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Saturday, 21 August 2021

Ways to lucid: WBTB (Wake back to bed)

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In one way or another, you are familiar with lucid dreaming. You might be searching for techniques to perform it or might have had some conscious dreams already. 'Ways to lucid' is a series of articles simply explaining the most notable and frequent methods to use for the best lucid dreaming experience.

You can find an article about the MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming) technique - one of the oldest and most popular ones. Also, it is highly related to the topic of this article. In it, we will gradually examine and explain the WBTB (Wake back to bed) method.

The main idea of WBTB:

WBTB is usually paired with every other lucid dreaming technique. The whole process is based on waking up during the state of dreaming to alleviate induction of consciousness by the time you will reenter the dream. Waking up is settled for a maximized target timing of REM (Rapid Eye Movement, the state during which we are dreaming the most). If you have slept enough, around 4.5 to 6 hours, your body that is rested enough can allow your mind to have an extended dreaming experience.


The origins of the WBTB method can be attributed to the inventor of MILD Stephen LaBerge and other two scientists of the same field Leslie Phillips, & Lynne Levitan. At that time, WBTB was known as morning naps. Their studies in the 90s demonstrated how likely it is to have a lucid dream while napping after having interrupted a previous dreaming experience for more or less than one hour.

One of their research consists of 3 condition groups that employed different ways of inducing lucid dreams. For Condition A, the group needed to wake up 90 minutes before their regular wakening time, then spent 90 minutes awake and 10 minutes of MILD technique before going to sleep. Condition B group followed the same regime as Condition A, but instead of staying up for 90 minutes, they went to sleep after completing MILD for 10 minutes. Only the participants of Condition C were able to sleep their natural amount. They needed to perform MILD and then fall asleep for approximately 90 minutes when they woke up.

The results reveal that 94% of participants experienced conscious dreams when they were napping. The most successful of the three was the so-called condition C, with the participants lucid dreaming (taking the so-called morning naps) every 1.6 nights. Later goes condition B, attaining a conscious dream state every two-night naps. Lastly, people from condition A had a lucid dream every 11-night naps.

Based on Stephen LaBerge's, Leslie Philips', and Lynne Levitan's studies, we can assume that the WBTB method was only a supplementation for MILD.

Back then, waking back to bed did not seem to be convincing. The method was named and replenished only during the 2000s.

The original WBTB tutorial.

1st step. Set up an alarm.

Waking up is the axis of the procedure. You have to wake up in the middle of the period from 4 to 6 hours into your sleep so that your body is smoothly or sufficiently recovered (that is why the original technique says to sleep for about 6 hours). Moreover, if you find it difficult to fall asleep, bear that in mind, and if necessary, expand the waiting time of the alarm.

2d step. Sleep.

Before you can try to simulate a dream and control it or manifest yourself being conscious next time you are dreaming (briefly, applying the MILD technique without waking up first).

3d step. After waking up, get out of bed.

Although in some tutorials it is recommended to occupy yourself by reading something or just spending time alone, it is essential to be somewhat alert but not fully awake and zippy. It is not advisable to feel exhausted and sleepy because that can trigger another wave of deep unconscious sleep and, of course, not experiencing any lucidity. Getting out of bed will help you become alert, but the body itself will not feel that way and will urge you to sleep. That is the combination you are seeking.

4th step. Stay awake for at least fifteen minutes.

There are no strict laws regarding time and how to do lucid dreaming in general. Many people claim it beneficial to stay awake for 30-45 minutes. In theory, experts teach to stay awake between 60 and 90 minutes. You might want to experiment to find what works best for you.

5th step. For a mightier impact while you are awake, do something related to dreams.

Visualize the dream, read your dream journal, remember other dreaming experiences, project yourself being lucid in a dream, manifest. Combining MILD and WBTB techniques is common and approved by many lucid dreamers.


How much time after falling asleep do I have to wake up (while performing WBTB)?

Your goal is to wake up in a state of REM (rapid eye movement), the state during which you are dreaming the most, and then reentering it lucidly. Usually, WBTB tutorials give a range of 4.5-6 hours into the sleep to wake up. Nonetheless, the range is given, not by accident or comfort. It is there to increase the chance of waking up during REM.

When do you succeed in waking up at the right time if you want to be lucid?

As long as you wake up from a dream, it is a good sign in terms of inducing lucid dreams. This means that you are now aware that you were dreaming, and you can do it by yourself consciously.

How long do I have to stay awake (while performing WBTB)?

Different sources recommend spending different durations starting from 15, 60 minutes up to 120 minutes. However, the solutions vary because our sleeping experiences can be different. Try 30 minutes for starters and experience with other periods if you're struggling.

What should I do while I am awake?

Try to do something linked to dreams. As you wake up during the state of REM, you may recall the discontinued dream. Try to come back to it using your thoughts. If you do not have a dreaming journal, write down everything about it, the feelings, people, species, background, situation. Imagine, let your mind travel through the pieces left from the vision.

Otherwise, you can do it with other dreams stuck in your head. If you had a journal dedicated to your dreams, read it.

You can also exercise or read a book.

What should I not do while I am awake?

It is crucial to remember that what works for going to bed at 10 p.m. also applies to falling asleep at 5 a.m. For example, it is advisable not to spend time looking at screens for better sleep quality. Do not use your mobile, laptop, or watch TV. The same goes for lucid dreaming.

Why do I have to get out of bed?

To begin with, the most explicit reason, laying in bed can lead you to fall back to sleep. Second of all, the objective of the method is to become more alert and not necessarily sleepy so that when you decide to fall back to dream, you remain lucid in it.