There are 4 main types of lucid dreaming induction techniques:
1) Dream Induced Lucid Dreams or DILD's
2) Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams or MILD
2) Wake Induced Lucid Dreams or WILD's
3) Lucid Dream Supplement Induction or LDS
A Dream Induced Lucid Dream is any dream in which you are dreaming unconsciously and all of a sudden you become lucid by noticing a dream sign or something really bizarre that prompts you to realize you are dreaming. Instantly the dream becomes more vivid and richer. Normally this is the most frequent type of lucid dream that the majority of lucid dreaming enthusiasts tend to experience by recognizing a dream sign.
Dream Induced Lucid Dreams will often result from constant and relentless practice of recording your dreams in a dream journal, knowing your most frequent and powerful dream signs and performing numerous reality checks during the day. As you bring awareness to your dream consciousness the wall between your subconscious mind and conscious mind begins to crumble. Your conscious mind then becomes more keen to spotting the dream world oddities that act as spontaneous triggers for lucidity.
This simple yet very effective lucid dreaming induction technique was invented by Dr. Stephen LaBerge while conducting research on lucid dreaming at Standford University. In essence, the MILD technique is a form of autosuggestion with the intent to induce a lucid dream. For example, repeating to yourself as you fall asleep "The next time I dream, I will remember I am dreaming."
Another element of the MILD technique is association. In addition to repeating our intent or affirmation to have a lucid dream, we can also create a strong association to increase our chances of remembering our goal (to become lucid) by visualizing that which we desire to happen or accomplish during our lucid dream. Think about it, when you need to remember something in your everyday life you often repeat to yourself what you need to remember and create an association (writing it down, setting up an alarm or placing an object somewhere specific to serve as a reminder).
1) Set up a dream recall
Place the intent to wake up right you experience a dream.
2) Recall your dream
The next time you wake up from a dream, revisit and record all the details you can remember from the dream. Make sure to identify one strong dream sign.
3) Place the intent to become lucid
Once you complete the process of going through your dream details, it is time to say to yourself: "The next time I am dreaming, I will remember that I am dreaming." Say it with every cell of your body and have one pointed focus on this.
4) See yourself becoming lucid
Now go back to your previous dream and imagine yourself as if you were re-living the dream. At the moment you encounter the dream sign you had previously identified, imagine that this time you actually recognize it as a dream sign, perform a reality check and imagine that you are now having a lucid dream. From that point on, imagine whatever fulfilling the goal or intent you want to accomplish during your next lucid dream. Feel the joy and excitement of becoming lucid.
Repeat steps 1-4 as many times as you like and then simply go back to sleep and with practice you will find yourself back again within a dream and quickly recognize that you are dreaming.
The Wake Induced Lucid Dream or WILD Technique is the most advanced and powerful lucid dreaming technique because you never lose consciousness as you go from being fully awake, to falling asleep and all the way into the dream world. With DILDs or MILDs you must lose consciousness and rely on regaining consciousness once you are in the middle of the dream, either spontaneously, by recognizing a dream sign and/or doing a reality check.
WILD's require the lucid dream enthusiast to keep his mind sufficiently active by focusing on his breathing, any type of visualization, hypnagogic imagery, a mantra or his body's sensations. The person will feel his body falling asleep and then enters REM sleep while being fully conscious.
It is not uncommon for some people to begin their WILD as an Out of Body Experience, where you feel you are floating out of your body, you see your sleeping body or hang out around your house until suddenly you enter a dream or consciously imagine a dream scene and literally step into it. Those who experience WILD's will often describe it as a life changing experience.
The WILD technique originates from Tibetan Buddhism where practitioners of Dream Yoga have for thousands of years used lucid dreaming as a tool for enlightenment and self mastery. For the most part the best time to initiate a WILD is typically after 4-5 hours of sleep. During this stage of the night you will go through the longer cycles of deep sleep where little or no dreams occur. After this stage, usually around 4-7am you will begin to experience longer REM cycles (dreaming).
1) Brief awakenings
Be mindful of any brief awakening you have during the night, especially those that tend to occur during the early morning hours.
2) Body relaxation
Your body will be relaxed and you should enter REM sleep within 10-20 minutes.
3) Keep your mind focused
Practice any type of meditation that allows your mind to get into a Theta brainwave while still remaining conscious.
4) Enjoy the hypnagogic imagery
As your body and mind relax even further you will enter what is known as hypnagogic state where you are likely to experience subtle and sometimes strong flashes of random images, lights or geometric patterns which eventually will turn into the scene of a dream. People who wake up or open their eyes during the hypnagogic state can sometimes experience hallucinations but more often will feel as if they were in a state between wakefulness, sleeping and dreaming. Passively focus on the hypnagogic images, remain detached from each image as they will likely morph into another image or pattern.
5) Enter the dream
As the hypnagogic images become more vivid a scene will begin to unfold until you fully enter a dream.
The consensus among those who venture into lucid dreaming is that DILD's happen more frequently than WILD's, with some individuals rarely if ever experiencing a WILD. Both of the previously mentioned lucid dreaming techniques rely upon mainly on psychological and timing factors. These factors although extremely important and necessary for anyone who seriously considers lucid dreaming are not the entire picture.
Great changes occur in our brain chemistry during our sleeping cycles. The proper brain chemical environment when we are dreaming can massively influence not only the vividness, richness, duration and consistency of our lucid dreams, but it can also enhance our rational abilities, memory and clarity of thought as we venture into the dream world.
When we approach lucid dreaming with the assistance of natural supplements, lucid dreaming is taken to a whole new level that will completely turn upside down the ratio of DILD's and WILD's. The advanced lucid dreaming supplement induction technique works very well with WILD and dramatically enhances your chances of successfully experiencing a conscious transition from the waking state all the way to the dream world. A particularly noteworthy feature of the LDS approach is that the transitions from the waking state into the dream state are characterized by experiencing Out of Body Experiences, strong vibrations, sensations of traveling at high speeds, trance like sounds and/or other mind blowing experiences that add to the already marvelous phenomenon that lucid dreaming is.
Make no mistake, this is not an easy substitute for lucid dreaming that only requires you to "pop a magic pill" and lucid dreaming will be at your hands. Thomas Yushack wrote an entire book on this subject called Advanced Lucid Dreaming The Power of Supplements. Failure to keep a dream journal, identify your dream signs and perform reality checks will greatly diminish your success when trying the LDS approach.