You are probably wondering how you can be aware that you are dreaming, but with lucid dreaming, all hands are on deck.
Lucid dreaming is a dream where you, as a dreamer, are aware that you are in a dream. Typically, during this stage, you gain control over the dream personae, narrative, and environment. For decades, lucid dreaming has been studied, and research has shown that this type of dream can be induced, and if unwanted, it can be stopped.
What’s the Mechanism Behind Lucid Dreaming?
While you are asleep, your brain goes through two stages non-REM stage and REM stage. Your brain is most active during REM sleep, and this is the stage that's prone to lucid dreaming. The activeness of the brain during REM makes stimuli integration possible, which in turn aid in triggering lucid dreams. As outlandish as it may seem, subjects experiencing lucid dreams are usually aware of their awareness during the entire dream event.
Levels of Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming is a four-way stairway. Comprehending lucid dream levels can help you manage your progress if you want more lucid dreams. So what are these stages?
This is the most prevalent stage, and people hardly manage to get to the next level unless they commit themselves to acts that can improve and increase their experience. At this stage, you only have a hazy idea that you are dreaming, but you are not sure of it. Your lucidity state can, however, be ascertained by bizarre features in your surroundings. Without being ascertained, the next level transition can’t be reached.
This is the stage where you are likely to have signal fragments of clarity when you are asleep.
It's a delicate stage as you may get excited and fall back to a no-lucid dream, thus terminating lucidity. Nonetheless, you can prolong these episodes of awareness and move into stage three by setting the intentions to remain alert when these signals occur
In this case, you, as a dreamer, get deeper into prolonged lucid dreaming. Since you are now fully aware that you are in a dream and you can sustain lucidity, you can manipulate the events that are happening by merely choosing how to react to the aspects of your dream.
Everyone who seeks to get lucid dreams always dream about reaching this final stage. At this level, you do not only know that you are dreaming, but you can control your entire dream. Stage four is the real deal as you are in full control of matter and space. You can always shift from victim to a hero or villain, visit another planet and turn into anything you feel like.
Interpreting Lucid Dreaming
Interpretation of lucid dreams is just as easy as interpreting an ordinary dream. Interpretation is essential in helping you to understand the relevance of your dreams. Lucid dreams are typically vivid, a feature which shall enable you to remember the details clearly. It would help if you kept a dream journal as writing down what you dreamt about will help unravel significant themes.
On the other hand, you recommend keeping a regular journal to record your dreams and daily life. Through this, you will find it easy to make connections between lucidity, normalcy, and reality.
How to Conjure Lucid Dreaming
Though lucid dreaming is a natural and random phenomenon, it can be conjured easily with the right methods. If you have no experience with lucid dreaming, you can try the following methods.
Make Your Bedroom Ideal for Sleeping
Better sleep hygiene will ensure that you have a healthy sleep-wake cycle as well as sufficient REM sleep, as this is the point where lucid dreams mostly occur. Your sleeping environment should be relatively dark and quiet, with a temperature of about 18.3 degrees Celsius. This should be done to prevent any sleep disruptions.
Evaluate Your Reality
Despite having inconsistencies and distortions, your sleep environment usually has a close similarity with your real environment. During the day, try out reality testing by observing your surroundings to evaluate whether you are dreaming or not.
Reality tests help you acquire the ability to assess realities during your dream. Things to check out include mirrors, as at times, dream reflection won't look familiar. It would help if you also looked at the reading; dream readings changes once you look away and back.
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams
When you wake up, precisely after you have slept for five hours, tell yourself frequently that you will remember that you are dreaming next time. This triggers a prospective memory, which is the act of reminiscing to do something later on. Because lucid dream occurs during REM sleep when the brain is much active, your mind will process the monotonous data hence triggering lucid dreams.
This involves flashing lights and stimuli that are activated while you are asleep. Their mechanism is that the stimuli are incorporated into the dreamer's mind, thence triggering lucidity throughout the process. External stimulation can be availed through headbands and masks that have sound and lighting systems. Stimuli will best work in REM sleep as the brain is much active, thus integrating the stimulus at its best.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Being in control of your dream gives you a feeling of empowerment. Since you are aware that you are in a dream, you can script the ending. Being aware of the surrounding situation and having an idea that you can orchestrate your way out creates calmness. If you are with an anxious personality, going through lucid dreams frequently will alleviate your state.
Although occasional nightmares are a natural contour, recurring nightmares can be malevolent. Such nightmares disrupt your quality of sleep. Recurring nightmares affect people with anxiety, depression, and sleep disorder. However, you can get relief with lucid dreaming as you can realize that the nightmares aren't real. Having this kind of awareness helps you turn the nightmare into a pleasant scenario.
Improves Motor Skills
Getting a visual of a physical kind of movement can increase the actual abilities to do them. As the dreamer mentally practices and visualizes motor skills during a lucid dream, the brain sensorimotor cortex activates. This is the part that is responsible for controlling movements. This feature can help in the rehabilitation of people with a physical disability. On the other hand, it can help improve the sports activity and skills in people with no disabilities.
Though this is not scientifically proven, according to anecdotal reports, lucid dreamers are literally more creative than others due to a heightened ability to recall dreams and visualizing the events.
Helps in Problem-Solving
Research evidence shows that lucid dreamers can solve logic problems such as math problems and fixed problems such as conflicts with other persons.
What are the Dangers of Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is promulgated as safe, but there are colossal dangers for ordinary people and those with mental problems.
They May Cause Sleeping Difficulties
When conjuring lucid dreaming, the techniques involve an advertent interruption of sleep. Consequently, you will get inadequate sleep, and the risks can be aggravated in case you have sleep disorders.
It Can Cause Delirium, Schizophrenia, and Confusion
Individuals with mental anomalies and have experienced lucid dreaming typically find it hard to distinguish between reality and dreams. This kind of confusion can cause hallucinations and delusions of grandeur.
Autism and Dissociation
Having the feeling that you can’t differentiate between dreaming and reality can coerce you to disconnect from your own surroundings hence inducing an autistic personality.
How Do You Stop Lucid Dreaming?
In as much as many people strive to get lucid dreams, to others, this is a scary ordeal .you may wish to stop lucid dreaming and have peaceful and secure nights. Below is a four how-to process.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Caffeine or alcohol consumption causes sleep disruption. Waking up at night and having some thoughts can be an aid in conjuring lucid dreams. Avoiding the usage of alcohol and caffeine before bedtime will help you get an excellent non-lucid dream night.
Develop a Consistent Sleep Pattern
Going to bed at specific times on a daily-basis will avoid lucid dreaming. In retrospect, lucid dreaming can be perpetuated by frequently waking up and going back to sleep frequently times. Sound sleep is a strategy that will ensure minimal chances of lucid stimuli triggering the brain into lucid dreams.
Sleep on Your Sides
Sleeping on your back gives the brain an assumption that you are floating. Such a mentality can be a trigger to the commencement of lucid dreams. So, if you would stop sleeping on your back and adapt to side sleeping, you are least likely to experience lucid dreams.
In conclusion, lucid dreaming is euphoric and an experience that anyone would love to go through. It's also a therapeutic solution for those who experience nightmares or have an anxious personality or even phobic. However, if you are paranoid, you should strive to get rid of lucid dreams, as it is consequently not ideal for you.