How to Prevent Lucid Dreams

Many people strive to experience lucid dreams. However, the ability to have intense sensations during vivid dreams that feel real can be frightening. You may wish to avoid lucid dreams if they are scary or make you feel uncomfortable and play on your mind. There are ways to lessen the appearance of lucid dreams and secure restful, peaceful nights.

Sleep on your side

Have you noticed that most of the time you experience lucid dreaming you are sleeping on your back? Lucid dreaming is often accompanied by an OBE, or out of body experience. When having an OBE you may feel you are floating, flying, or traveling while no longer in your body. While this is exciting to some people, others may find it terrifying, and even if you do not experience a full-blown OBE, lucid dreaming and an out of body state while sleeping seem to have a connection. If you stop sleeping on your back and rest on your side, you are less likely to experience either phenomena.

If you also experience sleep paralysis along with lucid dreaming, and this is making you feel afraid, learn how to become calm while in this state. When you feel you are awake but cannot move after a lucid dream, remind yourself this stage will pass, as it always does, and no harm can come to you. Relax, and accept the paralysis, rather than panicking and it will fade. Losing fear of the terror produced by sleep paralysis will help you sleep better as your stress levels fall, and you are more likely to kick the experience of lucid dreaming faster.

Develop a regular sleep pattern

Lucid dreamers often have bad nights. Their body clocks may be up the creek, leading them to frequently wake up and go back to sleep numerous times . REM sleep, otherwise known as the stage of sleep when rapid eye movement occurs and dreams are experienced, is generally forgotten by people who do not wake during or just after it. Making sure you get a decent night’s sleep will help you stop having lucid dreams, or at least remembering them upon waking and worrying about them.

Reset your body clock by going to bed at a particular time and getting up at a certain time in the morning repeatedly, and unfaltering. It may take perseverance to change your body and brain timing back to normal, but it should help stop you having lucid dreams if you develop a regular sleeping pattern.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Some people feel certain foods or drinks affect whether they have lucid dreams or not. Indeed, caffeine or alcohol consumption can mess with your sleep pattern, causing you to wake frequently in the night. Avoiding them hours before bedtime may help you reduce lucid dreaming.

You can help prevent lucid dreams by getting a good night’s rest regularly. By developing a good sleeping pattern, staying caffeine and alcohol free as nighttime approaches, and sleeping on your side, you are likely to have less lucid dreams.

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

23 Reactions

  1. Fariha Syed

    I am 13 years old, I ve had my third lucid dream today. i mean i always realise its a dream then out of all i know about this process it could be a huge risk so I strive to wake up somewayy call out to my mom and sometimes Im unable to speakk! but still I manage to stop and get out of it and I dont even like it cause im too young. as i just now browsed about this Maybee it might be exciting when I’m older but now ive gotta focus on better stuff. and I love my realworld.I want a good satisfying nights sleep. although I experience this maybe once in 2 months but still! I dont want to and I dont even know how to control anything and WHat if anything goes wrong???I dont want this stuff!! just wanna know how I can Wake up as soon as I realise Im dreaming! someone replyy pleaseee!

    • bridget

      Hi Fariha,

      It’s alright; lucid dreaming is not dangerous; nothing can go wrong. But, you are afraid, so my suggestion is to manage your fear. Before you go to sleep at night, tell yourself that if you have a lucid dream, you will remember to use the affirmation, “All is well. This is simply a dream, and I am in control.” Know that you will wake up safe and sound when your body is ready, and nothing can harm you. Don’t fight to wake up, but tell yourself; “I will awaken in my own time. Until then, I will relax and enjoy this experience.”
      You can also regularly practice taking charge of your dreaming state by breathing deeply until you feel calm, while awake in the daytime. Picture yourself in a positive dream of your making. See yourself being able to choose what you do and having fun. Say your affirmation in your head when you arrive in the dream, and just before you leave.

      Wishing you sweet, fearless dreams.

  2. Mav

    I’ve been lucid dreaming my entire life. I never realized other people didn’t. Nightmares are fun for me, dreams about girls and I love to fly. I have complete control. It’s like watching a movie and I’m the director. unfortunately it’s effecting my waking life. I don’t want to wake up. I’m sleeping like 15 hrs a day because it’s better then the real world. I always sleep on my side so that doesn’t work and I tried meletonin that helped a bit until the next day and I can’t wake up. Trazadone worked but again can’t wake up the next day. I’m litterally at the end of my rope I can’t do anything in the waking world my email is mavrich1654@gmail.com if anybody has a solution please mail me cuz I can’t stop it and it’s ruining my real life.

  3. Christie

    I have nightmares/night terrors that last for hours! I will wake myself by screaming/yelling and realize I’m dreaming and I can see it’s dark outside in the real world. From this point on, I feel like I’m in between sleep, going right back into the same dream that woke me up but with some control of the dream. It seems like I’m also constantly cracking my eyes open in the between sleep dream state to see if the sun is up yet. The only thing that snaps me out of it is the alarm or if I see the sun at an 8am level in the sky lol weird I know. I will be extremely groggy/ wobbly on my feet as if My body is still in this I between sleep but the mind is snapping out of it. I sleep this way naturally and it’s disturbing the dreams. I’m always tired!

  4. garicitoa

    I dream very lucid dreams often where I realize i am in a dream. They are awesome as I go on amazing adventures, somehow though, I usually realize this just before awakening. Sucks. Sometimes when I don’t feel like anything hectic dream wise, I pray about it, I usually ask for a nice dream, or sometimes no dream. The man upstairs has a plan but also knows what we need.

  5. Fredrik

    L-Theanine seems to be a safe supplement to reduce nightmares and amount of dreams experienced during sleep.

  6. Laura

    Lucid dreams are neat every once and awhile. I have constant lucid dreams every time I sleep, every time I get a chance to nap. It is exhausting. None of these above tips help. I just want to wake up in the morning and actually feel like I slept, instead of feeling like i just ran a marathon. The dreams can be very interesting, but after having them every night for my whole life I would just like to get some quality sleep.

    • Ray

      I could not agree more. I have them every night unless I take some heavy duty prescribed meds and without the meds I am just exhausted. I also feel like I do not get a good night’s sleep with the constant, non stop lucid dreams.

    • Bettie

      Laura – You described what I experience every time I sleep. I get so exhausted. I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine and oxygen also. It doesn’t matter if I’m on my side or back. Thanks for your entry. I hope someone can help us.

    • Lauren

      Unfortunately I feel the same way. I too have this problem and seems to be getting worse lately. Now when I wake from a dream both of my legs straighten and tighten. I have no control over it.

    • Marina

      Laura I’m in the same predicament as you. I’m so very tired of the lucid dreams. I don’t feel rested since it feels like my mind has just been running all throughout the night..I absolutely hate it and wish there was a cure for it. I dread falling asleep due to this.

  7. josh

    So I am dealing with anxiety, because of this I stopped smoking marijuana and am pretty much sober 24/7 besides having a few beers with buddies every now and then. Once I stopped smoking, almost immediately I started having very vivid dreams. I have experienced sleep paralysis a handful of times and just recently like 3 or 4 times I’ve woken up with a vibrating sensation almost throughout my whole body. I did some reading up on it and turns out that it is related to obe “out of body experience” , and because of these vibrations I’m right on the cusp of having an obe, which I do not want to have. I’m just trying to understand it when it happens so I know how to control or better yet prevent it all together. Also theres probably people like me who can relate and don’t know what to do or what it is. Also just about everyday I hear a “whooshing” sound, just like people hear a ringing in there ears and that was also related to OBE´s.

    • brian

      Hi Josh, a friend of mine was experiencing sleep paralysis also and was able to “fight” it off when it happen by focusing on his breathing. I’ll try to do some research and get articles poster on OBE. Maybe we’ll be able to help people in those situations.

    • tallybookman

      In case it helps you, I wanted to tell you about my experience: I recently (over the past 6 months) developed acute panic attacks – they’d come almost 24 hours a day in rolling waves that would peak and then recede some, but never go away. THAT caused me to go to the doctor. Eventually we figured out that I hadn’t known they’d been building up to that all along, but they had. I didn’t know it because I didn’t associate the “vibrating” i felt over the prior 12 months with anxiety. I didn’t feel any emotional anxiety. But eventually I figured it out and got medical help, but before I figured it out I was really freaked out by the vibrating thing. If what’s happening to you is similar, when you are laying down or sitting does it feel like: “Holy crap, how can the whole bed or chair not be shaking!”, except it’s not – it’s just epinephrine pouring into your bloodstream and priming you to fight or run because our brains are still, for the most part, looking out for predators and other menaces. Fear and worry get associated with our species ancient instincts. Anyone who has been in a scary fight or had to run had similar symptoms but they aren’t mysterious then! It’s only mysterious when it’s happening in the kitchen or car or whatever for no obvious reason. Anyway, my symptoms, especially the vibrating feeling, were not unique but that one in particular being so bad isn’t common and it sounded like maybe you have the same thing going on. Sorry if I misinterpreted what you wrote! Peace. Scott

    • Fredrik

      Cannabis changes the way or amount of REM sleep we have. Increased REM sleep or dreams has been linked with depression. Cannabis diminishes the amount of REM sleep and that is what you are experiencing now, its a rebound effect. It’s going to go away its just gonna take some time.

  8. gonzo

    avoid lucid dreams? *** are you insane? lucid dreams are awesome.

    • brian

      As mentioned in the introduction many people will want to have them. The issue here is not that they are bad. It’s mostly about preventing nightmares to become lucid “dreaming”. Per example: “Falling down a mountain where monsters are awaiting to finish you off. No issues out and no way to play god and fly away.” 🙂 Lucid nightmares are horrible. This article just helps you out not to have them. If you’ve been having them lately you’ll welcome the help.

  9. Gia

    I’m going through this for a few weeks now and it’s hard. I’m also paranoid and i really need help. I’ve tried different positions when sleeping and im always lucid dreaming; it’s fun and amazing but i soon enter the stranger dreams, and being paralyzed is something i wish not to be. I need help it’s hard to remain calm

  10. Scott Stratton

    Just FYI, Lucid Dreaming by itself, specifically, means having a dream where – while “in” the dram, one realizes that one is dreaming. If you are lucky and/or practiced at lucid dreaming then you can continue the dream and – being aware it is a dream – then control the dream to dome extent. For example, if you want to be able to fly in your dreams, but don’t normally do so, then while Lucid Dreaming you could simply decide you CAN fly.

    While lucid dreaming IS more tiring than most normal dreams, it is not true that you are more likely to have one after/during a bad night ‘s sleep. In fact the opposite is true and those who pursue lucid dreaming have to take care to get a compleye and very goid night’s sleep every night. The more dleep deprived you are the (dramatically) less likely you are to lucid dream.

    Just wanted to clear up the apparent confusion between lucid dreaming and skeep paralysis and just plain old intense dreams! Both are quite real phenomenon, just different. Great blog though and love the app too!

  11. safejfo

    MELATONIN gave me AWFUL dreams. I never considered it because it is “natural”.
    After suffering for yrs., I read about Melatonin and bad dreams. Stopped the Melaton and the dreams stopped! Hope this helps!

  12. QueenP

    I have all kinds of sleep paralysis, quite frequently, & no matter whether I’m on my side or not. It happens. It’s frightening at first, I mean absolutely horrible what your head comes up with while in that paralyzed state & it all sounds so true to reality & so close to you, you think you’re dying. But the trick to it really is just remembering what the phenomena is while it’s happening & remaining calm, keep telling yourself no one is walking in your front door, no ones walking toward you, keep reminding yourself its not real & eventually the really terrible stuff will stop. I quite like the lucid dreaming so I’ve never tried nor wanted to quit that but I will tell you, from a life long, vivid, crazy wild dreamer, these experiences are exhausting & cause a great deal of stress if you don’t know what you’re dealing with…but I will say, I’ve never had sleep paralysis while listening to RM!

    • brian

      That is a great testimony QueenP. Indeed sleep paralysis can be an exhaustive experience (I heard). One trick somebody told me to get out of it is to think about your breathing and you should snap out of the paralysis. It’s a nice thing to know also that Relax Melodies prevents the recurring sleep paralysis experiences. Once again thanks for your testimony. Cheers!