WHAT: HOW TO LUCID DREAM
Imagine your every wish came true the instant they popped into your mind. Wanna fly? Journey to the center of space? Sleep with your favorite celebrity? Surf a mile-high wave of vintage champagne? What if all you had to do was think it, and hey presto, it appears faster than the speed of thought. But such things are the stuff of dreams, right?
But what if there was a way to take total command of the dreamscape? To appoint yourself the creator of your surroundings, and everything therein your servant? What if you could take off on the champagne surfboard, surf to the center of space, and land directly in bed with the partner of your dreams, using just the power of thought? Learning how to lucid dream allows you to do exactly that.
What is a Lucid Dream?
A lucid dream is any dream in which you realize that you’re dreaming and manage to remain asleep. If you can do that, then your imagination is your playground. No boundaries, no rules, and no limits. It´s a place where everything you can conceive is within easy grasp. And all of it; everything you see, hear, touch, and do appears as authentic, tangible, and visually detailed as waking reality.
If that sounds too good to be true, then consider that as well as anecdotal reports, sleep scientists have produced volumes of data that confirm lucid dreaming to be a very real thing. In fact, lucid dreaming is a widely researched skill set that can be acquired like any other skill. Through practice. If you put your mind to it, accessing and taking control of this virtual fantasy land may be easier than you think.
Some, but not all lucid dreamers claim a written dream diary helps increase concentration and awareness while traversing the dreamscape. Beyond that, the most widely used and reliable technique is MILD (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams).
The MILD Method (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams)
Data proves the deepest sleep occurs around 5 hours into the sleep cycle. The MILD lucid dreaming technique involves deliberately waking yourself while you’re in this deep sleep. The MILD lucid dreaming technique proceeds as follows:
- Set your alarm for 5 hours after you go to bed.
- When your alarm goes off, get up, read, potter around, anything to stay awake for the following 30–60 minutes.
- Go back to bed. As you doze off keep repeating the mantra “I will remember I´m dreaming, and I will lucid dream.”
It really is that simple.
Lucid Dream Reality Testing
Once the show begins, it´s time for reality testing; a simple technique to confirm that you´re actually dreaming, somewhat like pinching yourself if you win the lottery. In the film Inception, Leo Dicaprio`s character references this technique with a spinning top. During waking life, this object would eventually stop rotating. However, in the dream world, it continues to spin.
Veteran Lucid dreamers say one of the best reality tests is to grab a book, magazine, or anything with written text. It’s known that while dreaming, the areas of the brain responsible for text recognition are also asleep. The mind is incapable of simultaneously authoring and reading words, which is why written text within the dreamscape appears nonsensical and garbled. Others like to look at the palm of their hand, and claim if they can´t make out lines, they know they´re dreaming.
Live the dream
Once you´ve confirmed your dreaming, try something beyond your skill set, like a backflip. Or, even something impossible, like running up a wall or twisting your wrist 720 degrees. Once you´ve got the basics down, the list of ridiculously cool things to do and see is confined only to your imagination. Wanna fly? Say it. Or, even simpler, just think it and do it.
- For most, lucid dreaming is safe and fun. However, a small minority claim lucid dreaming to be scary and leaves them feeling isolated and confused.
- A tiny portion of lucid dreamers have claimed it leads to sleep paralysis; a terrifying condition where the subject is conscious, unable to move, and powerless to prevent terrifying open-eye hallucinations. Most notably, the presence of intruders in their room.
- Serious scientists believe that lucid dreaming offers valuable insights into the nature of consciousness. It’s been claimed that actively induced lucid dreaming can help sufferers of chronic nightmares to banish the demons by simply wishing them away.
- Research has shown that performing an action in a dream activates the same nerve endings as performing that action for real. It’s thought that by injecting life into dormant nerve endings, lucid dreaming could prove beneficial for those with nervous system damage.
- Some lucid dreamers claim that the dreamscape is the perfect place to discover solutions that help further their real-world ambitions. Artists have claimed lucid dreaming offers unimaginable sources of inspiration. Coders claim to have been shown the algorithms they sought.