MILD – Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreams

MILD, or Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreams, are commonly combined with other lucid dreaming induction techniques. Mnemonics simply set you up to realize you’re dreaming, but they can be used with all sorts of other cues and techniques to help you understand that you are lucid. MILD combines particularly well with Punishment and Reward Induced Lucid Dreaming, as well as with many reality check techniques.

What is MILD?

With MILD, you’re basically giving yourself the set intention of realizing you’re dreaming. Intentions are incredibly important for lucid dreaming, so MILD is a great technique for beginners to learn, though more advanced dreamers still use it. This type of induction technique is really simple to use, since you’ll just be using a repeated phrase or mantra before bed every night.

Repetition works in interesting ways in the brain. It helps take items of knowledge from the short to the long-term memory, and it can also work on the intentions, to set them in place so you know you need to follow through.

Using MILD

To start using MILD, you’ll first have to come up with your mnemonic, which is just a short phrase or mantra you can repeat to yourself about lucid dreaming and your intentions. You should be able to repeat the phrase within the space of a breath, since you’ll repeat it over and over. You also want to avoid the actual phrase “lucid dreaming” and instead use simpler language like “I’ll be aware I’m dreaming.” One other tip is to mention time – as in, this will happen the next time you’re dreaming – and to remember to say what “will” happen, not what you “wish” or “want” to happen.

A few common MILD phrases to borrow are:

  • Next time I dream, I’ll realize I’m dreaming.
  • Tonight, I’ll be aware I’m dreaming.
  • In this next dream, I’m aware I’m in a dream.

Make sure the phrase you use fits you and feels comfortable, though.

You can say your mantra out loud with MILD, or you can repeat it in your head. Keep repeating it as long as you can – hopefully until you fall asleep. It should ideally be the last thing you think of as you’re drifting into sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep while repeating a phrase, though, you can say it for a while, and then just focus on getting to sleep quickly.

MILD is also a great visualization technique. Try to imagine yourself becoming lucid during a dream as you’re repeating your mantra. Many first-timers have trouble with this, as they don’t know exactly what becoming lucid feels like. Just try your best as you use MILD, and then make your visualization more specific after you’ve had a lucid dream.

It’s best to use MILD after you’ve already been asleep for a while. Set a soft alarm to wake up you after about four and a half to six hours of sleep, and then fall back to sleep using your mantra. At this point, you’ll be more likely to drop right into REM sleep, prime time for lucid dreaming. You can also try combining MILD with WILD, though many beginning lucid dreamers have difficulty using WILD.

My Experience with MILD

When I was starting out in lucid dreaming, MILD was one of my go-to techniques. Sometimes when I’m experiencing difficulty becoming lucid for a couple of night in a row, as sometimes happens, I’ll go back to this method. Just remember that your intentions are vital. You have to really will yourself to become lucid when you’re dreaming, and it can make all the difference in the world!

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"The result of the struggle between the thought and the ability to express it, between dream and reality, is seldom more than a compromise or an approximation." - M. C. Escher