Two observations led LaBerge in the late 1970s to develop morning napping as a method of lucid dream induction. First, he noticed that lucidity seemed to come easier in afternoon naps. The second suggestion same from several lucid dreamers who noted that certain activities during the night appeared to induce lucid dreaming. The diverse qualities of these interruptions: sex, vomiting, and pure meditation, piqued LaBerge's curiosity regarding what feature each might possess conducive to lucidity. The answer proved to be quite simple: wakefulness interjected during sleep increases the likelihood of lucidity. In fact, the nap technique, refined through several NightLight experiments, is an extremely powerful method of stimulating lucid dreams. The technique requires you to awaken one hour earlier than usual, stay awake for 30 to 60 minutes, then go back to sleep. One study showed a 15 to 20 times increased likelihood of lucid dreaming for those practicing the nap technique over no technique. During the wakeful period, read about lucid dreaming, practice reality checks and then do MILD as you are falling asleep. The Lucidity Institute's training programs include this technique as an essential part of the schedule, one of the reasons why most participants have lucid dreams during the session.
What is Lucid Dreaming?
The basic definition of lucid dreaming requires nothing more than becoming aware that you are dreaming. However, the quality of lucidity can vary greatly. When lucidity is at a high level, you are aware that everything experienced in the dream is occurring in your mind, that there is no real danger, and that you are asleep in bed and will awaken shortly. With low-level lucidity, you may be aware to a certain extent that you are dreaming, perhaps enough to fly or alter what you are doing, but not enough to realize that the people are dream representations, or that you can suffer no physical damage, or that you are actually in bed.