This is a simple technique for those who wish to improve their awareness on the borderline of sleep. Those of you who have read Stephen LaBerge's exploring the world of lucid dreaming may recognise the following quote:
Stevenson was not explicit about whether his brownies were characters of lucid dreams. It appears from his reports that they were mental images that appeared during lucid hypnagogic reverie. The technique the writer used was to lie in bed with his forearm perpendicular to the mattress. He found that he could drift easily into his familiar fantasy workshop, and if he fell into a deeper sleep, his forearm would fall to the mattress and awaken him.
So basically you lie down to go to sleep, as you get closer to sleep raise your forearm so its balanced at the elbow. It shouldn't feel in any way uncomfortable, and you should be able to continue your descent into sleep as normal. If you're not sure what i mean take a look at one of Da Vinci's most famous works below:
The idea is simple, relax and attempt to fall asleep as normal while maintaining a thread of awareness. Observe the onset of sleep, watch as hypnotic imagery begins to form in your vision, and see how you get sucked into it and slowly lose consciousness. If at any point you actually fall asleep your arm will fall and wake you. The objective is to retain a degree of awareness and observe your body falling asleep, aswell as to practice playing on the borderlands of sleep without succumbing to it. The nice thing about this technique is that you can try as many times as you wish, usually WILD is a one shot thing (you either get it or you fall asleep).
I thought id share an extract from a recent experience to finish off:
As i fell deeper I heard what sounded like someone breathing beside me, calmly and rhythmically it continued even though i was alone in the room. I guessed it maybe the beginning of sleep paralysis or hypnogogia, but listening peacefully i realised it was my breathing, and that i had no control over it nor connection with it. Id fallen asleep, or atleast my body had, but here i was still consciously thinking with waking awareness. It was an amazingly freeing feeling. I decided to find out if my body was paralysed by moving (even though i wasn't in REM) and the experience was ended =(.
Have fun all and good luck with your lucid endevours =)