A Wake Initiated Lucid Dream, or WILD, is possibly one of the most amazing types of lucid dreaming experiences that someone can have. Unfortunately it's one of the most difficult lucid dreaming techniques to induce.
In this article I'm going to give tips on how to induce a WILD and the obstacles you may encounter, such as sleep paralysis.
When attempting to induce a Wake Initiated Lucid Dream you must be physically and mentally primed for the right conditions. Simply put, your body and mind must be in perfect synchronization in preparation for sleep onset. I've found the ideal setting is to have a relatively tired or fatigued body, while maintaining a mentally alert, awake and enthusiastic mind.
There are a number of ways to fatigue the body before going to sleep. Doing so does make it easier to enter the induction process for the WILD. I've personally found that exercising in the evening is a good way to do this. There is also a tea that works great called Sweet Dreams Herbal Tea by Bigelow.
If you do decide to use a food or beverage to aid the induction process I highly recommend staying away from excessively stimulating substances like coffee, energy drinks and anything else containing a high amount of sugar. In fact, I would avoid ingesting anything similar to the above mentioned for at least 2 hours before bed.
When laying in bed to begin the Wake Initiated Lucid Dream induction process you should remain calm and try to clear the mind of any clutter -- issues from the previous day, anger, turmoil, stress. Your favorite meditation is also HIGHLY recommended before going to bed to help clear the mind.
After laying in bed for awhile, your body will begin to start falling asleep like normal. This is the part where you must stay mentally alert, aware and awake as your body succumbs to sleep onset. During the process of sleep onset you must undergo sleep paralysis and may also encounter some other unpleasant phenomena.
Below are some of the most common phenomena experienced during sleep onset when inducing a WILD; and some of the ways I have handled them.
Sleep paralysis is the evolutionary process when the brain systematically paralyses the body each night as we fall asleep. Scientific studies have shown that it not only affects humans, but certain animals as well. Scientific studies in sleep and dream research suggests that sleep paralysis's purpose is to protect the body during sleep to keep it from acting out our dreams which could cause injury. During the onset of sleep paralysis you may feel sensations of heaviness in your limbs and pressure on the chest and thighs.
You must remain passive and aware during this process no matter how unpleasant it may feel. Keep in mind that this process happens every night. The only difference is that you aren't typically awake when sleep paralysis sets in. So just enjoy the imagery and sounds presented to you as much as possible to get your mind off of the un-pleasantries of sleep paralysis.
FEELINGs OF SUFFOCATION
While awake we partially control our breathing, usually breathing at a normal pace (see the video for my hilarious demonstration). Our breathing during sleep is very irregular in comparison to when we are awake and in partial conscious control of our breathing patterns. As the brain begins to take full control of breathing for the night, you may experience a feeling of suffocation. Despite the un-pleasantries, it will pass and know that you will not suffocate.
It's extremely important that you do not become to excited or rattled during this transition. This is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome when attempting a Wake Initiated Lucid Dream and getting to excited or paying to much attention to the sensations can wake your body up, failing the lucid dream induction technique.
Ok...So before we go further I'm just going to admit that this is personally my least favorite stimuli that one may encounter when attempting to induce a WILD. When the brain and body are still attempting to synchronize, the brain will send signals to your body to ensure that it is indeed ready for sleep (this is typically the last stage before sleep paralysis begins to set in).
This signal is usually in the form of an itch. If the body is ready for sleep and the mind is wide awake, many people will report that they begin to start feeling itching all over. Crazy as this will sound, don't try to satisfy and scratch these itches. Doing so will wake the body up reversing the induction process.
Sound Distortion & Depressurization
During and after the onset of sleep paralysis one may hear and feel some interesting sensations. Typically that of sound distortion and the feeling of depressurization. For me the sound distortion is the sounds of things in the room, such as my circulation fan or music, sounding as if they are becoming distant or completely removed from sense perception. Quite literally they are, because your external senses are deactivating and going inward (which is why you can taste, touch, smell, hear and see in your dreams).
You may also experience sensations of depressurization; like being under water or ascending to a high altitude. I personally find most of these stimuli pleasant and interesting. However, others may find these distortions to be very unpleasant and disturbing.
It is incredibly important to stay alert but avoid getting to excited about the physical stimuli and mental phenomena you're experiencing. Try and enjoy the ride and be a passive observer. Getting to excited can cause the body to fully wake up, ending the process, forcing you to restart the induction technique all over again.
Once you have successfully made it past the above mentioned obstacles, sit back and enjoy the hypnagogic imagery your mind presents to you. After awhile you will begin to notice that these random blobs and images become less random and start to solidify and take realistic form. Then, before you know it they will form an actual dreamscape and you'll find yourself standing in it within a successful Wake Initiated Lucid Dream.