Lucid dreaming is all about being aware that you are in a dream. In simple words, it is taking control of your dreams. By taking control, you can totally change your dream world into a wonderland or an adventure park. You can fly, eat your favorite food, play games with your favorite celebrities, be the CEO of a multi-million dollar business, time-travel, meet aliens, explore your inner-self, etc.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Although Lucid dreaming might take a lot of time and patience to get started, it has endless possibilities. Apart from having fun, there are some really good uses of Lucid Dreaming.
- You can overcome your nightmares and phobias
- Increase your creativity beyond imagination
- Enhance your decision making
- Improve real-life skills without any risks and injuries
- Emotional healing
- Better understanding your inner-self
Techniques for Lucid Dreaming
There are a lot of proven techniques to Lucid Dreaming like SILD (Subliminal Induction), CAT (Cycle Adjustment Technique), MILD (Mnemonic Induction), VILD (Visual Induction), SSILD (Sensors Intended), Chaining Dreams Techniques, FILD (Finger Induction), Hypnagogic Imagery Technique, WBTB (Wake Back To Bed Technique), etc.
It is really hard to explain each and every technique and it is beyond the scope of this article. Having said that, all these small techniques, come under two major categories – WILD (Wake Initiated or Wake Induced) and DILD (Dream Initiated or Dream Induced). Wake Initiated technique allows you to Lucid Dream within minutes after you sleep. Whereas, Dream Initiated technique allows you to Lucid Dream in the middle of the sleep, mostly after 3 – 5 hours of sleep.
Best Lucid Dreaming Apps for Android & iOS
Irrespective of any technique that you follow, they have similar requirements like dream journaling, reality checking, time tracking, binaural sounds, games, movies, etc. So just like everything these days, ‘there is an app for it’. But instead of just mentioning the apps, I would rather mention the process and apps required to fulfill it.
1. Reality Checking Apps
Reality checking is something that has to be done irrespective of the technique you are using to become lucid. You have to question yourself “Are you dreaming?” every now and then. Next, perform a reality check of your own to confirm whether you are in a dream or reality. It can be something like reading text, counting your fingers, moving objects without touching, pushing your finger into your other hand, etc. For instance, the Totem spinner in the Inception movie is a good example of a reality checking method.
Anyhow, you can find many reality checking methods online and combine it with a reality checking app. The main purpose of a reality checking app is to send timely notifications to do a reality check when you are awake. This has to be done every day similar to normal tasks like walking, eating, etc. So after a certain period of practice, the habit slides from reality into dreams. You will be doing reality checks even when you are sleeping.
Lucid and Lucidity are some of the best apps for a reality check. Both the apps offer a lot of settings like you can set the frequency of the notifications per day, silent period, custom notification sound, etc. The Lucidity app on iOS & Android is not similar, anyhow both the apps are good and serve the same purpose.
2. Dream Journaling Apps
Similar to reality checks, dream journaling is also useful to become lucid. It involves writing down your dreams right after you wake up. Because humans tend to forget 50% of the dream in the first 5 mins. Dream journaling helps you understand the clues and patterns of your dreams. By understanding these patterns, it becomes easy to recognize whether you are in a dream or not. For instance, if you get a lot of animals in your dream, you can make your mind to do a reality check next time you see an animal. These reality checks slowly will apply to your dreams as well.
Luci(0.77$) and Dreams are undoubtedly the best dream journal apps you can find. They not only offer to write down your dreams but also record voices, drawings, etc. The best part is, they automatically show the common clues and patterns in your dreams without any manual input. Privacy is another major concern and these apps do provide a PIN-lock option.
Cloud sync, by default, is turned off in both Luci and Dream app.
In addition to these apps, Lucidity (Android | iOS) and Lucid (Android ) also provide dream journaling along with reality checks. Moreover, you can also check out the Dream Journal Ultimate app. It is community-driven where people share their lucid dreams. You can read them and also post your own dreams.
Download Luci (Android)
Download Dreams (iOS)
3. Binaural Sounds
Binaural Sounds is useful for the WILD (Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming) technique. WILD is all about directly getting into lucid dreams as soon as you go to sleep. Now, listening to binaural sounds not only helps you sleep and dream faster but it also disturbs you enough to keep you conscious.
Everyone has their own favorite style in terms of binaural beats. But amongst all, you should try out the White Noise Generator and White Noise Ambiance Lite app. They generate real-life sounds of rain, car, fan, lightening, etc. It can also play multiple binaural sounds at once at different volumes.
Additionally, you can also try the Binaural Beats Therapy (Android | iOS) app which provides multiple categories like creativity, relaxation, power nap, etc. You also get a special Lucid dreams category which can be perfect for Lucid Dreaming. Apart from these, both Android and iOS have a huge list of white noise apps.
Download White Noise Generator (Android)
Download White Noise Ambiance Lite (iOS)
4. Meditation Apps
Meditating is definitely not part of lucid dreaming because lucid dreaming is all about being conscious of your dreams. However, meditation will help you to lucid dream quickly. If you are new and trying to get lucid dreams, I highly suggest you start meditation. That will make your mind and dreams more consistent. So that you won’t wake up immediately after recognizing you are in the dream.
Calm is the best app you can get for meditation. It has tutorials, music, stories, guiding lessons while you are meditating, etc. However, Calm is a paid app and you will have to shell out $12.99/month after the initial 7-day trial. In case you want a free alternative, a combination of Let’s meditate and Simple Habit is also a good option.
5. Sleep Tracking Apps
Sleep is of utmost importance for people who want to lucid dream. These dreams can only occur when you are totally comfortable and relaxed. Hence, maintaining a minimum sleep time of 7 – 9 hours per day is recommended. But having said that, different techniques require a different sleep schedule. For example, WBTB techniques require you to wake up in between the sleep, go back to bed after 20 minutes and try to continue the same dream as much as possible. Whereas the VILD technique asks you to maintain at least 24 hours between 2 periods of sleep.
If you are starting out or already experienced, Sleep tracking apps can help you to track your sleep. I would recommend Sleep as Android and Pillow automatic sleep tracker. These apps can not only track sleep on their own but can also be paired with your smartwatch or fitness tracker. The sleep data is well laid out combined with your sleep analytics.
Download Sleep as Android (Android)
Download Pillow automatic sleep tracker (iOS)
6. Visual Games & Movies
The only limit to your Lucid dreaming is your own imagination and creativity. So I would suggest you watch movies or TV shows with a lot of graphics or animation. In the case of games, I highly suggest you play first-person games as you will be lucid dreaming in a similar way. Other than that, puzzle games are also helpful to increase your creativity and imagination which is a key functionality for dreams. To start off, try Minecraft, Dragon Ninja Rush, Roblox & Simcity.
7. Training and Target Tracking Apps
After all, if you are a beginner you would definitely need apps that can improve your knowledge of Lucid Dreaming. You can always learn on Google or Youtube but a dedicated app is much recommended. It will provide you daily targets which will help you get closer to your goal. The Mind app is one of the best apps that can train you with lessons on lucid dreaming. It also provides you lessons on meditation, consciousness, out of body experience which can be helpful for Lucid Dreaming. However, it is a paid app costing $5.99.
Another app that I would recommend is Dream: ON which is iOS only. But it covers the entire training part and also provides reality-checking and dream journaling.
MILD Trainer is an Android-only app that provides you daily targets. It is a technique that is good for beginners who want to try Lucid Dreaming. MILD initially provides 4 easy targets. But, as you go on, the number of targets and complexity increases. You actually need to perform these targets in reality in the morning and try to replicate the same while you sleep. You may not be able to do them at the start but as time and practice go, you can remember all the targets in the sleep and achieve them. MILD is quite interactive and you can rate your daily performance and even track your overall performance in the app itself.
Download Dream: ON ( iOS)
Download MILD Trainer (Android)
All these apps may look confusing. To make things clear, here are the apps which I used. Lucid is the app that I have used back then for Dream Journaling and Reality checks. These are the most important essential things for Lucid dreaming. If you want automatic detection of clues in your dream, you can go with the paid app, Luci. White Noise Generator is my personal favorite Binuearal beats app, but I normally use all the apps for a change.
MILD & DILD are the technique which I have followed and MILD trainer app is my app of choice. I didn’t use any sleep tracking or meditating apps but using one really makes things easier. Having said that, these are just the apps of my preference, feel free to try out the remaining apps in this post.
Also Read: Best Alarm Clock Apps for Heavy Sleepers