Sleep Related

Does the ‘Wake Back To Bed’ Method Work for Lucid Dreaming?

wbtb wake back to bedLucid dreaming can be a great tool for personal development. You can learn a lot of things for yourself and direct your dreams to experience that what you normally can’t in real life. It’s also a fun thing to experiment with, but it can be very difficult to do. In this article we’ll discuss one of the easier methods to lucid dream: Wake Back to Bed (WBTB).


What is WBTB (Wake Back To Bed)?

The method is pretty simple. You don’t need to do any weird techniques, or be super smart or anything. All you need to do is wake up in the middle of the night, chill for a bit, and then go back to bed.

Since this is too general, here are the guidelines below on how to do this. Later on we’ll also discuss some tips & tricks on how to lucid dream more effectively with this method. But first here’s how to lucid dream with the Wake Back to Bed method:

Guidelines how to lucid dream:

#1 Set an alarm for 4-6 hours after you go to bed

If you normally go to bed at 11 and wake up at 7 (getting your 8 hours of sleep!), then you’ll set your alarm somewhere between 3 and 5. This is the optimal time.

If this is the first time experimenting with this method, then I recommend you start with the earlier time. This way you’ll be more tired and it will be easier to get back to sleep.

Although if you usually have trouble laying awake at night – and have problems getting sufficient sleep – then it’s better to take the later time. That way you’ll get more total sleep and don’t risk losing more.

#2  When you wake up, get out of bed and stay awake for 15 to 60 minutes

The second step is to wake up when your alarm goes, and to get out of bed. You then have around 15 to 60 minutes to do something that requires mental effort. Here’s a list of activities you can try:

  • Journaling
  • Doing crosswords
  • Writing
  • Making music
  • Reading
  • Listening to a podcast

So everything that requires you to use your brain. You can also read about lucid dreaming, if you want to keep your brain on the topic and increase your chances of lucid dreaming.

Important is that you don’t do anything involving screens. In theory you can do this – but you need to disable the blue light – or wear blue light blocking glasses. otherwise your melatonin production will be screwed and it will be very difficult to get back to sleep.

For the duration, pick something that feels comfortable to you. I recommend starting at the shorter duration, since that way you won’t lose too much of your sleeping time.

Although, if you have the time (can sleep in), you cans tart with the longer duration.

#3 Go back to bed and relax

The third step is to go back to bed again and relax. You don’t need to do any special techniques – just allow yourself to slowly drift off to sleep. That will do the trick in most cases.

You’ll be awake at first, and you can use this time to think about the thing you want to lucid dream about. At a certain point you’ll notice that you you start to doze off a bit (just like when taking a daytime nap). The border between consciously awake and dreaming will be very thin. And you likely will be in a half awake, half asleep state for a while. This is when the lucid dreaming can begin.

The most important thing here is to visualize about what you want to lucid dream about when you lay in bed. that will increase the chances of you having a good lucid dream.

Does WBTB work?

the reason WBTB works is because your stimulating your conscious brain at a time when it normally is asleep. This consciousness spills over and you have  bigger chance of lucid dreaming.

Another reason is that you’ll dive right into REM sleep when you go to bed again. And since REM sleep is when you dream, you’ll be in the right stage for a lucid dream.

Downsides of WBTB: interrupts your natural sleep schedule

WBTB is a good tool for inducing lucid dreams. But there are some downsides. The main thing is that you’re interrupting your natural sleep schedule and losing sleep. If you usually struggle to get enough hours of sleep at night, then practicing the WBTB method will lead to even less sleep.

If you do it once a while though, it’s not a bad thing. And the more you do it, the less time you’ll need to be awake for the effect to work.

Another downside can be if you’re sleeping with your partner who’s not into this. Then you’ll wake him or her up at night. If you do it occasionally, it’s probably not a problem, but if you do it too often, you can put some strain on your relationship.

On a different note, if your partner is into lucid dreaming as well, it’s a cool experiment to do together and share your experiences!

Tips for successful WBTB

The following tips will make WBTB easier for you:

  • Do stuff throughout the day so that you’re falling asleep well and quickly at night.
  • Don’t take naps during the day.
  • Avoid screens before bed (and when you wake up in  the middle of the night)
  • Keep a diary close to you to write down what you’re dreaming (or other insights)
  • Practice on the weekends when you can sleep late.
  • You can experiment taking melatonin before bed.
  • Go to another room for whatever activity you do during the nightly break.

Conclusion on the wake back to bed method

The wake back to bed method is a good introduction to lucid dreaming. The strength lies in the fact that you don’t need to anything special, use weird techniques or take supplements to lucid dream.

It’s a method that’s available to anyone and you can safely try it out at home.

What are your experiences with the WBTB method? Share them in the comments section!


P.S. Want to learn more about lucid dreaming? This insightful book will give you tips and techniques on how to get the most out of lucid dreaming for personal growth!

By Adrianus

Since childhood I've tried hundreds of little experiments to feel better, learn faster and perform higher (e.g. supplements, sports, psychological tricks, sleep and wacky diets).
After I graduated university in 2016, I basically found that sleep was the #1 factor to improve every aspect of life.
Bad sleep = bad life. I started SleepInvestor in 2017 to share my experiments and thoughts about sleep.

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