One of the most effective strategies for having lucid dreams is the ‘reality check’. This simple yet potent tool can help distinguish the fine line between the waking world and the dream realm, serving as an anchor to your consciousness.
Whether you’re a seasoned lucid dreamer or just beginning your journey into conscious dreaming, consistent reality checks can significantly enhance your ability to awaken within your dreams.
What Is A Reality Check?
A reality check is an action taken to see if you are dreaming or not. It could be anything from flipping your hands back and forth to see if they stay the same to jumping up and down to see if you can fly.
When you do a reality check and it goes against reality, you know you are dreaming.
For instance, if your hand turns into an animal while you are flipping it back and forth, you are dreaming.
If you jump up and take off in flight, you are dreaming.
When dreaming, things will not work like they do in reality.
Why Is A Reality Check Routine Important?
If you want to have lucid dreams, consistent reality checks are important because they help you evaluate your current state of consciousness.
Without actively checking, it can be difficult to tell if you’re dreaming or awake.
Establishing a simple yet consistent reality check routine is essential for lucid dreamers who want to always be aware of their inner world and be able to identify when they are dreaming.
Some Of The Best Reality Check Ideas Out There
There are so many different ways you can check to see if you are asleep or awake. Following are some of the best ideas that everyone can use.
Affirm You’re Awake When You Open Your Eyes
We wake up everyday. So take advantage of it by doing a reality check first thing. By affirming your reality each time you open your eyes, you’ll be reminded to do reality checks throughout the day.
When you wake up, grab a book or some other form of text and try to read it. If you can, then you are awake. If you have a hard time reading it, the words get fuzzy, or you can’t make sense of what you are reading, then you are dreaming!
There was a horror movie that had a great idea – I just can’t remember what it was called. But in the movie she wasn’t sure if she was dreaming or not, so she put a sign above her bed and when the ‘horror’ would start, she would check to see if she could read the sign above her bed so she knew if she was dreaming or awake.
The great thing about this reality check is that sometimes, you will wake up, do a reality check, and find out that you are still dreaming after all! That is the best!
Pay Attention To Your Body
In our mind, our physical bodies are almost always in our dreams AND are always in our waking life, so we can use our physical bodies to do a reality check both in our waking life and in our dreams.
Try jumping and see if you lift off in the air – if so, then you are dreaming.
Or try lifting a heavy object such as a car or plane, or even a heavy person that you would not normally be able to lift.
You could also try changing a part of your body, such as add a toe to your foot or take one away. If you find yourself able to do these things with ease, obviously you are dreaming.
Lastly, you can try flipping your hand back and forth to see if the details on your hand stay the same or change… in which case you would be dreaming. Sometimes just a small thing, like the color of your nail, will change when you are dreaming. But you don’t have to worry about that happening when you are awake.
Look Around And Notice The Little Details That Seem Off
Get into the habit of being present and observing your surroundings in detail. This is a reality check but sometimes requires additional reality checks to make sure you are dreaming.
In short, if something doesn’t add up or if something looks odd, ask yourself if it is possible in reality and then investigate it further.
For instance, if you see a weirdly colored tree, ask yourself if it’s possible to have a tree that color and then go take a closer look at it.
Or, if you see someone acting weird or untraditional – like someone wearing no pants or doing a dance in the street – do a physical body reality check on yourself.
Of if you see four yellow cars in a row, do a reality check.
Of if you ever catch yourself saying, ‘This can’t be real!’, do a reality check.
Noticing little details about things and situations is a reality check in and of itself, and it’s a great way to get into the habit of doing further reality checks and becoming lucid in your dreams.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
You can use technology to do a reality check while you are awake and while you are dreaming.
For instance, try looking up something on your phone or computer as a reality check. If it doesn’t work or you are just not able to make it happen, then you are dreaming.
Dialing numbers, texting, and talking on the phone are all great reality checks because during a dream, those things are not going to happen easily or smoothly. Your brain isn’t going to be able to replicate exactly how it would happen while you are using technology in your waking life.
Finally, you can even record yourself saying something on your phone as a reality check. If you are able to record and listen to it back, then you are awake, but if not – then you are dreaming!
Get Into The Habit Of Saying, “This Can’t Be Real!”
Again, this is a reality check that leads to more reality checks.
Whether something good or bad happens to you, get into the habit of saying, “This can’t be real!” and then follow it up with a quick reality check.
This is a great way to get into the habit of checking if you are dreaming.
Visualize The Dream Sign You Want To See in Your Dreams
Visualization is a great tool that can be used for reality checks.
Before you go to bed, take a few minutes and visualize the dream sign that you want to see in your dreams to remind you to do a reality check. This could be anything from an object, person, or place – just make sure it’s something distinct that will stand out.
When you see this sign, do a reality check to see if you are dreaming!
For instance, you may visualize a giant rainbow-colored elephant in a field. If you see this rainbow-colored elephant, do a reality check (because as crazy as it sounds, you may have a hard time deciding if it is real or not) and then you will be quickly become lucid after your reality check.
Make Certain People A Trigger For Reality Checks
Every time you see your boss or a certain coworker, do a reality check. The chances are good that you will dream about them as they are a regular part of your life, so checking to see if you are awake or dreaming when you see them will ensure that you will do reality checks in your dreaming state often.
You can also use your mother, father, friend, husband, wife, etc. Someone that you see often is someone you will likely dream about often, so checking every time you see them will help you become more lucid more often.
If you have any lucid dreaming reality checks, please share in the comments below.