When you very first start into lucid dreaming, you’ll eventually have the same moment that virtually everyone has. You’ll be in a dream, realize you’re in a dream and almost immediately wake up. The “jolt” of excitement you get from the realization that you have successfully realized you’re in a dream is enough to bring you out of sleep, and that’s a problem for those who want to lucid dream.

This is why it’s critical to learn how to stay in a lucid dream once you realize you’re in one. While this isn’t particularly difficult to learn, it does take a little bit of practice because it requires mindfulness to a certain extend and the ability to keep yourself mentally still.

Why Staying Calm in a Dream is So Critical

A good way to look at this is to think about what it feels like for someone to jolt you awake when you’re almost asleep. Any sudden sound, unexpected light or certain thoughts can bring you away from sleep and back into a more conscious state. These jolting feelings will make you wake up from a lucid dream as well. Unfortunately, they can be caused by realizing that you’re in a dream in the first place until you learn how to stop that from happening.

Of all of the things to do in a lucid dream, learning how to keep them going without waking up is pretty critical.

To do this, the number one rule is to stay calm. This is why we put so much emphasis on practicing mindfulness in your dreams as a part of your lucid dreaming work. When you can keep yourself calm and in a mindful state, your dreams stay more stable, and you’re able to more easily get to the fun parts without waking up.

A woman sleeping under a white comforter, calmly staying inside of her dream.

Breathing Your Way Through Dream Stabilization

For people who are looking for a specific thing to do when they realize they’re in a dream, we have a simple process for you that can give you a strong foundation to staying in the dream.

  1. When you realize that you’re in a dream, either by accident or by actively testing your environment, stay completely still.
  2. While you stay still, take one deep breath with a steady inhale and a slow, longer exhale.
  3. This will stabilize and calm your conscious mind within your dream, which is your best bet to stop you from jolting yourself awake.
  4. From there, you can start to make your away through your dream and see what you can make happen.

A lot of people want to know cool things to do in a lucid dream without learning this basic skill first. That can lead to a lot of frustration because of the simple fact that getting into the dream itself isn’t always easy for everyone. Once they finally achieve that milestone, they want to jump straight to the fun part, but most of them don’t realize that they have to learn to keep the dream stable first.

How Long Does Lucid Dreaming Last? It Depends on You

We strongly recommend the DILD approach to lucid dreaming, and that consists of two major steps: having a trigger that reminds you to test for being in a dream and having an actual method to test for being in a dream. An alternative could also be basic astral projection techniques. That aside, the easiest way to get started is to use doorways as a trigger and The Hands Technique to test for dreaming.

However, while these can get you into a lucid dream relatively quickly from when you start practicing, it doesn’t teach you how to make the dream last. This is why it’s so critical to learn how to stay in a lucid dream once you find yourself in one.

This is why we get so many questions about how long does lucid dreaming last. Many of these questions come from people who have made it into an LD but find that it becomes unstable very quickly, causing them to wake. We understand how disheartening that can be. That’s why we want to bring attention here to how important it is to learn this skill.

A traditional stack of small, flat rocks as an example of a meditative exercise.

Learning to Make Dreams Last Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

While it’s an important skill, much like the two components of the DILD technique, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Pausing, staying still and taking a long, slow, deep breath is an easy way to stabilize yourself within a dream. It doesn’t require anything that you don’t already know how to do, but you will gain some experience with how the dream “feels” in this way.

This feel for your dream is something that’s difficult to describe, but you’ll pick it up really quickly after you’ve found yourself stable in a lucid dream a few times. It’s almost like the type of balance you learn from walking or learning to ride a bicycle. Once you have a feel for it, you don’t really have to think about it much, and you can eventually stabilize your lucid dreams on auto-pilot just like you can breathe and walk at the same time.

However, you need to be patient with yourself at first. It can be frustrating when your first few lucid dreams become unstable, causing you to wake up. However, if you stick with it, you’ll be able to keep yourself asleep sooner rather than later.

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