WHAT ARE LUCID DREAMS
A lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. During a lucid dream, the dreamer may gain some amount of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment; however, this is not actually necessary for a dream to be described as lucid.
It ranges from a faint recognition that you are in a dream to a state where you can fully control your dreams like the people around you, your actions, or sometimes your dream itself.
It's a form of metacognition or awareness of your awareness.
Lucid dreaming is a condition where you are aware that you are dreaming.
Children tend to have lucid dreams in higher frequency than adults, which is mainly because of their higher imagination.
Research says that not everyone has the capability to have a lucid dream. 55 percent of the people would have experienced lucid dreaming at least once.
However, it is quite a rare phenomenon!
But it is possible to manipulate our brain into lucid dreaming.
LUCID DREAMING 101
HOW TO LUCID DREAM
Though having a lucid dream is uncommon, it is pretty easy to push ourselves into lucid dreaming.
Here are some of the best tips and tricks to have a lucid dream.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR SLEEP CYCLE
First, you have to figure out your REM sleep. Usually, it is 5-6 hours from the time you go to sleep.
Extending your overall sleep timings increases your REM sleep.
The best way to achieve the maximum benefits of having good sleep hygiene.
· Have a fixed sleep schedule.
· Avoid usage of electronics before bed
· Keep your mind and body fit and stable
· Have a daily meditation routine
Meditate for at least 5 – 10 minutes, lying flat on your bed.
This gives a soothing effect on our minds. Believe firmly that you are going to lucid dream tonight.
Have a dream journal right next to you.
YOUR DREAM JOURNAL
Remembering your dreams is a pretty hard task. Having a dream journal will aid you in recalling your dreams, and eventually, you can have better control over them.
Read your dream journal regularly and get familiar with them.
Once you start lucid dreaming the difference between dream and reality diminishes.
Reality checks are a way to trick your brain that you’re dreaming.
Just follow these reality checks regularly throughout the day so that
You can have better control over your dreams.
Finger through the palm. Push your fingers against your opposite palm. If they pass through, you are dreaming.
Mirrors. In a dream state, your reflection won’t look normal.
Nose pinch. Pinch your nose. You’ll be able to breathe if you’re in a dream.
Reading. Look away from the text then look back again. If you’re dreaming, the text will change.
Tattoos. If you have tattoos, look at them. They’ll look different in a dream.
These are some common reality checks.
You can easily find your own and practice them.
TRY INDUCTION TECHNIQUES
While lucid dreaming often happens randomly, it’s possible to initiate lucid dreaming through induction techniques.
These methods include:
Wake back to bed (WBTB). Wake up five hours after bedtime. When you go back to sleep, you’ll be more likely to enter REM sleep while you’re still conscious.
Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD). Tell yourself that you will lucid dream tonight. You can do it before bed or when you’re awake during WBTB.
Wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD). In WILD, you enter REM sleep from wakefulness while maintaining your consciousness. It involves lying down until you have a hypnagogic hallucination. https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-health/hypnagogic-hallucinations
To increase your chances of lucid dreaming, use these techniques with reality testing and dream journaling.
HOW LUCID DREAMING OCCURS
Generally, dreams are a part of the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. During REM sleep our brain waves heartbeat and eye movement increases.
In a lucid dream, you are aware that you are in a dream.
MERITS OF LUCID DREAMING
INCREASED MOTOR SKILLS
Professional lucid dreamers tend to visualize actual physical movements which can increase their ability to do them.
Research proves that physical movements activate actual parts of the brain which actually controls them, increasing the neural connections.
The brain’s sensorimotor activates (part of the brain which controls movements).
Having frequent nightmares can lead to some serious issues like;
· Sleep deprivation
· Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
It is true that lucid dreaming cannot reduce nightmares, but it gives a consciousness that it’s a dream and drastically reduces its effects.
Lucid dreaming could potentially boost your creativity.
Although creative people tend to have more dreams due to higher imagination, it is true that lucid dreaming works vice versa.
It isn’t proven scientifically but developing the ability to recall your dreams could sharpen your creativity.
INTERPRETING LUCID DREAMS
It’s possible to interpret a lucid dream, just like you would with a normal dream. Dream interpretation can help you understand the relevance of your dreams.
In fact, people say dream interpretation is easier during a lucid dream. Your awareness increases your ability to observe the dream as it happens.
Lucid dreams are also more vivid, which helps you remember the events and details.
To interpret your lucid dreams, keep a dream journal. Writing down your dreams will help you discover significant themes.
It’s also recommended to keep a regular journal. By recording your dreams and daily life, you’ll be more likely to find connections.
It is a supplement that claims to facilitate lucid dreaming.
It has two pills each playing a role helping you to lucid dream.
As per Dream leaf’s website:
Dream Leaf is a highly effective lucid dreaming supplement that creates the right neuro-environment for lucid dreaming to occur. It increases dream recall, dream vividness, and promotes high-level lucid dreams. It's composed of a RED PILL and a BLUE PILL; each pill plays an important role in the process of successful lucid dream induction.
ACCELERATES R.E.M. SLEEP
Dream Leaf targets and lengthens your natural R.E.M. cycle because this is the stage of sleep when lucid dreaming occurs. The two parts of this supplement are composed of natural herbs that strengthen the mind.
ACTIVATES LUCID DREAMING
The blue pill and the red pill contain 5 of the most effective lucid dream Herbs. The BLUE PILL promotes restful deep-sleep, causes REM rebound effect, and elevates dream creativity. The RED PILL promotes lucid dreams, improves memory/dream recall, and increases dream control.”
As a student, Larry Page had an irrational fear that he’d been accepted into Stamford University by mistake – which trigged an anxiety dream. He imagined that he could download the entire web onto some old computers lying around, so he got up in the middle of the night to do some maths.
When he realized it was plausible, he took two years out of studying to create what became Google. Imagine how different your daily life, indeed the modern world, would be if he hadn’t had that dream.
A violent murder nightmare led to the humble sewing machine. In 1845, Elias Howe dreamt that he’d been captured by cannibals who gave him an ultimatum – he had to invent the sewing machine within 24 hours or suffer a painful death. He failed, so they stabbed him to repeatedly with spears that had a hole in the tip. Howe realized that he had to put an eye in the needle to create the lock-stitch sewing machine he’d always struggled to invent.
Until Dr. James Watson saw a spiral staircase in a dream in 1953, no one had developed the idea of a double helix spiral structure for our DNA. In fact, thanks to sleeping that fateful night, Watson went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
4. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
One of history’s most famous physicists, Albert Einstien dreamt that he was walking through a farm where he found a herd of cows huddled up against an electric fence. When the farmer suddenly switched the electric fence on, he saw the cows jump back at the same time – although the farmer saw them jump one by one in a Mexican wave. That’s what inspired Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – that events look different depending on where you’re standing, because of the time it takes the light to reach your eyes.
In summer 1816, teenager Mary Shelly visited the poet Lord Byron in Geneva. One night, she had a nightmare of a ‘hideous phantasm of a man, stretched out, and then, on working of some powerful machine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion’.
The next morning, she began writing the story you know as Frankenstein – the world’s first sci-fi novel. Thanks to that dream, she became one of the most famous gothic writers of all time.
Pioneering chemist Dimitry Mendeleev spent 10 years trying to create a pattern that connected the chemical elements together. One February night, just as he was on the verge of a major breakthrough, he fell asleep and dreamt up the idea he’d been searching for. Writing in his diary, Mendeleev said, “I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper.”
In a dream, Niels Bohr saw the nucleus of the atom with electrons spinning around it – like planets going around the sun. He had a gut feeling that it was accurate, so dedicate his research to proving his theory. Low and behold, he was spot on and won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his breakthrough.
8. Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory
The surrealist master Salvador Dali described his paintings as ‘hand-painted dream photographs’, including his most famous piece ‘Persistence of Memory’ full of melted clocks. It's one thing to invent the whole world's in your sleep, but quite another to capture them on the canvas.
Lucid dreaming is a condition that happens during sleep. All the above methods are extremely effective and proven to develop your chances of a lucid dream.
Lucid dreaming has a lot of advantages and is also sometimes used as a therapy. All the best for your dreams.
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