Lucid dreaming is a state when a person becomes aware and sometimes even active in their dream. Sounds out-of-this-world, and so it is. But, even though it’s hard to achieve such a high level of self-consciousness, yet it’s possible. And if you manage to do it, you can open a window to a whole new universe in your life.
Lucid dreaming is being talked about since the human race can remember. Even Aristotle had his realizations that “often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream.”
In the last century, Stephen LaBerge was the guy who did the most research about this aware state of dreaming. He discovered that lucid dreaming is happening during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. LaBerge also suggested that we have higher amounts of beta-1 frequency bands vibing from our brains during lucid dreaming. You’ve read that right, we all have our energy waves, and “vibing” is not only a cooler term for “connecting.”
Neuroscientists also found a gripping fact – people who tend to have lucid dreams more frequently also have a bigger prefrontal cortex – that’s the biggest part of the brain, right behind your forehead. This part is responsible for decision making, focusing attention, predicting consequences, and more. In other words – it’s what makes us conscious and being here and now. This fact suggests that active lucid dreamers are the ones who self-reflect more and like to overthink.
What’s in it for you
Lucid dreaming can actually be super beneficial for you and your psychological state as it can reduce your anxiety levels, improve your problem-solving skills and even make you more creative. If you suffer from frequent nightmares, lucid dreaming can help you get rid of it. First of all – you can acknowledge that you are in a dream, and second – you may even control it or stop it.
Steps Towards Lucid Dreaming
Test the reality
Verifying if you are awake or reality testing is the first technique to train your mind for lucid dreaming. During the day, ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?” several times. You can also check via your visual sense – look at the mirror and check if your reflection doesn’t look odd. Or check out your hands – they may look funny in a dream. Keep doing reality checks frequently to grow a pattern.
Program your mind or the Inception trick
The same lucid dreaming enthusiast LaBerge discovered a way to ask your mind for help. He created a technique called Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD). The main thing using MILD is to create an intention to remember that you’re dreaming (when you’re dreaming). To make it more doable, you can use the trick from the movie “Inception” when Leonardo DiCaprio (Cobb) used his wife’s “totem” to check if he’s on the other side of the mind. His totem worked differently in reality and in the dream (spinning top spinning forever in a dream and stopping in reality). While it can be hard to pick such an item, you can use a particular sign, something that can only be possible while dreaming, for example, flying. So, while falling asleep, think of your dreaming sign – flying – and tell yourself to remember when you’re dreaming. Then, your mind can actually implement what you have programmed it to do.
Keep track of the dreaming diary
Journaling your dreams may be very effective in becoming more conscious about your dreams. When you write down every detail of your recent dream, your brain will learn to recognize the signs of dreaming. Then, every time you wake up, start journaling about your dream instantly – it’s the best way to remember the dream most vividly.
Lucid dreaming might be exciting and thrilling for some and scary for others. If the idea already hooks you, try the steps mentioned above and explore the world where flying, changing scenarios, and teleporting is actually possible.