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    Thread: The Dream Schedule: Help needed!

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      Question The Dream Schedule: Help needed!

      Hey everybody!

      I'm looking for help and information about sleep cycles, REM sleep stages, the circadian rhythm, and anything else regarding the dream schedule. With your help, I plan to create a resource for novice Lucid Dreamers to help them better understand and develop their personal dream schedule

      I've been digging around for detailed information about sleep cycles, and have found a lot of conflicting information. I myself am fairly confused about when to wake up and attempt Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams -- for awhile I thought I had it understood, but after consulting many different sources, I've been unable to find a consensus or resource on how do develop my dream schedule.

      With your help, I plan to develop a generalized "average person" sleep chart that basically outlines when REM stages typically occur, and when the best times to attempt various techniques are, such as denoting best times to wake up / return to bed for WBTB, have your CANWILD technique alarm go off, attempt a WILD, etc.

      Everybody's dream schedules vary, so I think it's important to develop methods and techniques for novice Lucid Dreamers to more accurately discover their own personal REM stage timing, and how to develop their own personal "dream schedule".

      === /Intro ===

      Okay, let's get started, shall we?

      One thing that most sources agree on, is that a sleep cycle is 90 minutes long. That gives an average sleeper about five sleep cycles, consisting of various sleep stages. The most important sleep stage for us, is the REM stage of course, because REM is the stage that we experience vivid dreams.

      REM sleep is apparently at the end of each cycle. The first REM stages of the night are the shortest, (5 - 10 minutes say most sources), and the last REM stages are the longest (30 - 60 minutes according to most sources).

      I drew this chart based on the above description I keep hearing.


      This chart just seems off. These aren't times I really expected. I want your help in developing a much much better, more accurate, and more useful chart.

      It is my understanding that you basically cannot lucid dream unless you're in a REM stage. A question I have is, what happens when you WBTB? Does your biological clock ignore the fact that you're awake, or does it put the sleep cycles on pause until you return to bed? Or does it sort of do a little bit of both? If I stay up all night until I'm supposed to have my last REM cycle of a night's sleep, and try a WILD, can it be successful because I'll be in a REM stage? Is the body more flexible about this kind of stuff? I've I'm within say, 20 minutes from the beginning or end of a REM cycle, and I attempt a WILD, will my body/brain just decide, "aw hell, close enough amirite?" and just go into REM anyways? Or is it more mechanical then that? These are details that are very elusive to me. A lot of people have the mentality that to learn to WILD, you just wake up practically any time during the night and wing it. That doesn't sound like a plan for success at all -- REM stages look like pretty narrow windows to me.

      Another aspect I'm not sure about: are sleep cycles always 90 minutes? Some sources claim that they are all 90 minutes, others seem to portray only the later sleep cycles to be 90 minutes, and that the length of a sleep cycle is quite variable. One source said the first REM stage started 70 minutes into sleep (which is the only source that indicated the first REM cycle to be so long as 20 minutes), and another stated the first REM stage started at 90 minutes. If the latter is true, that then indicates the first sleep cycle is longer than 90 minutes, because REM lasts for 5-10 minutes, and it takes a few minutes to exit REM, according to yet another source. We'd be looking at a 100 minute first sleep cycle. Perhaps the first sleep cycle appears extended because some sources don't count the first stage of NREM as a part of the sleep cycle, because it's a transitional phase that is only seen when you first fall asleep at night -- I read something about that. Maybe the 90 minute intervals start after a 10 minute transitional phase? I've seen a number of sleep graphs, and many of them seem to disagree with each other, and also disagree with the written information they provide. A lot of the graphs seem do display the sleep cycles being variable lengths... the whole thing creeps me out. Even small inaccuracies, of say, 10 minutes, when multiplied by multiple sleep cycles, can throw off your WILD attempt by like 40 minutes or so, which is more than enough to put you out of REM.

      I just think it's important to work out a solid understanding of sleep architecture, and turn it into a resource for all the novices that are as confused as I am. As a novice lucid dreamer pursuing the WILD technique, I feel like every WILD attempt I make is a total shot in the dark.

      As for developing personal dream schedules -- I figure everyone's "sleep architecture" is a little different. We need a developed technique for discovering one's own sleep architecture. My current idea is to try to naturally wake up right after every dream you have, and record the time. Do this for several days on a stable sleep schedule, and average out the results to determine your own probable REM stage times. As a web developer, I'd like to build a web app to serve as a utility for calculating ideal times for various techniques, perhaps generating personalized dream schedule graphs and whatnot.

      Thank you for reading, and if you have any insight, material, or personal experiences, that are relevant, please to share! I'm all ears.
      - Chase, The Enthusiast.
      Last edited by TheEnthusiast; 08-12-2010 at 04:58 AM. Reason: Added some clarification.
      macha88 likes this.

    2. #2
      learning. making. doing. zhineTech's Avatar
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      A question I have is, what happens when you WBTB? Does your biological clock ignore the fact that you're awake, or does it put the sleep cycles on pause until you return to bed? Or does it sort of do a little bit of both?
      i have always wondered this and i am curious about many of the questions you have posed as well, as there really is a lot of conflicting information out there.

      i have had every single one of my lucids in this lucid "phase" (about four months) during the first two hours of sleep or during naps. and based on many charts i should hardly ever dream at all (i usually get less than 6 hours a night during the week) and yet i consistently record two or more long, vivid dreams a night at wildly varying times.

      i have recorded the times of my dreams for a few weeks now, but my sleep schedule changes quite a bit, which makes it hard to extrapolate the information. from what i can tell i often have REM dreams 30-40 minutes after going to bed.

      -i know that the timing is different for each person and changes as they age
      -i know that the cycles must change because during daytime naps it is easy to go quickly in REM

      here is an iPhone app that tracks your sleep cycles, there are examples of some common ones in there, and one can find others online to sort of see an average persons cycle.
      Sleep Cycle

      im sure you have seen this before, but here are a few images i have found. one should always take this things as variable and with a grain of salt:




      and what's going to really bake your noodle is more and more evidence for non-REM dreaming, which i first learned about from the berkley online course on dreaming.
      Dreaming in REM and NREM Sleep carlos-m.net

      i vote to keep looking into this!
      Back into lucidity since 4.10

      My intro thread | Levels of Lucidity

      "...and then this mean kid came to the door and started shooting at me with a fudgecicle..."

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      zhineTech, thank you very much for the info! This really helps.
      I just bought the Sleep Cycle app; it's sleep graph function seems well worth it.
      Thank you very much. I'm going to keep on researching, I think we're getting somewhere.
      Last edited by TheEnthusiast; 08-13-2010 at 06:56 PM.

    4. #4
      learning. making. doing. zhineTech's Avatar
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      anybody else? i have so many questions concerning this since my schedule is all over the board due to work, band, and other life commitments...

      im going to re-quote theEnthusiast for the main gist of my questions

      "A question I have is, what happens when you WBTB? Does your biological clock ignore the fact that you're awake, or does it put the sleep cycles on pause until you return to bed? Or does it sort of do a little bit of both? "
      Back into lucidity since 4.10

      My intro thread | Levels of Lucidity

      "...and then this mean kid came to the door and started shooting at me with a fudgecicle..."

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      Member macha88's Avatar
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      Is there a sleep cycle application for the computer?

      Also, perhaps it would be a good idea to check out any published studies on sleeping/dreaming/lucidity and whatnot, I have heard the name LaBerge and Yuschak tossed around a few times, but it seems as if there should be more research out there on sleep...

      Also, sleep labs... would they aid in finding out your own sleep cycle? I suppose you would have to have exorbitant amounts of money or a genuine sleeping disorder to get tested at one though.
      Last edited by macha88; 08-16-2010 at 10:26 PM.

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      Macha88, as far as I know, there isn't any sleep cycle computer application.

      As for the sleep cycle app on the iPhone, while being really cool, I don't think it's quite accurate enough to determine your REM stages. Sometimes it seems accurate, but tonight for example, it didn't display any dream phases, yet I totally recall two significant dreams.

      I'm currently trying to acquire a stable sleeping pattern. Once I have a stable sleeping pattern, I'm going to try to figure out methods to discover REM stage timing, and probably make a tutorial about all this stuff.

      From what I understand, you naturally wake up after each REM cycle, even during the middle of the night -- but most of the time you immediately fall back asleep and forget about it. I suppose, that if you acquire a stable sleeping pattern, than you'd naturally wake up after about 8 hours of sleep, right after your last REM stage. Being the last REM stage, it should be the longest, so we'll say about 40 minutes. I'm personally trying the auto-shutoff alarm technique, which aims to wake me in REM, I don't move and immediately return to dreaming with lucidity. I want to wake myself up during REM, so I should probably wake myself up 25 - 30 minutes before my normal wakeup time. While timing it like that would be the most accurate, I'm close to being ready to awaken anyways, so the alarm waking me might be too much and I'll be unable to fall back to sleep. So ideally, I need to find the second-last REM stage. This sounds like a doozy -- I'm not very good at autosuggestion, so waking up after that REM cycle will be tricky for me. No harm in trying, amirite?

      Let me know if you've got any ideas or information.
      Last edited by TheEnthusiast; 08-20-2010 at 02:13 AM.

    7. #7
      learning. making. doing. zhineTech's Avatar
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      i would expect you would have to use the sleep cycle app for a good while and kind of average it out. some nights its going to get bumped around etc, so you would just be looking for the general trends of your cycles.

      a quick google search reveals tons of devices and applications....

      "There are a few types of bio-alarm clocks available such as Sleeptracker, SleepSmart and aXbo Sleep Phase Alarm Clock. Sleeptracker can be worn on your wrist like a watch. It will monitor signals from your body that indicate whether you are asleep or awake. SleepSmart is a headband with circuits that detect brainwaves during sleep, and the aXbo Sleep Phase Alarm Clock is a wristband that reads body movements. "

      this looks pretty promising:
      Zeo Personal Sleep Coach - Home

      there was a thread on here somewhere about it....
      Back into lucidity since 4.10

      My intro thread | Levels of Lucidity

      "...and then this mean kid came to the door and started shooting at me with a fudgecicle..."

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