When you become aware that you’re dreaming while you’re asleep, magical things can happen. You know that the scenes you’re viewing through your mind’s eye aren’t real, but nonetheless, they feel extremely lifelike and vivid. This phenomenon is called lucid dreaming.
A lucid dream allows you to take full control over how events unfold, allowing you to manipulate your reality to suit your whims and desires. Think of yourself as the director of your very own movie where absolutely anything goes.
So if you want to fly off the edge of a cliff, dive into the deepest parts of the ocean, explore alternate dimensions, or simply uncover hidden parts of yourself, you can, quite literally, live the life of your dreams-minus the real-life consequences.
While the possibilities are endless in a lucid dream, mastering this elusive skill is no easy feat; it takes plenty of patience, perseverance, and discipline. The obscure art of lucid dreaming has captured imaginations and has been explored extensively for centuries. Today, historical knowledge integrates with the latest smartphone technology in the form of apps for people who want to learn how to induce lucid dreams.
But with so many techniques and tools to choose from, selecting a lucid dream app that offers the best experience can fast become a nightmare. Not to worry, because we’ve rounded up a list of the best lucid dreaming apps for iPhone and Android users. Keep reading to learn about effective lucid dreaming techniques and how to take control of your dreams tonight.
People are motivated to learn lucid dreaming for many reasons, such as overcoming nightmares and phobias, enhancing creativity, improving decision-making, expanding real-life skills, healing emotional traumas, and gaining a deeper understanding of themselves.
Whatever the reasons, there are a set of techniques that are recommended to successfully induce a lucid dream. These approaches fall under two main categories: Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming (WILD) and Dream Initiated Lucid Dreaming (DILD).
With the WILD technique, a person can lucid dream within minutes of falling asleep. This method requires the sleeper's intentional and conscious effort to initiate the dream state. The DILD technique involves lucid dreaming three to five hours into the sleep cycle when a dream naturally occurs, and the sleeper spontaneously realizes that they are dreaming.
Whichever approach you follow, they all have certain requirements that you must meet to achieve a lucid dream, such as reality checking, dream journaling, mindfulness meditation, mnemonic induction of lucid dreaming (MILD), wake-back-to-bed (WBTB), etc. You can use these methods alone or in combination.
A variety of apps can help you perform such techniques, whether you’re starting out on your journey or well-versed in the world of lucid dreaming. Take a look below.
Quality sleep is the primary component of lucid dreaming and can only occur once you’re comfortable and relaxed. After all, you can’t expect to have a successful lucid dream if you’re struggling to fall asleep in the first place.
Pzizz is a sleep app that helps you quieten your mind, fall asleep fast, and stay asleep through the night using clinically-validated techniques. The app’s patented system plays a mix of beautiful ‘dreamscapes’-a mix of unique voiceovers, psychoacoustic music, and sound effects for a restful night’s sleep.
With highly-customizable features, including volume adjustment, sound durations, 3D effects, and voice gender selection, the app offers a highly-personalized experience to each user. Moreover, there’s an extensive library of audio to choose from to give you a unique listening experience each time you use the app and maintain effectiveness over time.
Although it uses super-sophisticated technology, Pzizz is wonderfully easy to use with its intuitive design and features. On the nights you’re struggling to fall asleep, simply switch on the app, close your eyes, and leave the rest to Pzizz.
Pzizz also comes highly recommended by many frontrunners, including world-class athletes, journalists, and authors. So if you’re serious about getting your lucid dream on but the thought of another sleepless night in bed fills you with dread, download your free trial on the App Store or Google Play and discover its benefits tonight.
If you’re a novice to the world of lucid dreaming and struggling to achieve or maintain a state of lucidity in your sleep, then mindfulness meditation is highly recommended. Meditation requires a person to immerse themselves into a relaxed yet heightened state of consciousness, teaching one to passively observe their inner and outer world without judgment or reaction.
Mesmerize is an app that combines engaging visuals with relaxing music and expertly crafted guided meditations to give you an all-encompassing meditation experience. There are several ways Mesmerize can encourage lucid dreaming, including enhancing self-awareness, promoting deeper relaxation, increasing focus, and improving sleep.
Mesmerize uses scientifically-proven techniques to relax the nervous system and calm the mind, helping to make your mind and dreams more coherent and prevent you from waking up immediately from the excitement of recognizing you’re in a dream.
The uniquely hypnotic visuals, from serene to psychedelic, help clear your mind of racing and intrusive thoughts. At the same time, the soothing psycho-acoustic music is designed to help you enter a state of deep relaxation. The visual breathing mode also helps you focus on your breath to meditate.
You can enjoy a free three-day trial of Mesmerize by downloading it from the App Store or Google Play.
Certain lucid dreaming techniques that fall under the WILD category require a person to focus on their breathing patterns to enter a trance-like state. Essentially, you need to develop a synchronized breathing pattern while maintaining your complete attention on a single focal point to achieve a wake-induced lucid dream.
As important as it is to lucid dreaming, deep breathing can get quite tedious, making it difficult to sustain attention-that’s where Bliss comes in. The visual breathing app is a revolutionary new way to practice breathwork to help you find balance, restoration, and inner calmness.
Bliss guides you to breathe at your resonant frequency through beautifully engaging visuals and relaxing audio. The exercises are backed by science to train you to breathe with intention and focus on helping you relax and make your lucid dreams more profound and stable.
Using the app right before you go to sleep for a lucid dream can boost your chances of having a positive outcome. Download Bliss on the App Store and Google Play and opt into a free trial version to discover its benefits before you invest.
Dream journaling is a key part of achieving lucidity. Since humans easily forget 50% of their dreams within the first five minutes of waking, recording dreams is essential to identifying key clues and patterns to help you differentiate dreams from reality and slip into a lucid state.
Dreams is a dream journal app for iOS that makes it easy to document all parts of your dream, no matter how fragmented. You can take notes in the form of text, voice recordings, and drawings, and it automatically identifies recurring signs based on this input. Dream data is also password-protected to keep your dreams safe from prying eyes.
Similarly, Dream Catcher: Lucid Journal is available for Android users and contains all of the same key features as well as the option to categorize your dreams based on specific details and emotions you felt.
So if you want to improve your awareness and enhance vividness when you’re in a dream state and increase dream recall upon waking, you can download Dreams from the App Store or Dream Catcher: Lucid Journal from Google Play.
Regardless of the method you choose to induce a lucid dream, reality checking is an essential component of them all, helping you to differentiate between dream and conscious reality. This process involves intentionally performing mental and physical checks routinely during the day to establish whether you’re dreaming or awake.
For example, ask yourself at regular intervals throughout the day, ‘am I dreaming?’ Next, perform a physical action, such as looking at your hand and counting your fingers or reading the time on a clock. If you’re awake, these check-ins will be completely normal.
However, if you’re dreaming, you will notice unusual anomalies, such as counting more than five fingers on your hand or the clock reading a different time every time you look at it. This will be your cue to tell you that you’re dreaming, automatically making you lucid.
Lucid for Android and Shape: Lucid Dream+Journal for iOS are great apps for reality checking with features like setting reality check notifications throughout the day at your chosen frequency, nudges that prompt you to record your dreams upon waking, dream statistics, and free cloud backup.
You can download Lucid on Google Play and Shape: Lucid Dream+Journa on the App Store.
If you’re looking for all the countless tools that the flurry of lucid dreaming apps offer, and then some, YoruX is the app for you. Consider it a one-stop app for anyone serious about lucid dreaming, and the best thing is, YoruX is completely free.
A dream, journal, reality checks, and an auto-alarm are the standard features you would expect of any lucid dreaming app worth its buck, but YoruX also boasts an extensive library dedicated to lucid dream guided meditations.
Moreover, it’s one of the rare lucid dreaming apps on the market with a dream wall that allows users to share their dreams and engage with fellow lucid dreamers, making you feel like you’re part of a larger community.
These are just a few reasons why YoruX stands out amongst its competitors, yet despite the extensive features, the app is relatively easy to navigate with its user-friendly interface.
Boasting the largest dream database offering an unparalleled connection between dreams around the world, Dream Journal Ultimate allows users to enter as many dreams as they like, free of charge and with no limits.
When you enter a dream into the app, you can choose to keep it private or share it on the dream wall and get feedback from other users. The app’s sophisticated software also analyzes your dream and shows you similar ones from other people around the world to help decode obscure clues, patterns, and meanings.
The minimalist design is helpful for navigating the app’s handy features, and you can sync your dream journal across all your devices and secure them with a pin on each one to uphold privacy.
Thanks to an extensive introduction to the basics of lucid dreaming, Awoken is the app of choice for many novice lucid dreamers starting their journey. The aim of the app is to help beginners to master the art of lucid dreaming through a combination of proven techniques and experimental enhancements.
The reality checks and cloud-backed dream journal are similar to many other apps featured in this article; however, the totem sound feature really stands out. This sound plays periodically throughout the day to trigger a reality check. The cool thing is that when it plays at night while you’re asleep, it penetrates your dream to awaken your mind to the dream state, and you’re lucid before you know it.
Overall, Awoken may not be the most sophisticated lucid dream app, but it certainly carries all the basic tools you need to lucid dream, and the basic, fuss-free interface won’t prove daunting to a beginner.
Awoken is currently only available to Android users via Google Play as a free version that features ads; you can also purchase a premium version to have an ad-free experience.
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) uses prospective memory to help people achieve lucidity in their sleep. For instance, one has to set an intention during the day (and after waking up from a dream) that they will have a lucid dream when going to sleep at night. This affirmation essentially programs your mind with a command you will recall in your dream.
This technique doesn’t require any special skills, so it can be performed by beginners and experts alike; however, it requires a commitment to master, and novices should give themselves around two to three weeks to develop the skill fully.
MILD trainer is an app that specifically helps you build your prospective memory muscle through various mindfulness techniques that get you into the habit of reality-checking. The app provides a list of daily targets consisting of items, sounds, and activities to pay attention to throughout the day. This list becomes progressively complex the longer you use the app.
With plenty of interactive features and the option to rate and track your target completion, the MILD Trainer app can have you developing and mastering the technique relatively easily and quickly. You can get MILD Trainer via the App Store for a one-time purchase of $1.99.
With profound guidance and plenty of educational content, Mind Awake takes a mindful approach to lucid dreaming through guided meditations, daily reminders, and dream tracking.
Mind Awake goes beyond conventional approaches used by other apps that teach you how to get lucid; instead, it helps you to understand exactly what you’re doing and why the practice of lucid dreaming can be useful.
This straightforward yet comprehensive guide to mindfulness-based lucid dreaming helps users practice building awareness throughout the day to boost their ability to become aware of dreams.
The app successfully answers many common questions people tend to have when first starting the practice, allowing them to delve into lucid dreaming feeling comfortable and prepared.
Key features include an audio course with helpful tips and clinically recommended best practices, a progress tracker, silent meditation timer.
If you want to practice the WILD technique, then binaural beats for lucid dreaming are highly effective. Designed to be played right before you go to sleep, binaural beats help you fall asleep and dream faster while disturbing you enough to simultaneously keep your mind in a state of consciousness.
The Binaural Beats Therapy app offers a range of sounds, including white noise and real-life sounds such as rain, lightning, a fan, etc. Sounds are divided into multiple categories based on your specific goals, including creativity, relaxation, focus, and power nap, as well as a dedicated lucid dreams category.
A consistent and healthy sleep cycle is essential to attaining a lucid dream. However, getting the recommended minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep each night can often be difficult. Moreover, different lucid dreaming techniques require readjusting a regular sleep cycle to successfully induce a lucid state.
Sleep Cycle is a sleep-tracking app that listens to your sounds to track your sleep each night and identify rapid eye movement (REM) sleep-the phase in which dreams primarily occur. Based on this information, you can then schedule alarms or reality-checking activities accordingly.
The app’s algorithm presents the results to you in an easy-to-digest format to help you understand your sleep with unique data analysis and graphs and provides vital insight into how you can improve the quality of your sleep.
For any beginner, practicing lucid dreaming can be a challenging and daunting experience. This round-up of the best lucid dreaming apps will provide you with all the tools necessary to achieve a seamless and easy lucid dream experience.
Nail the basics of good sleep quality with Pzizz, use Mesmerize to improve mindfulness, or try Bliss to get your breathing in check to achieve a wake-induced lucid dream. You’ll find these apps and more in this article will walk you through the practice and make your lucid dreaming journey much easier.
Despite many benefits of lucid dreaming, including increased creativity, problem-solving, and better motor skills, there are some negative side effects that may be associated with the practice. A lack of sleep and poor sleep quality can occur due to a disrupted sleep cycle caused by many lucid dream techniques. Moreover, in some cases, lucid dreams can blur the line between imagination and reality, causing confusion, hallucinations and delirium.
While lucid dreaming is generally considered a safe practice, it can exacerbate mental health issues in some people. Anecdotally, lucid dreaming has also been linked to sleep paralysis, whereby a person’s mind is active, but they are unable to physically move their body, which can be an unnerving experience.
For beginners interested in inducing a lucid dream, it can take several weeks to months of dedicated training to find success. To give it an estimated timeline, it can take people anywhere between two and six weeks to have a lucid dream, although, for others, it may take a little bit longer or less time, depending on the type of techniques they use and the frequency.