By Ari Liakeas
Have you ever had a dream so vivid that it was hard to decipher whether it was actually real or not when you awoke? Sometimes our dreams can be incredibly fun, taking us on adventures we never even dreamed (no pun intended) of having.
Nightmares can happen too, and they can be extremely frightening. We wish we hadn’t let our imagination take us to that scenario. But what if we could have control of our dreams and the story happening in them? It is possible! Buckle up, and let me tell you how lucid dreaming can change your sleep.
Dreams Are Important!
Most of us have around four or six dreams a night, and these flights of fancy can help us learn how our subconscious processes events in our waking world. They can assist us in figuring out how to deal with stuff happening in our lives and maybe heal some of the issues we are experiencing.
So, wouldn’t it be fantastic to remember the advice or clarity we received in our sleep? To enjoy the sweet, fun or exciting dreams we have? Or even be able to control the narrative and where our imagination takes us?
I am all up for having some exciting sleep-time adventures.
What Is Lucid Dreaming?
Most people aren’t even aware they are dreaming. Many of us can’t remember them when we wake up or just remember small snippets. Sometimes we don’t dream at all.
And then there are those times when we clearly remember almost every detail. Or we are aware that we are dreaming while in the moment. This is when we have what is called a lucid dream.
During lucid dreams, there is a connection between our unconscious state and our awareness state, allowing us to remember, be conscious and sometimes even control what is happening. It’s mindful dreaming in practice!
How To Lucid Dream
If you want to enter the magical world of lucid dreaming and take more control of your sleepy thoughts and visions, here are some easy steps to get started.
- Sleep Habits: A good, healthy bedtime routine will help you achieve sleep cycles with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It is during this stage that we dream. The better the quality of sleep, the easier lucid dreaming should become.
- Journaling: Keeping a dream journal is one of the easiest ways to start, helping us decipher the events of the day and emotional responses to our environment. A lot of the time, dreams help us organise and process emotions in an abstract way. Journals can document how we are feeling and reacting and assist us in gaining a greater understanding of ourselves to bring about moments of clarity.
- Meditation: Maintaining a consistent meditation practice assists in bringing more awareness and mindfulness to our dreaming sessions. The practise of lucid dreaming is a form of meditation.
- Reality Testing: Think, “pinch me, I must be dreaming!” doesn’t make sense? Then you are wrong! In lucid dreaming, you should test what is real and imagined.
- Techniques To Try: The mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD) and the wake back to bed (WBTB) methods can unlock your power to lucid dream. Try them out!
What Are The Benefits?
Why is lucid dreaming a good idea? What are the main benefits of controlled sleep adventures, and how can they bring us a more balanced, fulfilled and well-rested life?
For those who suffer from night terrors, lucid dreaming can help overcome or reduce recurring nightmares, particularly those brought on by stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia and survivors struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
It can increase awareness in our waking world and provide us with more clarity and control, bringing improvements in mental, emotional and physical well-being and problem-solving.
Lucid dreaming can also bring about feelings of empowerment and confidence in ourselves, a pretty fantastic benefit if you ask me!
It can be used as a form of meditation or as a type of therapy, perhaps where other treatments aren’t having such a profound effect.
Many excellent platforms help develop techniques and a deeper understanding of the practice, such as Gaia, which has documentaries on the subject. There is also a world full of books on the topic, including studies and techniques on how to master the art of lucid dreaming.
However, I must point out that although lucid dreaming can be an excellent meditation practice and can be healing, there are potentially some adverse effects. Disturbed sleep patterns and fatigue, confusion or mind fog between dreaming and reality can trigger mental health issues. So, perhaps it will not be compatible for everyone.
If you would like to try Lucid dreaming but aren’t sure if it is suitable for you, please consult an LDT practitioner for further advice and proceed with caution. Sweet lucid dreams!