You realize that you're dreaming. You're lucid! Everything snaps into clear focus, the colors are intense. You become extremely excited and decide to fly. Your feet leave the ground as you soar into the air.
But there's a problem. The scene starts fading fast. You're losing control. The dream is collapsing and you're about to wake up! Why is this happening!? What do you do!?
This is a very common experience for lucid dreamers. Just when you think the fun is about to begin, you lose control, and you don't know why.
It happened to me a lot when I began having lucid dreams (and still happens from time to time). It was frustrating. It's not like I could just fall back asleep and make it happen again (or could I?). This took effort!
After much research and trial and error, I began to learn many different ways to keep my lucid dreams going. I went from having lucid dreams that lasted 5-20 seconds, to ones that lasted 30 mins to an hour! These strategies for prolonging lucid dreams will work for you too.
Here are 7 surefire ways of stabilizing and prolonging lucid dreams:
The number one reason you lose control is because you get too excited. When this happens, a biological response is triggered; increasing your heart rate and breathing (just like when you are awake, obviously). Even though you are in a dream, your body thinks that you're awake...so you wake up.
It's just like skinning your knee when you learn to ride a bike. It's destined to happen to everyone and there's almost no way of preventing it from prematurely ending a few lucid dreams.
Instead of flying around right away and getting too excited, take a few moments to calm down and gain your composure. Stay calm and dream on!
You may find that your vision starts out blurry in a lucid dream. This is a sign that you're not fully lucid and need to increase your awareness. By focusing on one object, you can go from being partially lucid to being fully lucid.
Pick any object: a flower, a building, your hand. Now, focus on that object. Look at its minute details, colors, shapes, textures, etc. You will soon find your vision and awareness becoming sharper and sharper.
This effect is similar to manually focusing a camera. In order to have a clear picture, you must zoom in on the object you want to photograph, focus on it, then zoom back out to have a clear image of everything in view.
Practice this often, even multiple times during a lucid dream. Once you "snap back" into focus, you are ready to resume.
This is complementary to the previous step. Try focusing on that object again, but this time start jumping up and down as you look at it. With each jump, your clarity will increase and the dream will snap into pristine focus.
I use this all the time, typically right after becoming lucid. After 5-10 jumps, I have crystal clear vision and the dream becomes incredibly vivid.
This technique was written about by Dr. Stephen LaBerge in his book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. In it he says that spinning around in your lucid dream is an effective way of a) stabilizing the dream and b) changing the dream scene.
If you find yourself in a mundane dream scene and want to become more engaged so that you don't lose focus, try spinning around and imagining the dream changing into an entirely different setting. As you come out of your spin, a new and exciting scene will unfold.
This is one of my favorite techniques for prolonging lucid dreams because it works every time I attempt it. Keep this one handy for all occasions.
Don't worry, you won't get dizzy!
This is a very simple and quick way to increase your lucidity. I equate this tactic to a shot of expresso. Use it as often as you need to for a quick "pick me up."
There are times when you lose lucidity without even waking up. When this happens, you simply go back to a regular dream. Almost as if you zoned out.
If you find this happening a lot, try to focus on the thought that you are dreaming. Repeat out loud "I am dreaming. I am dreaming!" Let everyone around you know that this is a dream and that you plan on keeping yourself lucid.
This is your dream, right!?
Shout out what you want to happen, such as "I demand clarity, now!"
It's best to become fully lucid (using another technique) before trying this. You may find that demanding something when you are only partially lucid has no effect. That's because your subconscious mind is "steering the ship" when you aren't fully lucid. Take control.
If you fail to stabilize the dream and realize that you are about to wake up, there is one great technique that you can use as a last ditch effort.
Enter the DEILD technique, aka Dream Exit Induced Lucid Dream.
Basically 4 steps:
Click on this DEILD link for a more thorough explanation.
Prolonging lucid dreams will soon become second nature because you are now equipped with ammunition to combat against fading dreams, fuzzy vision, boring settings, partial lucidity, and even waking up.
Get excited about the potential you now possess for creating longer and more vivid lucid dreams! You own the night!