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Thursday, 15 July 2021

How to have a Lucid dream? Guide for beginners from LDN

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How to have a Lucid dream? Guide for beginners from LDN Associative picture from Pixabay  

Every one of us experiences a confusing and blurry sequence of visuals comprised of pictures, feelings, scenes, and ambiances that occur unwillingly in the mindduring the REM stage of sleep. These confusing blurry visuals are our dreams, but their content and function are still not understood completely.

How does lucid dreaming work?

Usually, dreams are uncontrolled and have little to no access to our true memories. Our brain is highly active during the REM stage of sleep, and dreams usually occur during it, but they can also happen at other stages of sleep.

However, dreams don't always run through the same scenario and are diverse. Many of us experience consciousness during the moment, but we awake, and our brain starts to work by leading us to reality upon realizing it. Some people, however, can get aware and control the dream by will. Conscious dreams and controlled dreams are the alternative terms for lucid dreams that are not very common.

In lucid dreaming, dreamers develop awareness that they are dreaming. Studies show that dreamers also achieve some control over the dream and can change the people and situations with this consciousness. But even if a dreamer can't change the things in the dream, it can still be categorized as a lucid dream. Experts explain lucid dreaming as a blurry line between the dream world and real life. Lucid dreaming is so controversial and misunderstood that you might not know what it is exactly.

Understanding and focus on lucid dreams have increased over recent years, and it is getting popular. Although, prominent figures have been captivated from ancient history to modern times. Lucid dream, Conscious dream, or controlled dream has a history in Indian and Greek culture. During culture development through times, the use of the term "Lucid Dreams" derived into practice.

 

Large-scale surveys have been conducted over the recent years to identify characteristics of the controlled dream, such as:

  • When does this dreaming start?
  • What is the duration?
  • How many times can someone have this dream?
  • Who can have more frequent conscious dreams?
  • What are the risks involved?

This article will explain all relevant questions to make you familiar with lucid dreams. Research demonstrated the controlled dream practice for the treatment of psychological problems. Scientific and psychological research is essential to understand the causes and purposes of these dreams better. Further developments are in progress to research its real-world applications to achieve significant benefits.

Conscious dreams don't need to occur only naturally. But they can be learned through rehearsal by following certain steps and applying techniques. Everyone can get control over dreams. If you also want to be conscious during your dream, keep reading. The step-by-step procedure, Techniques, and tips are explored and mentioned below.

Navigation

  • What is Lucid Dreaming?
  • History of Controlled Dreams
  • When Controlled dreams occur naturally?
  • How to have a Lucid Dream? Guide for Beginners
  • Additional Tips and Techniques for Controlled Dreams
  • What are the Risks and Benefits of Conscious Dreams?
  • Research and Surveys
  • FAQs
  • Summary

Let's acquire our knowledge about controlled dreams without any delays.

What is Lucid Dreaming?

Dreaming is a universal human experience and can be defined as a series of events, pictures, or scenes in a dreamer's mind during sleep time. Most of us dream daily during REM sleep or other stages, but it's not compulsory to remember all our dreams. Dreaming has several defined types influenced by thoughts before sleeping, daily routine, and consciousness during dreams. Lucid dreaming is one of those.

In this article, our focus is on Lucid Dreaming, and it can be defined as an experience of attaining conscious and controlled awareness while still sleeping. During such a dream, the dreamer is aware that the sequence of events shooting through the brain is not happening in reality, even though it feels real. At some stage, many dreamers can control dreams by changing people, scenes, and events just like we are directing a movie.

Researchers suggest that people with higher control over their thoughts may experience controlled dreaming more frequently. The reason behind this is related to metacognition that is awareness and understanding of our thoughts. This type of sleep is connected with awareness and control over it – the same as metacognition. So, lucid dreaming and metacognitive functions share the same neural system.

What is Lucid Dreaming

Associative picture from Pixabay

History of Controlled Dreams

Fostering the ability of conscious dreams has roots in two religions: Hinduism and Buddhism. Indian Hindu used to practice "Yoga Nidra," and Tibetan Buddhists have expertise in "Dream Yoga." Some researches prove the therapeutic use of lucid dreaming by Greek physicians.

Later on, philosophers and physicians in England explained their experience of controlled dreams in writings such as diaries and books. In the 19th century, a French sinologist described his conscious dreaming experiences and explained that it is possible to learn lucid dreaming through practice. At the start of the 20th century, a Dutch psychiatrist and writer coined the term "Lucid Dream" in an article about dreams.

The passage of time and raised public awareness result in a noticeable increase in reported lucid dreams by the 21st century compared to previous years. Many research and surveys are conducted to understand lucid dreaming, the benefits and risks, and its therapeutical use.

When can Controlled dreams occur naturally?

Usually, sleep patterns are different depending upon factors like sleep duration, thoughts before sleeping, etc. The sleep cycle is composed of four basic individual stages based on analysis of brain activity during sleep.

Stage 1

Drowsy Non-REM

First 5-10 mins

Stage 2

Light Sleep

Non-REM

Lasts 10 to 50 mins

Stage 3

Deep Sleep

Non-REM

Lasts 30 mins

Stage 4

REM

REM Sleep

Lasts 10-60 mins

Dreams usually happen during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage. Lucid dreams also occur during REM sleep, but dreamers can experience conscious dreams at other stages of sleep as well.

How to have a Lucid Dream? Guide for Beginners

If you are curious to explore and undergo conscious dreams, then you are at the right article. Even if it's your first attempt to experience a controlled dream, you will understand the steps to have lucid dreams in no time – and will become a pro with enough practice.

Prepare yourself for deep sleep

Deep sleep that leads to REM sleep is crucial for controlled dreams, and there are ways to enhance the quality of sleep to experience a lucid dream. Improvement in sleeping habits is achievable if you

  • Stick to a scheduled sleep
  • Avoid electronic gadgets before bedtime
  • Skip heavy meals
  • Skip caffeine drinks
  • Sleep in cozy conditions

Prepare yourself for deep sleep

Associative picture from Pixabay

Maintain a dream journal

Remembering your dreams is essential to experience conscious dreams, and you can train by continuously recording your dreams after you wake up. You can retain more of your dream if you immediately write it down in as much detail as possible. This habit helps you remember your dreams more vividly, and having controlled dreams becomes significantly easier.

Apply proven techniques

Researchers came up with different techniques that suggested experiencing lucid dreaming. There are plenty of available techniques to try. Most of them fall under one of the two categories:

  • WBTB (Wake Back To Bed) techniques
  • DILD (Dream Induced Lucid Dreaming) techniques

Wake back to bed

The procedure looks like this. Take 3-5 hours of sleep. Wake up and occupy your mind for 20-60 minutes (The optimal time frames may differ from person to person). Then, go back to sleep and try one of the lucid dream induction techniques from below.

Impossible Movement Practice (IMP):

Think of the ways that your body can't move. For example, bending your knees or elbows backward. Try and imagine this impossible movement as vividly as possible. Keep doing it in your mind until you finally succeed – that's your indicator to be in the dream world.

Senses Initiated Lucid Dream (SILD):

Focus on your senses. At first, pay attention to your sight, even with your eyes closed. Focus on the darkness. Do it for 10-30 seconds. Then, move awareness to your hearing. Listen to any sounds surrounding you for 10-30 seconds. Finally, focus on the sensation of touch. Feel your body touching the blankets, your head lying on the pillow, your legs touching. After 10-30 seconds, go back to your sight and repeat the cycle. Try to remain focused.

You can also try other techniques, such as:

Counting from 100 to 0 or in cycles from 10 to 0.

Focusing on your fingers and performing a reality check every 30-60 seconds. (FILD)

If you're not keen on waking up in the middle of the night, DILD techniques are your go-to. They rely heavily on practice and preparation – keep filling in your journal and performing reality checks throughout the day. The easiest way to know if you're dreaming or not is to look at your hands, as they look very weird in the dream world. Eventually, you will gain awareness in the dream – either spontaneously or after performing a reality check.

Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming (MILD)

Perform this ritual every night when going to bed. Repeat a mantra in your head several times. For example:

"I can have a lucid dream."

"I will have a lucid dream."

"When I am in a dream, I will realize it."

Then, imagine the last dream you had in as much detail as possible. Try and recreate it. Chances are, you will find yourself in a similar environment when you enter the REM stage, which will help you distinguish it from reality.

Consume Supplements

Consuming certain supplements can also help you lucid dream but conduct complete research and consult a professional before using any.

  • DHEA
  • Vitamin B
  • Melatonin
  • Huperzine-A

Additional Tips and Techniques for Controlled Dreams

With all the steps mentioned above, there are other techniques to practice for experiencing a conscious dream.

Meditate

To stop thinking and enter in a comfort state, meditate by just paying attention to your breath or thinking about ascending or descending stairs in a dark and cozy room.

Prolong your conscious dream

Beginners or first-time lucid dreamers often feel too excited. Visuals start fading, or the dream feels unstable before finally waking up. To keep your conscious dream longer, change your position in your dream or go back to the same physical position where you were before distraction.

Binaural Beats

An audio illusion obtained by two different sound frequencies played in each ear is known as binaural beats. If you can manage your sleep by earphone plugin, it can help you control dreaming by changing your brain activity level.

Play video games

Playing video games can help you achieve conscious dreaming, although more studies and research are required to prove this phenomenon. But still, gamers report more lucid dreams compared to other people.

Meditation for Lucid Dreams

Associative picture from Unsplash

What are the benefits and risks of conscious dreams?

Conscious dreams take you to a fantasy world where everything becomes possible. There are some benefits and risks involved to be considered.

Benefits

Lucid dreaming offers numerous benefits to the dreamer, such as:

  • Choose your fantasy dreams instead of dull or unpleasant environments.
  • Avoid nightmares by controlling your dreams.
  • Reconnect with your lost loved ones by calling imaginations of them.
  • Express your innovations and creativity if you want to unleash your productivity.
  • Connect with your subconscious and reprogram your mind to avoid negative thinking.

Risks

Beginner dreamers have concerns about any potential risks in controlling their dreams.

  • Conscious dreamers may experience the feeling of tiredness as the brain remains active during sleep.
  • Practicing some techniques can initiate sleep paralysis that is scary but not dangerous.
  • In the start, dreamers can experience a range of emotions like sadness, fear, or anxiety because of less control over dreams.

Research and Surveys

Research is still ongoing to find the exact reason behind lucid dreaming. As conscious dreaming is not a common practice, it becomes difficult to acquire data from people who experience it more frequently. Surveys are part of this type of research and are conducted to obtain certain information about controlled dreaming. Scientific researchers are also on the way to find its therapeutic use to reduce depression and anxiety.

Research and Surveys of Lucid dreams

Associative picture from Unsplash

FAQs

Although we explored the topic widely, as first-time conscious dreamers, you might have more questions.

1. Can everyone practice controlled dreams?

Yes, conscious dreaming is a skill that can be developed over time and practice. Everyone experiences spontaneous conscious dreams at least one time in life. But dreamer needs the training to experience lucid dreaming at will.

2. How quickly can I experience a controlled dream?

It takes time to experience your first conscious dream and depends upon different factors, including the diligent practice of the mentioned steps and techniques.

3. Are there any controlled dreaming induction devices, and do they work?

There are devices available to experience conscious dreams that allow dreamers to control different supportive factors to undergo a conscious dream.

4. What are the best resources to learn about conscious dreaming?

Over the past years, considerable development of exercises, techniques, and training material has been developed and is now available to be used by any dreamer who wants to learn it. Several training courses and workshops are also available to learn controlled dreaming.

Summary

Lucid dreaming is an awareness of conscious dreams where you can sometimes change people and the environment according to your wishes. It occurs during REM sleep.

There are numerous benefits, including treatment of nightmares and depression. Research continues to find more advantages of it.

You can learn to lucid dream by using the techniques mentioned above.

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