How Can You Cause Lucid Dreams?

To induce lucid dreaming, Tiffanie Wen for The Atlantic recommends following the strategy laid out in the book "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming," which centers around identifying discrepancies between reality and dreams to trigger awareness and gain control. The first step is to record dreams and identify themes, followed by employing reality checks to force the brain to consider the possibility it is dreaming.

Wen interviewed lucid dreamers about their experiences and methods. Many of the dreamers shared the method of attempting to check the time and observed that clocks were either inaccurate or impossible to read. Others checked for wedding rings, counted fingers or routinely asked themselves whether they were awake. Smartphone apps to help people dream lucidly have been released as well. Dreamz plays an audio cue that dreamers learn to recognize as a dream indicator.

According to Shirley Wang for The Wall Street Journal, lucid dreamers have demonstrated improvement in cognitive tasks that require insight or problem-solving. Some researchers have hypothesized that taking control of a dream relies heavily on a moment of epiphany, which is common in problem-solving tasks. Wang also refers to researchers who used mild electric stimulation to induce lucid dreaming in dreamers who had never experienced it before.