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Using Reality Testing to Encourage Reflective Awareness During Lucid Dreaming

In my experience as a frequent lucid dreamer, doing reality checks all day long for 3-6 months will notably increase the number of pre-lucid dreams and dreams in which I become lucid as a direct result of reflecting on reality in the dream. An effective reality test consists of the following steps.

Doing an Effective Reality Test

1. When you get a vibration cue, imagine wondering if you are dreaming. Ask, “Am I dreaming?”

2. Do a reading reality test which is the most reliable test for determining whether you are dreaming. Look at a word—three letters will do (numerals and other characters will work too). Try to make the letters change with your mind. Look away. Look back and try to change the letters again. Look away and back again. Imagine the letters actually changing and say to yourself, I am dreaming. Studies by Dr. LaBerge, who invented this test, have shown that in a dream there is a 95% chance the words will change.

3. Now see yourself doing a pre-planned task or activity that you want to do in your lucid dreams.

Using a Custom Countdown Timer for Reality Tests

It is recommend that you use either the Countdown Timer or Custom Timer of your LucidVibes. The repeating Countdown Timer can be set for a specified time period of up to 60 minutes, and will give you a cue at the end of every countdown. The Custom Timer can be set for a more random cue which you are not as likely to acclimate to. For example, let’s say you would like to get a cue on average every 20 minutes, but with a bit of randomness. You could set the CT to give you a cue at 17 minutes, 41 minutes, and 60 minutes. It is suggested that you do a reality test once every 20-60 minutes, during your waking hours, whether at home, work, or play. Choose a time period that you are comfortable with—the cues neither too close together, nor too far apart. I generally suggest using the shortest time period possible, without it becoming so burdensome that you quit altogether. The more reality tests you do while awake, the more likely you will be to do reality checks while dreaming. So that in the case you are dreaming and you begin to wonder if you are dreaming, you will do a reality check and realize that you are dreaming. The experience of becoming lucid during a reality check, with your full faculties intact, can be absolutely amazing.

Developing and Using Dreamsigns

When a cue is delivered by LucidVibes, imagine yourself in a dream questioning reality, and then becoming lucid. For this purpose, you will need to choose a bizarre dreamsign (something that is impossible or very unlikely to occur while awake) that has resulted in lucidity. If you do not yet have any dreamsigns that have gotten you lucid, then choose the most outrageous one that occurs relatively frequently.

Working with Sky Dreamsigns is Very Effective for Getting Lucid

Personally, Sky Dreamsigns are very effective for getting me lucid, such as seeing a plane crash into the ground, or noticing 2 full moons in the sky, etc. Because of my success in getting lucid with these dreamsigns, at some point I decided to incorporate them into my reality tests. Interestingly, as a direct result of the practice, my unconscious mind kept coming up with even more amazing sky dreamsigns such as 20-foot icicles hanging down from low clouds; an upside down strip of land with trees, mountains, and fields hanging high above me; a painted blue sky peeling in spots with white underneath, representing clouds; and so on. It was absolutely amazing to see how the unconscious took what I fed it and transformed it into some other sky sign that I had never considered on a conscious level. So here is the reflective awareness technique that came out of this practice.

Sky Dreamsign Practice

1. Vibration cue goes off.

2. Imagine seeing your chosen dreamsign such as 7 different colored moons in the sky, and then wondering what is happening.

3. See yourself concluding, “I must be dreaming!”

4. Then imagine doing your pre-planned task.

With this new technique, I do not actually test to see if I am dreaming as with the reading reality test. Instead I imagine seeing a sky sign, and then immediately becoming lucid. So technically it is not a reality test, but instead is an exercise in reflective awareness. Your reflection on objects in your dream skies will noticeably increase with this practice.

You may also combine the reality test and reflective awareness techniques. This may at first be more effective than doing either alone.

1. Vibration cue is delivered.

2. Imagine seeing a dreamsign such as 7 different colored moons in the sky. (Pick one from your dreams.)

3. Am I dreaming?

4. Do a reading reality test as described above.

5. Conclude “I am Dreaming.”

6. Now see yourself doing a pre-planned task or activity.

Taking a Walk and Rehearsing Sky Dreamsigns

Taking a daily walk, of at least 15-minutes, and imagining seeing your Sky dreamsigns in the sky while you are walking, appears to enhance the practice. It can be very effective if done not long before going to bed. Try doing this 2-3 times a week for several weeks in a row. Prepare to be amazed at what happens in your dreams.

Verbally describe your dreamsigns as you imagine seeing them.:

Seven moons. I must be dreaming!
Clouds with 20-foot icicles hanging down. I must be dreaming.
Trees with faces flying in the air. I am dreaming!

Each time you see a new variation of your particular dreamsign, write it down on your list, and use it in your practice. Before long you may find you have 20, 30, or even 40 dreamsigns that you can practice during your walks and reality tests.

Good dreaming! If you have any questions or experiences to share, please contact me.


























Since you bothered to page down, maybe its time to do a reality check! ;)