Geo Bell 13/11/2015
If becoming lucid within a dream wasn't cool enough, it's possible to consciously enter a dream directly from the waking state.  These are called Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams (WILDs).
Compared with spontaneous lucid dreams, WILDs are easier to recall and generally more vivid, as the dreamer carries the same level of awareness, and with it mental clarity from the waking state into the dream. As well as being hyperrealistic dreams, WILDs are generally quite stable and long in duration. 
A quick Google search lands pages of different WILD techniques. Whilst many of these appear unique, fundamentally these techniques only differ in the method of maintaining awareness whilst allowing the body to enter sleep.
Here's our no-nonsense WILD technique...
Step 1: Perform a Wake Back To Bed. Record your dreams and think about what you might do in your next lucid dream.
Step 2: When returning to sleep, lie on your side or preferably your back, and relax.
Step 3: This is where the various WILD techniques differ. To maintain awareness whilst falling asleep, pick one of the exercises before continuing to Step 4:
Focus on your breathing:
Focus only on the bodily sensations as you inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale. Keep your attention on the bodily sensation of breathing and let go of all your other thoughts.
Observe hypnagogic imagery:
The method of choice for most WILDers. Hypnagogia describes the subtle hallucinations and imagery which swirl before your eyes as you're drifting off to sleep.
Count to 100:
Slowly counting to 100 in your head is another easy way of maintaining awareness.
Step 4: Maintain your attention on your chosen exercise, while allowing your body to become more and more relaxed. If you find yourself thinking about something else, don't get annoyed, simply bring your attention back to your chosen focus.
Step 5: Keep still. It's essential at this point that you avoid the urge to move around. If you move any of your muscles (other than the ones you're using to breathe), your body won't transition into sleep. You may experience a random twitch now and again- this is your brain checking whether or not you've fallen asleep yet. By lying completely still, you can transition into sleep, and soon after, enter a dream.
Step 6: Ride out the transition. As your body enter sleep you may experience any number of strange sensations, from sharp noises to deep vibrations flowing through your body. You may feel the sensation of weightlessness, like your bed has disappeared from beneath you. You might even feel yourself spinning around the room, or floating up through the room. Whatever your experience is as you transition from waking into sleep, remain calm and remember that these sensations are as in-your-head as the talking squirrel from your last lucid dream.
Step 7: Enter the dream. Eventually the transition will cease and everything which you currently experience will be manifestations of your dreaming mind. At this point you can either roll out of your dream bed and go explore, or imagine being somewhere of your choosing. Remember to perform a reality check and then go about your dreaming business.
Being successful with the WILD technique depends on a lot of factors. If you're nice and relaxed you'll likely find it easier to slip back into sleep. If you find yourself laid in bed for ages because you're full of excitement, don't get disheartened. The WILD technique takes a lot of practice, but with persistence and motivation, can be used to induce amazing lucid dreams. It's best to leave the WILD technique alone until you've got to grips with the DILD techniques and have experienced a few lucid dreams. This is where many 'would-be oneironauts' go wrong, by jumping straight into the deep end without first learning the basics.
1. LaBerge, S. (1985) Lucid dreaming, Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher.
2. Yuschak, T. (2006) Advanced lucid dreaming, Morrisville, United States: Lulu Enterprises.