Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Like Dreaming Lucid Dreaming

What is a lucid dream? A lucid dream is when the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. A lucid dream can begin as a normal dream and then the dreamer can control how the dream ends. Have you ever changed how your dream was ending and decided to go back to another part of the dream and start over? This type of lucid dream is known as dream-initiated lucid dream or DILD. Another type of lucid dream is wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD) that occurs when the dreamer goes from a normal waking state directly into a dream state with no lapse in consciousness. Dreams are very important to sleep. According to an article published in the Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Dr. J. Allan Hobson, a psychiatrist and long time sleep researcher disputed the main function of the rapid-eye-movement sleep cycle (REM) where most dreaming occurs, is physiological.

[caption id="attachment_1588" align="alignright" width="275" caption="I like dreaming - lucid dreaming can make you mine"][/caption]

He states that the brain is foreseeing site, sounds and emotions of waking which explains why people forget their dreams. When a person runs, the body doesn’t remember every step, but it knows it has exercised. The same idea plays here as dreams are altering the mind for conscious awareness. Dreaming is a parallel state of consciousness that is continually operating but normally suppressed during waking hours. This might explain why we drift off during the day and daydream.

This new approach about dreaming is partial based on the findings about REM sleep. Research has found that REM is detectable in humans very early in life, in the third trimester for humans, well before a developed child has experienced dreaming. The fetus may be visualizing something long before their eyes ever open. Objects and emotions in their dreams appear later in life.

Many people can remember their dreams upon awakening and keep a dream journal or try to interpret their meaning. A recent study at the Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard found that people remember negative dreams more than positive dreams. Negative dreams cause a person to wake up during the night and find it harder to fall back to sleep without visualizing the nightmare when they close their eyes. I bet you have jolted yourself awake if you were dreaming of falling off a cliff, running from someone that was going to harm you or your house was on fire. When I was little I had a lot of fire dream that woke me up and sometimes I couldn’t go back to sleep until I thoroughly searched the house. One time I saw the pilot light on the furnace and woke my parents up to make sure that it was okay. Sometimes the best way to get a nightmare out of your head is to get up for 15-20 minutes and watch/read something funny before trying to fall asleep again.

Eventually I was able to control the ending of my fire dreams where I could fly over the fire. Flying in dreams is quite common for dreamers who achieve a state of lucid dreaming and even though I may have been flying to avoid something, the flying in and of itself is still an enjoyable dream activity.

[caption id="attachment_1589" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Flying Dreams mean Life is Good"][/caption]

Lucid dreams occur during the period between sleep and fully awake, but some experience lucid dreams while sleepwalking or having night terrors which represent muscle activity and NREM sleep. The sleep disorder narcolepsy shows that people are in a state of REM during daytime wakefulness. Lucid dreams have elements of both REM and of waking and researchers have also found that when you go to bed at night and at the point when you close you will experience a flash of your last dream. To remember a lucid dream will help you to fall asleep easier.

Dream recall or the ability to remember your dreams or even part of one is your first step towards lucid dreaming. Better recall increases the awareness of your dreams and one way to improve dream recall is to keep a dream journal. Keeping a record of your dreams upon wakening is better because as the day goes on you will forget details. When I get up, I take notes of important dream keywords that help me later remember my entire dream when posting it in my journal. I also draw parts of my dream if I can remember them. The best way to recollect your dream is before opening your eyes when you wake up and repeat the dream over and over in your head because the more you remember the more details you can recall. Other ways to improve recall your dream is to stay perfectly still in the morning or using autosuggestion before falling asleep. (Repeat: “I will remember my dreams” before fall asleep). Experienced people that can recall their dreams force themselves awake when they feel their lucid dream is coming to an end so they can record the dream while fresh in memory.

Wake-initiated lucid dreams or WILD happens when a sleeper enters REM directly from the waking state. The key to entering WILD is recognizing when you are in the stage between being awake and being asleep or the hypnagogic stage. If you are aware of this stage a person can enter their dream while lucid. People have a higher rate of success when they change from a monophasic sleep pattern to a biphasic sleep pattern. This means it is easier if you sleep for 3-7 hours or during a nap than sleeping for 8-9 hours straight. Techniques for inducing WILD is different for each individual, some use breathing methods, some chant to themselves while others concentrate on relaxing their body from head to toe. I tend to tell myself a story and when I can’t feel my body I know I am close to falling asleep. When you are in REM sleep your mind is very active but your body is near paralysis other than the muscles of the eye and the middle ear. This is why you do not act out your dreams during sleep. Experiencing sleep paralysis is a necessary part of WILD, in which dreamers essentially detach their "dream" body from the paralyzed one.

The content provided in I Like Dreaming Lucid Dreaming is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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    You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.

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  3. Tonight, I will be consciously informed of my dream.
    Put like that, it sounds simultaneously easy annd scary.
    Because if you have tbis great vision of you retiring on
    your own private beach but deep down you don.