Author Topic: 06 Reality Checks  (Read 6630 times)

Offline Seeker

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06 Reality Checks
« on: May 07, 2008, 04:58:47 PM »

The reality check is a wonderful tool that is used by both the new and experience lucid dreamer.  As the name implies, a reality check is an effort to verify your current reality.  If you really want to weird out your friends and family, tell them sometime that you regularly practice reality checks.  :) 

In a reality check, the prospective lucid dreamer attempts something that is not usually possible when awake.  There are many different reality checks, a few popular ones include:

Pressing your finger through the palm of your hand – The dreamer extends a finger on one hand and attempts to force it through the palm of the other hand.  If successful, it usually indicates a dream state since this is not normally possible while awake.

Breathing while pinching your nose closed – The dreamer pinches the nostrils of the nose closed with the index finger and thumb of one hand and then attempts to breath through the nose.  If the dreamer finds that breathing is possible, it indicates a dream state.

Levitating or flying – The dreamer either wills himself to levitate or jumps into the air.  If the dreamer leaves the ground or is delayed in returning to the ground this indicates a dream state.  Care should be taken with this technique since dire consequences may result if this reality check fails after jumping from tall objects.  :D


Reality checks serve a number of purposes and should be performed by all lucid dreamers on a regular basis.  In the above sentences one use for reality checks has been presented; determining when you are dreaming so you don't embarrass yourself.  Imagine your dismay if you suddenly attempted to seduce an attractive school-mate or co-worker and were really not dreaming.

The second and often overlooked purpose of performing reality checks is that it helps to train your mind.  It is truly sad, but 99% of the world just coasts through the day, never questioning.Am I Dreaming?

Performing regular reality checks keeps thin in the forefront of your mind.  It trains you to question while awake, which in turn carries over into your dreaming life as well.  Most prospective lucid dreamers after following a regular program of reality checks will suddenly find themselves performing a check in their dream and come to the realization that they are in a dream!  It's a pretty awesome feeling.

Performing reality checks --  How often?  Which methods should I use?
These questions have been asked and debated many times by both the novice and experienced lucid dreamers.  It seems the only correct answer is. “I depends”.

Every person is different, what works well for one person will not work at all for another.  I'll present a few guidelines and it will be up to you to find what works best for you.

How often? --  Once a day is probably not enough, 100 times a day is probably too often.  The goal is to train your mind to question reality.  Performing too few checks will fail to establish the habit and will not carry forward into your dreaming.  Performing too many checks will be counter productive since the quality of the reality checks will suffer, you will most likely find yourself performing the reality check in your dream and convincing yourself that you are awake and just performing another reality check.

Which methods should I use? – The answer to this is as varied as the different people doing them.  Do whichever one you like, preferably you should mix it up a little and perform two or three different ones, my favorite is levitation.

Think quality, not quantity – It is FAR BETTER to perform 2 good reality checks a day than 10 mediocre ones.  When you reality check don't just do the check, give it your full attention, really questions reality.  Take for example the finger through the palm technique, perform it right now with me slowly while reading along.

  • Extend the index finger of your right hand and press it into the palm of your left hand.
  • Did it go through?  Probably not.
  • Why didn't it go through?
  • Do you feel the pressure it is putting on your palm? 
  • Do you feel the fingernail pressing into your skin? 
  • Do you feel the warmth of the palm?
  • Look at your finger, is the skin under the fingernail turning pale?
  • Are the muscles of your finger beginning to hurt a little from the strain?
  • Look around you and think, can you establish an accurate timeline of the events leading up to this reality check?
  • Imagine as vividly as possible what it would have been like if your finger had gone through.  Would there have been pain?  Blood?  Would you have felt the tissue structure of your palm as the finger went through?


A small hint  --  Many people try to reality check on a schedule.  “Well, top of the hour, time to reality check”.  Unfortunately, we rarely watch the clock in our dreams.  Try instead to perform reality checks when certain events occur such as walking through a doorway passing an object like a tree or a car.  Most likely in your dreams you will find yourself doing this and remember to reality check.

Today's assignment:  Post your favorite reality check in this thread.

I'll organize these in a couple of days and then ask you to make a workbook entry containing your current reality check and one additional new one from the list to try.
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Offline Clairity

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 05:03:42 PM »
My favorite is breathing while pinching your nose closed.  :-X
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Offline iadr

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 05:05:46 PM »
My favorite is try floating because it has always worked.
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Offline Robot_Butler

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 05:21:59 PM »
My favorite is looking at my hand(s), and counting the fingers.  I find that looking at my hands in a dream really helps to calm me and solidify the dream.  Normally, by the time I RC in a dream, I already sort of know its a dream, so the RC is more of a stabilization thing to convince myself and remain calm.
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Offline Burns

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 05:43:20 PM »
The one that I've had most success with is looking at a clock (usually my wristwatch). I'll look once, think about the time that it shows, and then look at it again. When I'm dreaming, the clock will say a completely different time then when I looked the first time. This has got me lucid several times.

Offline StephenT

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 06:37:32 PM »
I like pinching my nose and breathing. :D

I've also done some finger through palm.

Offline Budster

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 06:42:57 PM »
My favorite would be plugging my nose and trying to breathe.

It's an odd, unique feeling.  :P
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Offline 2Fruits

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 07:06:42 PM »
My favourite is using both the nose plug and the finger thru hand, since the nose plug often fails for me.
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Offline Sunshine

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2008, 07:22:20 PM »
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« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 07:04:01 PM by pj »

Offline 27

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2008, 07:44:29 PM »
I do the nose RC and hand checks often.

Offline Kromoh

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2008, 08:19:46 PM »
Nose RC as the failproof one. Sometimes I'll do the clock RC.

I also find that I'm unable to feel physical pain in dreams, but I don't know how trustworthy a RC that is.

Though I'll admit I haven't RCed even once each month lately xD Time to work on it.


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Offline Snowy Egypt

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2008, 08:25:18 PM »
I...uh...don't do much RCs...hehehe... :-[

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Offline Starrider

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2008, 08:38:45 PM »
I seldom check if electronic equipment around me works properly. Although I imagine that that only works in false awakenings, since I've been unable to notice anything wrong with that kind of equipment during regular dreams.

Most of the times in which I've become lucid because of a repetitive, weird or completely out of place situation, I get so shocked that I automatically jump into a new dream where I'm not lucid.

The few times I've managed to remain in a lucid dream and I have tried to float, I always start moving in slow motion, the dream starts fading away, and I automatically jump into a non-lucid dream.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 01:47:14 AM by Starrider »

Offline Captain Sleepalot

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2008, 09:13:57 PM »
My favorite is just to ask myself if I am dreaming and then examine the environment for anything strange.
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Offline Josh

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Re: 06 Reality Checks
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2008, 11:26:51 PM »
I have become far more critical of my reality in the last couple weeks, and if anything looks, sounds, feels, or even smells the least bit out of place I do a reality check. I usually do a nose-hold RC, then a finger-through-palm RC just to be sure. That got me a short lucid not too long ago, and let me tell you, feeling your finger go through your hand is a really strange feeling!
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