Lucid dreaming: what is it, how to get into it, and is it dangerous?

Lucid dreaming (also called lucid dreaming) is a special altered state of consciousness in which a person understands that they are in a dream. At the same time, he can influence the plot of the dream and control his actions in the dream. Research shows that more than half of people experience this condition at least once in their life, and sometimes it can occur on its own. Additionally, there are special techniques that allow you to immerse yourself in lucid dreaming at will. How dangerous is lucid dreaming, what is happening in the human body at this moment and what techniques can be used to see such dreams yourself. What is lucid dreaming? Sleep and dreams are not the same. From a scientific point of view, sleep is a process and dreams are what a person sees while sleeping. While you have some control over lucid dreams, you don’t always have control over regular dreams. Moreover, according to doctors, a person may be able to choose not only his actions, but also the plot of his dreams. how to lucid dream The term “lucid dreaming” was first used by Dutch author and psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden. In 1913, he published an academic work, A Study in Dreams, in which he described his own dreams. Of his 500 dreams recorded, 352 were lucid dreams.

A person understands that he is in a dream.

A person is not just a spectator – he can independently make decisions. A person can influence the plot of the dream and the actions of other characters. One can influence space and the physical laws that operate in the dream universe. People retain memories of their real lives. The perception of time in a lucid dream is closer to the actual passage of time. A person remembers events that happened in a dream. At the same time, a person in a state of lucid sleep is able to perceive noises and signals from the real world, for example, noise outside the window. This is because in this state the body appears to be frozen at the border between rapid sleep and wakefulness stages. This means that a person’s consciousness is already awake, but the brain continues to show dream images. According to a 2021 study, it’s even possible to send signals from lucid dreams. Such an experiment was carried out by American scientists. People moved their eyes from left to right and right to left several times to indicate they had entered a lucid dream, and this condition was further studied. In addition, people were taught to convey certain signs through eye movements during sleep.

What are the benefits of lucid dreaming?

It is believed that lucid dreaming can be used to combat chronic nightmares. In most cases, recurring nightmares are related to specific traumatic experiences in the past. Experiencing this event in a lucid dream allows you to see it from different perspectives, changing your own reactions to what is happening and allowing you to process the trauma. Please note that lucid dreaming alone cannot get rid of nightmares. You need professional help to completely resolve the issue. Another benefit of lucid dreaming is that it can improve your motor skills. When a person performs an action in a lucid dream, neurons function as they would in real life. Therefore, this technique is useful, for example, in recovering from serious injuries.

Why is lucid dreaming dangerous?

If a person is constantly in a lucid dream state during a dream, the normal sleep stages are taken away by the dream. This means that the body behaves as if it were missing the dream stage of sleep. This is the danger of lucid dreaming. After all, a person who falls asleep and has a lucid dream is not completely rested. Therefore, this sleep scientist advises people to be careful when dealing with lucid dreams. People with neurological disorders, especially mental illnesses, are strongly advised not to practice or rely on lucid dreaming. Additionally, lucid dreaming offers a person almost limitless possibilities. Because of this, some people lose interest in reality and try to spend as much time as possible sleeping. Therefore, lucid dreaming can be a dangerous form of escapism. Diagnosis is very difficult because the symptoms are similar to depression and anxiety conditions. That is, you lose interest in life and constantly want to sleep. Another problem can arise when you are in a lucid dream. This can lead to a false sense of awakening, where a person thinks they have woken up, but the awakening itself occurs within the context of a dream. Not being able to wake up can lead to severe stress, which can lead to sleep paralysis, where a person becomes unable to move and experiences visual and auditory hallucinations.

How to lucid dream

A whole technique has been developed that allows you to notice yourself in a dream and learn how. However, sleep specialists are still conservative professionals in this regard and are therefore not recommended. If you still try to enter a lucid dream state, you should be very careful and avoid performing this activity too often. Here are some techniques to help you practice lucid dreaming.

MILD is a mnemonic technique for inducing lucid dreams. This method was developed by American psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge, an expert in the study of lucid dreams. Using the MILD technique, participants in his research fell into lucid dreams. Set your alarm to wake up about 5 hours after you fall asleep. Do not make sudden movements immediately after waking up. Try to stay in bed and remember what you just saw in your dream. Concentrate on remembering the dream you just had. If you can’t remember your dreams, think back to the dreams you’ve had. Concentrate on your dream memory and try to mentally transport yourself into the dream space. At the same time, it is important to remember that this space is a dream and is not happening in reality. Instead of waking up and falling asleep right away, take time to relax and focus on your thoughts. Continue to visualize the previous dream until you fall asleep again. Reality test method This method is aimed at making a person understand that he or she is currently in a dream. During the day, ask yourself “Am I dreaming?” and check whether you are in reality or in a dream. Try to associate this question with a specific action. For example, every time you look at the clock, you can ask, “Are you sleeping now?” If at some point you realize that what is happening around you is a dream, try to carry out a small command, for example, look at your hands.