Lucid dreaming means that you are conscious when you are dreaming, and this happens when you enter into REM sleep. This type of dreaming happens during the Rapid Eye Movement and it is said that more than 50% of people have had at least one or more lucid dreams in their life.
During their dream, they know where they are, and they are aware of what they are doing to a point where they can control what they are doing in their dream.
History of Lucid Dreaming
Many psychologists have studied and researched lucid dreams, and this is a subject that has helped people to be able to study useful treatments for sicknesses such as anxiety, nightmares and even PTSD.
When someone has a lucid dream, it is possible that lucid dreaming goes through different methods.
There are different techniques that a person notices when they are awake. When you are sleeping, especially in REM sleep, you will have a space in your conscious that allows you to go into a dream and be in complete control.
Reality checking is a way that you can train your mind to be aware of your surroundings.
There is a level in your mind where you are awake and you are dreaming and if you have a higher metacognition while you are awake, this will lead to a higher chance of lucid dreaming.
This means that your brain, or the prefrontal cortex of your brain will lead you to lucid dreaming. This means that there are tests that you can do while you are awake that can help you to be able to know if you are going to lucid dream and to guide you there.
You need to ask yourself questions such as, “Am I dreaming” and learn to notice your surroundings and how you feel. You can even set an alarm throughout the day to practice the reality check.
There are things you can use to do reality checks so you can increase your chances of lucid dreaming such as:
- Objects-push against an object and see if your hand goes through it.
- Mirrors-look in the mirror and see if your reflection looks normal.
- Hands-do your hands look normal?
- Time-if you are dreaming the time will always change but if you are awake the time changes slowly.
- Breathing-See if you are breathing. Close your throat and your nose and see if you are still breathing. If you are, you are lucid dreaming.
Wake Back to Bed
Wake Back to Bed means going into REM sleep while you are awake. There are different techniques in order to do this including:
- Setting an alarm a few hours after you go to sleep.
- Sleep as normal.
- When the alarm goes off stay up for half an hour and read.
- Go back to sleep.
When you go back to sleep you will be more likely to have a lucid dream. Choose what things to do while you are alert. Lucid dreaming depends on how alert you are and what activities you do.
Mnemonic Induction means that you are using your memory and setting the intention to do something later. In order to do this, you can:
- Fall asleep thinking of a dream.
- Use a strange dream to think about.
- See if you can fly.
- Think about going back to the dream.
- Tell yourself that you will remember your dream.
You can practice Mnemonic Induction when you are in the middle of a dream and think about it when you are awake immediately because it is easier to remember when you are awake.
Keep a dream journal and write down anything strange that you dream and any dreams at all. Log your dreams right when you wake up, so you don’t forget anything.
Wake Initiated dreaming means that you enter a dream when you are awake. This mean your mind stays awake, but your body goes to sleep.
Lay down and relax and experience a hallucination that will come when you are almost asleep. This is easy to do but is hard to learn. Practice lucid dreaming techniques.
Sometimes, you might wake up from a dream and sometimes you might have to have different techniques. Here are some that can help you wake up:
- Call for help. Yell out in your dream.
- Blink over and over again.
- Fall asleep in your dream and it will wake you up in real life.
- Read a sign in your dream and you will wake up.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
There are benefits of lucid dreaming and sometimes it can be therapeutic for people to do things such as getting rid of reoccurring nightmares. Some people, even up to 85% of adults have bad dreams. Some of these dreams can come from:
- Not sleeping well
Lucid dreaming can help the dreamer to control their dream. When the dreamer knows they are dreaming they can know their dream is not real and the nightmare is not real.
Lucid dreaming can be a part of therapy and help you to get rid of your nightmares.
Using cognitive behavioral therapy and lucid dreaming can increase the control of your dreams.
Scientists show that you can focus on your nightmares and learn to lucid dream so that you can get rid of anxiety.
People that control their dreams have less anxiety than others.
Lucid dreaming is known to help people to have better motor skills. Dreaming can increase these movements.
Cautions of Lucid Dreaming
There are dangers of many things and even in lucid dreaming. Some negative aspects of lucid dreaming can be:
- Having sleep problems.
- Interrupting rest
- Making an irregular sleep schedule
- Feelings that things in the world are not real.
- Sleep paralysis
Seeing a Doctor
If you have these problems, see a doctor to help you:
- Nightmares all the time.
- Disruptive sleep
- Fear of going to sleep
- Traumatic thoughts
- Changes in your emotions
- Memory problems
These things can show that you have other conditions such as PTSD or mental health issues. Your doctor can help you and give you therapy that will be right for you.
Lucid dreaming can happen when you are aware of what is going on in your dream. Sometimes you can control what you are dreaming and the environment around you.
When you use lucid dreaming in therapy, you will be able to treat things like nightmares and PTSD.
If you like the idea of trying lucid dreaming, try the ideas above. These methods can train your mind to be able to have these dreams while you are asleep. See your doctor if you have a sleep disorder or other mental health issues.