Using Isochronic Tones & Binaural Beats For Lucid Dreaming
Imagine being able to control your dreams – you go to sleep every night, knowing during the next few hours you’ll be able to go anywhere and do absolutely anything you want. You can visit exotic locales, fly through outer space and live out every fantasy you’ve ever had. Your own imagination is the only limit! Well, you can experience all that, by mastering lucid dreaming.
What Is Lucid Dreaming?
Normal dreams are essentially passive – you’re like an actor following someone else’s script, except that you don’t even know what happens, or what you’re going to say and do next. This can be enjoyable, or it can be a nightmare – literally. With lucid dreaming, in contrast, you’re in control. Lucid dreaming has two components: firstly you become consciously aware that you’re dreaming, while the dream is still in process; and secondly, you learn to control your dream environment. Many people learn to become conscious in their dream first, but it takes a bit longer to control what’s happening – this is normal.
How Do You Learn To Have Lucid Dreams?
Some lucky people have lucid dreams easily, without making any particular effort, but for most of us it takes a bit of work and practice. Numerous methods have been proposed over the years for inducing lucid dreams. These include:
- Finding your hands (for example) in your dream – before going to sleep, set a clear intention that you will deliberately look for your hands in your dream, and that when you notice them, you’ll become aware that you’re dreaming. Noticing your hands acts as an anchor, reminding you of your intention to become lucid. This method is more effective if you practice throughout the day too, asking yourself ‘am am dreaming, or am I awake?’ every time you look at your hands.
- Remaining awake while falling asleep – this might sound contradictory, but it basically just involves keeping the mind awake (but very relaxed) while the body passes into the sleep state. When falling sleep, we pass through a borderline ‘hypnogogic’ state, where waking consciousness starts to fade, but we still have some awareness. By staying conscious during this phase, you’ll eventually pass into the dream state with your awareness intact. One method to stop yourself falling asleep is to elevate your forearm as you’re lying in bed – if it starts to fall as you drop off, you’ll be jolted awake.
These lucid dreaming methods have been effective for many people, although they may take a long time to work, depending on various individual factors such as the strength of your desire to have a lucid dream, your level of unconscious openness or resistance to the lucid dreaming experience, and your control over your mental focus.
There is one thing you can do to make the whole process much faster, easier and more reliable however, and that is to make use of brainwave entrainment recordings.
What Is Brainwave Entrainment?
Simply put, your brain produces electrical activity that can be measured as brainwaves. The frequency of these waves is related to your mental state. The brain also has a natural tendency to synchronise with (or entrain to) rhythmic stimuli – such as sounds – that are close to its natural frequency range. By exposing it to a suitable stimulus, the brain will match it in frequency, and in this way you can control your state of consciousness without having to spend years practicing mind control methods.
Dreaming is associated with the production of theta brainwaves. By listening to a recording that includes sounds of the appropriate frequency, the brain will be encouraged to produce theta waves even while you’re still awake. Experienced meditators can also enter the theta state while awake, but it takes a lot of difficult practice to achieve. By using brainwave entrainment the process is much easier, even if you’re not a meditator.
There are different types of brainwave entrainment recordings available – the most popular are binaural beats, but monaural beats and isochronic tones are becoming more well known too. These methods work differently, but all are effective. Isochronic tones are the best choice for many people however, as they’ve been found to be more effective at entraining the brain quickly and easily. They also don’t require the use of headphones, unlike binaural beats. [Read more about how brainwave entrainment and the various sound-based brainwave stimulation technologies work at Brainwave Entrainment And Isochronic Tones – How Do They Work?]
Brainwave Synchronization And Lucid Dreams
As noted, the brain produces theta waves when dreaming. The relaxed state you experience just before sleep and after waking is associated with the production of alpha waves (8 – 12 Hz). By using a brainwave entrainment recording that is specially designed to include the relevant frequencies that are associated with lucid dreaming, your brain will be led to dip back into the theta (dream) state instead of remaining in the alpha (relaxed waking) band and then continuing to full waking consciousness. With a little practice, it will become used to entering the theta state while awake, and lucid dreaming will come easily to you.
It’s important to use a good quality recording that is both well-designed and pleasant to listen to (although this will obviously be subjective). I find the theta meditation recording from The Meditation Club great for getting into a relaxed trance state and bridging that gap into the dream state. This site also does a special recording that’s specifically designed for lucid dreaming; I haven’t tried this yet, so can’t give an opinion on it, but my experience with some of their other recordings has been a good one. They’re all guaranteed for eight weeks anyway, so you can try them and see if they work for you.