For those who are not acquainted with the word ‘lucid dream’ let me start the article with its definition.
Mostly when we dream we are not conscious of our sleeping state and have no control over our dreams. Nevertheless, a lucid dream is where the person dreaming is aware of what he/she is dreaming and gains some control over the characters environment and narrative in the dream. In other words, you can say that lucid dreaming is having control over the sleep stories.
A lucid dream is considered to have plenty of benefits.
Below we have discussed the top benefits of lucid dreaming.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
- Improves skills- One of the most notable benefits of lucid dreaming is it makes it possible for you to practice your life skills even while sleeping. Eventually, your skills are improved, and you are better in them even when you are awake in your actual life. For example, you can attend your guitar lessons and practise them lucid dream. This way, you can save time and practice will make you a skilled guitarist.
- Emotional Healing – If something terrible has happened, leaving you in stress, doubt, fear and deep-seated trauma. The healing can be done through a lucid dream. The result may vary from person to person, yet it is possible to treat your psychological injuries through a lucid dream. For example, controlling your thoughts and expressing your feelings and fear among your friends, family or co-workers even in your dream makes you feel empowered. Also, this may help you find a solution to tackle or translate your real-life situation.
- Experiencing The Impossible -We want to do many things in our life but cannot due to lack of money, time or skill. Lucid dreaming can be an escape that will let you have fun free of cost or without taking an off from your precious awake time. You can enjoy scuba diving, a road trip to a foreign country, dance in a nightclub or sail on a yacht. You can have fun in your dreams and wake up stress-free and happy.
- Help Overcome Fears- If you have a phobia of water, height, crowd, etc., you may use lucid dreaming to overcome it safely. For example, even if you have water phobia, no fear can stop you from swimming in your dream. Also, as you have control over your dream, you will be able to come out of the water whenever required. Everyday encounter with your phobia, even in your dream will make you feel better and help you overcome your fear when you are awake.
- Helps You Take Important Decisions and Solve the Problem- Thinking of a particular problem in dream creates a new connection in your brain. It provides a different insight into the problem and gives ideas to solve it. This helps you make important decisions. In fact, you can also check out which idea can solve the issue in a better way at a subconscious level and then use the solution that you perceive appropriate through your brain to solve the problem in your actual awake life.
- Connect to Your Inner Self – The subconscious mind that is an integral part of our brain controls reading, internal temperature and interprets millions of simulations every second. The subconscious mind is in charge of your feelings and emotions; still, you do not have full control over it. Lucid dream connects you with your subconscious mind as another person inside you to whom you can talk, and this it connects you to your inner self.
- Improves Creativity – Dreams manifest instantaneously and change. Lucid dreaming gives you the power to play inside your mind and helps you to unravel many ideas.One of the well-known physicist Neil Bohr ‘ the father of quantum mechanics’ once mentioned that his inspirational dream let him discover the structure of an atom. Even you can make your creative mind compose any song or draw a masterpiece while dreaming that you can work upon in reality once you are awake.
Lucid dreaming is spontaneous and mostly happens during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep though, some people can train themselves to dream lucidly.
No doubt if you learn to lucid dream through various techniques, you can experience a new world beyond the reality that you have always imagined.
How to lucid dream
A lucid dream is an art that you can learn. However, it takes practice to master over it.
Below a few techniques that you may use to lucid dream.
1. Make the Bedroom Hospitable to Dreaming -Research has found that REM is associated with improve focus better memory and greater emotional regulation.
It is the last stage of your sleep cycle in which the number of dream increases. This happens mostly during the second half of the night. It is very important to have a restful and sound sleep as well as it is essential to ensure that you get as much as random eye movement sleep time as possible to dream. To ensure restful sleep, you need to follow sleep hygiene that includes a dark, cool and quiet bedroom. To prepare your bedroom hospitable to dreaming use blackout curtains to block ambient light. You may also use an eye mask. To mask any external noise that may disturb your sleep, you may use earplugs or White Noise machine. Maintain a cool mid 60 degree Fahrenheit temperature of your room. Take a break from your screen time at least one hour before you go to sleep, unplug from electronics and engage yourself in your interest, such as reading a book, meditation and practising aromatherapy or take a bath to relax.
2. Maintaining a Dream Journal – The next step is to keep a dream journal by your bed. The very moment you wake up note down whatever you remember from your dream. You may also record your dream memories as a voice memo on your mobile phone or download dream journal app such as dream keeper or awoken etc.
3. Recognize the Dream Signs – Review the dream journal regularly. Identify if there is a dream pattern or certain people or things show up repeatedly. This will help you recognize what you usually dream of and types of issues your inner subconscious mind is focused. Reviewing your dream journal will make you more aware of your dream and will help you to identify whether you are in a dream state or not.
4. Performing A Reality Check – This is very important to confirm whether you are asleep or awake. This helps to identify your dream state in order to become more equipped to do so while sleeping. Try any of the following steps at least ten times a day.
- Try to push the index finger of your one hand through the other hand’s palm. Before and after doing so, ask yourself if you are dreaming or not. If you are in a dream state, this will happen, but in reality, it would not. Repeat this every day, and you will eventually start repeating this experiment in your dream. When your finger goes to your palm, you are dreaming.
- Observe your feet and hands closely. If you are in a dream, your hands and feet tend to be distorted.
- Look at a page in a book or at a clock and then quickly look away and then again look at it. In the dream state, the text or the time is likely to change, but if you are not dreaming, it will stay the same.
5. The Mild Technique – Menonic induction to lucid dreaming is a technique where you are instructed to repeat the same phrase ‘ I will know what I am dreaming’ repeatedly to yourself every night until you fall asleep. This Mantra will encourage your brain to be aware of your dream and will increase the chances of lucid dreaming.
6. Going Back to Sleep – If you wake in between a dream, Then write about your dream in the journal and then close your eyes, try to go back to sleep again and focus on the dream. Keep imagining that you are aware of your dream while sleeping and be focused until you fall asleep again.
7. Inducing Sleep Paralysis – Have you have ever heard the term ‘sleep paralysis’. It is a state where the mind is awake, but the body is drifted to sleep. It may be a fearful experience for a few people. If this happens to you, remind yourself repeatedly that you are safe and you are only dreaming. Sleep paralysis occurs spontaneously, but you may also induce it.
8. Back to Bed Technique – In this technique, you set the alarm to wake up you during REM sleep. When you sleep, again, you reenter your dream. You usually enter the REM stage of sleep after 5 to 7 hours of falling asleep. Try to stay awake for half an hour to an hour after the alarm goes off. Try to wake up your mind by writing in your journal or doing something else. After half an hour to an hour again get into the bed and focus on the dream until you fall back asleep.
9. Keeping your Dream Going – The most important thing after you start experiencing lucid dreaming is to try to keep up your dream going. In the beginning, you may have difficulty in extending your dream because once you realise that you are able to control your dreams, you get awake in excitement. Nevertheless, through practice, you will be able to prolong your dream. You may also try the given tips below to distract your mind from waking up.
- Spin around or fall backwards in your dream.
- Rub both the hands in your dream.
- Convince yourself that you are dreaming and while doing so, continue to do whatever you were doing in the dream.
Lucid dreaming is safe for those who are mentally stable. However, some people may have a bad experience in the beginning, but it is not at all dangerous, and there is nothing to worry about trying lucid dreaming.