Lucid Dreaming With the Wake Back to Bed Method
As a way to lucid dreaming the Wake Back to Bed Method or WBTB Method is one of the most powerful tools you can have. It provides the dreamer time to get enough great rest while they are initially asleep, and then jump directly into a lucid dream after going back to bed.
It may seem obvious that the WBTB method works due to is the nature of making us more aware while in a dreamlike mode, but the science behind why the WBTB method works are also reliable.
The Science Behind the WBTB Method
Whether we are asleep or awake, our bodies and minds follow a circadian rhythm. Hormone production, neurotransmitters, and bodily functions fluctuate over this period due to this wave-like pattern that we each experience, all of which also control our conscious awareness level throughout the day. While dreaming, our circadian rhythm follows a sleep cycle which lasts for on average 90 minutes. This sleep cycle can be extended the more sleep cycles you can complete in the night. The longer you can extend these sleep cycles the more time you have in REM and the more dreams you will remember.
Sleep cycles are also responsible for the production of specific hormones and neurotransmitters which are responsible for the mechanism which produces dreams. Though we don’t fully understand where dreams reside, or why we dream, we do understand some the chemical processes required to make dreams appear. That is why it’s essential to support the sleep cycle and this process as much as possible if you are trying to get a good nights rest, and also have Lucid Dreams.
The Wake Back to Bed Method
- Go to sleep and sleep for 4-5 hours
- Wake up from an alarm staying up for 30-60 minutes
- Set your intention to have a lucid dream
- Go back to bed
- Get lucid!
When we allow our bodies to sleep through a few sleep cycles during the night our minds become more accepting of the dreams that we are experiencing. The production of acetylcholine and the release of GABA during the dreaming process helps us raise our level awareness as the night continues. This process helps deplete our reserves of memory reducing serotonin, GABA, and Oxytocin which is highest during sleep. The WBTB Method comes into action after we have completed a few sleep cycles and allowed our brains to support the depletion of these memory fogging chemicals. This depletion allows us to be in optimal levels to encourage us to remember our dreams and to become aware of the dream itself by most likely modulating the Default Mode Network to be more active.
Not only are we allowing our sleep cycles to take place before attempting to become lucid, but we are also physically waking up which indicates to our bodies (including our mind) that we are getting up to be ready for the day. In result, additional processes take place that typically does not happen while we are sleeping, which increases awareness and memory formation.
Getting Good Rest With the WBTB Method is Important
When we perform the WBTB Method, we primarily want to get the right amount of rest before we wake up. That is why I wait 4-5 hours before I wake up. Getting those 4-5 hours of sleep allows for a number of sleep cycles to happen. Once I physically wake up, I get out of bed and make sure to do some activity to wake myself up even more. During this process, we want to make sure that we are fully awake, and consciously aware of what is going on around us. Also, a physical exercise is a good option as it releases adrenaline which is supportive of our level of awareness and control during our waking lives.
After about an hour of being awake, we then set our intention of having a Lucid Dream before going back to bed. I encourage you to focus on one key element that you want to achieve while being lucid and focus on that key idea while laying down and going back to bed. Your mind may be a bit more active at this state then you are used to while going to sleep, but with some practice, you will be able to go back to sleep after a few minutes.
Explore Your Dreams Safely and Respectfully
Though the process sounds natural and is pretty straightforward, it can take some practice and tweaking for you to get the results that you desire. Some individuals may need to combine additional Lucid Dreaming techniques or even supplements to get to the desired level of awareness in the dream state. I encourage you to develop your practice, but also explore cautiously and patiently while you explore the dream world. Forcing or stressing yourself to have experience can lead to adverse effects which is something we don’t want to occur in our Lucid Dreaming practice.
Lee Adams is a Ph.D. candidate in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and host of Cosmic Echo, a lucid dreaming podcast, and creator of taileaters.com, an online community of lucid dreamers and psychonauts. Lee has been actively researching, practicing, and teaching lucid dreaming for over twenty years.
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