• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




    Intro

    A lucid dream is a dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming. First coined by Dutch Psychiatrist and writer Frederik van Eeden, a lucid dream is a particularly vivid and realistic dream where the dreamer can manipulate the dream environment to their whim.


    The Processes

    Anyone can lucid dream, however some find it harder to do so than other so the following are a few helpful methods in inducing a lucid dream.

    A Dream Journal

    A dream journal is basically a diary. However, instead of writing down your thoughts you right down your impressions and memories of dreams you have experienced. A dream journal is a valuable tool in helping dream recall as the more it is used, the easier it gets to remember dreams. All that is needed is a notebook and a pen or pencil. Keep them on a night stand or as near the pillow as possible as when one awakes details from the dream fade quickly with time and it gets harder to remember them. So a dream journal that is at the other end of the room in relation to the dreamer is of no good.


    Dream Recall

    Some people are naturally better at remembering dreams than others. However after using the dream journal for a while it should be relatively easy to remember dreams. The whole point of remembering dreams in relation to lucid dreaming is this: dreams tend to have similar patterns and certain signs showing that they are that - dreams. Once one is able to remember a dream it get easier and easier to spot similarities between them. Doing this helps improve awareness while dreaming. Spotting signs in dreams such as a clock saying one time and then a vastly different time a moment later clearly points one being in a dream and can potentially trigger a lucid dream. Tips for remembering dreams are:

    • Keeping the eyes closed upon waking
    • Staying still upon waking
    • Saying (or thinking) an affirmation before sleeping, such as "I will remember my dreams".

    Of course, there are other ways to help and everyone has their own ways of doing so.


    Reality Testing

    Is perhaps the most common method used by people to test whether or not they are dreaming. Using a particular test, whether it be an action or a particular observation, can result in a dreamer attaining a lucid dream if the particular test should fail as its results differ from those gained in real life. E.g. pinching one's self in a dream would be considered painless whereas in real life it would hurt. By practising the following tests during a dream one can probably tell they are dreaming: -

    • Looking at text on one's digital watch (remembering the words or the time), looking away, and looking back. The time will have most likely changed randomly and radically at the second glance or contain strange letters and characters. (Strangely, analogue watches do not usually change in dreams, while text and digital watches have a great tendency to do so.)
    • Flipping a light switch. Light levels rarely change as a result of the switch flipping in dreams.
    • Looking into a mirror; in dreams, reflections from a mirror often appear to be blurred, distorted, incorrect, or frightening.
    • Looking at the ground beneath one's feet or at one's hands. If one does this within a dream the difference in appearance of the ground or one's hands from the normal waking state is often enough to alert the conscious to the dream state.
    • Holding one's nose and mouth closed while attempting to inhale. If dreaming, one will find themselves breathing and aware.


    Wake Induced Lucid Dreams (WILD)


    This is perhaps the most difficult method to attain a lucid dream but also, potentially, the most successful way.

    These types of dreams occur when the sleeper enters REM sleep from the waking state without losing their self-awareness. To do this, one must recognize the hypnagogic stage (between being awake and asleep) and should one maintain self-awareness during that stage, they will eventually enter a lucid dream. There are many techniques for attaining a WILD but only a few will be mentioned here: -

    • It is easier to do so after sleeping for 37 hours or in the afternoon during a nap.
    • Counting
    • Imagining one's self climbing or descending stairs,
    • Chanting
    • Breathe control
    • Counting ones breaths
    • Concentrating on relaxing one's body from toes to head

    There are few unusual experiences that could arise during the transition into a WILD, such as: loud vibrations, a sequence of sounds and spinning sensations. Potentially scary experiences are sleep paralysis - where the dreamer is unable to move, all the while being awake and another is physically seeing imaginary images one is trying to dream about.


    Conclusion

    There are several ways one can help one's self to attain a lucid dream from keeping a dream journal to attempting to attain a WILD. However many more techniques exist and there are several tutorials here on Dreamviews that most assuredly help. Keep trying and remember practice makes perfect.


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