Reality checks have been a fan favorite for lucid dreamers all around the world.
They work surprisingly well and enable you to become lucid (aware) in your dreams.
Many first-time lucid dreamers have succeeded exactly because they integrated reality checks in their lives.
This article will tell you what reality checks are, the seven best reality checks for lucid dreaming, our favorite reality check combo and much more!
What Are Reality Checks
Reality checks are simple tests you perform during the day, which eventually tell you whether you’re in a lucid dream during the night.
The best option would be to choose two to three reality checks from the list below and perform them five to ten times during the day.
Some people have no restraints and perform them 20 or 30 times per day but that’s unnecessary and may actually lead to dissociative episodes down the road.
Moderation is key to long-term success in lucid dreaming as in everything else in life.
How Do Reality Checks Work
A team of scientists has discovered that your awareness of your thought process is shared across dreams and reality.
This means that reality checks allow you to raise the bar, for both reality and dream states, so that you can become more aware of your surroundings.
This is especially helpful when you’re in a dream, since strange things not only surround but are also happening around you.
With a higher level of metacognition under your belt, you’ll be able to notice something is amiss and thereby turn yourself lucid!
When Should I Do Reality Checks
People make a whole science out of it but it’s actually quite simple.
The most recommended time to do reality checks would be when you’re changing something about your environment.
This means that if you’re just about to switch rooms, perform a reality check.
If you’re about to light a cigarette and have a smoke, it’s time for a reality check.
Just changed the song on your phone? You guessed it, reality check time.
With this, you’ll easily rake in the recommended number of reality checks for the day.
Without further ado, let’s introduce the best reality checks for lucid dreaming!
Seven Best Reality Checks
1. Pinching Your Nose
We’re not exactly sure why this reality check is so underrated but we have found it to be one of the best ways to determine whether you’re in a dream or in reality.
Simply pinch your nose and try to breathe air through it.
If you succeed, you’re 100% in a lucid dream.
If not, you’re in reality and you just performed another reality check.
The only downside of this technique is that you’ll look weird if you do it in public but otherwise, it’s a top-performing reality check for sure!
2. Fist Through Palm
This is a modified version of the ‘forefinger through palm’ technique.
The reason why we’ve changed it is because we found that when performing this technique, sometimes, the results would resemble reality.
Essentially, the finger wouldn’t go through the palm, even in a dream!
We think that creating more resistance at the entry point (your palm) helps with the problem outlined above and it also gives rise to more irregularities during your dream.
For example, one of our crew members saw her fist disintegrate while trying to push it through her palm.
You can already guess it, she became lucid!
3. Try Reading ANY Text
It could be from your watch or a clock nearby, maybe from a textbook or tome, it doesn’t really matter.
Just read the text in front of you, look away, and read it again.
One study has found that when reading text in a dream and looking away, 70% of the time, the text would change.
Perform the same operation twice and the number rises to 95%!
An essential component of this reality check is looking away, you have to look away and look back again in order for it to count as a successful reality check.
4. Focus On Your Hands
During a dream, some parts of our brain simply shut down, like the language processing system, as we’ve seen above.
Not just that but our ability to hold and recognize shapes is also off-kilter in a dream.
That’s why one of the easiest and most successful ways of testing reality is to look at your hands and really focus on them.
Take ten seconds out of your day and really focus on the number of fingers you have (in dreams, it’s usually four or six) and the shape of your hand (in dreams, the shape will change).
Our expert recommendation is to integrate the ‘look away’ trick with this reality check.
Simply look away and focus back on your hands, if you’re in a dream, you’ll surely notice a change in their shape, size or form!
5. Turn The Lights On And Off
This is a really interesting reality check where the only thing you have to do is switch the lights on and off three times.
Three times is more than enough to notice any inconsistencies in your surroundings, as well as the lights themselves.
In a dream, the lights will usually not turn back on when you switch back from turning them off.
Sometimes, the lights might be in a different hue or your whole environment might change when you turn the switch back on.
That’s why this is one of our favorite reality checks to use, it’s simple, easy and most importantly, it works.
One recommendation we have is to let three seconds pass before each light switch, this will allow you to suck in the environment and notice any changes in it.
6. Jump As High As You Can
This is a really good reality check as it works almost every time.
To perform it, simply jump as high as you can in the air.
If gravity returns you back to earth, you’re in a waking state.
However, if you start floating or the scenery changes, you’re in a dream.
It’s also possible to float back down really slowly as if someone tampered with the gravity settings.
Basically, any inconsistencies during and after your jump should be accounted for.
7. Try To Lift Something Heavy
This is one of our favorites since it allows you to easily recognize inconsistencies in a dream.
For example, when lifting something heavy, you will notice that you can do it without any effort or as you’re picking the item up, the whole world around you starts to move.
One possibility that’s not out of the question is you noticing how blurry, distorted and watery everything is becoming as you’re lifting the item.
The best things to lift are items that you know you wouldn’t be able to lift alone, like cars, tables, and closets.
Our Favorite Reality Check Combination
We’ve mentioned previously how doing two or three reality checks at a time is actually recommended.
Here is the reality check combination that led to most instances of us becoming lucid.
It’s a combination between the pinch your nose technique and focusing on our hands.
Here is how it goes: first you focus on your right hand for ten seconds, then you pinch your nose with the same hand and try to breathe air.
Sometimes, your brain convinces you that it’s completely normal to be able to breathe in or out through closed nostrils.
If that happens, look back at your right hand, you should notice a change in its structure.
We have found that such an arrangement of reality checks yields the best results!
Reality Check Tips And Tricks
Now that we’ve introduced the best reality checks, it’s time to talk a bit about the best tips and tricks which will surely increase your success rate.
The first and most important tip is your awareness during reality checks.
Are you doing things on autopilot or are you really present at the moment you’re performing reality checks?
You can’t do reality checks offhandedly or you’ll only end up frustrated with the lack of results.
The second thing that will help with lucid dreaming is keeping a dream journal.
It’s so important to write down your dreams, as that will help with dream recall.
You see, the biggest problem newbies to lucid dreaming face is not remembering their dreams at all!
Once you start jotting down your escapades, you’ll train your mind to become conscious of your dreams and your chances of becoming lucid will increase tenfold.
Performing reality checks for lucid dreaming is becoming as normal as going to sleep at night.
More and more people are joining in the fun and there is no shame in doing reality checks, even if you’re in public.
Important to remember is to have patience, especially if you’re new to this type of stuff, and to take things easy.
It’s a marathon, not a race!