A reality check is, in essence, a method of deducing whether one is in a dream or in real life. it usually involves an observation of some sort of sensory observation, usually visual. Most induced lucid dreams involve a reality check of some sort. A dream sign is a form of reality check that is more or less unique to the specific dreamer.


As your dream journal grows and your dream recall increases, naturally you will become more familiar with your dreams. Certain people, certain places, and certain activities may be more likely to appear in your dreams. For example, you may have a majority of dreams in which you are at your office or at school or at the beach. Certain dream themes might also be more common than others. You might dream of being a hero or you might dream of being chased these recurrent patterns in your dreams are your dream signs, and they will be the first stepping stones on your path to lucid dreaming.

By learning your distinctive dream signs, you will be able to further increase your recall. Making a list of your dream signs is a great idea. If you are having trouble recalling any dreams, you can run down your list of dream signs and question yourself to see if any of them will spark a memory. Sometimes, by jarring just one dream fragment loose you can recover the whole dream, so knowing and using your dream signs will give you just the edge you need to overcome a morning bout of dream amnesia.

By working with your dream signs, you will develop an intimate relationship with your dreams. They will become more accessible and easier to understand, it is helpful to ask yourself why you are dreaming what you dream. What do these dream signs mean to you? The more you understand not only your dream signs but what they mean, the more you will benefit from them in both your dream life and your waking life.

If at first you are having trouble identifying your dream signs, realize that your dream signs don’t have to be something unordinary. As a matter of fact, they may be the most ordinary thing. For example, you may have dreams about your previous day or you may dream of clearing your house. Whatever it is that you dream about, you need to be noting the patterns and commonalties. you can start with whatever patterns you notice you matter how insignificant they seem. Using these as a springboard, you will soon begin to notice more patterns developing The process of looking for patterns may in fact create the patterns themselves so if you are having trouble finding your dream signs, just keep looking and they will emerge.

The quest to discover and understand your dream signs is a lifelong journey because your dream signs are continually evolving just like you. Some them may last for only a week and then disappear only to resurface a month later. Other dream signs will last much longer. As times change and you change, your dream signs being a reflection of you and your thoughts will change as well. keeping up with your dream signs will keep you in touch with yourself.

With the help of your journal, you can easily spot the recurrent dream signs and you can get an overview of how they are changing. As you are making entries to your journal, you should make note of any dream signs that you spot. You can underline them or put a star next to them. Any notation will due as long as it is consistent and noticeable. The idea is to have them accessible at a glance so when you pick up your journal in a year you can easily see the change in the pattern of patterns, your ever-changing dream signs.

Identifying your dream signs also plays a crucial part in the lucid dreaming process. Your dream signs are in effect “signs that you are dreaming”, and you can train yourself to notice your dream signs while you are dreaming and this will be the springboard into lucidity.

Dream signs vary greatly from person to person, and are often unique to a particular individual. However, frequent themes include:

  • Being in a particular location
  • A character behaving oddly
  • The presence of a certain object
  • The presence of a character from the dreamer’s past
  • The presence of a character who in real life is dead (or completely non-existent)
  • A particular inconsistency with the real world
  • The presence of the dreamer’s dream guide
  • Having improved or supernatural body functions, including being able to function normally despite an impairment.

Whenever you face an object/person/situation that classifies as a dream sign, consider the possibility that you are dreaming.


Mastering the practice of reality checks is an important step in learning how to induce lucid dreams. Other the hardest part is remembering to perform them, therefore, most lucid dreamers practice reality checks in real life, even though the fact that they are real life is starkly obvious. Frequent performing of reality checks can hopefully lead to persistent use in dreams. Also, it may happen that, while dreaming, the dreamer believes he is awake, and therefore skips reality checking. For that reason, lucid dreamers are told to never be sure, and therefore perform reality checks even when they are certain they are awake. When they least expect, they find themselves in a dream.

Here is a list of the most effective reality checks:

  • The Common Sense Test: This is the first and most obvious check. Examine your surroundings for anything that logically should not be there Ask if this could happen in your normal life. Look for inconsistencies. Are you somewhere you have never been before? Are you with people who live on the other side of the country? is there an elephant in your kitchen? These are the kinds of questions that can spark your lucidity.
  • The Reading Check: This is one of the most effective checks. Simply look around and find something to read. After reading it, look away and then look back again to reread it. Do this several times. If you are dreaming. the text or numbers will usually change after several glances, It may become garbled or may have changed completely or it will not remain stable while you are reading it. Anything containing words or numbers will work a book, a street sign, an address. Many people use the dial on their dream watch.
  • The Flying or Levitation Check: This is another very effective check. See if you are able to fly. If you are not able to fly, try to levitate or hover slightly above the ground. As you become more skilled at lucid dreaming this may become your favorite check as it is mine. The only down side is that at times you may try this and be unable to fly or levitate, yet you still may be dreaming. Always remember to use this in combination with other checks unless of course it works, which in most cases it will.
  • The Light Switch Check: This is usually a quite reliable check. Find a light switch and turn it on and off. If it malfunctions then the odds are you are dreaming. Try it several times and pay close attention to when it should be on and when it should be off It usually will not take long before it malfunctions or operates correctly while in the wrong position.
  • The Memory Check: This is a very effective but largely unknown method. Simply backtrack in your mind where you have just come from and what you have been doing. Keep thinking back as far as you can and eventually you may find that there are inconsistencies in your memory. By back tracking your dream memory, you may also become aware of something illogical that has happened which you overlooked at the time. You also may find that you have an amnesia-like block that prevents you from remembering accurately in all of these cases, you can safely assume that you are dreaming.
  • The Mirror Check: This is not only an extremely effective method but as an added bonus, it usually results in quite a remarkable experience. Find a mirror and while gazing at yourself, ask if you are dreaming. You may become started by your reflection. You may be younger or older or have different hairstyle and hair color or you may even be someone different entirely.
  • The Self Observation Test: This is also a very useful check; just take a look at yourself. Examine your hands, arms, legs and clothing. Usually you will immediately be tipped off that are dreaming because you will be wearing clothes that you do not own. Other times, simply looking at your dream body will spark your lucidity.
  • The Penetration of Matter Check: This is not the most reliable method but it has helped me on many occasions. Simply try to push your finger through something solid like a wall or a door or a glass, At first, it may not work but if you believe that you can do it, you eventually will be able to pass your finger right through any solid. As an added bonus on this check, you are also developing your ability to allow your beliefs to directly influence your experience.
  • The Gravity Check: This is somewhat reliable check, First something that you can throw into the air and catch safely. Start tossing it up and down and you may just find that it is not obeying the laws of gravity as it should if you were in “reality”. To maximize the success of this check, while tossing it into the air try to effect the object’s rise and fall with your mind.
  • The Questioning of Dream Characters Check: This may not be the best thing to try while awake but sometimes it can be effective it in fact you are dreaming. In “reality” if you asked people if we were in a dream, their response would be to accuse you of being insane, yet in the dream realm, it is sometimes a different matter. Usually the dream characters will deny that it is a dream, but they deny it with an air of denial. They usually never question your sanity, and in some cases, they don’t even understand what you are saying and disregard you entirely. Also, on rare occasions, someone in your dream will admit that it is in fact a dream.

As mentioned earlier, these reality checks should be practiced regularly throughout the day. The more they become embedded into your daily routine, the sooner they will appear in your dreams. If there were one word that sums up what you need to develop in order to speed up the lucid dreaming process, it would be awareness, awareness, and awareness.

Recommended Books:

  • Books by Stephen LaBerge –Lucid Dreaming, Exploring the world of Lucid dreaming.
  • All of Carlos Casstaneda’s books, specially “The Art of Dreaming;
  • The Tibetan Yogas of Dream And Sleep – by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpache
  • Dream Yoga and the Practice of natural light by Namkhal Norbu
  • Lama Surya Das – Tibetan Dream Yoga – Study Guide
  • Conscious Dreaming, and Dreamgates by Robert Moss
  • Lucid Dreaming by Cella Green
  • The Lucid Dreamer by Malcalm Goodwin
  • Control your dreams by Jayne Gachenbach
  • Our Dreaming Mind by VandeCastle
  • Creative Dreaming by Patrica Garfield (as well as any others by her)
  • The Dream Game by Anne Faraday
  • The Dreaming universe by Fred Alan Walfe
  • The Sun and the shadow by Kelzer
  • Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill by Taylor
  • Living your dreams by Gayle Delanery
  • Working with dreams by Montague Ullman, M.D. and Zimmerman
  • Dream Studies and Telepathy by Ullman, M.D. and Stanely Krippner, Ph.D.
  • Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Jung
  • Robert Monroe’s books – Jorneys out of the body, far journeys, ultimate journey
  • Cosmic Journeys: My Out-Of-Body Explorations with Robert A.Monroe by mcknight
  • Adventures beyond the body by Buhlaman
  • Out of body experiences by peterson
  • Leaving the body by Rogo
  • The Study and Practice of Astral Projection by Sylvan Muldoom
  • The Projection of the Astral Body by Sylvan Muldoom
  • Astral Projection by Oliver Fox