Lucid dreaming is experiencing the dream in such a way that you know that you are inside a dream. You need to be conscious about this and also must be able to control the dream characters to an extent. The dreamer must also have this control over the dream environment as well.
Some key things that the dreamer must know about:
Sleep interruption: this is the process in which the person wakes up fully in the midst of his or her sleep. He or she must only return to sleeping after 10 to 60 minutes.
Sleep continuity: this is to make sure that the sleep is not interrupted in any manner. So drinking water should be avoided for about one hour. Caffeine, sugar etc. also should be avoided as much as possible.
Reality checks: this is to check whether you are in a dream or in reality. Holding your nose, and trying to breathe is one method of reality checking.
Some techniques for achieving Lucid dreaming:
WBTB technique: WBTB stands for wake back to bed. After sleeping for about 4 to 6 hours of sleep, the person has to wake up. He or she must stay up for a few minutes to about an hour. During this time reading books on Lucid dreaming is a very good thing to do. This would increase chance of having a Lucid dream.
Auto suggestion: make sure that you strongly believe that you will certainly have a Lucid dream while you are sleeping. Chanting a mantra would be a very good method to carry out this process. This technique would increase chances of the person for dream recalling.
MLD technique: MLD stands for mnemonic induction of Lucid dreams. In this particular technique, the dreamer must tell himself or herself several times that he or she would remember about the dream that he or she has.
WILD: this technique has many different sub techniques. WILD stands for wake initiation of Lucid dreams. Some people argue that these are not dreams but are astral projections. Mediation, other forms of relaxation is the best methods to achieve these.
Chakra technique: this is one of the oldest techniques for lucid dreaming. This is a sub technique of the WILDs techniques. The person has to continuously focus on his or her third eye and must control the breathing in patterns. This will help in achieving Lucid dreams.
Usage of eyelid patterns: in a dark room, lie down and close your eyelids. Focus on the many coloured dots on the eyelids. These coloured dots should appear as soon as you close your eyes. Make these dots dance and keep focussing on them. Finally you would be able to enter a lucid dream. This is a very effective technique to achieve Lucid dreams at will.
Hypnagogic Imagery: this technique is to constantly switch your attention. Doing this long enough would result in a situation where the images and sounds would take a momentum on their own. You would be able to enter a dream that is Lucid.
Counting: this again is a technique that is effective. The technique is to count up to 100 and chanting a mantra between each number. As an alternative, think of going down a stairs.
VILD: this stands for visual induction of lucid dreams. In this method empty the brain and try to make yourself very sleepy. Then visualise the dream. Make sure that the dream is already prepared earlier.
CAT method: for one week, make sure that you go to bed each night and wake up about 90 minutes earlier than your usual wake up time. Do reality checks during this time every 2-5 minutes. Later on continue this on alternate days. Also set intuition to do reality checks during the night sleep.
These are some of the many lucid dreaming techniques. Each person is different and may find that some of these are useful and others are not. So it is up to the dreamer to find the method suitable for him or her.