What is it?
A reality check is just that, a test on reality. Most commonly used in Lucid dreaming, reality checking helps the performer to realise whether they are currently awake or not. It sounds silly, but a reality check can be all the different between having a regular dream or a fantastic adventurous lucid dream.
Reality checks should be performed often, usually as soon as the dreamer thinks about it. It’s through this habitual ritual that the checks show their value. Constantly checking reality means you will eventually incorporate this practice into your dreams, and in a dream, these checks fail!
How do I do it?
There are many ways! One of the most common is putting an ‘A’ (for’ ‘awake’) on your hand. Every time you think about it, have a look. If you see an A, then you’re awake. If you see anything else, then it’s likely you’re in a dream.
Another common method is to use light switches. This is illustrated well in the film Waking life. Light levels rarely change in a dream so to alter them in any way means that it’s likely you are awake. In a dream, a light switch will have no effect.