When we start a new practice, it’s natural for us to look for the shortcuts and the quickest ways to increase our chances to have a lucid dream. I will first preface this article by reiterating that lucid dreaming is a skill that takes practice, dedication and time. Second, I will say that if you are looking for a good pair of techniques to start with, then look no further than WBTB + MILD.

I had the pleasure of reading, “Inducing Lucid Dreams: The Wake Back to Bed Technique in the Home Setting,” by Shredl, Dyck & Kuhnel. Over the course of five weeks, 50 participants selected one night a week to attempt WBTB with the goal of having a lucid dream.

Each participant picked one night a week, for five weeks, to attempt the WBTB technique. Participants in the study who practiced WBTB at home increased their probability of having a lucid dream by almost 12% compared to those who did not practice an induction technique. Even among participants who had never had a lucid dream (N=10), 50% had at least one lucid dream over the course of the five-week study. However, these occurred on a non-WBTB night.

Replicating previous studies, these findings suggest that practicing the WBTB technique can give us a boost in lucid dreaming frequency.

I get it, even after over a decade of lucid dreaming, I still occasionally dread the 3:00 am alarm and the risk of not being able to fall asleep, but the trade-off, the chance to become lucid, is well worth it!

Now, if we attempt WBTB every single night, we may cause ourselves to feel fatigue in the morning. In the study, this was offset by conducting the WBTB only once per week and sleeping in longer on those days. For those of you who are ready to try this at home, let’s talk briefly about mitigating and maximizing the WBTB:

1. Pick a weekend or a day when you don’t have obligations the next morning – this will encourage you to enjoy the process of getting up without the pressure.
a. As mentioned previously, the study found that additional rest after the WBTB, if it was allowed, did not have negative effects on feelings of restfulness the next day.
2. Time the alarm for after your third REM cycle.
a. This is about 4-6 hours after you go to bed.
3. When you wake up, lay still, try to recall your previous dream and record what you can remember. During this time, keep the room dark and avoid cellphones and other electronics.
4. Spend about 30 minutes awake. During this time, think about your previous dream to identify any dreamsigns. Then, decide on a goal for your next dream.
5. Utilize the Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreaming (MILD) technique: this uses our prospective memory to remind us to do something in the future. Using the MILD technique primes your mind to recognize that you are dreaming the next time it occurs.
a. As you fall asleep, say to yourself: The next time I am dreaming, I want to remember I am dreaming! This phrasing is best because it is intentional.
6. Then, go back to bed!

These studies were conducted at home and used social media as a support mechanism to inspire consistency with a questionnaire in the morning. This implies the benefits of a support system such as a Dream Circle, WBTB Support Group, etc., and the utilization of some kind of recordkeeping, be it your Notes app, Dream Journal, or the like. This is precisely why I started a WBTB support group every Sunday at 6:00 am Eastern Standard Time.

One observation of the study is that longer intervals of training are needed to really understand the effects of these techniques on lucid dreaming frequency in the long-term. I for one am greatly looking forward to more research on this topic!

For questions, comments, or to sign up for the WBTB Support group to maximize your lucid dreaming practice, you can go to www.DreamBigDreamLucid.com

Acknowledgement: The author wishes to sincerely thank Dr. Benjamin Baird for his feedback by which this article was greatly improved.

Works Cited:

Shredl, Dyck & Kuhnel. (2020). Inducing Lucid Dreams: The Wake Back to Bed Technique in the Home Setting. Dreaming Magazine, 287-296. Volume 30, No.4. December 2020.

This article was released in issue from

June 2021

Similar Posts

Support our mission!

To keep the LDE as a free resource for lucid dreamers around the world, consider making a one time, monthly or quarterly donation via Patreon or Paypal. Your support helps pay for the annual costs of this volunteer effort.