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    Thread: WILD Session 2: Timing

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      WILD Session 2: Timing

      Our second session is about a category often overlooked by other instructors, but to me its importance is paramount: timing. When, during a night’s sleep, should WILD be attempted?

      Though I may be burned as a heretic for saying so on this site, it is true that WILD is no better or worse than DILD, the other way we transition to lucidity. Though the techniques used to induce them seem to favor DILD on paper (with MILD being the technique of choice for DILD, though it is a good thing to learn for WILD mindsets as well), in the end -- after you've properly developed your lucid state of mind -- the only real difference between WILD and DILD is defined not by difficulty, but when you plan to initiate your LD.

      For instance, if you expect to have LD’s during your regular night’s sleep, you should not be attempting WILD when you go to bed at night. This is because it is extremely difficult to maintain your waking awareness through the quiet of delta sleep, which is the first phase of regular sleep and has its longest period right after you fall asleep at night. There is negligible REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during delta, and, though arguably some very interesting dreaming may happen during delta, it is not the sort of dreaming that accompanies REM or easily accommodates lucidity. Also called NREM, delta is the period during which your body and mind get much of their restoration done, so it’s not a terrible idea to let it occur without interruption anyway. It is better to practice DILD in this case, because with that technique you intentionally abandon waking consciousness for a time, since DILD’s are triggered within the dream.

      There are of course exceptions to this: if you are an accomplished practitioner of sleep (not dream) yoga, or “suffer” from narcolepsy, WILD at bedtime might be just the thing for you. Of course, I would imagine an expert at sleep yoga would have no reason to attend this class, so that might not matter. But if you are narcoleptic, you might have a tendency to slip right into REM upon falling asleep, so WILD at bedtime would be perfect for you.

      I read much of people setting their alarms during the night for arousal after a few hours of sleep. This to me is not the best of ideas, for a couple of reasons:

      First, alarms can shock you out of sleep and trigger your reticular system with a bit too much gusto (the reticular system is your natural mechanism for shutting off sleep and waking you up very quickly, a primitive reaction inherited from our distant ancestors’ need to leap out of the way of approaching predators, or put out the flames because their bearskin shirt was too close to the fire). This triggering – even if the alarm is from one of those pleasant “Zen Alarm Clocks” – could cause you to both lose track of the dream you were just in and make it difficult to go back to sleep. Also, setting an alarm means that you are forcing yourself awake at a specific time that might not agree with your regular sleep cycles, so doing so might cut short needed delta sleep or screw up your REM cycles. Better to gently rouse yourself after you’ve woken naturally following several hours of sleep. Everybody wakes up naturally several times during the night, even if they don’t remember. If you pay attention for a few days, you should be able to discover the times you drift into consciousness during the night.

      Okay, that’s when not to use WILD. When, you might ask, is the best time to use it?

      I would say that the very best time to use it is during Wake-Back-To-Bed (WBTB) after at least five hours of regular sleep, with a return to bed in less than 45 minutes or so after initial rousing. This will have you waking up when REM cycles are closer together than they are at the beginning of your night’s sleep, and thus and more likely to be encountered with WILD.

      Sleep cycles vary, so you might need to do some experimentation to find your optimum time to first rise for WBTB. That 45 minute maximum is important, because it means that you might get back to bed while your dreaming mind is still idling, and not completely shut off. So if you find yourself awake for an hour or two before lying down again, you might want to take a closer look at your schedule. More on WBTB in a minute…

      Another time, if slightly less optimum, for WILD is during napping, if that napping occurs well after your regular sleep cycle (over 12 hours since you went to bed the night before). It is less optimum because naps often occur with no REM or very discordant REM/hypnagogic imagery, and you could have trouble piecing together a dream, much less maintaining awareness. This of course varies as well, so if you have awesome dreams during naps, then by all means try WILD during them!

      Finally my favorite time to use WILD is during sleep, without ever fully waking up. This is apparently known these days as Dream Exit Initiated Lucid Dreams (DEILD). With DEILD you use the momentum of your current dream, be it non-lucid (NLD), lucid, or false awakening (FA), to carry your awareness through a very brief state of near-consciousness back into a dream state without losing track of the last dream and with the awareness you picked up during that moment of wakefulness. All without the annoying physical sensations encountered during regular WILD’s, save a brief nod to SP, if you’re paying attention. If you are exiting a LD, then the moment would simply amplify and maintain the awareness you’re already enjoying. If anyone is interested, we can discuss DEILD more later, after we get through the mechanics of WILD, because it really does work best if you already know how to WILD “normally.”

      Now back to WBTB:

      Timing-wise, WBTB seems fairly simple. That’s because it is. If you can find a time during late REM stages (again for me that’s after at least five hours of sleep, but it could be different for you), then all you need to do is get up, maybe have a glass of water, maybe a light snack, and think dreamy thoughts for a while before going back to bed and starting up a WILD. There’s really no more to it.

      Seriously; no more! What you should NOT do during WBTB are things that distract you from your upcoming WILD. That means NO TV, video games, texting, phone calls, or even vigorous physical activity. If you must do something during your wait (it’s only 45 minutes max, for God’s sake), try reading a book about dreams, or listen to music that is suitably dreamy. If you are a sort who meditates, this would be a good time to do so, again as long as it is done with dreaming in mind. Bottom line here is that WBTB is just a brief period of your overall night’s sleep; try not to attach daytime activities to it, as they will tend to send your dreaming mind into remission, which won’t help your WILD attempt at all.

      There. As you all no doubt assumed, timing is a fairly simple subject, though it can prove difficult to make happen properly. I probably did not need to dedicate an entire session to it, but I felt it that important, and I am confident that it is that ignored in the standard “Lie down, hold still, and wait” tutorials.

      This week’s homework is equally simple: Find a good time for WBTB. Don’t just assign a time either; really think about it. We all know our own sleep cycles, given that we live through them every night. So you should, with a little review, be able to determine both how long you require for a good night’s sleep (most people manage this in about five hours, though my wife insists she needs at least ten), and what day of the week is best for you to do WBTB with as little interruption as possible. Keep in mind also that you should always allot yourself a couple extra hours in each direction to account for your dreaming mind’s lack of a precise clock. In other words, don’t plan WBTB for 6am on a day where you have to get up at 7 for school or work. It also works best when the night before and day after are relatively innocuous, event-wise – so don’t try it during finals week, when you have to finish some special project for work, or after a night of hard partying.

      …And don’t forget to keep doing those RRC’s; they’re just as important as they were last week!

      Next Tuesday’s session covers Physical sensations…I’ll try not to disappoint!
      Last edited by Sageous; 06-17-2016 at 03:36 PM.

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