Lucid Dreaming Reality Checks

Lucid dreaming reality checks, put simply, are those things that you can do to see whether you are dreaming.  Lucid dreams tend to bend reality a bit (or a lot!), and thus if you train yourself to do reality checks for lucid dreaming during the day you may find yourself doing them during your dreams, with the result being that you realize you are dreaming!  In other words, lucid dreaming reality checks provide a great way to trigger lucidity and are therefore a cornerstone approach.  But what are the basic types of lucid dream reality checks and how do you use them as part of your techniques?  This post goes over those two factors.

Types of Lucid Dreaming Reality Checks

When we are dreaming details around us may either look distorted or may change in ways that cannot happen in reality.  Thus one method of using lucid dreaming reality checks is to stare at something that has some detail or is not expected to change, and see whether your expectations hold true.  Doing this constantly while awake is easy, and can translate into you doing them while dreaming.  Here are some examples:

  • In dreams your fingers may appear distorted.  They are such a detailed part of you that it can be hard for your dream state to keep them looking like they should.  Look at your hands many times each day and you may find that when you look at them while dreaming they do not look as they should.
  • The same goes for your reflection.  It can be hard for our dream state to piece together an accurate and detailed picture of ourselves, so if you look at your reflection often you may find that one of these times it will not look as it should.  Perhaps you are dreaming!
  • People in dreams often change.  So as you go about your day notice the people around you and some details about them.  They should certainly not change into different people!
  • Text in dreams often changes and may be hard to read.  So if you read something once, look away and then read it again, is it the same sentence or group of words?  Is it even in the same language?
  • Surfaces in dreams may not be what they seem.  Lean up against a wall, or push hard on a table.  In a dream state your hand and arm may go right through.  Or maybe the surface will turn to liquid.
  • Often the details in a dream are what is distorted and change a lot.  In other words, the big stuff stays constant but if you look at the little stuff you see that something is amiss.  One example is looking at the face of a watch or your cell phone.  Does it look normal to you?
  • Try jumping or even trying to fly in your dreams.  Jump as high as you can – do you actually come down or do you find that gravity is not working.  You could also try to fly.  Put your mind to lifting off the ground and flying.  Again, if something seems off about gravity, perhaps you are dreaming!
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There are other possible reality checks for lucid dreaming as well, usually having to do with images that are quite detailed or very unique.  You may find your own unique set of lucid dream reality checks.

Lucid Wiki has some great information about reality checks and dream control, and I Love Lucid Dreaming goes over four specific reality checks.

Using Reality Checks for Lucid Dreaming

Learning how to do reality checks is easy, but of course lucid dreaming reality checks do not work if we don’t know to look for them.  The best way, then, to be sure that in your dream you will look for these distortions and bending of reality is to constantly look for them in real life.  Look at your reflection and look at your hands quite often during the day.  Notice the detail and check to see whether anything looks off.  Perhaps accelerate this at night and make sure you are frequently checking these things out before bed.  As they become habit they are more likely to carry through into your dream world, and suddenly you will realize that something is not right, and you are dreaming!

You should also use the power of suggestion with your reality checks for lucid dreaming.  Tell yourself that you will notice these distortions when you are dreaming.  Visualize looking at your hands, or your reflection, or the details of others and see the distortions when you are dreaming.  The power of suggestion can boost your chances of truly making your lucid dreaming reality checks work the next time you are dreaming.

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Reality checks for lucid dreams may work slightly better for WILD lucid dreaming techniques.

Scheduling Lucid Dream Reality Checks

It is absolutely vital that you do as many reality checks as possible each day so that they become a lucid dream trigger.  For this reason you should make sure to make yourself reminders that you will see each day, such as sticky notes in places that you look at often, a rubber band around your wrist, or maybe a temporary tatoo.  One way or another you don’t want to forget to do your lucid dreaming reality checks and you will even benefit from the constant thoughts of doing the checks themselves.  In other words, the reminder of doing the reality check itself becomes a trigger.  Perhaps that same sticky note will appear in your dreams but you will not be able to make out what is written on it!

Lucid Dreaming Reality Checks Conclusion

A lucid dream reality check may lead you to realize you are actually in a dream, so of course the more often you do lucid dreaming reality checks the better, since any part of your daily routine can get incorporated into you dreams.  You don’t necessarily have to do many different kinds of lucid dream reality check; Just choose one or two and stick with them.

Lucid dreaming reality checks are quite a key part of many lucid dreaming techniques, and can almost stand alone as a way to trigger you into knowing that you are having a dream.  Please use our comments section if you have any other ideas for other readers, or have had success with any particular lucid dreaming reality checks.

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