Case histories may provide a more tangible picture of the process of learning lucid dreaming. Dr. LaBerge increased his frequency of lucid dreaming from about one per month to up to four a night (at which point he could have lucid dreams at will) over the course of three years. He was studying lucid dreaming for his doctoral dissertation and therefore needed to learn to have them on demand as quickly as possible. On the other hand, he had to invent techniques for improving lucid dreaming skills. Thus, people starting now, although they may not be as strongly motivated as LaBerge or have the same quantity of time to devote to it, have the advantage of the tested techniques, training programs, and electronic biofeedback aids that have been created in the two decades since LaBerge began his studies.
Lynne Levitan, staff writer for the Lucidity Institute, describes her experiences with learning lucid dreaming as follows:
"I first heard of lucid dreaming in April of 1982, when I took a course from Dr. LaBerge at Stanford University. I had had the experience many years before and was very interested to learn to do it again, as well as to get involved in the research. First I had to develop my dream recall, because at the time I only remembered two or three dreams per week. In a couple of months I was recalling 3 to 4 or more per night, and in July (about three months after starting) I had my first lucid dream since adolescence. I worked at it on and off for the next four years (not sleeping much as a student) and reached the level of 3 to 4 lucid dreams per week. Along the way, I tested several prototypes of the DreamLight lucid dream induction device and they clearly helped me to become more proficient at realizing when I was dreaming. During the first two years that we were developing the DreamLight, I had lucid dreams on half of the nights I used one of these devices, compared to once a week or less without. In considering how long it took me to get really good at lucid dreaming, note that I did not have the benefit of the thoroughly studied and explained techniques now available either, because the research had not yet been done nor the material written. Therefore, people now should be able to accomplish the same learning in far less time given, of course, sufficient motivation."