10-20 system

This is the internationally recognised system for applying or describing the location of scalp electrodes used in an EEG test.

Every site has a letter to identify the lobe, whereas the number given indicates the hemisphere, etc.


ADA – All Day Awareness

This is an exercise in being constantly aware of yourself and your surroundings, how you interact with everything etc. where possible using all your senses whilst awake, in the hope of enriching your dream experiences.

It is the equivalent of mindfulness meditation.



A method of maintaining awareness whilst attempting WILD.

This anchor can be in the form of concentrating on your breathing, your heartbeat, mentally counting, a ticking clock, a fan, white noise, or using a mantra like ‘I’m dreaming’ for example.


Astral Body

The ‘vehicle’ of consciousness reputed to be used when having an OBE which is separate from the physical body, sometimes via a silver thread, or cord for travelling the astral levels, or planes.

Many references can be found in all cultures, teachings and religious text and beliefs throughout history.

Famous practitioners include: Robert Monroe, Oliver Fox, Sylvan Muldoon, Herewood Carrington, and Yram amongst others.

Also known by other names including: Emotional, mental, subtle, etheric body, doppelgänger, etc. depending on your (spiritual) point of view.


DEILD – Dream Exit Lucid Dream

A method based on the WILD technique where the subject stays still with their eyes closed after waking from a dream whilst setting mental intention of going back into the dream either using imagination, visualization or a mantra.

Preperation over several nights before going to bed to set the desire and discipline to wake up without moving or opening your eyes at the optimum time, either naturally or via a set alarm is key.

(See also WILD)


DILD – Dream Induced Lucid Dream

A common technique where the dreamer has a lucid dream during a normal (non- lucid) type dream.

He or she may suddenly be aware they are dreaming either from doing a ‘reality check’, noticing a ‘dreamsign’ akin to themselves, or from just sheer luck by gaining consciousness out of the blue.


Dream Hacker

An oneironaut or device that can influence or change dreams.

It is also the subject of a (2002) film starring Peter Besson, where a group of medical students build a machine which enables them to travel in other people’s dreams.



1. A person who can hack, control, or manipulate dreams easily. An experienced lucid dreamer for example.

2. A dream-enhancing hardware project made from basic recycled materials featured here on Lucid Dream Art.

(See also Dream Hacker)


Dream Journal

A method of recording one’s dreams from during the night or early morning.

Usually recorded in a small notepad using a pen, either in A4 or A5 size. However a dictaphone, or similar device can be used to take notes for transcribing later.

Computers are proving popular, as well as social media and other blogging sites. However do be aware of your privacy level/dream content before publishing online!

The dream journal is key to gaining dream awareness, as you strengthen your visualisation, memory, and most importantly gain better dream recall, plus your individual dream signs and symbols can be recognised over time.


EILD – Externally Induced Lucid Dream

This generally relies on outside stimuli like flashing lights, music or even vibration to influence your dream scenario.

These external cues may manifest in your actual dreams as police lights, sirens or buzzing for example. Recognizing and being aware of these particular dream signs can lead to a DILD-type lucid dream.

The NovaDreamer mask by The Lucidity Institute is an example of such a device.



An acronym for the book ‘Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming’ by Dr Stephen LaBerge and Harold Rheingold.

First published in 1990.

Generally it is considered the best book on the subject of lucid dreaming, covering most, if not all of the common techniques used today.


False Awakening (FA)

This is a common, but nevertheless frustrating occurrence usually in the form of a vivid dream, often set in the actual bed or bedroom where the subject is convinced they are already awake when in reality they are still asleep like it is in a real-time scenario.

This can be accompanied by a form of sleep paralysis and hallucination in some cases which can be quite frightening and sinister to the subject experiencing the phenomena.

False awakening scenarios can be a by-product of certain techniques including WILD and SSILD.

The experienced oneironaut will use an F.A. as a dreamsign; carry out a reality check to confirm, and then use it as a stepping stone to the start or creation of an actual lucid dream itself.

(See also WILD, SSILD, DEILD, Sleep Paralysis, etc)


FILD – Finger Induced Lucid Dream

This is a variation of WILD or to be more precise, the DEILD technique.

The subject twitches or makes tiny movements of their finger to keep concentration as a form of anchor before and whilst attempting to go back into a dream, or translating into a dream generally after at least 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

(See also DEILD, WILD)



This is the transitional state between being awake and sleeping which is usually accompanied by hallucinations including visual, auditory, tactile sensations, etc.

The equivalent, but opposite transition from sleeping to wakefulness is termed the hypnopompic state.



This is the usually short transitory state between sleep and being awake, usually accompanied by hallucinations.

(See also Hypnagogia)


Lucid Scribe

Defined as: ‘A performance monitor for your Self. Designed to detect eye movements during sleep.’

It is an open source software platform designed by Michael Paul Coder of Lucidcode.

Various plugins for download or development of biofeedback and lucid dream-related devices with/available for Lucid Scribe includes: CPU, Halograph FM, Halovision, NeuroSky ThinkGear, OCZ NIA, OpenEEG, ZEO, etc.

Plugouts include Audio, Yocto PowerRelay, and Arduino devices.



Taken from Sanskrit; this is a sacred sound, syllable, word, or word group which are held to have some spiritual power or belief, as in ‘Om’ for example.

In lucid dreaming terms a mantra is a form of intention or repeated phrase like, “I will remember my dreams tonight” for example.


MILD – Mnemonically Induced Lucid Dream

This technique relies on prospective memory skill by setting future intentions which will be utilised in your dreams as critical observation and questioning of incongruous events, awareness and use of reality checks.

Dr Stephen Laberge developed the technique.

MILD can also be seen in the following forms, for example, dream recall, reality checks, using a mantra, using visualization.

MILD exercises can be performed at any time, although MILD intentions before bed and WBTB are probably the best and most commonly used.


OBE (or OOBE) – Out of Body Experience

This is where the subject claims to leave their physical body.

Often preceding this there is a sensation of ‘floating’ or a ‘sinking’ feeling whilst on the bed, then looking down on your (physical) body from the ceiling.

Some subjects also report vibrations, noises, etc. beforehand. (See ‘Sleep Paralysis’.)

There is a relationship between lucid dreams and the OBE, especially in the regard to dreams of ‘floating’, ‘flying’, and ‘falling’.

Some OBE practitioners even use a lucid dream as a stepping stone to an out-of-body experience.

There is still a lot of contention regarding this subject area amongst psychologists and scientists as to whether the experience is a type of dream or a lucid dream. However people who have experienced this phenomenon clearly distinguish a difference between the two states by stating how ‘real’ the event is.



This is a person who travels in or changes their dream worlds.

The term is of Greek origin (óneiros, ‘dream’) where the term is mostly associated with the practice of lucid dreaming.


R.C – Reality Check(s)

A type of action carried out in a dream by the dreamer to assess or question the dream itself.

A wrong, odd, unexpected or incongruous result will usually result in the dreamer being aware they are dreaming.

Typically these checks are carried out in the waking state, usually with the participant thinking or saying “am I dreaming”, or something along those lines.

The aim of this is for the check to be carried over during dream time when asleep.

Common reality checks include looking at one’s hands, checking light switch operation and looking at LCD displays on your watch or digital alarm clock, to name but a few.



A ‘dreamy’ state of mind or thought. A daydream.



This comes from the Greek ‘σχήμα’ which can mean shape or plan.

Laberge refers to schemas as ‘building blocks of the mind.’

Each of these mental models of the mind, frames, or scripts each comprises the building blocks of perception and thought where new schemas can be created from old ones, etc.


Sleep Paralysis (SP)

The true definition of ‘sleep paralysis’ is a rare medical condition or parasomnia affecting sleep quality of the individual.

Sleep paralysis is not to be confused with REM sleep atonia which is a natural body defence mechanism designed to stop you literally acting out an action whilst you are dreaming it, so you don’t harm yourself. Most of the muscles in your body are paralysed with some of the main exceptions being your eyes, breathing, the heart, etc.

S.P. however happens to some individuals during nREM for example, where in some cases there are times for whatever reason, where you can consciously realize what is going on during this phase which can quite disturbing.

People who have experienced sleep paralysis often find it frightening at first. They find they cannot move their muscles in their arms or legs. The body can feel heavy, even to the point where it feels like someone or something is sitting on them. (This event has the endearing term ‘old hag’ which can be found in folklore, mythology, and art.)

The subject may also sense a ‘presence’, have hallucinations, including auditory and visual, etc. Vibrations, loud whooshing and popping noises, or waves of ‘energy’ through the body are commonly reported.

The common misconception amongst the lucid dreaming community is that S.P. is a WILD prerequisite.

(See also OBE, (OOBE), out-of-body experience)


Spinning (or Dream Spinning)

A common technique used to attempt to stabilize and prolong a lucid dream.

Generally, the subject simply spins around (as the name suggests) during the dream if it is fading.


SSILD – Senses Initiated Lucid Dream

This is a technique which bears a striking resemblance to the Betty Erickson method of self-hypnosis.

It generally relies on the person after 4 or 5 hours of sleep beforehand carrying out a repeated set of 4 to 5 cycles, or sequences of steps in half- minute durations based on analyzing their main senses (i.e. sight, sound, kinaesthetic, etc.) in a relaxed and carefree manner without rational thought before falling back to sleep.

Advantages: This method can be used for DILD, WILD and OBE respectively.

Disadvantages: Common issues with SSILD include false awakenings which need to be recognised for greater success, and sleeplessness due to rational thoughts or interruptions, etc.

(See also DILD, WILD and OBE)



Transcranial alternating current stimulation is a non-invasive method of applying an AC (sinus) current of a low frequency and a low voltage commonly via saline-soaked sponge electrodes over the particular brain region of interest.

Recent findings by German scientists (Voss, et al) found a possible link between 25 and 40 hz gamma waves and lucid dreaming after activating the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC corresponding to F3 and F4) brain regions of 24 volunteer subjects.



Transcranial direct current stimulation is a method of applying a constant DC current source at low voltages to neurostimulate certain areas of the brain via electrodes.

tDCS can be used for performance or memory enhancement and for treating certain medical conditions like depression for example.

It should not however be confused with ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) which is a method of electroshock therapy to induce seizures in psychiatric patients.



Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a method of applying an electric current of pulses at a particular frequency, width or intensity needed to stimulate nerves on a therapeutic basis.

Most TENS machines intended for the consumer are battery operated and are primarily used for treating pain via a set of electrode pads applied to the skin.



Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive method of using electromagnetic induction by means of a magnet or coil to either depolarize or hyperpolarize the brain neurons.

A rapidly changing magnetic field causes specific brain activity with little or no discomfort.

TMS can be used in a clinical setting to measure the activity and function of specific brain circuits found in humans.



A totem in lucid dream terms is an object which has a certain weight, balance or feel to it in waking life.

A user may have a special affinity to the object item in question where it will be used for frequent reality checking.

The concept of using a totem to test dream space was made popular in the film Inception (2010) which starred Leonardo DiCaprio as a thief who could steal secrets from other people’s dreams.


WBTB – Wake Back To Bed

Strictly speaking WBTB is more of a method rather than a technique. Even so it is probably the most common, but most effective out of all the main methods and techniques used for lucid dreaming.

It relies on you waking up earlier than normal, then staying up for 30 minutes to an hour, then going back to bed again with lucid dreaming on your mind when drifting off to sleep with the hope that you will gain awareness.
It has the advantage of being one of the easiest and natural methods there is.

The disadvantages are you have to be disciplined to get up earlier. Also this method does not help if you need to get up for work, as I found practicing WBTB in the early morning can make you tired.

If you are one of these people then try WBTB at the weekend, or one of the many other lucid dream induction techniques.


WILD – Wake Induced Lucid Dream

A more advanced lucid dream induction technique which relies on being awake, then using deep relaxation and visualisation techniques to try to form dream imagery which becomes guided, then at the correct point make your dream a lucid one.

This technique was favoured by the famous lucid dream practitioner, Mr Stephen LaBerge, who often used this method after having an afternoon nap.

Advantages: Gives you the ability to have lucid dreams more or less at will, over time.

Disadvantages: A more difficult technique to learn compared to the rest. Also this method is best tried at certain times, (LaBerge recommended late afternoons,) or after a period of sleep deprivation for greater success.


© 2014 Lucid Dream Art


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