Finished Daniel Love's Are You Dreaming? and it was very good. Much inspired. I was looking for a practical book that would have all the basic building blocks to start getting into Lucid Dreaming and Love's book delivered in bundles.
Some tricks and tidbits:
One of the most important tools in the book are Reality Checks. These are small tricks, that you do all over the day to check if you are actually dreaming. It seems utterly silly. Still, as the reality is that you usually don't realize that you are dreaming, training yourself to do constant reality checks during the day is a way to try to catch those moments that you actually turn out to be dreaming after all.
Dreaming mind has difficulties with text, so one example of a reality check is to try to read something twice. In dreams, the text won't stay constant, but change around or get smudged or something. This will be a clear clue, that you are not actually reading a blog post on Hacked Man, but dreaming about it.
Basically the first thing you have to concentrate on, if you are interested about lucid dreaming. It doesn't really help if you had this wonderful lucid dream, if you can't remember anything about it after waking up. So keeping dream journals and using memory tricks is important because of this. Are You Dreaming? also had really interesting stuff about why dreams are so hard to remember. It has all sort of things to do with brain chemistry, but it's all still a bit murky and unknown, which is pretty interesting by itself too.
Level of consciousness when going to sleep
The cyclical nature of sleep came as a bit of surprise for me. Naturally I've known about deep sleep and light sleep and REM etc. but Are You Dreaming? really elaborated more about these. It's interesting for example, how the cycles seem to continue when you wake up between two bits of sleep. If you wake up just before the REM part of a sleep cycle, you will probably start off from a REM cycle, for example.
This is also one way to try to maximise lucidicity. You wake up before REM cycle, get suitably hyped and alert to spot that you are dreaming and remember the dream and then doze off again. After you blast straight off to REM sleep, you should be in better position to becoming lucid, than if you would just slump into REM sleep from a deep, comatose-like deep sleep.
The book has a ton of practical techniques you can try and adopt immediately. Waking up in the middle of sleep, techniques to notice you are dreaming, techniques to fall asleep directly into a lucid dream, etc. Won't go into more details here. Good stuff, anyhoo.
The more philosophical musings of Are You Dreaming? weren't that interesting to me personally. "If you can create worlds in your dreams, is it possible to graah graah graah" etc. Sort of cutesy I guess, but not really the thing that I was looking for. A nice read, still.
A very nice and inspiring book. Haven't managed to get lucid yet on this try, but have remembered a lot of dreams and managed to write them down and also learned a nifty memory hack. So considering that money well spent, so far.