Have you ever had a dream that you realize you are dreaming about? If so, you have a lucid dream . While some people usually experience lucid dreams, many have never received anyone or at least never remembered. If you’re interested in lucid dreams, it may help you understand how they differ from regular dreams, the reasons why you (or maybe not) want to try them, and how to start lucid dreaming tonight.
What is lucid dreaming?
During a lucid dream, the dreamer realizes that he is in a dream and may control it. Colin Anderson/Getty Images
The term “lucid dream” was coined by the Dutch writer and psychiatrist Fredrik van Eden in 1913 in his essay “The Study of Dreams”. However, lucid dreaming has been known and practiced since ancient times. It is part of an ancient Hindu practice of yoga nidra and the Tibetan practice of dream yoga. Aristotle referred to lucid dreaming. Dr. Galen from Pergamon used lucid dreams as part of his medical practice.
While scientists and philosophers have long understood the practice of lucid dreaming and its benefits, the neuroscience underlying this phenomenon was only examined in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A study by Stephen Laberge in 1985 at Stanford University revealed that, unlike most dreams, the perception of time in lucid dreams is almost the same as in waking life. Electroencephalography (EEGs) indicate that lucid dreaming begins during a rapid eye movement (REM) sleep state, but different parts of the brain are more active during a lucid dream than during a normal dream. Lucid dream skeptics believe that these perceptions occur during a short period of wakefulness rather than a sleep phase.
Regardless of how they work and whether they are really “dreams”, people with lucid dreams are able to observe their dreams, remember the waking world, and sometimes control the direction of the dream.
Pros and cons of lucid dreams
Lucid dreaming may help you overcome fears and face nightmares. mickey
There are excellent reasons to look for lucid dreams and the same good reasons you might want to avoid.
Some people find lucid dreaming scary. A person may become more aware of sleep paralysis, a natural phenomenon that prevents the body from harming itself during dreams. Others feel “dream fear” of being able to observe the dream but not control it. Finally, people with mental disorders that make it difficult to distinguish fantasy from reality, may find lucid dreaming aggravating the condition.
On the flip side, lucid dreaming may be successful in reducing the number and intensity of nightmares. In some cases, this is because the dreamer can control and change nightmares. Others benefit from witnessing a nightmare, realizing that it does not awaken reality.
Lucid dreams may be a source of inspiration or they may provide a way to solve a problem. Recalling a lucid dream may help a composer remember a song from a dream or mathematician remembers the equation of a nipple. Basically, lucid dreaming gives the dreamer a way to connect the conscious and unconscious mind.
Another reason for lucid dreaming is that it can be useful and fun. If you can control a dream, the world of sleep becomes your playground. All the laws of physics cease to apply, making anything possible.
How can I dream a lucid dream
Want to mention that an incredible lucid dream? Remembering dreams is a skill to master along with lucid dreaming. Jessica Newirth
If you have never had a lucid dream before or are seeking to make it more common, there are several steps you can take:
It is important to allow enough time to have a lucid dream. Dreams during the first part of the night relate to memory and body repair processes. Dreams that occur near the end of a good night’s sleep are likely to be lucid.
Learn how to remember dreams
Experiencing lucid dreams is not particularly useful if you can’t remember the dream! There are many steps you can take to remember dreams. When you first wake up and try to remember the dream, keep your eyes closed and do not change the situation. Keep a dream journal and record dreams as soon as you wake up. Tell yourself that you will remember dreams.
MILD stands for Mnemonic Induction for Lucid Dreaming Program. It just means using a memory utility to remind yourself to “wake up” during your dreams. You can repeat “I’ll know I’m dreaming” before I fall asleep or look at the bedtime body I put in to connect with lucid dreams. For example, you can look at your hands. Think about how they look when you’re awake and remind yourself to look at them in a dream.
Execution of cheque tests
Reality tests are used to tell lucid dreams about reality. Some people find their appearance changing in a dream, so if you look at your hands while they are strange, you know that you are in a dream. Another good check of reality is examining your reflection in the mirror. If the book is useful, read the same paragraph twice. In a dream, words almost always change.
Wake yourself up during the night
Lucid dreams accompany REM sleep, which occurs approximately 90 minutes after sleep, and almost every 90 minutes thereafter. Immediately after a dream, the brain is close to waking up, so it is easier to wake up and remember the dream after you have a dream. You can increase the odds of remembering the dream (and give yourself another reminder to be aware of the dream) if you wake yourself up every 90 minutes. You can set a regular alarm clock or use a device called a light alarm that raises light levels after a set period of time. If you can’t disrupt your sleep schedule often, set your alarm two hours before waking up. When you wake up, turn off the alarm and drift into sleep to think about one of the reality tests.
Relax and enjoy the experience
If you have difficulty dreaming or remembering dreams, do not stress yourself. It takes time to develop lucid dream habits. When you have a lucid dream, relax and observe it before trying to control it. Try to identify any steps you may have taken that helped the process work. Over time you will experience lucid dreams more often.