How can I recognize I am in dream?

How can I recognize I am in dream?2017-05-06T08:32:16+00:00


Dear Mr. Waggoner,

It is 2 week I finished your “Lucid Dreaming” books. I like it.  I am big fan of it. I haven’t yet total lucid dream, but I am working on it.:-)

Question: How can I recognize I am in dream?

I write about 3 dreams nightly to my Dream diary – no lucid.

3 days ago I had a dream – I am in some beautiful room, looks so nice and real, …, moment, It is so nice, so I doubt “Is it true reality?”. I am trying find some mirror to check with pulling finger inside, but suddenly the dream is ending, I am wake. Well, the dream was so real, so I couldn’t recognize, that this is dream. Yes, I read the “hands”  aid, but I am not sure If I can see my hands in dream, I can say, it is dream, because the dream could be so real. So can you help?


Thank you,



Hi Martin,

Glad you enjoyed my lucid dreaming books  😉

First, congratulations on becoming lucid!  You recognized that the room was too “nice” and realized that it might be a dream.

When you have that realization that ‘This might be a dream’, then I hope you can do a ‘reality check’ at that moment (and not look for a mirror, etc.).  For example, you can ‘jump’ up into the air and see if you float — if you float, then you know it is a dream.  Or you can grab one of your fingers and pull it, and normally it will get longer, then you know ‘This is a dream.’  Or you can pinch your nose, and if you have no problem with breathing, then you know ‘This is a dream.’

Yes, the dream will seem “real”.  But when you can float or fly, then you will know it is a lucid dream.  For a beginner, I also suggest in my books that they remember these three points:

  1. Reduce emotions — If you get very excited, then the lucid dream will end.  So tell yourself to ‘Calm down’ or look at something neutral, like the floor or your hands, when you see something too exciting,
  2. Enhance your awareness — If you become lucid, and the environment seems very to have low light, or seems dim, then announce, ‘Greater clarity now’ or ‘More awareness now’ and often the lighting will increase.  Also, rub your hands together to activate your sense of being there,
  3. Maintain your awareness — Since everything seems ‘real’, then you need to remind yourself every 15 seconds, ‘This is a dream.’  Or you can decide to sing, and know that you are singing because this is a dream (and not waking reality).  It is important to maintain your awareness of being in a lucid dream.

Remember to be more aware during the day, since this will help you to be more aware in the dream, and realize, ‘Oh, this is a dream!’