DP? You just had to go there in the same sentence as ***toy, didn’t you? You and your dirty mind!
I’m looking forward to hearing if Dreams helps you with dream retention. As for the reality checks, once they become habit, they should start working. You could try asking yourself “Am I dreaming?” while doing them. If you just go through the movement without telling your subconscious why you’re doing it, it’ll just repeat it in a dream and ignore it, just like you ignore it when you’re awake. It’s just routine. Try really focusing on your check, imagining what would happen if you were dreaming and in doing so confirming that you are not dreaming at this time. Don’t just ask yourself if you’re not dreaming, ask why you’re not dreaming.
For vividness, you need to understand that your senses are utilized in your dreams just like they are in your waking life. Which is why the result of using a certain stimulation would only lead to a certain dream. Same for smells and sounds.
That little Calea Z I linked to above is like a cheat in this regard. It tastes like the worst thing you’ve had in your life, but it temporarily turns your senses into those of a werewolf. You will hear your blood pulse through your body. And if you doze off, all those enhanced senses will operate in your dreams. It’s not called dreamweed for nothing. Of course, all medical warnings apply here. It’s perfectly legal as far as I know, but NOT recommended if you’re on any kind of medication. Do your due diligence if you consider it.
For a more responsible way, start this meditation practice: at a fixed time of your day (morning is most effective for this one), meditate for 5-10 minutes. You choose one of your goals, whether it is wealth, women, fame or your own tropical island, and then imagine yourself as if you already have it. It’s not easy, considering there’s a part of you telling you that you don’t, but keep with it. Then start engaging as many of your senses as you can.
Take the tropical island. If you are like most people, it’ll be doable to imagine what it looks like. You could walk up to a mirror to look at yourself, or look out over the beach. But the other senses take time. Can you hear the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach? The birds in the jungle behind your mansion? Can you smell that refreshing ocean smell? Feel a slight breeze coming in from the open doors to your balcony adjoining the bedroom? The sun on your skin? Breathe in deeply, just experiencing that tropical air, feeling completely fulfilled.
As you start engaging more of your senses, start going into more and more detail. The rustling of the curtains touched by the breeze, the feel of the evaporated moisture from the waves on your skin, the smell of fresh ground coffee beans that your tropical lover is making downstairs (unless you can look back and see her still asleep on your bed, the silken sheets covering just enough of her body to leave it up to your imagination, her chest slowly rising and falling as she dreams of you). Allow yourself to get that contented smile.
Take another deep breath and slowly come out of your meditation at your own tempo, opening your eyes when you’re ready.
The effects are twofold. First, it more clearly tells your subconscious what you want in life compared to other methods. Second, it teaches you body awareness and mindfulness, the ability to look inward and exist in one moment. This will translate to your dreams. The more vivid you become, the more vivid they become.
PS And yes, I have used that one as a hypnotic induction on people. While you’re reading it, just imagine a slow, deep voice.