- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
This started from another thread (the Whole 30 thread) and I thought I’d make a spinoff for it since I’m interested in getting people’s opinions and stories!
Lucid dreaming is when you are asleep and dreaming, and you become aware that you are in a dream, not real life.
You can be just a little lucid — you know you’re dreaming, but you still accept your surroundings without questioning them.
You can also be EXTREMELY lucid — where you not only know you are dreaming, but have full control over everything around you. Or you can be anything in between.
I’ve lucid dreamed naturally maybe once every month or so since I was a little kid.
It’s not that easy for adults though, so I’ve drafted up a guide for anyone who wants to get into it:
Step 1: Write down your dreams. Buy a pen and notebook that NEVER leaves your bedside for any reason, and every single time you wake up, write down every thing you can remember. It’s the most important step. The more you write, the more you’ll remember, which is crucial.
Step 2: Look for dream-signs, which are little things in dreams that happen often and can help you realize that you’re asleep. As adults, we walk around not questioning a lot of our surroundings, and because dreams are just a reflection of waking life, this translates to dreams as well. That’s why lucidity is so rare.
Step 3: Start performing reality checks in your day to day life. Use your dream signs to do a “reality check” to see if you’re dreaming many times a day. Don’t just do it and then go “nope not dreaming” — actually think about it and examine the results. It only takes a moment and the more often you do it awake, the more likely you are to do it in your dreams. Some common reality checks:
-Read a sentence of text, memorize it, then look away and look back. If the text is changed, distorted, blurry, in another language, etc. you are probably dreaming.
-Read a digital clock and try to find the exact time. Look away and look back. The time may be in strange characters, rapidly changing, dim, blurry, etc. If so, you’re probably dreaming
-Flick a light switch on and off. If it doesn’t work, you might be dreaming (do another reality check to make sure your lights just aren’t off.)
-Look a mirror and try to pick out details. Your reflection in a dream is often missing or distorted and objects in the background may be messed up or not present at all.
-Try to breathe through a closed nose. Usually in dreams you can always breathe even underwater or while pinching your nose. (Better not to try the former as a reality check, though.)
Again, the more often you do these things during waking hours, the more likely you are to do them while asleep, and if your dream fails a reality check… you may well go lucid!
Some tips to increase your odds of lucid dreaming:
-Set an alarm for 6 hours after you go to sleep, wake up fully, then go back to sleep. The second set of sleep is more likely to have a lucid dream.
-Repeat affirmations to yourself before you fall asleep like “I will lucid dream tonight” or “the next scene I see will be a dream.” Say them again and again in your head like counting sheep until you’re asleep. If your last thoughts are of lucid dreaming, it may occur to you in dreams too. (This really does help, I swear.)
-Melatonin before bed has been shown to increase vividness and odds of lucidity.
Once you’re lucid, most people will just wake up the first few times, as it’s very exciting. Anything that gets you physically excited often wakes you up, although you should try spinning quickly in circles if this is a problem, as it often will help hold you in the dream. I have also used it to change locations.
In a dream, anything you believe is true. If you believe you can fly, you can. If you believe you can breathe underwater (easier than flying and I find less likely to wake me) you can. If you believe there’s a very attractive person who wants to get intimate with you around the corner, there is! It’s all about visualization. The more vivid your imagination, the more you can get out of it. You have to really convince yourself it’s true.
In my case, if I believe there’s a lot of delicious cake and ice cream in the next room that I can eat as much as I want with no consequence because it’s a dream… there is. (I have done this, I have no shame haha.)
Some people even use it to practice skills, like doing exercises for social anxiety or even practicing piano (obviously you have to already have an idea of what you’re doing on the piano, but you can practice a piece you already know and there are documented cases of people getting better this way.)
That’s my little lucid dreaming writeup.
Do you lucid dream? Tell me stories! 😀