People tend to use various techniques in the quest to have lucid dreams – and for a good reason. Having a conscious dreaming experience requires dedication, concentration and power of will. But as a wise man once said – nothing worth doing is easy. 

Certain techniques, such as WILD, SILD, FILD, IMP, and others, are often used to induce a lucid dream directly from a somewhat waking state. Even though they are efficient on their own, the chances of having a lucid dream increase drastically when additional methods are utilized – dream journals and reality checks. We’ve already discussed how you can improve on dream recalling to fill that journal as much as possible. Today, let’s explore reality checks. 

What is a reality check? 

A reality check is a method of quickly and reliably checking whether you’re dreaming or not by testing the environment around you. 

You may have noticed that your dreams are wacky and illogical most of the time. Even though it doesn’t feel that way when in a dream, you can easily find flaws in the experience after waking up. Reality checks exploit this notion and help us differentiate between the real world and the dream world. 

There is a variety of reality checks to choose from. Let’s explore some of them: 

Look at the time 

Time works very mysteriously in the dream world. One minute it’s 5 P.M., the next it’s 10 A.M. 

Check the time on your wristwatch, smartphone or clock on the wall. Look away, then check the time again. If you are in a dream, the time will be illogically different from what you’ve just observed. 

Read some text 

Another thing you’ll notice when dreaming is that anything written changes the moment you look away. If you have anything to read nearby, skim through the text with your eyes and look away for a couple of seconds. If the writings have changed, you can be sure to be in a dream. 


As you know already, the laws of physics and logic do not apply in a dream. That can result in some bizarre experiences. For example, you may notice the ability to breathe underwater! 

However, you shouldn’t check if you’re dreaming by diving – it can have disastrous consequences. Instead, simply pinch your nose to stop the airflow and try to breathe. If you are successful – you are definitely in a dream.

Wacky physics 

Yet another method of testing the reality is to try to make your hand pass through stuff. For example, you can take a pen or a pencil and gently push the tip of it through your hand. If you are in a dream, it will pass right through! You can also lean on a solid object with your hand and attempt to penetrate it. 

When should I do reality checks? 

Every day, as often as you can. It would be best if you got into the habit of questioning the reality around you. You can even set up an alarm and perform a reality check every time it rings.

There is no limit to how frequent you should do it – be it every thirty or every five minutes. The key is to build the routine into you so that you may spontaneously perform a reality check while in a dream, transforming it into a lucid one. 

A reality check is a very powerful method to achieve lucid dreaming. Start doing it today, and don’t stop until you have a lucid dream!