Lucid dreaming is when a person dreams and they are aware that they are dreaming. The person can recognize that the events happening are only dream images and they can recognize their thoughts and emotions as the dream happens.
In some instances, people have been able to control their lucid dreams to an extend where they can change the people, environment, and even the storyline in the dream.
This ability to control your dreams is good for most people because they can reduce nightmares and anxiety.
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When does Lucid Dreaming Happen?
Lucid dreaming happens when a person sleeps and their brain alternates from rapid eye movement(REM) sleep and non-REM sleep.
During REM sleep, the brain is very active and this causes the heart rate and eye movements to increase. It is during REM sleep that lucid dreaming happens. A person becomes fully aware that they are in a dream state.
Many people have experienced one or several lucid dreams in their lives, still, lucid dreams are usually rare. Most dreams feel real and the dreamers are usually not aware they were dreaming until they wake up.
How Can You Experience Lucid Dreams
There are various ways that you can experience lucid dreams and they are as follows:
Get more REM sleep
You might think you have no control over your sleep patterns but you can have the ability to ensure whether you get more REM sleep or not.
With more REM sleep you will increase the possibility of lucid dreaming. You can influence more REM sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene.
Healthy sleep habits allow your body to adequately cycle through all the four stages of sleep. Make sure you have a sleep schedule and follow it.
You can also exercise daily, avoid any form of electronics before bedtime, also avoid any anti-sleep beverages such as caffeine or even alcohol before bedtime.
And the most important thing to ensure that everything else works is that you should always create this perfect sleep environment by ensuring that your room has the perfect light, temperature, and level of noise.
Even if you don’t lucid dream, in the end, these healthy habits will be beneficial to your overall health.
Have A Dream Journal
Having a regularly filled dream diary will help in lucid dreaming. Writing down your dreams will make it easier for you to recall them.
With the memory of your dreams, your brain will become more aware when dreaming happens especially if the dreams are recurring.
Keep this dream diary beside your bed to enable you to write down your dream the moment you wake up.
With the book and pen beside your bed, you will not forget the dream while searching for them, because the likelihood of that happening is also high.
Remember that writing is not enough, for you to experience lucid dreaming you have to read your dream journal often to familiarize your brain with the dreams you experience.
Do Reality Testing
Know that your level of consciousness doesn’t change whether you are awake or dreaming. Therefore, when you increase your awareness in your waking stare, you can do the same during your dreaming state.
Reality testing is a great way to do this and it is perfect for training your mind to recognize your awareness when you are awake.
You can even do some reality checks throughout the day and when it finally becomes a habit you can also heighten your awareness during your dreams.
You can do reality testing by pushing your fingers against the opposite palm and if they pass through you are dreaming, if not you are not.
If there is a mirror in your dream, you can always check your reflection and if it doesn’t look normal then you are dreaming. Also, you could pinch your nose and if you can breathe, then you are in a dream
There are many other ways you can do reality checking when dreaming such as the words in a book not looking the same when you look at them again after looking away or tattoos that look different in a dream from their usual look.
You can choose one reality check and do it regularly throughout the day or you could experiment with various reality checks to find out the one that works best for you.
Consider Induction techniques.
Induction techniques have been known to be effective when it comes to initiating lucid dreaming. You can consider things like wake back to be(WBTB), Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams(MILD) and wake-initiated lucid dream(WILD)
WBTB is just waking up five hours after falling asleep and then going back to sleep. This will increase the chances of you entering the REM sleep while still conscious.
MILD is where you tell yourself that you will be lucid dreaming that night before you fall asleep. It has also been known to increase the chances of lucid dreaming.
WILD is where you enter REM sleep from wakefulness while keeping your consciousness. It is all about lying down until you have the hypnagogic hallucination.
The suggestions above really work when it comes to aiding in lucid dreaming. But why should you experience lucid dreaming? Does it have any benefits? These are questions you are probably asking yourself.
The Benefits of Lucid dreaming
Lucid dreaming comes with various benefits.
While occasional nightmares are a common thing, recurring nightmares can interfere with sleep quality to the point of causing stress, anxiety, narcolepsy, substance abuse, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lucid dreaming in this case offers relief by decreasing the regularity of recurring bad dreams. It can also help you turn a nightmare into a pleasant dream.
By reducing the frequency of nightmares, lucid dreaming will also ease those nightmare-related conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, and others.
Lucid dreaming is also said to boost creativity. Very creative people are more likely to lucid dream. This could be because of their increased ability to remember dreams and visualize events.
Still, the lucid dream has been known to increase creativity and imagination. Even though science hasn’t proven this as a fact, many people use lucid dreaming as a way of sharpening their creativity.
Lucid dreaming is exciting and what makes it so much fun is that a person can control their dream’s storyline. However, before you try lucid dreaming ensure that you talk to a therapist or sleep specialist especially if you happen to have any form of mental disorder.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !