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    Nerefa

    1. How to Induce Dreamless States

      by , 08-09-2022 at 12:14 AM
      This guide outlines a method to begin exploring dreamless states, whether you've had them before or if you are a beginner in this aspect of conscious sleep.

      What is a dreamless state?
      A dreamless state (aka a dream about nothing) is a state of sleep in which you are consciously aware, but there is no experience (either external or internal senses). There is no sight, sound, tactile, or any other sensations either environmental or imagined. There are no thoughts or dreams, but you are still consciously aware in the moment. It is awareness in its purest form.

      Void Dreams
      There is a distinction that can be made between dreamless/nothing sleep and "void" dreams in which you may experience a void of some kind. The void may be black, white, or some other color. You may be able to see your hands or not. Although you are having a dream "about nothing", void dreams are still dreams. They are not true nothingness states. Although void dreams are nifty in their own right, they are not what this guide is about!

      Three Types of Conscious Sleep
      From my experience, there seems to be three main types of conscious states you can have while you're asleep:
      - Dreams, in which you experience some kind of story or illusory existence that mimics the sensations of being awake. These can be lucid or nonlucid and have different levels of vividness, awareness, etc. (lucid dreaming typically falls into this category). These can also mix with waking environmental experience while transitioning to and from dreams (especially if you're doing WILD with your eyes open or experience dream residue hallucinations after waking). In any case, it's a dream.
      - Sleep thinks! (as I affectionately like to call them). You can also have lucid thinks or nonlucid thinks. These are similar to dreams, but more thought-like in nature. Instead of dreaming about walking around a forest full of trees, you can be thinking about trees (while asleep) the way you might think about trees while awake. These act more like the thoughts you have while awake. You could also call these dreams, but it can help to make the distinction just for the sake of exploration and understanding.
      - Nothingness state is the third main type of conscious sleep that I have noticed. This is the state in which there are no dreams, thoughts, or experiences other than conscious awareness, which this guide is about!

      Switching Between States
      It's worth nothing that the above states do not seem to be bound to any particular sleep cycle. I don't have the necessary equipment to test sleep stages (NREM vs REM), but have experimented with switching between all three of the above states in every possible direction at various times of both night and day. You can go from dream to think to nothing, or nothing to think to dream, or any other combination of switching any time, as far as I can tell. These are all within your control as the dreamer, as is waking up—you are not forced into any particular state and can freely move between them any time.

      Although there are studies and evidence linking certain sleep phases to certain states, which I'm sure could have truth to them, I theorize that these may just be natural tendencies of the average research participant (who may not be deliberately switching their state) and not hard limitations for the conscious dreamer who wants to be able to fluidly switch their state.

      How to Start Having Dreamless States
      There are different ways you can induce a dreamless states. An easy way for beginners (and the way I got started with it) is to set intention to be aware of when you wake up from sleep naturally. Tell yourself that you will be mindful and aware the next time you wake up, and also to be aware of when you are about to wake up. Remind yourself of your intention throughout the day and before bed. You can strengthen your intention by walking yourself through the process of what it will be like in your mind and connecting your plans with the ends of dreams you've had in the past, or other experiences you've had around this time.

      Practice every morning (and any time you wake up naturally in the night or from naps). It may take some time to train yourself to do this (likely a few days or weeks).

      The goal is to get yourself to be aware every time you wake up and the moment before waking. This will cause you to become highly aware of when your dream is about to end (due to natural waking). You will be able to feel it coming during the dream (which can also trigger lucidity). If you're already lucid, you may find yourself saying goodbye to your dream characters or otherwise acknowledging that it is time to naturally wake up in the morning.

      By setting your intention to be aware every time you wake up or are about to wake, you set yourself up to be conscious in a period of sleep after a dream and before waking, taking advantage of your body's natural increase of awareness during this transition from dream to waking state (you're just becoming aware a bit sooner than usual in this case).

      Doing this enough to train the habit, you can start to have dreamless states in the morning and with natural WBTBs.

      What is Awareness?
      There is sometimes confusion and hang-ups on "what" awareness is, which I want to be very clear about. Awareness can be a lot of things, but for the purposes of this guide and these dreamless states, awareness is not tied to your physical senses. Awareness simply means that you acknowledge that you exist in the here and now. It can also be awareness of time, since timing can be used as a trigger for dreamless states (awareness of the time before and during waking from sleep).

      Meditation
      Meditation may help in preparation for having dreamless states. Learning to bring your thoughts back to a focus point every time your mind wanders is a good way to train yourself to hold these states longer. You can also shut off your sensory perceptions while waking through meditation as a way to prepare for the "nothing" state in sleep.

      DISCLAIMER: I'm in no way qualified to speak on topics of sleep yoga or Buddhist practices, which is not the purpose of this guide. I'm simply writing this guide to help answer some questions I've been asked from curious dreamers, since I'm a lucid dreamer who frequently experiences nothingness states. I learned this on my own by accident. There's likely far more to this state than I currently understand.

      Take care and good luck, dream explorers!
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