In this beginner’s guide, you will learn how to astral project and do it consistently. The technique you will learn is simple to understand and execute and requires very little preparation. I will teach you this technique in a detailed, step by step manner so that you can learn it easily.
I first came across this technique in Dr. Stephen LaBerge’s Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming and discovered its effectiveness quite by accident. It happened in 2008. While sleeping on my sofa in the afternoon, I noticed my body was buzzing and felt more fluid and amorphous then it was supposed to be. Remembering an OBE induction method, I created the vivid sensation of rolling out of my body, and then like magic, I left my physical form.
My vision was blurry and out of focus, almost to the point of blindness, but I could clearly feel myself walking and moving around my living room. My vision cleared and I was walking in a forest; the colors were intense and bright and there were trees and ferns all around me. I looked around me in wonder, then I realized I had learned how to astral project. To understand why I was successful, proved to be fascinating research. I quickly learned that the secret to willed out-of-body-travel comes from controlling my sleep cycle.
Understanding your sleep cycle
Scientists that study sleep and dreaming discovered that there are 5 stages of sleep present in healthy individuals. When you go to bed, your brain begins to cycle through these stages. Each complete cycle lasts roughly 90 minutes.
Stage 1: The hypnogogic/hypnopompic stage
This stage is often described as ‘transitional’ sleep, due to the fact that it serves as a threshold between waking consciousness and true sleep. You are drowsy and deeply relaxed and your brain exhibits alpha brain waves. These brainwaves occur during very deep relaxation or meditations. Muscle activity begins to slow down and some people experience hypnic jerks. Hypnic jerks are muscle twitches that can create the sensation of falling. It’s very easy to wake up during this stage of sleep, but the sleeper will usually describe this as nodding off. This stage makes up between 4 – 5% of your sleep cycle.
Stage 2: Light sleep
This stage is when true sleep begins. Your breathing and heart rate slow down, eye movement stops and your body temperature begin to lower slightly. During this stage, your brain exhibits theta brainwaves and brief bursts of electrical activity called ‘spindles” and ‘k-complexes’. You spend about 45 – 55% percent of your sleep cycle during this stage of sleep.
Stage 3 and 4: Deep Sleep
This stage is a very deep sleep. You begin to breathe rhythmically and have limited muscle activity. Your brain exhibits deep and slow delta brainwaves. You spend about 4-6% of your sleep cycle in stage 3, and 12 – 15% in stage 4
Stage 5: REM sleep
When you reach this stage of sleep, your brainwaves speed up and you begin to dream. Your eyes start to move around as you track objects in the dream world; this rapid eye movement is the reason this stage is called REM. Your muscles are also relaxed, but your heart rate increases. Your breathing also becomes more rapid and shallow. When people are woken up during this stage, they are far more likely to remember their dreams. You spend about 20-25% of your sleep cycle in this stage.
When you fall asleep, you start with stage 1 and start to move through stage 2-4. Then your brain starts to go back up. It progresses from stage 4, back up to stage 1, but when it reaches past stage 1, REM sleep begins to occur. Once the REM sleep is over, your brain begins to dip back down into stage 1 and then progresses back down towards stages 2-4. This cycle happens over and over as you get your nightly rest. Refer to this article for a more in-depth discussion.
Stage 1 sleep and REM sleep is where the magic happens. REM sleep normally lasts about 10 minutes during the early hours of sleep but becomes longer and longer as the night progresses. During the 1980’s Dr. Stephen LaBerge discovered that if you sleep for 4-6 hours, stay awake for 1-2 hours, and then go back to sleep, REM sleep increases to the point where it can last for an hour or more.
Due to this increased REM sleep, you will also experience more stage 1 sleep. Stage 1 sleep or the hypnogogic/hypnopompic stage is the stage where astral projection becomes much easier. In an important scientific article titled “Out of Body Experiences”, dreams, and REM Sleep, Dr. Stephen LaBerge and his colleagues discuss the similarities between lucid dreams and obes. They discovered that 85% of OBEs take place while sleeping or resting. Furthermore, REM sleep is present in most OBEs, but the hypnogogic stage of sleep can be used to trigger the experience.
This is exactly what the technique in this article will teach you: how to access the state between sleep and wakefulness so that you can astral project. Normally we make use of monophasic sleep; we sleep 6-8 hours in one session. During biphasic sleep, we split our sleep cycle into two to give us more access to REM sleep, and the hypnogogic and hypnopompic stage.
What makes this all possible? Your circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are the brain’s cycles that tell you when to sleep and when to wake up. The part of the brain that regulates your brain’s circadian rhythms is the pineal gland. When you need sleep, this tiny little gland secretes a hormone called melatonin that controls your sleep cycle. This in turn is regulated by the amount of light in your environment called the photoperiod. At night, your pineal secretes melatonin to tell your body it’s time to sleep, but during the day it stops.
If astral projection is like performing a play, the pineal gland is what sets the stage. Instead of meditating on the pineal gland to astral project, it’s far better to use it as nature intended: a key to open the hypnogogic/hypnopompic and REM stages of sleep. When you practice the technique that follows next, you will do exactly that.
Biphasic sleep projection is among the easiest and most reliable way for consistent astral projection. I learned that it was so effective it was taught by two other prominent OBE researchers, namely William Buhlman and Michael Raduga. Biphasic sleep projection can be broken down into two parts:
- Splitting your sleep cycle into two
- Performing an exit technique during the latter half of your sleep cycle
How to astral project using biphasic sleep
Go to bed and sleep for 4-6 hours. Take into account how long you take to fall asleep. The average person takes around 14 minutes to fall asleep, if you take longer, go to bed earlier so that you sleep the right number of hours.
After you have slept the aforementioned hours, wake up and stay awake for an hour, then go back to bed for at least 2 hours. Once again take into account how long you take to fall asleep to determine when you should wake up. While falling asleep, think about what you want to do during astral projection and direct your attention towards being successful.
During your second phase of sleep, you will notice yourself waking up slightly, often several times: this is the hypnogogic/hypnopompic stage of sleep. You will enter this stage multiple times during this practice session. When you notice yourself waking up slightly STAY PERFECTLY STILL AND DON’T MOVE. Any movement can completely sabotage the experience; this is the main reason for failing to astral project with this method.
While staying perfectly still perform one of the following exit techniques. If you don’t succeed after a few minutes, go back to sleep and try again when you notice yourself waking up. The following exit techniques are the ones I use personally.
The rope technique
Imagine there is an imaginary rope suspended above your head. Feel yourself climbing this rope over and over again. Focus on pulling yourself up and away from your body. Keep mentally climbing this rope until you feel yourself being pulled out of your body. When you’re successful, it will feel like your floating or standing above your body. When this happens, move towards your door to complete the separation.
When you feel yourself waking up slightly, stay perfectly still, and feel yourself rolling onto your side. Try to mentally roll out of your body, focusing on the rolling sensation. When you’re successful, you will roll out of your body and might even feel yourself hitting the floor. When this happens get up and move out of your room to complete the exit.
Feel yourself getting out of bed and moving towards the door. Focus on the feel of your legs moving and your arms swinging. Feel the floor beneath your feet and your hands by your sides. When this is successful you will suddenly, feel yourself physically getting up and walking. Walk away from your body to complete the exit.
Tips for success
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, marijuana, or sleeping pills several hours before going to bed at night. These substances inhibit concentration, suppress REM sleep, and make it harder to access the hypnogogic/hypnopompic stage of sleep.
- If you have difficulty falling asleep during the second sleep stage adjust your core sleep. Sleep for fewer hours during the first phase of sleep in step 1 and longer during phase 2.
- If you use any medication that negatively affects REM sleep, lucid dream supplements are an option. These should be taken shortly before attempting astral projection.
- Make sure your room is comfortable. If it’s very cold, turn on the heating, and if it’s too warm, use fans or other forms of cooling. If your body is uncomfortable, you will have difficulty astral projecting.
- Don’t worry too much about noise; if you can fall asleep during any noise in your environment, then you can astral project. If you need to mask any noise, play soft non-vocal music or natural sounds over a speaker. Don’t use headphones unless you absolutely have to, as this can create discomfort that can sabotage the experience.
- If you cannot go to sleep immediately after your second phase of sleep in step 1 for whatever reason, then it’s okay to take a nap later in the day. This is not as effective as going to sleep after 1 hour, but it works nonetheless.
The biggest problem you will face with this technique is identifying the hypnogogic/hypnopompic stage of sleep. During the second phase of sleep, any kind of slight awakening triggers the hypnopompic stage. If you fall asleep during the second phase, try to notice when you become more awake. These things can include trying to roll over in your sleep, feeling your blanket, pillow, and/or bed, and anything else that tells you you’re not completely asleep.
Don’t pay any attention to any vibratory phenomena when trying to astral project, they will only distract you. Focus on identifying the hypnogogic state, staying perfectly still, and doing your exit technique. These are the three things that trigger an OBE, not vibrations.
Your task is to have your first OBE. Even if you separate for only a few seconds, and can only a few steps away from your bed, you’re successful. Your first success, no matter how clumsy, will bring you more. Once you have that first OBE, you will learn to do it more easily, and once you have the skill, you have it for life. If you have any concerns about the dangers of astral projection, read this article.