Hey everyone, I did a research on lucid dreaming a few weeks ago when I was bored and as I find this topic very interesting, I thought I could post it here for other people to see and maybe learn something new. Hope you enjoy ♥

I will be including a general summary, methods, benefits and risks.

What is it?

It’s a dream in which you are aware of the fact that you're dreaming. Some can even manipulate the dream and completely take control over it.

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When does it happen?

During the REM part of sleep where you’re brain starts working again. REM occurs multiple times a night. They usually happen unconsciously but they can be intentional.

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Methods

There are four effective methods to get you to lucid dream:

  • Reality check: during the day, try checking if you’re dreaming ( putting your hand through a wall, checking and rechecking the time to see if it changes... ). This will train your brain to do it while you sleep and it can help you take control. ( this method takes practice, might take a long time to master )
  • WBTB ( wake up back to bed ): Set an alarm for five hours after you go to sleep. When it goes off turn around, check the time on your alarm and go back to sleep. This automatically puts you in REM and increases your chances of lucid dreaming. ( this is what unintentionally happened to me when I had my lucid dream, I can say that it’s effective, no practice required )
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  • MILD ( mnemonic induction of lucid dreams ): Repeat to yourself that you will be aware that you’re dreaming before falling asleep. This is a method of persuasion. ( this one should be effective but it requires practice and might take a long time to master )
  • WILD ( wake initiated lucid dreams ): You lay down without moving until you enter a certain state where you’re mind is awake but body is asleep. Think of what you want the dream to be about while waiting. ( this one is the riskiest, it may require practice but it can also be effective )
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Benefits

Lucid dreaming can help with disorders such as:

  • reoccurring nightmares ( if you’re aware that it’s just a dream, you can confront it and surpass it )
  • anxiety ( anxiety is often caused by the feeling of loosing control over a situation, however you should be able to control a lucid dream and that’s why it’s relieving )
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  • depression ( often experienced as a numb, sad state, lucid dreams can make you happy and/or feel something )
  • PTSD ( same as nightmares, you confront your trauma and attempt to solve it )
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Risks

It also comes with various risks so do not try it if you’re mental health is bad because, even though it's rare, it can cause schizophrenia. In other cases:

  • sleep paralysis: if you start panicking in your dream ( loosing control over it, not being able to wake up ) you might enter a sleep paralysis ( they’re usually short but still terrifying ) ( most likely to happen when using WILD )
  • sleep disorder: constantly waking up messes up your sleep quality which can lead to various types of sleep disorders ( most likely to happen when using WBTB )
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  • derealization: you might find yourself not being able to tell reality apart from dreams ( having a dream journal helps prevent this but in case of bad mental health can lead to schizophrenia ) ( most likely to happen when using MILD )
  • increase in depression: if you already suffer from depression, a messed up sleep schedule can increase it ( most likely to happen when using WBTB and WILD )
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How to wake up

Even though you should be able to wake up normally, if you get “stuck”:

  • go to sleep in the dream: this will tell you’re brain that dream time is over and that it needs to go back to reality.
  • scream: your brain takes this as a signal that something is wrong, automatically waking you up.
  • fall: the feeling of falling should trigger your brain into waking up.
  • read a book: you’re brain isn’t used to doing this while dreaming, it should wake you up.
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In conclusion

Lucid dreaming is pretty harmless if in a right mental state but it still contains risks. Be sure to do it with a method that fits you.

The most risky one: WILD
The most effective one: WBTB, WILD
The most harmless one: Reality check

Remember, DO NOT PANIC if you can’t wake up. Stay calm and try one of the waking methods. Unless, you may enter a sleep paralysis. Also, don't try flying if you're still new at it, you'll end up falling and waking up.

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If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you watch Inception. It's a very interesting movie that's based on using lucid dreams for your own interests and how it can go really wrong ( keep in mind that not everything done in the movie is actually possible, it's sci-fi ).

That's it for this article, thanks for reading :) If you maybe want to check out my profile or my other articles, they're linked below.
Marta ✧

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