What are Lucid Dreams?
What are lucid dreams? What is lucid dreaming? Lucid dreams are dreams in which we are aware that we are dreaming. They usually happen when we become aware that we are dreaming because of unusual events during our sleep.
Most people who try to remember their dreams have experienced this state at least once. It is possible that they have woken up right after they have realized that they are lucid dreaming, while it is possible to stay in your dream for some time and be completely aware that you are dreaming.
Can We Control Our Dreams?
With lucidity usually comes some level of control over our dream. The amount of accessible dream control varies from dream to dream and it depends on a dreamer.
Exercising helps with increasement of control over events in your dream.
In lucid dreams, dreamers can usually choose how they will react to certain events, while they can rarely control everything that happens in a dream because dreams have a course of their own. For example, instead of trying to avoid danger as you would naturally do because you are aware that you are dreaming, you can decide to face with a terrifying event from your dream while knowing that nothing bad can happen.
A possibility of control can change you dream from a terrifying, frustrating or horrible experience in which you are a helpless victim to an experience in which you can temporarily leave behind worries and caution from your awake life to experience a unique satisfaction of complete freedom.
Having said all of that, there are some rare and lucky people that can achieve a complete level of control while lucid dreaming where they can create a dream according to their free will. This enables them to either create whatever world they want or to experience a fantasy and an adventure they have imagined.
Does Everybody Dream?
Everybody dreams. All mammals have REM sleeping. Most of our dreams happen during REM phase of sleep. This statement has been proven after people were woken up in different stages of sleeping and asked if they were dreaming.
After they had been woken up from the REM phase, 85 per cent of people was confirming that they were dreaming.
After being woken up from other phases of sleep, usually called non-REM phases, people were rarely saying that they were dreaming.
The REM phase takes turns with non-REM phases during the night in cycles that last around 90 minutes.
In an eight hour sleep you will spend around an hour and a half in a REM phase that is divided in four or five ‘REM periods’ that last from 5 to 45 minutes.
People forget most of their dreams. Some people can never remember their dreams, while others can recall five or more dreams each night. Dream memory can be increased which is vital for mastering lucid dreaming.
Can Lucid Dreams Obstruct the Function of Sleep and Rest?
Lucid dreaming is a normal occurrence while sleeping. During lucid dreaming human’s brain and body are in the same physical state as they are during ordinary or non-lucid sleeping.
Dreams are a result of brain activity while our senses are shut down for the physical world. In that state and typically during REM sleeping our mind creates experiences from our active thoughts, worries, memories or fantasies.
Dreams are not stories created in advance but they are made while you are moving through them.
Having a knowledge that you are dreaming is simply allowing you to direct dreams in a constructive and positive direction as you direct your thoughts while you are awake. Therefore, lucid dreams can give you more information about yourself than non-lucid dreams because you can observe development of a dream from your feelings and preferences since you are aware that you are dreaming and that a dream is created in you.
It is wrong to think of dreams as unconscious processes that should stay that way.
Your consciousness is always present in your dreams. If it was not, you would not be able to remember dreams because you can only remember things that you have experienced consciously.
Additional awareness that comes with lucid dreaming is nothing more than knowledge that we are dreaming.
Why Should We Experience Lucid Dreams?
What would you do if you could do whatever you want in a dream without fear? Laws of physics and moral laws don’t count while dreaming.
The only boundaries you have while dreaming are limitations of your imagination. A big part of possibilities in a dream is lost because people can’t recognize that they are dreaming. When we are not lucid in our dreams we think and act as if we are in our awake reality which leads us to reasonless frustrations, confusions, energy waste and in the worst-case scenario, to terrifying nightmares.
Wrongly directed efforts for doing chores from our awake life in dreams consequently lead us to having anxious dreams in which machines don’t work as they are supposed to, we are late to meetings, we forget important exams, we can’t find the right direction and so on.
Anxious dreams and nightmares can be overcome with lucid dreaming since you have nothing to be afraid of because you know you are dreaming. Events in your dream can’t harm you. Besides helping you to lead dreams in a satisfactory direction, enjoy in fantastic adventures or overcoming nightmares lucid dreams can be a precious weapon for success in you awake life.
Lucid dreamer can move natural potential of dreams prudently which helps them in solving problems or getting artistic inspiration.
Athletes, public figures of ordinary people can rehearse, practice or improve their knowledge and experiences while sleeping.
That is just a small example of different ways people can use lucid dreaming in improving their lives. All of us spend the third of our lives sleeping, so why wouldn’t we make the most of that time.
How to Lucid Dream?
First lucid dreams you can experience quickly after you start practicing the techniques for lucid dreaming. You should see results in a few days after you start. Just reading of this lines or texts about lucid dreams can cause a lucid dream, even though very rarely.
In order to achieve the ability to lucid dream according to someone’s will an average human being needs years of hard work. There are many techniques for the development of lucid dreaming skills but it is impossible to mention all of them now.
We will list just a few that are the foundation for the achievement of lucid dreaming. Firstly, you need to have a healthy state of mind, and also you need to question your belief system.
A healthy state of mind is big part of achieving success in lucid dreaming because dreams are creations of our minds.
None the less, there must be a strong desire and motivation to be conscious in dreams, as well as determination to devote your time and concentration in order to achieve your goal.
It is very important to remember your dreams well for which you need to write a dream diary. If a person can remember their dreams it is possible that they are having lucid dreams already, but that doesn’t mean anything to them because they can’t remember that experience. Writing a dream diary is not easy, but unfortunately it is absolutely necessary if you want to make a progress toward lucid dreaming.
The Key for Lucid Dreams – Awareness
Since our main goal is to become aware in your dream, developing of our consciousness while we are awake is the key for the development of our ability for lucid dreaming.
This method is usually effective on its own, but in combination with other methods becomes the best way for lucid dream training. The main goal is to increase consciousness during the day so we could increase that consciousness in the world of dreams as well.
Many people think that they are already aware enough and that they cannot become more conscious. However, most of the time we are not even aware in our real world since we have caught ourselves watching or listening to something without knowing what we are doing. We leave our things somewhere and then we cannot remember where, how and why we have done it. Those are the moments when our consciousness wonders off and when we are not concentrated enough.
Our goal shouldn’t be to become obsessed with our surroundings, but to constantly be aware of all the moments that pass by us or surround us. For example, if we are eating, we should be aware of that. If there are thoughts that draw attention for the process of eating become aware of that transition during your train of thoughts. Be aware of your consciousness as if you are a neutral observer.
Meditation is a great exercise for your consciousness. An increase of your level of consciousness symbolizes a progress of your lucid dreaming abilities.
Techniques for Achieving Lucid Dreaming
Induction of Lucid Dreaming
For everyone who are impatient to experience their first lucid dream the most effective technique is a quick induction of lucid dream. This technique is not a replacement for diary writing or hard work on your dreams, but it can provide you with a certain level of lucidity.
Everyone that wants to achieve uncontrolled and willful consciousness in dreams should build every element of awake dreaming systematically.
Instructions for this quick technique of induction (without going into explaining why you should do it this way) are next:
- Go to sleep between 10 p.m. to 01 a. m. and plan to wake up after approximately six hours of sleep. Before sleeping, while lying on your back, close your eyes and concentrate on the area between your eyebrows (third eye) through closed lids. In the meantime, mentally and emotionally repeat an autosuggestion: ‘Tonight I am going to become aware that I am dreaming’. If your mind starts to wonder off, direct your attention again on your third eye and continue with the autosuggestion until you fall asleep.
- After around six hours of sleep get out of bed and be awake for an hour or an hour and a half (if it is possible read or think about lucid dreaming). It is important to be completely awake during that time.
- Go back to bed and repeat the technique for concentration on your third eye with autosuggestions. It is possible that you will have troubles with falling asleep again, which can last up to an hour but after you finally fall asleep a fan part begins.
It is important to mention that besides achieving lucid dreaming, with this technique you can achieve a lucid experience of astral projection or an experience of so called ‘false awakening’ when a person is convinced that they are awake and starts doing their everyday morning routine while in reality they are still dreaming. Anyway, you can have an interesting experience.
The Test of Reality
The next technique which is also very successful is called the test of reality.
While being awake it is necessary to do the following tests as often as possible so you could be able to do the same in dreams.
The most common tests of reality are:
- Looking what time it is, then watching somewhere else and then looking what time it is again (in case you are dreaming the time will change drastically every time you look, so this will be an indicator that you are dreaming). This works better with digital watches then with analogue ones.
- Turning the light switch on and off (in case you are dreaming, the light switch probably won’t work which will tell you that you are dreaming).
- Look in the mirror (if you are dreaming, an image in the mirror will probably be distorted and murky).
- Reading a book or text multiple times in a row (reading in a dream will lead to a change of the content of the text each time you read it).
The biggest problems after you manage to achieve lucid dreaming are to extend the dream and be able not to wake from it unplanned.
Your Dream book.