Lucid dreaming is a really fun experience that has a ton of benefits. Not only does having a lucid dream give you the opportunity to have an exciting adventure and live out your deepest fantasies, it also lets you explore the inner workings of your mind.

Many people get their ideas about lucid dreaming from movies like Inception, but in reality, lucid dreaming is simply the state of being aware while you’re dreaming.

Most of the time, we experience our dreams as memories when we wake up. When you have a lucid dream, you get to experience your dreams while they are happening. Many times, this also leads to being able to control some or all of your dream content.

Achieving that perfect balance between awake and asleep isn’t always easy to do. It takes practice and effort. If you’ve tried lucid dreaming before, and haven’t been as successful as you want to be, keep trying and follow the advice below.

5 Things Stopping You From Having a Lucid Dream

You’re not keeping a dream journal

This is probably the biggest mistake people make when they first start lucid dreaming. Starting any habit can be difficult, but once you make your dream journaling a routine, it will become easier to remember to do.

Every morning, right when you first open your eyes, you should be recording the details of your dream(s). It’s important that this is the very first thing you do. This journaling works best when you're still halfway in the dream state.

Many people find it hard to write first thing in the morning. If that’s you, try using your phone’s memo function or investing a little bit of money in a voice recorder.

It’s also important to record every detail you can remember. As you start to remember more and more of your dreams, they will likely become longer and more detailed. You may need to set an alarm to wake up a little bit early to make sure you get all the details.

2. You’re not doing reality checks

When you know you’re awake during the day, it can seem silly and kind of tedious to keep performing reality checks. But, it’s important that your brain has something it can anchor to while it’s dreaming.

Reality checks don’t have to be complicated; they just need to be anything that let’s you test for certain that you are awake. One of the easiest ones to do is to try to push your finger through the palm of your hand. You obviously won’t be able to do this when you're awake, but it might be very possible when you’re dreaming.

Another trick is to look at a watch, clock or phone. Our dream minds find it difficult to keep track of time, so, watches, clocks or phones aren’t usually accurate during a dream. For example, when you're awake, you can look at your clock and know that the time is accurate. If you look back at it 3 times within the same minute, it’s not going to change.

The same rule doesn’t apply to the dream world. If you look at a clock, the time may not make any sense at all. It could say something like 15:89 or it could read 12:15 pm, but be pitch black outside. If you keep checking a clock during your dream, it will likely change drastically over a short period of time.

Whatever reality check you use, be sure to remind yourself several times each day that you are, in fact, very awake.

3. You’re not giving yourself the time

Simply keeping a dream journal and doing reality checks will probably not be enough to push you into a lucid state when you’re dreaming at night. It’s important to work with your body’s clock to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to have a lucid dream.

Lucid dreaming happens during REM sleep. Most people go through a few phases of REM sleep throughout the night, but the strongest one seems to happen after 5-6 hours.

Everyone is different, so you may need to experiment with your body’s clock. If you can figure out how long it takes you to get into a vivid, deep dream state, you can use this information to liken your ability to have a lucid dream.

Once you figure out when you go into REM sleep, set your alarm clock for that time. For example, if you go into a vivid dream state after 6 hours, set your alarm for 6 hours after you fall asleep. Then, wake up for a few minutes and go back to sleep with the intention of having a lucid dream.

You will probably need to experiment with this method to ensure its success, setting your alarm for different times of the night to figure out what works best. But, after some practice, this technique may be the key to a very successful lucid dreaming practice.

4. You aren’t practicing mindfulness

At it’s very basic core, lucid dreaming is about awareness. The more aware you are during your waking life, the more likely you are to be aware during your dream life.

Many people neglect to implement an awareness practice during their day-to-day routines. If that’s you, try starting a mindfulness practice for 10 minutes every day, and watch it increase the likelihood of a lucid dreaming experience.

Practicing mindfulness may be as simple as sitting quietly for 10 minutes each night before you go to bed, noticing your breath and all of your physical sensations. It can also be as complex as listening to a guided meditation or working with binaural beats. Try a few different techniques and see what works for you.

5. You aren’t using anything to enhance the experience

There are quite a few products on the market that can increase the likelihood of having a lucid dreaming.

These products include herbal supplements, music tracks, meditations, hypnotherapy sessions and even specifically designed pieces of technology that use LED lights.

If you’re having difficulty achieving a lucid dream state, it may be time to invest in some enhancements. In general, all lucid dreaming enhancements are really safe to use, but if you have epilepsy or you’re pregnant, it’s best to consult a physician first before trying anything new out.

A lot of people find it really fun to experiment with all the different supplements out there. It’s hard to say which ones will bring you the most success, so experimenting is the best way to go.

Start easy by using specialized music tracks called binaural beats. If that doesn’t work, find a meditation or hypnotherapy session. After you’ve tried out a few, you can move on to herbal supplements and advanced technology.

Author's Bio: 

Founded in 2003 by Vishen Lakhiani, Mindvalley Academy works with the best authors and the most innovative technology to provide learning experiences on personal growth, health and fitness, spirituality, productivity, mindfulness and more.

We serve over three million students, subscribers and followers worldwide, empowering our audience to lead healthier, happier lives and fulfill their greatest potential.We are ambitiously determined to change education globally and provide innovative, holistic education at all levels of life - from infancy to high school to late adulthood.

Our ultimate goal? To launch a school of growth and humanity for a billion people, unleashing the extraordinary in everyone, with the adamant belief that we can and will impact the world.