur on a regular basis. However, it is possible to practice, and train your mind to reach awareness during the dream state.
Learning to lucid dream is not something that happens immediately. Like learning anything new, it takes time and patience. There are some easy exercises that you can start with. First must train your mind to recognize when you are awake and when you are in a dream state. While it may seem obvious to you when you are awake - only by making it a habit of checking while you are awake can you teach your mind to check when it is asleep.
The way you teach your mind this skill is by repeating what is called a reality check. This practice has you check through-out the day to make mind aware of the wakeful state. Some of the reality checks you can add to your day are to stop and read something or check your watch. When you are dreaming, those words or numbers will either not make sense, or change each time you look. You can do this reality check randomly throughout the day. Another way to train your mind to be aware of your dreams is to keep track of them. Keeping a dream journal that you record your dreams in as soon as you wake up is a good way to do this. But keep the journal next to your bed. If you get out of bed and start performing tasks, the dreams will fade rapidly and be lost. This journal can help you recognize themes in your dreams.
Determining when your dreams occur also helps when learning to lucid dream. If you remember more dreams when you wake in the middle of the night, or morning, or perhaps after an afternoon nap, you can note this in your journal. Dreams generally run in 60 minute cycles. If you detect a time where you normally remember your dreams, you can set an alarm for about 30 minutes earlier than the normal waking time, which should bring you to a wakeful state during that dream cycle - making it easier to recall the dream. But you only want to wake yourself enough to recognize the dream, jot a few notes in your journal and go back to sleep.
While there is more to learning to lucid dream, the reality checks and dream journal will set you on the correct path. Once you train your mind to recognize the difference between the wakeful state and the dream state, you are ready to move forward. It may take you time and patience to reach that point, but be patient and consistent. This is the main key to learning to lucid dream.