Reality check, now!

WE ARE AWAKE! (or are we?)

That very basic premise is the jumping point for my new novel, A Dream of Waking Life, which I'm so excited to finally share with everyone. In celebration of the release of my novel, I've decided to host another AMA.

Link to the AMA from last year with thousands of wonderful questions from all of you: Past AMA

My free guide to the basics of lucid dreaming: Lucid Dreaming Guide

To follow me on social media, check out any of my work, or reach out to me personally, everything you need to know (I think?) can be found on my site,

Tens of thousands of people over the past decade have reached out to me for help with starting (and stopping!) their lucid dreaming journey, asking for insight beyond what I provided in the beginner's guide that millions have viewed. So, ask away, fellow oneironauts, psychonauts, and generally curious minds! Let's go lucid!

Proof: Here's my proof!

Edit: Additional Proof in the form of an instagram post I just posted: proof

Edit 2: Once again, you are all blowing my mind at how interested you are in lucid dreaming. I love to see this level of passion for lucidity! It wasn't always so popular! I just want to assure you that I am still answering questions. I like to give everyone a genuine answer. I'll be here all day, and if the questions keep coming, I'll be here for 3 full days just like last AMA. So, keep asking, and I will get to your question in time. I'm sorting by oldest, so first come first serve. If I skip your question, it's probably because it was already answered, so make sure to check some of the answers too. Thanks everyone!

Edit 3: It looks like things have mostly died down. There are a few longer multipart questions I haven't answered yet, but rest assured I will get to you! :D Thank you everyone who participated. This was a ton of fun! Feel free to keep asking questions if you're late to the party. I'll be around tomorrow and over the weekend here and there to keep answering!

Comments: 467 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

Snip351 karma

How fast does real time pass during a dream? Can you get in hours of lucid dreaming a night or is it much shorter than that?

Whyamiani91 karma

Hi there, thanks for the question!

For me, dream time and waking life time are basically 1:1. So, I experience Lucidity for as long as my REM cycle occurs, which extends with each subsequent cycle throughout the night. Many lucid dreamers claim to be able to perform time dilation, and therefore make a single dream feel like it can last days or even, as some claim, lifetimes. I think these stories of lifetimes within dreams are probably farfetched, but I have no way of knowing that. I spend most of my time nowadays attempting time dilation in my dreams, but to no avail. I'm not sure it's possible, but then again, I could just be restricting myself subconsciously. Maybe one day I'll succeed as others claim to have succeeded.

h4xr4nubs50 karma

I'm curious, how do you know when you actually dream or if you are just awake and its surreal?

Whyamiani102 karma

Hi there, and thanks for the award :) Glad to see people so interested in lucid dreaming!

Truth is, you can never really know with perfect certainty, and that's why it's so important to utilize reality checks.

Best reality checks imo:

-- Look at hands

-- Try breathing with mouth and nose closed

-- Try reading text (it will look weird in a dream)

-- Flip a light switch. Usually something weird will happen, like it makes a sound.

-- Try pushing your hand through something solid

-- (if you're advanced, you can even get a tattoo to help you, as it will be there permanently. Head to my Insta link to see mine)

The thing to keep in mind is that some reality checks can and will fail, so it's best to do 2 or 3 just to be sure. As a lifelong lucid dreamer, this can get a bit strange frequently doing reality checks to make sure you really are awake, but it's better than being confused, and the lucid dreaming journey is worth it imo!

FluidAcrylicEater44 karma

Hi, What is the common reason someone might want to experience lucid dreaming regularly? It's a scary thought to me.

Whyamiani77 karma

SO many reasons!

Some people do it for recreation, others do it for catharsis by meeting dead relatives. Others do it to practice physical skills or even study for school (that's what I did as a boy, I was a bit obsessed with getting perfect grades). Some people do it as a meditative practice, while others do it as therapy to confront their fears or as a safe form or exposure therapy. The reasons are endless and only limited by the mind itself.

Cyb0rgorg35 karma

What's the easiest way to go lucid with zero experience?

Whyamiani50 karma

Start keeping a dream journal and practicing deep relaxation and visualization of becoming lucid as you are falling asleep. For some people, that's all it takes. At a minimum, for most people, this at least improves dream recall and dream vividness.

InappropriateTA31 karma

Is it OK (once trained) to dream lucidly all the time? I feel like lucid dreaming might not be as restful.

Another: once you train yourself to dream lucidly, can you switch back to ‘uncontrolled’ dreams?

Whyamiani25 karma

  1. It depends on the person. I don't personally find lucid dreaming draining at all. I wake up perfectly rested even after a night of multiple lucid dreams. For others, they find it to be utterly exhausting. In empirical studies that have been performed, they also seem to show conflicting evidence pointing to a remarkably subjective experience when it comes to exhaustion and lucidity. There are many people that come to me asking for a way to STOP lucid dreaming because it is so tiring for them. As a person who is not a natural, I envy them lol, but then again, from their point of view, it is a curse.
  2. It is VERY easy for me to switch back to normal dream flow. I have to actively work to retain lucidity, but falling back into normal dream flow is as easy as laying back and closing my eyes in the dream. Again, for others, it is the opposite, but the vast majority seem to be like me.

VeneroM25 karma

As someone who has wanted to learn to lucid dream in the past, I have read that it is an activity that can be physically exhausting; i.e. you do not get the normal rest that you would get from sleeping without lucid dreaming. In your experience, do you limit how often you lucid dream for this reason or would you say that you wake up rested even while lucid dreaming?

Whyamiani18 karma

I answered this on another comment, but to put it simply, this is entirely subjective. Even empirical studies show a remarkable level of variability when it comes to lucidity and exhaustion. For me personally, I feel perfectly rested from lucid dreams. For others, it is extremely exhausting and even screws up their whole day!

ZomBeerd19 karma

Are lucid dreams inherently easier to remember once you wake up, or is there a trick to keeping their memory from slipping away?

Whyamiani22 karma

In my experience, it is remarkably easier to remember a lucid dream due to the fact that you are already practicing dream recall and dream vividness in order to experience the lucid dream in the first place. The trick to keeping it from slipping away is to immediately write what you remember in a dream journal or record it on a voice recorder. The process of going over it in your mind will also ingrain it into the long-term memory even greater.

lil_layne13 karma

How do you not wake up when you realize you are in a dream?

Whyamiani19 karma

Great question!
This is probably the single most common question I get via email. Here is what helps me and others I know the most:

-- Scream "Increase lucidity!" Keep screaming it over and over again if you have to.

-- Rotate on your axis. Like, imagine there is a pole going down the center of your head to the floor, and rotate your body around that pole without physically trying to spin it. I have no idea why this works, but it works for a ton of people, including myself.

-- Visualize yourself in a new environment. This seems to exact a level of control that convinces your mind to stay in it. Keep flitting through environments if you have to.

-- Ask a dream character to help you. Sometimes they just go, "okay, you're more lucid now," and that alone works. Other times they hit you or something, or of course, many just ignore you lol.

-- My personal technique when I was young was to have a radio hovering next to me playing music with my own voice, repeatedly saying, "increase lucidity!" against the beat so it would be more jarring. It's annoying at first, but over time, you'll be able to exact control with greater ease.

Edge_of_the_Unoverse4 karma

Is it possible confidence plays a part? I often lose lucidity shortly after I realize I'm dreaming because I'm convinced I'll screw it up.

Whyamiani3 karma

Absolutely! Confidence and belief in oneself is fundamental to this practice.

RelevantSomewhere66112 karma

I'm glad people are talking about lucid dreaming. Out of your examples for reality checks, the only one that works for me is trying to read a book. But surprise I usually don't have any books around in a dream. I never thought about my tattoos though. I'll try that next time I'm having a lucid dream. But my question is, out of all the tests and research you've done, do you have lucid dreamers who also claim that most of the time they don't dream?

Whyamiani13 karma

All people dream, you just don't remember. But yes, most people, including lucid dreamers, experience "empty dreams" aka don't remember their dreams. However, if you are actively keeping a dream journal, the vast majority of people not only remember their dreams, but remember ALL of their dreams from the night, as you have a separate dream with each subsequent sleep cycle.

Icy_Committee_449612 karma

Do you have any tips on how to try and separate lucid dream memories from real ones? I have been naturally lucid dreaming for over 20 years and for me it can be either a lot of fun or incredibly exhausting, for me the biggest problem is remembering things (especially conversations) that happened in my lucid dreams as real.

Whyamiani8 karma

I also have this problem. I have also been lucid dreaming for just over 20 years. I think that confusion just comes with the territory. The better we get at going lucid, the more real our lucid dreams become. To be honest, I have just accepted that I am confused about reality. Sometimes I just ask people, "hey, did this happen or nah?" The only truly effective method I have found is to write down the most meaningful and potentially confusing memories on a spreadsheet on shorthand form, and just put "Dream" next to those entries. I look back at these entries every so often to remind myself what's real. This is especially important as a person with bipolarism who is prone to delusions if I'm not careful and disciplined.

rjsh9278 karma

  1. Can anyone Lucid dream or some people immune from it?
  2. how much time and practice it takes to master lucid dreaming?
  3. Will you advise Lucid dreaming for someone who suffers from sleep paralysis?

Whyamiani16 karma

  1. Even people with aphantasia can lucid dream, so technically, anyone can do it. That being said, for some, it is remarkably harder than others. I was personally not a natural. When I started at the age of 13, I took me close to 4 months to have my first lucid dream. For others, it takes them a single night.
  2. Again, this is extremely subjective. Some people don't even have to try: they are just born being able to do it without effort. I wish I was one of those people haha.
  3. All people experience sleep paralysis except for individuals who sleep walk/sleep talk. Sleep paralysis is a natural part of healthy sleep. It's purpose is to keep you from acting out your dreams. When you say "suffer from sleep paralysis" what you mean is "wake during sleep paralysis." This can be an extremely scary experience, and you can even see the old hag, which is very terrifying. However, once you get good at calming yourself and remembering that it's al in your head, even the old hag can become exhilarating rather than purely scary.

FlatParrot57 karma

Why did I suddenly stop remembering most of my dreams after they all became lucid dreams in childhood? It's rare for me to remember any dreams since they all became lucid.

Is it common to exercise quite a lot of control of the reality of one's lucid dreams?

Whyamiani10 karma

I don't think I've ever heard someone experience that actually. All of your dreams became lucid and you can't remember them? How do you know they were lucid, then? Very interesting.

It is definitely uncommon to have high control in lucid dreams simply because it takes a great deal of discipline and practice for most people, including myself.

w3hwalt6 karma

Hi! I recently realized I'd been lucid dreaming for years - I have some small amount of control over my dreams, can influence their direction, etc. If I focus on something before I go to bed I can often dream of it, and during a dream I can change the directory if I've already thought about doing so beforehand (for example, I used to have a ton of 'you're back in high school' type dreams, decided when I was awake I wanted to have them less and decided I'd dream about X instead, and now when I start having them I can switch my dream onto another track).

I thought everyone did this, but apparently not!

What advice do you have for someone in my position, who isn't a total beginner and wants to learn more? Besides, obviously, reading your book, which I plan to!

Whyamiani6 karma

You are definitely a natural! Thank you for checking out my guide and book! I think you will enjoy them. However, for you, it is best to embark on a personal journey of experimentation and goal setting in your lucid dreams. I highly recommend challenging yourself to attain certain powers, or create certain impossible mechanisms. This will hone your control. To increase vividness and recall, you can also try:

- WBTB method

-- REM deprivation (not recommended for health reasons, but I know of many that have used this with success)

-- b-vitamins

-- Calea Z

-- extreme amounts of exercise throughout the day

-- sleeping in a whole new environment in a strange position

-- Pranayam breathing exercises before bed

-- Intense Hatha yoga before bed (just similar to the exercise advice. I just know guys that cardio didn't work but the hatha yoga did)

Swan_Z6 karma

Around 2007 I tried learning to lucid dream and I would often die in my dream causing me to wake up feeling absolutely exhausted. It was quite traumatic and I ended up stopping. Is there anyway to bypass this or avoid it?

Whyamiani9 karma

Yes. I also experienced so many death dreams in the beginning of my practice when I was 13/14. I highly recommend utilizing WILD technique and entering the dream directly into a place of peace. If the dream turns violent and you are going to die, this is your chance to practice your emotional control. Get excited about dying. Celebrate it with the dream. Laugh and jump for joy. The next time the death experience arises, the pattern will be to convert the scenario into one of happiness, thereby subconsciously overriding it.

Bluray505 karma

What would you recommend to somebody who never or very rarely dream? I mean I’m sure my brain is dreaming during nights but I never remember them, maybe once in a month and usually when I’m very exhausted.

I really wish to be able to achieve lucid dreaming. Is your guide still applicable ?


Whyamiani3 karma

The guide is especially applicable to you! Make sure to check it out and follow it. But to put it simply, you need to make lucid dreaming and dream recall in general a foundational aspect of your life -- something that you focus on on a daily basis. Numerous meditative dreaming techniques, like MILD, relax the brain and help it enter a state of increased recall. So much of this practice involves gaining control of the mind, and with that, you can also tell the mind you want more recall, and it will obey with enough practice.

AQen5 karma

Hey ES! I started reading your new book and was wondering if I get good at lucid dreaming could I intentionally make my dream like one of the dreams in your book and live in that world for a bit in my dream?

Whyamiani6 karma

Hey there! Thanks so much for giving the book a go! :D The easy answer is: yes! Of course you can. You are limited only by your imagination and discipline in your practice.

I hope you enjoy the story btw! I would love to hear what you think once you finish :)

rafa_csc5 karma

Hi! Can i turn a sleep paralysis episode into a lucid dream? And if yes, this is a good thing to do and how to deal with the old hag?

Whyamiani4 karma

Yes you can. I personally look forward to sleep paralysis now, including the old hag, for that exact reason: it's easier to enter lucidity from that stage of sleep. When sleep paralysis occurs, breathe deep and stay calm, repeating MILD or WILD method in your mind. If the old hag is there, you must greet her and even thank her for being there. She is just a reflection of your mind. If you are afraid, you give her strength and realness.

superCobraJet5 karma

Do you have an opinion on whether Calea Zacatechichi is a useful tool in assisting lucid dreaming?

Whyamiani7 karma

I have a lengthy history of using Calea Z. It works almost too well. Please keep in mind that there is little to no long term studies on its short or long term effects on the body. But yes, Calea Z is the most effective substance I have ever encountered to not only make becoming lucid easier, but even more noticeably, making dreams intensely vivid. It's like dreaming in 16k resolution.

fiddlenutz4 karma

Is it true eating sharp cheddar and a banana before bed helps with lucid dreaming?

Whyamiani6 karma

Depends on who you ask. However, I find that both of these have no real effect. Some substances that seem to have a clear and noticeable effect on increasing dream recall and dream vividness in my experience:

-calea Z
-blue lotus
-mugwort (had no effect for me, but others claim it helps)

Gem-Reddit4 karma

I see faces sometimes as im waking up, in a flipbook animation style where i see each face for a millisecond before it switches to the next face. I can never recognise the faces but they are so distinct that i can even pick out small details about them like their noses and hair styles. Google says they are Hypnopompic hallucinations. Why does it happen? Are these faces of real people that ive stored in my unconscious?


Whyamiani4 karma

That is correct, this is hypnagogia you are experiencing. For me, it is more auditory, but for many people, it is visual, like you. No one can answer WHY it happens, only that it does happen for virtually all people. From a neurological perspective, this stage of sleep presents as a clear intermediary state between wakeful brainwaves and sleeping brainwaves. It is as measurable a state as lucid dreaming itself. The faces themselves are likely amalgamations of real people and creative alterations your brain is trying out in the moment. I wouldn't personally put too much stock into hypnagogia. It seems more random than anything, in my experience, at least.

Auki_Ulfr4 karma

Do you have any thoughts on astral projection?

Whyamiani3 karma

Okay, this is super controversial, but here's my personal take:

I don't personally BELIEVE in astral projection for the same reason I don't outright believe in anything that I can't personally experience or that cannot be shown to me empirically.

I have studied astral projection at length, and I have also attempted to astrally project throughout my life. I have had OBE (out of body experiences) in my lucid dreams and normal dreams, but this can be easily explained as a very real simulation of what my imagination considers astral projection might be like. I have also experienced ego-death several times through the use of smoked DMT and very high doses of LSD, and the OBE experiences I had in my dreams as a young boy were very similar to those egoless states on those substances consumed as a young adult.

In waking life, the "closest" I ever got to actually astral projecting was getting the buzzing, bubbling feeling in my skin described by many books and "experts" on the subject. During a few sessions, it felt like I might burst out of my body, so to speak, but again, this could just be an imagined experience-- like a self-willed hallucination. Or not. Maybe I was close. I really don't know.

Astral projection requires that reality and the self be composed of "layers," ie. the physical, the astral, and the causal. This implies that the self is not just a transient illusion created by the dance of the universe itself -- that the self is individual and separate, ie. the existence of a soul. I find this idea doubtful based on my experience, but I could certainly be wrong.

There are numerous guides for astral projection. The one I used when I was younger was Astral Dynamics, by Robert Bruce. But again, this is all conjecture. I've never astral projected during waking life.

Zarzelius4 karma

Hey, man. Thanks for doing this.

Q: How can you tell youre lucid dreaming and not "dreaming that you're lucid"?

Is it really possible to know the difference? Is there a difference at all?


Whyamiani4 karma

I love this question. First of all, yes, there is a clear difference, although there have been times when that difference is less obvious. It is always clear, though.

But, how can we even believe lucid dreamers when they say it is noticeably different? Fortunately numerous repeated studies have revealed that lucid dreaming is discernably different from both waking life and normal dreaming, including "dreaming that you're lucid." If it weren't for those studies, I would have to admit that you would just have to take my word for it. Again, though, super clear difference between the two.

AccusationsGW3 karma

I would like to see those studies, currently reading old studies on the subject.

b4ssie11993 karma

What's the weirdest thing(you're willing to share) you've done in a dream?

Whyamiani3 karma

I'm not sure how weird this is given the extremes of humanity, but it was certainly weird for me, especially as a 15 year old. When I was 15, I basically had a dream girlfriend. She was aware she was a dream character, and freely and intelligently talked about her state of being in my own mind. She used to tell me how obvious it was to her that I was simply a dream character in some unaware meta-dreamer's mind. I still feel a great, great deal of love and gratitude for her, even though I know she is just my own mind. It's just so real though... I still visit her every so often, and she is very happy for me and my real life relationship of 13 years now. I know how crazy that sounds, but life is a crazy thing.

As for just WILD experiences? The most wild experience was giving all my octillions of atoms of my body sentience and exploding my body while experiencing the rapid separation of octillions of life forms all at once. Wild.

s0xmonstr3 karma

Thanks for doing this! When I previously explored lucid dreaming, I experienced several cases of sleep paralysis which was terrifying (scary demon). I stopped attempting it after it. Do you have any recommendations on how to overcome sleep paralysis?

Whyamiani3 karma

Waking during sleep paralysis is natural and very common. You are right, though, it can also be terrifying, especially when we see the Old Hag. My best advice is to practice breathing and repeating calming phrases in your mind during these periods. You need to stop thinking it's something to be "overcome." Sleep paralysis is a good thing; it keeps you from acting out your dreams. The issue lies with your fear of it, and your demand of control over it. It is paradoxical, but the easiest way to fall back asleep or wake up when you are awake during sleep paralysis is to simply let go and stop fighting.

ironnmetal2 karma

What are your techniques for maintaining the dream state once you realize you're dreaming? For me, it often feels like Inception, where the dream begins to fall apart once I realize it's not real. It's like I can feel my actual body in the bed, and that pushes me out of the dream state.

Whyamiani3 karma

This might be the single most common question I get via email. Here is what helped me and others I know the most:

-- Scream "Increase lucidity!" Keep screaming it over and over again if you have to.

-- Rotate on your axis. Like, imagine there is a pole going down the center of your head to the floor, and rotate your body around that pole without physically trying to spin it. I have no idea why this works, but it works for a ton of people, including myself.

-- Visualize yourself in a new environment. This seems to exact a level of control that convinces your mind to stay in it. Keep flitting through environments if you have to.

-- Ask a dream character to help you. Sometimes they just go, "okay, you're more lucid now," and that alone works. Other times they hit you or something, or of course, many just ignore you lol.

-- My personal technique when I was young was to have a radio hovering next to me playing music with my own voice, repeatedly saying, "increase lucidity!" against the beat so it would be more jarring. It's annoying at first, but over time, you'll be able to exact control with greater ease.

winguardianleveyosa2 karma

Hi, thank you for doing this AMA. I have 2 questions...

I have never considered trying to encourage a lucid dream (if that's the right term) but one time during a dream I realised that what was happening couldn't be real because it was physically impossible, I some how realised I was dreaming and was to some extent, control what was happening.. is this common?

I watched a documentary on how the brain can't really handle all the information it's receiving and it filters out what we don't really need to concentrate on.. the information goes through the subconscious and is filtered out later when we dream.. thats why situations, people and objects are familiar but still vague.. to your knowledge is this true?

Thanks again

Whyamiani4 karma

  1. You had a natural lucid dream. Having one or two throughout your life is common. It starts becoming uncommon with people that have natural lucid dreams on a weekly or even nightly basis. I envy them lol.
  2. That's certainly possible. The truth is, we know very little about dreaming and the psyche in any objective "why" sense. We know that dreaming is necessary. We know that we will die without REM. But WHY does it happen in the way it does? No one can say for sure. I think you are probably right though, that it is a protective measure and also a measure of information conservation.

PistachiOhN02 karma


Whyamiani3 karma

Great question! Despite a decade of trying and hundreds of attempts to experience some type of external reality connected to dreams, such as shared dreaming or astral projection or remote viewing, I have never had any success. This doesn't discount the possibility, but here is also zero empirical evidence either. That being said, if it is possible, it's going to be, exactly like you said, in a Jungian way, so that it is aloof, vague, and probably not directly and empirically possible to prove beyond a doubt.

PistachiOhN02 karma


Whyamiani3 karma

I did. Hi there. Lol. Who might you be?

Jayou5402 karma

Does cannabis affect dreaming or the ability to remember them?

Whyamiani3 karma

I'm a big pot head and yes, undeniably cannabis clouds the experience. I'm not sure I would be such an avid lucid dreamer if I didn't start my practice 5 or 6 years before consuming cannabis on a regular basis. It for sure makes lucid dreaming harder, but at least it makes sleep more restful in my experience.

s0xmonstr2 karma

A more light-hearted question - if you’ve seen it, what are your thoughts on the film Inception? Does it accurately capture lucid dreaming techniques l? What are some aspects you don’t find convincing?

Whyamiani3 karma

I loved it. Mostly because it was a Nolan film and kept my heart racing lol. As for the lucid dreaming techniques and references to reality checks and whatnot, I thought it was super accurate. I love that they used music as a cue for dream recognition, as that is exactly what I utilize to either wake up or remain asleep, depending on my music of choice. Of course, he could have gone further into the lucid dreaming aspect, but for a Hollywood film, I was extremely happy with what Nolan gave us :D

Undead_Bunnyslippers2 karma

Hello there. Frequent, frequent lucid dreamer. I dream in color and im able to hear noises, and feel touch. Do you think we have the potential to learn new skills in a lucid state? For example I play a few instruments, and ive been able to memorize the physical playing and melodies and replicate them in my waking life. Thankyou!

Whyamiani3 karma

100% yes. There is even empirical data showing that practicing something mechanical, like sports or playing music, has a noticeable and measurable effect on your ability to perform the same action in waking life. Similar studies show that just thinking of working out does have an effect on muscle growth. The brain and body are one system. I personally used Lucid dreaming to overcome public speaking and study for tests as a kid, among many other uses.

PistachiOhN02 karma


Whyamiani3 karma

Constantly. I'm a bit obsessed with psychonautical exploration through meditation, lucid dreaming, and ingestion of substance (LSD, DMT, etc.). There are too many stories to recount them all, but just a few examples:

  1. I frequently seek out deep aspects of my subconscious and speak to those aspects of myself. For example, I often speak to the creative part of myself directly to better understand my need to write certain stories or certain characters.
  2. I often utilize lucid dreams to hack my own brain and ingrain myself with certain desired algorithms of thought pattern in waking life.
  3. I have spoken a couple times with myself as a child, just going over some of the trauma I experienced. This was very cathartic.

petitechapardeuse2 karma

Are there tangible benefits to lucid dreaming, or is it more for an interesting experience? Thanks for the AMA!

Whyamiani3 karma

Very tangible.

You can use it for:

  1. Recreation, like you said
  2. Catharsis, meeting dead loved ones or experiencing missed opportunities
  3. Exploration of your own psyche
  4. Exposure therapy
  5. Overcoming certain fears
  6. Working on skills you want to improve in waking life. Some athletes even claim to do this to great effect.
  7. Helping in creative endeavors. The dreamscape can create music or writing that you seemingly had nothing to do with. I've written many stories this way.
  8. SO much more :D

pete17292 karma

Thank you for your work.

Over the years I have gained a fair amount of control in my dreams, for which I am grateful. I have agency, and my dream environment seems bound by rules which I can exploit. However, once a year, typically spring, I enter a dream environment where the environment seems conscious and reactive. The waking environment seems present in these dreams as well.

In one instance the diesel locomotives in the switching yard close to my house seemed to be doing calculus with their horns and their movements.

In another I asked a number of questions, among them "Who is the Creator?" And the answer came, "The Creator is your Father."

One time I asked for numbers. The environment literally guffawed and responded "Everybody asks that."

Does any of this sound familiar?

Whyamiani2 karma

Familiar? No, not at all heh. But it certainly sounds interesting and like you have a remarkable mind worth exploring!

Juggale2 karma

I've always been interested in the idea of lucid dreaming, especially since I've had for almost my whole life Deja Reve. Have you ever experienced anything like that while also lucid dreaming?

Whyamiani2 karma

Definitely. Both Deja Vu and Deja Reve are frequent and can be really overwhelming feelings for me. This includes instances from lucid dreams. I have no real explanation except that the brain is prone to confusion and delusion, and reality is a complex network of repeatable and observable patterns that are bound to intersect.

kazneus2 karma

how can i remember my dreams? I have vivid dreams but i cant remember them

Whyamiani2 karma

You must keep a dream journal. The second you wake up, write down everything you can remember or record it on a voice recorder. Then, revisit your journal or recorder, listening back to what you wrote down. This trains your brain to remember and recall the dreams rather than just throw them away.

Inpak2 karma

When did you start seeing results when you first started?

Whyamiani4 karma

I started at the age of 13. It took me 4 months to get my first lucid dream lol. That is a wildly long time relative to most people. I am very much not a natural.

tipidipi2 karma

Is it common for people to be extremely horny while dreaming lucidly or is it just me? If so, what's the reason for it??

I also am not trained but happen to dream lucidly a lot (like 90%) during daytime naps which are inevitable due to my work schedule. It's kind of draining to me (especially if it happens after I just had green tea, it's super intense) so I'm wondering whether you have any tips to not have it happen so much of the time?

Whyamiani2 karma

Very common to be extremely horny. I am a super horny dreamer myself, and I often have to take measures to relax before sleep and focus my mind away from sex in order to accomplish other lucid dreaming goals. Why is it so common? Because we are human. Sex is our number one priority both genetically and societally.

As for stopping lucid dreaming, there isn't much research, and there aren't many ultra effective methods I've encountered. But, here's what I have found works for some people:

  1. The most honest and straightforward answer is the ingestion of cannabis. This obviously isn't ideal nor legal for all people, however, it is an extremely safe substance biologically and that is the honest answer. It works extremely well to dull the vividness of dreams and keep you sedated, and it also allows you to more easily fall back into the normal dream flow when you don't want lucidity after it arises.

  2. If that easy and straightforward method is not an option for any reason, another option is to be in an even more relaxed state or combine the two. The easiest way to become extremely relaxed in the mind is to become extremely relaxed in the body. And the easiest way to become relaxed in the body is to first stress it. Ideally in boat pose or while you're laying down, tense up your muscles starting with your toes, to your feet, to your legs, and all the way up to your eyebrows, and then your whole body. When you let go, you will be filled with relaxation and numerous neurotransmitters which will help with relaxation. Continue this tensing process three or four times; this will put you into a significantly more relaxed state.

  3. Another option is to mentally flutter your mind rather than focusing single pointedly. By fluttering or changing channels, this allows the mind to fall into a passive state of observation rather than willed or unwilled self awareness (lucidity).

I'm sure there are more options, but those are the three that I have utilized with great effect.

prince_abubuu2 karma

Hey there! Do you believe lucid dreaming could be a way of jumping into different dimensions or dare I say exploring other realities? As in, whenever you lucid dream you're actually entering a different part of the multiverse, or do you think it's all just in the brain? 🤔

Love the books by the way! 🤩👏

Whyamiani10 karma

Thanks for your question and I'm glad you enjoy my writing! :D I hope you like the most recent novel! It is my favorite of my own work :D

As for your question, I would love it it were possible to travel interdimensionally via lucid dreaming, but I am mostly convinced that astral projection and multiversal travel via the psyche is just a fun idea. I tried experiencing shared dreaming hundreds of times as a kid with other experienced lucid dreamers, and it never worked. Similarly, there has never ever been empirical evidence in even the most remote sense that astral projection is possible. So, I think probably not. But maybe you can prove us all wrong! why not? :D

original_greaser_bob2 karma

do you dig that one Queensrÿche song Silent Lucidity?

Whyamiani4 karma

I saw your question earlier. I just listened to the song twice while answering other questions. I loved it! Especially the part near the end with the trippy voices. That sounded identical to the type of hynogogia I personally experience heh.

Prismatta2 karma

Great to have you around! Here's my question: Does any drug affects your dreams and your lucid dreams?

Whyamiani3 karma

Hey there!
To increase dream recall and vividness:

-calea Z

-blue lotus



-mugwort (had no effect for me, but others claim it helps)

To make it less likely to lucid dream:
-cannabis (even though I love it)
-sleeping pills

RedWasTheImpostor2 karma

how many lucid dreams does an average person have in their life?

Whyamiani2 karma

I don't think I've ever seen stats that answer your question directly, however, there is a solid amount of research on the percentage of people that experience lucid dreaming in general, and the percentage of people that experience lucid dreaming on a monthly/weekly basis. Something like 25% of people i several studies say they experience lucid dreaming at least once per month. I would love to get more data on this, though!

Interestingly, the data also shows that lucid dreaming is HIGHLY culture specific. If I remember correctly, something like 70% of Americans reported having at least one lucid dream in their life, while like 95% of Chinese individuals reported at least one.

SarkHD2 karma

So how do lucid dreams occur? What triggers them?

I barely ever remember my dreams but I tend to lucid dream somewhat frequently and I do remember those. I had one last week as well.

Wonder if rarely having dreams/remembering them has any correlation with lucid dreaming. I’m a pretty light sleeper as well and I used to have issues with anxiety and insomnia. It was hard to turn my brain off but since I’ve been better at falling asleep quickly, I’ve been having lucid dreams more frequently.

Whyamiani3 karma

We don't know for sure what triggers lucid dreaming in individuals that aren't actively trying to make it happen. We only know that a lucid dream is a distinct and observable state totally sperate from waking life and dreaming. I'm glad your sleep issues have been getting better, btw! :)

shwag9452 karma

What are the impacts of lucid dreaming on restful sleep and sleep apnea? I have been lucid dreaming my entire life AFAIK but since my early 20's have had sleep apnea and other sleep issues.

Whyamiani3 karma

I answered this on another comment, but to put it simply, this is entirely subjective. Even empirical studies show a remarkable level of variability when it comes to lucidity and exhaustion. For me personally, I feel perfectly rested from lucid dreams. For others, it is extremely exhausting and even screws up their whole day!

shwag9452 karma

Interesting. Follow-up questions: Do the frequent awakenings due to sleep apnea increase the likelihood of a lucid dream? Possibly due to how awakenings increase during REM?

Thanks for taking the time for this AMA!

Whyamiani3 karma

I can't answer that with any sort of empirical statement, but theoretically and in my experience, yes, any and all WBTB use is effective in increasing the likelihood and ease of lucidity.

Prof_LaGuerre2 karma

How do I /not/ lucid dream without drugs or alcohol?

I’ve been a lucid dreamer my whole life. Before I knew what it was as a child I told my brothers that I could change my dreams like turning a TV channel and they didn’t believe me. Eventually I learned what it was. On vary rare occasions I do not, most often it is no dreams due to exhaustion or alcohol, the times when it happens naturally I always wake up feeling much more mentally alert and refreshed. Lucid dreaming is cool and all, but nearly every single night seems to keep my brain from getting refreshed. Any tips or advice?

Whyamiani3 karma

Hey there. I used to be surprised to hear people wanting to stop lucid dreaming, but it is such a common question. I'm going to copy and paste this one from another comment I left because this is advice seems to be the only methods that truly work from what I have seen:

The most honest and straightforward answer is the ingestion of cannabis. This obviously isn't ideal nor legal for all people, however, it is an extremely safe substance biologically and that is the honest answer. It works extremely well to dull the vividness of dreams and keep you sedated, and it also allows you to more easily fall back into the normal dream flow when you don't want lucidity after it arises.

If that easy and straightforward method is not an option for any reason, another option is to be in an even more relaxed state or combine the two. The easiest way to become extremely relaxed in the mind is to become extremely relaxed in the body. And the easiest way to become relaxed in the body is to first stress it. Ideally in boat pose or while you're laying down, tense up your muscles starting with your toes, to your feet, to your legs, and all the way up to your eyebrows, and then your whole body. When you let go, you will be filled with relaxation and numerous neurotransmitters which will help with relaxation. Continue this tensing process three or four times; this will put you into a significantly more relaxed state.

Another option is to mentally flutter your mind rather than focusing single pointedly. By fluttering or changing channels, this allows the mind to fall into a passive state of observation rather than willed or unwilled self awareness (lucidity).

I'm sure there are more options, but those are the three that I have utilized with great effect.

nevrstoprunning2 karma

If, hypothetically, a large person was to be pushed down a hill, would they accumulate snow?

Whyamiani5 karma

In a lucid dream? Every single time. Snow accumulation around a large person falling down a hill is well established dream physics.

Sarahacha72 karma

I have very vivid nightmares. While in the nightmare I can make myself aware that I am dreaming and “scream” at myself to wake up. Is there a way to turn the nightmare into something else rather than force myself to wake up?

Whyamiani3 karma

Yes there is, but it will take practice. My best advice is to visualize changing the nightmare into something silly. If you attack it head on, fighting fire with fire, so to speak, it just makes the nightmare worse. But if you approach it tangentially, it usually override the brain's insistence that the nightmare should remain a nightmare. It's all about hacking the brain. So, for example, I had a frequent nightmare as a teenager that gang members broke into my house and murdered me and my family. To get over this, the next time they broke in, I turned it into a surprise party for them, as if I wanted them to be there. The first time it didn't work. They just killed us all. But the second time, they were caught off guard, and they started partying with us. I never had that nightmare again!

entropic_vacation2 karma

I know some people who feel that lucid dreaming is a kind of mystical power that includes abilities like being able to tell the future. I believe they call it dream weaving. I know lucid dreaming is a thing but have trouble taking the mystical parts of it seriously. Have you had any unexplainable experiences? Are there people/ideas in the lucid dreaming world that do not resonate with you? Thank you!

Whyamiani5 karma

I don't want to discount the experiences of others, however, I have tried with incredible effort to do some of this so-called "mystical" stuff. I have tried shared dreaming with hundreds of other lucid dreamers hundreds of different times. I have studied and attempted astral projection for over a decade. I have attempted dream weaving and extrasensory perception. I even actively attempt time dilation in my lucid dreams. None of it has ever worked for me, and there is no empirical data to show it has worked for anyone else either. None whatsoever. All that hocus pocus stuff makes people think lucid dreaming is just a silly idea, rather than the verifiable, provable experience that it is.

-butter-toast-2 karma

What would you recommend to get a good lucid dreaming experience? And how do we get there?

Whyamiani3 karma

This is a pretty general question, but it is very precisely answering in my guide for beginners. It's free and linked in the post, so make sure to check it out! The first step is keeping a dream journal.

dannyh13102 karma

I’ve always been too late for AMA’s, so I’m taking my shot:

I’ve had episodes of sleep paralysis where I have multiple levels of awareness, and I’m experiencing them all at once. For example, I was dreaming of talking with Captain Archer of Star Trek: Enterprise, following the dream; then I have the awareness that I am dreaming, but observing and talking about the dream; then I have awareness that I can’t move my body, and I’m panicking. Over all of that is me doing my best to rock myself awake while keeping panicking me calm, if that makes sense?

My question is, was that experience a layered lucid dream? Are there different types of lucid dreams? And thank you for reading this, I know it’s a longer comment, lol.

Whyamiani2 karma

I'm not sure there is a widely accepted term for what you experienced, as it is extremely uncommon, but certainly not unheard of. I've experienced this "layering" of awareness myself. It almost feels like a partitioning of the psyche.

Whyamiani2 karma

woops, didn't mean to click the reply button on the last comment. To answer you other question, yes, there are numerous different "types" of lucid dreams. Lucid dreams where you are aware but have no control. Lucid dreams that seem like an OBE. Lucid dreams that seem like Astral projection. Lucid dreams that are a seemingly endless series of false awakenings. And many more. However, from a neurological/psychological level, all of these fall under the same category of observable brain-state, ie. lucid dreaming.

RudeAddiction2 karma

Hi there, is it possible for absolutely anybody to learn to lucid dream? Does smoking weed affect the ability of lucid dreaming?

Whyamiani2 karma

100% anyone can do it, though there are individuals that it takes much longer for. It took me 4 months to get my first when I was 13. I am not a natural. Cannabis definitely clouds the experience and makes it harder.

zackmophobes2 karma

Is the crossroads a thing? I read that people meet at 'the crossroads'

Have you ever met another person while lucid dreaming and they turned out to be real?

Whyamiani2 karma

I have tried shared dreaming experiments and "meeting at the crossroads" hundreds of times with other highly experienced lucid dreamers. It has never worked. That doesn't mean it's impossible. But I very much doubt it.

Muhsear2 karma

Has hypnosis been shown to increase lucid dreaming activity? And can it be used to teach someone to dream lucidly?

Whyamiani2 karma

I am not aware of any empirical data that can answer your question. That being said, there is a copious amount of anecdotes expressing incredible effects of hypnosis on lucid dreaming. A quick google search will probably bring up a ton of books on the subject. Again though, none of this is scientifically backed, but it could be worth a try. It's not something I've ever tried myself, outside of simple self-hypnosis/one-pointed meditation.

kathaar_2 karma

I tend to die, like a lot, in my lucid dreams, and more often then not, the dream tries to fight me having control over it.

Like if I'm lucid and 'gaining control' of a dream, the minute i start going against the prompt, the dream will rearrange everything, almost a hard reset into an entirely new dream, causing me to fall back into the established plot, almost like losing the lucidity.

This doesn't always happen and sometimes i really do just have free reign to do what i want.

Any thoughts on this phenomenon?

Whyamiani3 karma

I can't say that's super common. It's almost like the effect that happens in inception. As long as it doesn't happen all the time, that's no real issue, but if it does become problematic, I would recommend, trying to totally change the scene of your dream. You can also try forcing yourself awake, then reentering the dream. Almost like a manual reset.

ponzeescheme2 karma

Is it possible to read books in the dream?

Whyamiani3 karma

Yes, for many people. Not for me. Virtually all text in my dreams is always very strange and alien looking -- a common phenomenon for people.

Captain_Butterbeard2 karma

I'm a quadriplegic and occasionally have lucid dreams where I can feel and move my hands again. It is wonderful, but also difficult when I wake up, paralyzed. Are there techniques I can use to extend the lucid dream experience?

Whyamiani3 karma

I'm happy to hear that lucid dreaming is at least providing a positive outlet for you and your particular situation. I would love to say something like, hey, don't spend too long in the dream world. People love you out here in the real world. But I can't fathom your pain. So I won't say that. If you want more time in the dream, that's your own business. I just wish you love and determination regardless.

I have been practicing time dilation in my dreams for many years. I have never succeeded. That being said, many people claim to have succeeded, to great effect. The practice involves mantra and repetitive phrases and thoughts to hypnotize your mind into altering its own conception of time. Others have told me it was as easy as simply creating a dream character responsible for time in the dream, and telling them to slow time down so you can stay there longer. My best advice would be to focus on meditation in waking life so that you will be better prepared for one-pointed practice in your dream life. They go hand in hand.

Zoetje_Zuurtje2 karma

Is it normal to continue a dream the next day(s)?

Whyamiani3 karma

It is not common, but yes, very normal.

intelligentjake2 karma

The reason I don't try lucid dreaming is accidentally wetting the bed. How often does that happen?

Whyamiani2 karma

I think that just depends on the person. If you are prone to wetting the bed, then yeah, that could happen more frequently. It's possible you can utilize lucid dreaming to practice and train the subconscious to not release the bladder. That is certainly achievable. However, I fear it would require many failed attempts, and thus, many wet beds. Relaxation techniques before bed could help as well, as I've read that bed wetting could be related to stress, often unrealized.

We_Are_Vigilant_2 karma

What are your reasons for choosing to go by just your first and middle initial along with your last name?

Whyamiani2 karma

That actually isn't my real last name. I changed it because I have a shit ton of trauma through my dad and didn't want his last name on my books lol. But as for the initials, I just like the sound of it. Pretty basic answer lol. >.<

CommanderGoat2 karma

Which of your novels is the best for beginners and people with limited lucid dream knowledge? I know the basic idea of lucid dreaming but would like to more.

Whyamiani2 karma

All of my novels are fiction. If you are looking for a guide to lucid dreaming, check out my free guide that I linked in the original post. My most recent novel, A Dream of Waking Life, is fiction, but lucid dreaming and dreaming in general forms the crux of its plot and conflict. You'd probably love it, but it's not going to teach you how to lucid dream. The guide certainly will though!

Onlyeddifies2 karma

In highschool I used to lucid dream to practice my sport and I felt like I got SIGNIFICANTLY better in the year and a half I was doing it. Are there any other cases where people have done/talked about this?

Whyamiani2 karma

Yes, there are in fact many studies that show this works to at least some degree. There are many athletes that claim to use this technique as well.

TRAVERSER5752 karma

I’m (M50yr) a very vivid dreamer, in that two to five dreams a week I can recall almost every detail- colors, emotions etc…..except every time I try to speak to another person in my dreams, they look at me confused or startled and I wake up panicked. While recite events of my REM, my wife just rolls her eyes ands nods her head out of habit, my family (I only tell them the appropriate dreams) and friends usually enjoy or are shocked with what goes on in my imagination.

About two weeks ago I awoke from what felt like a four hour movie with no recollection of what took place. I can’t recall any detail other than feeling like I was a extra in a movie.

Is this unusual or common? I ask since I wonder if I should see a sleep specialist or talk with my doctor?

Whyamiani2 karma

I wouldn't say your experience was common, but it's also not unheard of either. The only time I recommend talking to a specialist or physician is if it's causing some type of problem in your life. Even if it's just stress. Then for sure you should seek out help. But if it's just a natural part of your dream environment, it's just a part of you.

danxmanly2 karma

When was your first lucid dream... And how did you know it was indeed lucid?

Mine was around 6 years old. I got a Rockem sockem robot for my birthday, played it so much that day I dreamed about it. The robots were taking over the world and somehow could tilt it.. I fell down a street drain, and the robot threw a snake at me. I then told myself to fly out...and I did... Then I remember controlling my flight path till I found my house, told myself to go inside and wake myself up... Which I did actually wake myself up. I continue to have lucid dreams till this day.

Whyamiani3 karma

Lol, that's a funny first lucid dream. My first one was after 4 months of practice at the age of 13. I woke up in my bed and my room was glowing Golden/Crimson. I thought, "wait, this is totally a dream!" I got so excited I instantly woke up. But that's all it took to convince me it was legit, and form there I experienced far more. I think I didn't believe it was real to start, and that's what made it so hard.

Kjubert2 karma

Sorry, not a native speaker...
A friend once told me of a technique he heard about to practice lucid dreaming. I found it very fascinating and clever - but I don't know how effective it really is. Maybe you can tell me if it's worth a shot:
Everytime you do something that you usually do very frequently and are likely to do in a dream too (like walking through a door), try to be very aware of that moment for a second. Now if you get used to doing this, experiencing this thing in a dream (walking through door etc.) will trigger this "being aware" of the moment and can help initiate a lucid dream. What do you think?

Whyamiani2 karma

You are basically describing the process of frequent reality checks throughout the day. This is a very effective means of attaining lucidity. Ideally, stick to specific patterned reality checks, like looking at your hands, or flipping light switches, or trying to breathe through your chest. The more you repeat the pattern, the more likely it is to occur randomly while you are asleep.

Intelligent-Cable6662 karma

Thank you for this AMA. I have been intrigued by the concept of lucid dreaming for decades now.

I was about 12-14 when I was first able to use a reality check to determine I was dreaming. It was sometime after that, that I first learned of lucid dreaming and began to attempt to control my dream self. I have never been successful. Once I manage to realize I am dreaming, I relax and let the dream move on as if I am watching a movie. For now, I am happy enough with this level of lucidity.

However, since learning about reality checks and how to use them, I have begun to have sleep paralysis events. In these situations, I cannot tell I'm dreaming. I'm unable to move, and usually terrified by some external stimulus for which I can NOT convince myself is not actually happening.

My typical reality checks are touching my arm (I can SEE my hand move on my arm but can't FEEL the touch), reading a sign or clock (it's either gibberish or changes when I look a second time), check my breathing (I know for sure if I'm running away from something scary but am breathing easily, I'm definitely NOT actually running), and sometimes I can tell by recognizing I am light on my feet (either very graceful or simply don't feel my shoes or the pressure of standing on my feet).

However, in during sleep paralysis, I am unable to move and can't use many of my normal checks. And my brain feeds me stimuli that I believe I can actually feel. For example, I once believed I had 20 pound rats crawling on my bed with me which felt similar to how our 20 lb dog jumps on the bed when she has the zoomies, but multiplied by 6 rats. While in the dream, and for a while after I fully woke, I couldn't tell it was a dream. (Eventually I was able to convince myself it was a dream simply bc the physics of some of the movements weren't possible outside of a dream).

Do you have any advice/tips/tricks for using reality checks in a sleep paralysis event when the dreamer is literally paralyzed and the brain is feeding realistic stimuli to itself?

Whyamiani2 karma

Thanks for relating your experiences with lucid dreaming and dreaming in general. Very interesting! You're right, performing reality checks during sleep paralysis is a big problem if you aren't able to recognize that you are in sleep paralysis. A reality check I use during sleep paralysis is attempting to shout or make a sound through my chest or my forehead. You can do that even while paralyzed. It doesn't always work, which can make me conclude it's real. In such instances, I do my utmost to relax and not fight the experience, because the more you fight, regardless if its real or not, the harder it is to exit sleep paralysis. It's an intense situation to be in, but with practice, you will get better at mastering remaining calm no matter if its real or not, and the calmer you stay, the quicker the paralysis ends.

JohnDavid421 karma


Do you find that your dreams often start in similar locations before you become lucid?

There are a few recurring locations my infrequent dreams take place in, but they don’t really correlate to real places in my life.

I don’t practice lucid dreaming, and usually don’t even remember if I was dreaming or not when I wake up. But I do find it interesting when I awake to remember I was in a specific dream space again.

Whyamiani3 karma

For sure! I also have frequent dreamscapes and also frequent dream characters that have no waking life counterpart. You can actually use this to your advantage when practicing WILD technique by using that frequent dreamscape as a dependable or even semi-dependable anchor to attaining lucidity.

duffmanhb1 karma

I have a question I’ve been forever looking for an answer to.

First off I’m lucid 100% of the time in dreams. I can even recall the slow transition into it, going from random thoughts, shapes, and sounds, building into a full dream state.

But that’s not my elusive mystery I’ve been trying to solve.

When I’m in a fully quiet space, and say reading a book I can quite literally notice my brain shift gears. Once this happens I can be fully awake but know I’ll be falling asleep in two minutes if I don’t immediately move around and wake back up. But the signal is I can literally hear brain waves alter frequency. Like actually audible in my head. It starts with a low frequency analog wave, that slowly picks up frequency. It sounds like two different frequencies slowly getting faster until they match pitch then slowly fade off.

My entire life, I’ve never met a single person who has this happen and I’m just curious as to why not?

Whyamiani2 karma

Certainly an interesting and peculiar dream life you've had! I have also never heard of someone experiencing that. As long as it doesn't cause you harm or stress, I would say lean into it and just embrace your gift :)

mikwee1 karma

Do you think lucid dreaming is possible for people who don't have a normal sleeping schedule? Like, I usually have to lie in bed, thinking about my day, until I fall asleep without noticing.

Whyamiani3 karma

It's totally possible. Even if you don't do specific meditative and lucid dreaming techniques before bed, if you do frequent reality checks throughout the day, you are setting up an algorithmic pattern in your mind, increasingly the likelihood that you will randomly do a reality check in your dream, signaling to you that it's a dream. And then, viola! Lucidity :D There are many lucid dreamers that depend entirely on this "chance" method.

Marmite_Badger-1 karma


Whyamiani4 karma

I'm not sure what you mean >.<