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Finger Induced Lucid Dream (FILD, occasionally referred to as a "Hargarts' Induced Lucid Dream") is a lucid dream induction technique. It is a sub-type of the Wake Initiated Lucid Dream method. FILD can also be used for chaining dreams. It was originally posted on Dream Views by a poster with the username Hargarts.
FILD, if practiced effectively, allows your brain to enter a dream while allowing the dreamer to consciously remain aware. Essentially, the dreamer is falling asleep normally upon a nightly awakening, and the movement of the fingers gives one something to focus on, so as to prevent the loss of lucidity. Hence, one must generally be very tired to FILD. The main characteristic of this technique is the movement of one's index and middle fingers.
Here is an example of a FILD attempt:
- I wake up after three hours of sleep. I feel exhausted.
- I lay back and alternate movements of my middle fingers and then my index fingers, like playing two keys on a piano. Middle finger press; middle finger lift. Index finger press; index finger lift.
- After about twenty seconds, I do a reality check. I find that I am in a dream.
- Do not count the movement of your fingers in your mind or counting the time, because this will likely keep you awake.
It is important to note about the above example that the finger movements should not be pronounced; were the fingers performing the FILD technique place upon keyboard keys, they should not even press the keys down. The movement should be as slight as one can make it while still maintaining movement.
FILD is generally acknowledged to be among the easier lucid dream induction techniques, and is ideal for beginners wanting to get a taste of lucid dreaming without investing large amounts of time and effort. However, it can be a very powerful technique even for experienced oneironauts. A particularly bothersome downfall of FILD is the relatively high level of exhaustion required for it to be effective. If one even stretches ones' muscles while lying in bed upon waking from sleep, their chance for an effective FILD may be ruined. However, it can work excellently for chaining dreams. To ensure this high level of exhaustion, it is ideal to awaken after approximately 2.5 or 4.5 hours of sleep, when not in or exiting a REM cycle. This may seem counterintuitive, but the temporal proximity of a REM cycle is not required for this technique to be effective.
An extremely common occurence when FILDing is that of a false awakening. FILD can produce highly convincing false awakenings, leading many who attempt it to believe they've been unsuccessful. A very useful tip for making this technique work is to always do a reality check after 30 seconds to one minute of finger movements. A more general tip is to always perform a reality check upon awakening. If it fails, simply go back to sleep, as the technique will most likely no longer work.
The exact mechanism by which FILD functions is not known. Very little research has been done on it, as it is one of the few widely-used induction techniques that was not developed in a laboratory (as MILD and WILD were). Hypothesis as to how it works include the one mentioned above regarding the finger movements as simply a method to remain aware while falling asleep, as well as others. It may also work by allowing the user to move their "dream body," or their conscious projection of their own body within a dream, though this is disputed.
Hargarts' post on the technique: