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    Thread: Night-Time Routine Guide for Dream Recall and Lucidity

    1. #1
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      Night-Time Routine Guide for Dream Recall and Lucidity

      RareCola's Night-Time Routine Guide for Dream Recall and Lucidity


      It seems night-time routines are severely overlooked and I've been getting a lot of questions since mentioning in the Dream View Academy class about what I do before bed, so I figured I would go ahead and write a guide. I'm still fairly new to lucid dreaming myself and I don't claim that this guide will be 100% accurate, but I've had success with this method and other people have too, so I figured I would share it!

      This guide is quite a long one, but I've tried to include everything I find important so I would highly suggest giving it a chance and reading the entire thing.

      From my research, I've found that preparing your mind for lucid dreaming and dream recall is one of the most important steps. You can't expect to have much luck if, when going to bed, you lay down in bed, repeat a few mantras and fall asleep. Properly preparing your mind and relaxing your body, as well as having a good sleep pattern is essential.

      So, where do you begin?
      I think the first basic thing is to make your bedroom a sanctuary. You sleep so much better when you have a clean, quiet and fresh-smelling bedroom, I find it even helps to have a window slightly open at night time to have a constant source of fresh air, though some people can't deal with the sound. I also think it's important to keep your bed entirely for sleeping, when you use your bed for sleeping and sleeping alone your mind subconsciously associates your bed with sleep and you automatically become tired when you're in it.

      Preparation
      If you're one of those people who immediately go to sleep when you get in bed, I suggest starting by going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier than usual.

      After completing all your usual routine, begin by opening up your dream journal to a clean page and noting the date for tomorrow as well as the current time and leave a space for the time when you wake up.

      If you'd like, you can even prepare a space on the page to list keywords for the dream so that it's easier to pick out dream signs. It may also be helpful to read over your dreams from the night before just so the dream state is fresh in your memory.

      Relaxation
      Next, you can begin relaxation techniques. I think one of the best ways to improve dream recall and lucidity frequency is to shorten the time it takes to get to sleep, by shortening the time you keep all your intent in your head without letting your mind to wander as you attempt to fall asleep. Relaxation techniques are a great way to shorten the time it takes to fall asleep. Everyone is different so you need to find one that works for you, some prefer simple meditation or reading a fictional book, others the complex 61-point relaxation technique or stretches. There are plenty of other people who know far more about relaxation techniques than me, so I suggest you do your own research into what you think would work for you. Only things I would say to avoid are TV, computer or any other screens as well as anything that engages your brain too heavily. I would also suggest to have dim lighting during this time to make your mind realise that it is night time and you'll soon be sleeping.

      Dream Incubation
      Once you're sufficiently relaxed, I usually move on to dream incubation. While the usual intention of dream incubation is to actually incubate a dream, and it does a great job at that, when I do it the incubation isn't my goal. I simply dream incubate to prepare my mind, the dream state is quite unique and I think it does wonders to get your mind into the dream state of being before you even go to sleep.

      Sit up in bed in a comfortable position. I suggest sitting up as I find after my relaxation techniques I can fall asleep within minutes if I lay down while doing this, and while falling asleep is the goal here I think it's good to allow yourself to stay awake for 5-10 minutes purely dream incubating before you sleep.

      Once you're comfortable, but not comfortable enough that you think you could easily fall asleep, close your eyes and begin dream incubating. You can either pull a dream scene from a previous dream, create an entirely new one or use a scene from a TV show or movie. I suggest starting out from a non-lucid perspective. See yourself in the dream following out the story, how would the place smell? How would it feel? How would you feel? What can you hear? Make sure to pick a scene that engages all of your senses and truly picture how it would feel to be in this dream. If you're doing it well you can get to a point where you are imagining the dream so clearly it can feel like controlled hypnagogic imagery.

      When you feel you're fully immersed in the scene, imagine what it would be like to become lucid. Think about how your awareness would pick up on the inconsistencies in the dream and see yourself performing reality checks and getting that "Wow! I'm dreaming!" notion. From there start imagining obviously lucid scenes, like taking off and flying over the landscape, or using magical powers. Anything that you would want to do in a lucid dream.

      After 5-10 minutes of incubating, hopefully you're still awake, from here you can lay down in your favourite sleeping position and start drifting off. If you're relaxed enough and in the perfect mindset for sleep, it should take you no more than 5-10 more minutes before you're asleep. During this time you can continue practicing your dream incubation, only this time swapping between that and your chosen mantra or even combining the two and saying the mantra while you're incubating. The last thing you want in your head before you fall asleep is the mantra and/or the dream scene, any other thoughts should just drift by and not be focused on while falling asleep.

      WBTB Implementation
      You can implement this routine with your WBTB for increased effectiveness. The relaxation portion isn't as needed here, maybe perform something quick if you've done a lot during your WBTB session and feel any kind of tension. Though you can implement the dream incubation before you return to sleep, only this time with a really focused intent that you will recognise that you are dreaming and you will become lucid, don't doubt this at all, don't even hope that you'll become lucid as there is no need to hope for something that you are sure will happen. Get it into your mind that when you next wake up, you will be recalling your lucid dream.

      Final Notes
      The key with making a night-time routine is to find something that works for you. It helps to have a completely unique routine specific to you, as long as it involves the fundamentals of preparing mind and body.

      If you have any success with this technique, please let me know! I'd love to hear your stories.
      Check out my DreamViews Podcast with OpheliaBlue!

      The best reason for having dreams is that in dreams no reasons are necessary.

      No sailor controls the sea. Only a foolish sailor would say such a thing. Similarly, no lucid dreamer controls the dream.
      Like a sailor on the sea, we lucid dreamers direct our perceptual awareness within the larger state of dreaming.

    2. #2
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      I have been trying this for a couple nights, in combination with oreoboy's DDA during the day. I've been getting lucid (DILDs) so yay for that. I just find that I have a really really hard time quieting my mind, especially on a night before I have to get up early for work. So I'm going to declutter my room (again) tonight, and really make it a point to sit up for a bit, calm my mind, and focus on getting my mind in that dream frame of mind. Making a special point to start out the incubation from a nonlucid stand point, moving into a lucid one. I've always placed great value on pinpointing and remembering the feeling of attaining lucidity, so I think this night time routine might make it even more concrete for me.

      I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Thanks for writing and posting this RareCola!
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    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by OpheliaBlue View Post
      I have been trying this for a couple nights, in combination with oreoboy's DDA during the day. I've been getting lucid (DILDs) so yay for that. I just find that I have a really really hard time quieting my mind, especially on a night before I have to get up early for work. So I'm going to declutter my room (again) tonight, and really make it a point to sit up for a bit, calm my mind, and focus on getting my mind in that dream frame of mind. Making a special point to start out the incubation from a nonlucid stand point, moving into a lucid one. I've always placed great value on pinpointing and remembering the feeling of attaining lucidity, so I think this night time routine might make it even more concrete for me.

      I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Thanks for writing and posting this RareCola!
      You could tie clearing your mind into your relaxation period. I know some people get a piece of paper and write down all their cluttered thoughts, or as I mentioned in the original post, meditation.
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      Check out my DreamViews Podcast with OpheliaBlue!

      The best reason for having dreams is that in dreams no reasons are necessary.

      No sailor controls the sea. Only a foolish sailor would say such a thing. Similarly, no lucid dreamer controls the dream.
      Like a sailor on the sea, we lucid dreamers direct our perceptual awareness within the larger state of dreaming.

    4. #4
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      I'm glad you posted this, RareCola. I was recently contemplating why my WBTB attempts of different techniques had been failing, when I realized I was having trouble falling asleep quickly enough. I surmised that perhaps I wasn't relaxing enough and needed to clear my mind first to quickly fall asleep without getting side-tracked. Your guide gives me hope that I am indeed on the right track, and I will most definitely be trying this out tonight!
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    5. #5
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      I fell asleep toooo hard last night, totally my fault. I was up cooking really late at night for my bf's 12 hour shift the next day, and running on the treadmill kinda late didn't help either. I literally was thinking about this tutorial, and clearing my mind, and the second my head hit the pillow I zonked out. (but I cheated, I tried to skip the sitting up part, believing I could prevent myself from falling asleep TOO quickly. Bad ophelia).

      On the upside, I had a really exciting non-lucid! I will try again after my 30 hour work weekend.
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    6. #6
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      This is really superb, great work!

      I particularly like the incubation bit, a massively overlooked area, I already do this every night as part of my MILD
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      My Lucid Dreaming Articles/Tutorials:
      Mindfulness - An Alternative Approach to ADA
      Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut

      Always, no sometimes think it's me,
      But you know I know when it's a dream
      I think I know I mean a yes
      But it's all wrong
      That is I think I disagree

      -John Lennon


    7. #7
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      Thank you for posting this guide! I have a similar routine, except I don't focus as much on relaxation. And perhaps that's my biggest weakness, as I tend to have trouble falling asleep in the first place.

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      Very nice job I will start tonight! I like the idea of clearing my mind that's the hardest part for me!
      `WURLMAN`

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      Thanks for posting.

      I will try this before bed and durring my WBTB/WILD attempts.
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    10. #10
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      Great post.

      I usually have my bedroom as my little dreaming and sleeping sanctuary, I always constantly clean it , and put it into top condition, as well as relaxation before bed. Love this, thank you.
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    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by RareCola View Post
      RareCola's Night-Time Routine Guide for Dream Recall and Lucidity


      You can't expect to have much luck if, when going to bed, you lay down in bed, repeat a few mantras and fall asleep.
      Had to laugh at this as all I do to make a dream I want to happen is repeat a sentence to myself twice in my head. Still I suspect I may be a natural and can do things easier then what it is for other people.

      I totally agree with your guide and am looking forward to trying some of your ideas .

    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Starlia View Post
      Had to laugh at this as all I do to make a dream I want to happen is repeat a sentence to myself twice in my head. Still I suspect I may be a natural and can do things easier then what it is for other people.
      I believe the point RareCola was making, is that it's pointless to repeat a mindless sentence to yourself without any sense of awareness backing it up. If you're a natural, as you claim, then you are probably a very aware person by nature, so the sentences you repeat to yourself actually mean something to you. For some people, having a nighttime routine is just the thing to calm down after the hustle and bustle of the day, and quiet their world enough to get back in touch with this heightened sense of awareness before bed, and get the mind prepared for lucid dreaming.

    13. #13
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      makes sense. Now that I think of it I am a very aware person at least when it comes to my thoughts. I'm often very self analytical. I'm not sure if I'm a natural but that seems to be the only thing that makes sense as i've been able to do things pretty fast for a newbie compared to other people.
      Last edited by Starlia; 08-17-2012 at 05:35 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by RareCola
      When you feel you're fully immersed in the scene, imagine what it would be like to become lucid. Think about how your awareness would pick up on the inconsistencies in the dream and see yourself performing reality checks and getting that "Wow! I'm dreaming!" notion. From there start imagining obviously lucid scenes, like taking off and flying over the landscape, or using magical powers. Anything that you would want to do in a lucid dream.
      Yes! Exactly! That is brilliant. :bravo:

      Quote Originally Posted by OpheliaBlue
      For some people, having a nighttime routine is just the thing to calm down after the hustle and bustle of the day, and quiet their world enough to get back in touch with this heightened sense of awareness before bed, and get the mind prepared for lucid dreaming.
      Very true. Its almost like a ritual or habit. For someone with a chaotic mind, consistency is essential. On the other hand, if someone has a less chaotic mind, a single ripple will have a larger effect so to speak.

      Here is kind of a weird idea to calm the mind at night. Its something ive done all my life out of boredom or insomnia. That is to lie on my side or back very still, and look at all the shapes in the wall texture.
      It would occupy my eyes and slow their movements. Many times, ive noticed when I am falling asleep my eyes will be moving at the same speed as when I was awake. After a while they slow down, but many times the mind has already begun to fall asleep.
      Just something to think about. There are many ways to use sensory input to calm the mind. And its always been a help for me.
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      So, I tried that technique this morning and got a Lucid! Thanks for the post!

      The Dream
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    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by Chimpertainment View Post
      So, I tried that technique this morning and got a Lucid! Thanks for the post!

      The Dream
      That's great! I'm glad it worked for you. Interesting that you intuitively done it as a child also.
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      Check out my DreamViews Podcast with OpheliaBlue!

      The best reason for having dreams is that in dreams no reasons are necessary.

      No sailor controls the sea. Only a foolish sailor would say such a thing. Similarly, no lucid dreamer controls the dream.
      Like a sailor on the sea, we lucid dreamers direct our perceptual awareness within the larger state of dreaming.

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      yeah, it was very exciting.

      that way it worked when I was younger was more connected with recall. Before sleep I would always remember my day and previous dreams. Sometimes, I would think about a particular dream I really liked more than usual and then I would dream something closely related, sometimes the same dream. That's how I learned to think of dreams if I wanted them to happen.
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      Quote Originally Posted by OpheliaBlue View Post
      Making a special point to start out the incubation from a nonlucid stand point, moving into a lucid one. I've always placed great value on pinpointing and remembering the feeling of attaining lucidity, so I think this night time routine might make it even more concrete for me.
      Definitely going to add this to my routine…I think that's what's been missing from it.

    19. #19
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      Great guide, thank you for posting this. I'm doing something similar but reading this thread I picked up some useful things I can add to my routine. Hopefully it will improve my LD count as recently it's dropped off a bit.
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