Have you ever been curious about lucid dreaming? Would you like to experience some of the benefits that come with lucid dreaming? Join us for tips and tricks you can use to give you the best lucid dreaming experience ever!
If you’ve ever watched the much-acclaimed fiction movie, Inception featuring Leonardo de Caprio, then you probably know a thing or two about dreams. Lucid dreaming is much like Inception. It's a dream state where the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming.
Lucid dreams allow the dreamers to control the characters in the dreams, the dream environment, and even their actions. The dreamers are aware that they are in the dream world. Therefore, anything they do has no consequences in the real world.
Lucid dreams have fascinated scientists and philosophers for a long time now, forcing them to try and understand its cause. Over the years, they've come up with various theories to try and explain the phenomena.
Development and research on the subject have found several ways that lucid dreams could be used as a form of sleep therapy. Celia Green, in 1968, analyzed lucid dreams incorporating her research, obtained from studying her patients, and reviewing previously published literature.
She concluded that lucid dreams occurred more often during the rapid eye movement, REM, stage of sleep, and linked to the phenomenon known as false awakenings. In 1975, Dr. Keith Hearne conducted an experiment to try and trigger lucid dreaming on his subject.
He managed to record, using an electrooculogram, a predefined set of eye movements made by Worsley, his patient, during his Lucid dreaming state. The experiment was a success and was recorded in a journal as proof of lucid dreaming.
In 2018, another study was conducted where 121 subjects were given the drug galantamine to make them experience a lucid dream. Some of the subjects experienced a 42% increase in the number of lucid dreams, while ten people in the experiment experienced lucid dreams for the first time!
How Frequently do Lucid Dreams Occur?
In 2016, an analytic study found out that from a sample of 24,282 people, 55% of the people experienced lucid dreams. Of this, 55%, 23% reported having experienced lucid dreams regularly, with the dreams occurring as often as once monthly.
The study showed that lucid dreams were more common among teenagers than adults and different people gave different reasons that they thought triggered them to lucid dream. Studies done in 2015 showed that people who practiced meditation tended to experience more lucid dreaming than those who didn’t.
What Should I do if I Want to Lucid Dream?
There are a variety of different methods that you can use if you want to lucid dream. These techniques range from something as simple as keeping your room as sleep conducive as possible to directly manipulating your mind into the lucid dream state.
You could also use meditation, identifying dream patterns, keeping dream journals, the power of suggestion, among others.
Optimize your Bedroom
If you want to lucid dream, then the first thing you should do is optimize your bedroom. You should ensure that your bedroom is as comfortable as possible. Doing this ensures that you get uninterrupted sleep throughout the night, which increases your chances for lucid dreaming.
You should ensure that all your lights are dimmed, or better yet, off. Doing this ensures that you fall into a deep sleep, especially during your first couple of sleep cycle stages. You could use heavy curtains, sleeping masks, and other accessories to help you achieve this effect.
You could also use earplugs and white noise machines to minimize noise, especially if you live in a loud neighborhood. Taking these steps ensures that you have the most conducive environment to trigger you into experiencing a lucid dream.
Assessing your Reality
Assessing your reality throughout the day will make you more aware of your surroundings, helping normalize you to your surroundings. More often than not, dreams are a reflection of your reality. However, they can sometimes be a little bit inconsistent.
Being more observant about your surroundings will help you know if you're in a dream state or not. Doing these checks during the day forms a habit that helps you see whether you're in a dream state or not.
Keep a Journal About your Dreams
Dreams can be repetitive. Keeping a journal allows you to become more aware of your dreams, which helps you know whether you're dreaming or not. You could make a voice journal that keeps a record of what you dream about. Doing this will help you distinguish between dream and reality.
Intentional Activation of Lucid Dreams
Lucid dreams can be activated intentionally by dreamers. The dreamer imagines, before going to sleep, that they are going to have a lucid dream. Doing this helps them recognize their dream situation, which triggers them to be more alert while they’re dreaming.
The technique is usually used to help patients suffering from recurrent nightmares. Teaching them to become more aware of their dream state helps them divert nightmares to less stressful dreams, which allows them to handle their fears better.
Play Some Video Games
A 2017 study found out that people who play video games were more likely to experience lucid dreams. The reason behind this is that video games were highly immersive. They also dealt with fictional worlds in which the gamers were in more control of their actions and surroundings.
Playing video games makes players feel like they were more in control of their surroundings. The study also discovered that frequent video gaming helped players recall their lucid dreams better than non-players. However, you should ensure that you stop playing at least an hour before you go to bed so that your mind is relaxed and ready to sleep.
Meditate and Flex your Mental Muscles
Meditation promotes a strict mental discipline. While this is common in a meditators' day-to-day life, it can transcend into their dream worlds when done well. Meditation helps give meditators a sense of control over their actions.
Meditating, therefore, can be a great way to help people gain more control over their dreams. Having a sharply focused mind will help you differentiate between dreams and reality, which may help you become more aware of whether you are dreaming or not at night.
Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming
Wake initiated lucid dreaming is often achieved when the dreamer goes back to sleep after waking up. In this state, commonly known as the hypnogogic state, the dreamer's body is asleep, but their mind is active.
This lucid dreaming technique is quite difficult to learn. However, once learned, it's quite simple and easy to do.
Benefits Associated With Lucid Dreaming
There is some evidence for lucid dreaming to produce therapeutic effects in patients. Some of these therapeutic effects are:
About 85% of adults have nightmares and having nightmares once in a while is not uncommon. However, having recurrent nightmares can be a red flag for many underlying problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and stress.
In individuals with these underlying problems, nightmares can be debilitating. Initiating lucid dreams helps such individuals be in more control of their dreams, which can help them mitigate some of the issues associated with nightmares.
Improved Motor Skills
Research has shown that people who experience lucid dreams where they perform mental motor skills tend to boost their ability to perform better motor skills in reality. This is true and beneficial, especially for people with disabilities. Lucid dreaming could significantly increase their chances of improving their motor skills.
People who experience lucid dreams tend to be more creative. These people are more active in manipulating their reality, either when they are dreaming or when they are awake, which allows them to get more benefits than those who don’t.
Lucid dreamers can turn their nightmares into pleasant dreams whenever and however they see fit, and this takes a lot of creative willpower.
Helps you Rise Higher than your Fears
Being in control of your dreams state requires a lot of willpower and quite a bit of struggle, initially. However, as you go on, the process becomes more comfortable the more you try it. You'll get to realize that the more you lucid dream, the easier it is for you to not only face your fears but also gain control over them.
Lucid dreaming is an excellent form of therapy if you feel like you're powerless, especially in the real world.
When done right, lucid dreaming can be very beneficial. It makes people more aware of their environment and changes their perspective on how they interact with people and objects around them. However, there is no one sure way to trigger lucid dreaming in individuals.
Therefore, you should try each of the methods listed above and any other methods until you find the one that suits you most. Train your mind to be more conscious and control both your dream and your waking world. Sweet dreams.