One of the first things people ask about when they realize they can control dreams is whether or not flying is possible. It’s very much possible, and it’s even been specifically studied from a scientific perspective because it’s such an interesting thing that people commonly wonder about.

While flying in lucid dreams is absolutely possible, it’s also not particularly difficult to learn to do. In fact, we’ll show you our recommended approach to make it work for you. Additionally, you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re controlling dreams about flying within a few nights using our method.

Before we get into that, let’s settle the question once and for all so that you understand just how much this really is possible.

A woman with brown hair and a tan jacket practicing lucid dream flying.

Science Answers: Can You Fly in a Lucid Dream

A major study came out in 2021 that really settled the science on the topic of lucid dream flying. It was a very straightforward study in which they asked lucid dream practitioners to try to fly under specific dreaming circumstances.

We instructed LD practitioners to fly while in an LD while performing no other movements (including jumping). That is, practitioners were to attempt to fly using only intention and thought… Most of the participants succeeded in flying while in an LD. Among those with successful results, almost everyone spoke about flying with little effort.[1]

Here’s the point we’re trying to get across: Dream flying is not difficult for most people, most of the time. However, it does require that inducing lucid dreams is not a problem for you. If it is, we have a number of lucid dreaming techniques that can help you to learn, and we’ll actually be including a complete method in the following for people who are just getting started.

Lucid Dreaming Flying Apparently Isn’t That Difficult

It’s very encouraging to know that going from knowing nothing about how to fly in lucid dreams to being able to make it happen at least somewhat consistently doesn’t actually take that much time or effort.

With that said, it will require you to put in a little bit of work. Not everyone can lucid dream naturally, so you may have to nudge your brain in the right direction by learning a few simple skills.

A cluster of birds flying in black and white, a common symbol in flying dreams.

Our overall approach is to make everything as accessible as we can with as little effort as possible. We do this with lucid dreaming in the general sense, but we also do it with trying to generate flying dreams like the ones talked about here. We also have a practical approach to how you can use this technique, like learning to fly away from a flooding room in a dream to save yourself.

When you begin your journey into learning how to fly in a lucid dream, remember that you shouldn’t try to force it. Additionally, it shouldn’t be hard or stressful. Just go through the steps, trust in the process and let it happen naturally.

Our Approach: Follow These Steps to Learn How to Fly in a Lucid Dream

In the following, we’re going to break down the concrete steps to what we call the Doorway to Hands Method of lucid dream flying. This is a variation of what’s known as DILD lucid dreaming induction, which again is what we consider to be the easiest method to learn to get the fastest results.

With that said, before we get started into the actual method, we want to remind you of a few quick tips for lucid dreaming in general:

  • This is going to take a little bit of time. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t start lucid dreaming right away.
  • The first few times you realize you’re lucid dreaming, you may become jolted awake. That’s a normal part of the process. You can learn to stay asleep during your dreams without much difficulty, but you have to get to the point of realizing you’re in a dream first.
  • Consider keeping a dream journal. This is an easy way to help remember your dreams, and it can make it easier to track your progress so that you don’t get discouraged.

With that out of the way, let’s get to flying!

The Doorway to Hands Method of Lucid Dream Flying

We’re going to assume that you are completely new to lucid dreaming or have no real experience overall. If you do, then you can skip through the following steps however you see fit.

However, if you don’t have experience, then you shouldn’t worry. We’re about to show you everything you need to know about dream control, inducing lucid dreams and learning how to fly in a lucid dream.

A men levitating in the air over a grassy hill with water and a blue sky in the background.

Step 1: Practice the Doorway Trigger

In lucid dreaming, a trigger is something used to remind you to check to see if you’re in a dream. One of our problems when we’re dreaming is that we don’t often consider that we may actually be in one.

The idea of the doorway trigger is simple. Sometimes when you walk through a doorway, you want to take a moment to consider whether or not you’re in a dream. We’ll show you how to tell if you’re in a dream below, but this step is just about building the habit of considering it for a moment.

Step 2: Practice the Hands Technique

The Hands Technique is one of the easiest ways to learn how to tell if you’re dreaming. All you need to do is look around at your surroundings, look down at your hands for a moment and then look back at your surroundings.

Sometimes you’ll notice that things like patterns on walls or pieces of text have changed around you. That’s how you can tell if you’re a dream after using the doorway trigger.

Step 3: When You Realize You’re in a Dream, Stay Calm

This is the part that most people get to pretty quickly before hitting a bit of a roadblock. That happens because they get excited when they realize they’re in a dream, which is natural. However, that excitement will often jolt you just enough to wake you up as soon as it happens.

The view of white shoes on a dark floor with a ladder in front reaching down into water.

When people ask, “Can you fly in a lucid dream?,” the answer ultimately comes down to how they navigate staying calm in this step. If you can stay calm, then you almost certainly can fly in your dreams, and you’re already at least 90 percent of the way there at this point.

This issue of staying calm is why we recommend a mindfulness practice so much. It helps to put this calming skill on auto-pilot so that you can get past this roadblock and learn how to fly in lucid dreams as quickly as possible.

Step 4: Start With Simple Levitation, But Don’t Force It

Once you’re at this stage, you’re almost there. After you’ve realized you’re in a dream and are calm enough that you don’t wake up, you’re ready to practice simple dream levitation.

All you have to do is look down at your feet and see yourself rise up from the floor. In our experience, that’s the easiest way to start. However, you need to be careful at this point because it’s really easy to jolt yourself awake while flying in a dream.

How to Fly in Lucid Dreams Without Waking Up

When you have basic levitation working for you, which doesn’t take much time or effort for most lucid dreamers[1], you may run back into the problem of waking up. The reason for this is pretty simple:

Flying can often have a lot of “jerking” motions or cause things to run up on you very quickly. These things can test your calmness and jolt you awake.

The key to staying calm in your dreams while flying is usually a combination of mindfulness and fear management until your brain gets used to it (which doesn’t take long). Even inside of a dream, people have a need to overcome fear of flying through the air because it’s such an unnatural motion for us as human beings.

However, for the most part, all this takes is a little bit of practice. With that said, remember not to force it. As the study we mentioned above found, most people who are successfully able to experience flying in lucid dreams do so without a lot of effort. In fact, putting too much effort into it can make it more difficult, and it can even wake you up from frustration.

Resources

  1. Zhunusova, Z., Raduga, M., & Shashkov, A. (2021). Flying limitations in lucid dreams. Dreaming, 31(3), 272–278. https://doi.org/10.1037/drm0000172
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