Hi everyone! Time for another LD post!
Last time, I went over the importance of recalling dreams and keeping a journal. This time, I will cover the subject of Reality Checks (RC for short), and how they can help you become lucid. An RC is a simple action, made with the intention of determining if the situation you are in is real, or a dream.
The idea of an RC is to test if you are awake or dreaming. Therefore, the action should be something that can be easily predicted in real life. For example, in real life it is impossible to breathe through your nose if you pinch it shut. In a dream however, you can pinch your nose shut and still breathe normally. Simply put, if you can breathe through your nose while pinching it, you must be dreaming. This is the basic mechanic of all RC's.
There are lots of different Reality Checks to choose from. Just find a few that work for you. A few examples include: Poking your finger through your hand (Can feel really weird, but it works well), counting the number of fingers (In a dream you may have more or less fingers than usual), checking signs or clocks twice (Text and numbers are often hard to discern in a dream, and may appear scrambled or look different the second time you look), sticking your hand through solid objects, like mirrors, walls and so forth.
When starting out, pick a few RC's that seem simple enough, (I personally like the nose-pincher and the palm-poker) and do them regularly during the day, especially if you should get the feeling that you might be in a dream. It is good to have more than one RC to rely on, just to further strengthen your awareness when you are dreaming. Each time you do an RC, be aware of your surroundings and ask yourself if you are dreaming. Then use the RC to confirm if you are dreaming or not. Do this often during your waking time, and your behaviour will start to carry over into your dreams, increasing the chances of becoming lucid. It is also recommended to do an RC before going to sleep, and right after you wake up. This is to cement the awareness of the RC into your subconscious before sleeping, and to confirm that you are really awake, and not just having a false awakening.
So, in short, use Reality Checks regularly during the day. Really question whether or not you are dreaming. Do them before sleeping and after waking up. Do this, and your chances of becoming lucid will improve dramatically.
That's all for now. Until next time, sweet dreams!