Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lucid Dreaming: Waking in your sleep

     You may or may not have had a lucid dream. I know that I have not, but the idea of a lucid dream is very fascinating, and somewhat strange. The term Lucid dream was first coined by the Dutch psychiatrist, Fredrick Van Eeden. it is a dream in which the dreamer knows that he or she is dreaming, and can control his or her surroundings. So, you can do whatever you want in a lucid dream.
     Tibetan Buddhists were the first people to recognize lucid dreaming. They used lucid dreaming in an activity called Dream Yoga. It is used for recognizing the world for what it is, free from illusion. The goal is to achieve meta lucidity, which is when you "wake up from reality".
     Lucid dreaming itself occurs during REM, but Scientists did not believe it existed because of the lack of evidence. Steven Laverge proved the existence of lucid dreaming by using Electroencephalogram (EEGs) to measure brain activity. He then had subjects use pre-arranged eye movements to signal when they were lucid. When he got the signals, Laberge checked the EEGs to confirm that the subjects were sleeping, not faking sleep.
     Now that we have covered what exactly a lucid dream is, we can start covering what happens to you in a lucid dream. Earthly logic can get in the way in lucid dreams, because you think you are bound by physics, even though your brain allows anything in these dreams. Lucid dream actions are linked to human actions. For example, if you hold your breath in a lucid dream, then you hold your breath in your sleep. The motion sensors in the brain  are very active during lucid dreaming. That is why you remember flying and seeing things, and not aromas. Lucid dreams almost always occur in the morning.,
     So, how do you lucid dream if you don't normally do? The first step is to get enough sleep. Lucid dreaming occurs in REM, and each REM period is longer, so the longer your REM, the greater the chance you are to lucid dream. You can also keep a dream diary, which helps you recall dreams, because maybe you do lucid dream, but don't remember it when you wake up. If you want to fly in your dream, you could look at a picture of a flying person before you go to sleep, and think," I want to realize that I am in a dream, and fly in it." Steven Laberge says that you can wake up 1 hour before you normally wake up, recall your most recent dream that night, and go back to sleep, thinking that the next dream will be lucid.
     How do you know when you are dreaming? You can do reality checks many times a day. A reality check is when you make sure that you are not dreaming. You can look at a clock; if the numbers are not all jumbled up, you are not dreaming. Poke your hand; if your finger does not pass through your hand, then you are not dreaming. You must make sure that you think, "This is what it is supposed to be like in normal life, therefore I am dreaming."
     Lucid dreaming is like creating an alternate reality, with whatever and whomever you want. Anybody can accomplish this weird and wonderful thing, as long as you do the right things in order to achieve it.

All information is from the podcast, Oh the lucid dream we weave from Stuff To blow Your Mind by How Stuff Works.

1 comment:

  1. I had a dream that I was trying on bathing suits, when I woke up, I decided it must be time to buy a new one. But, in response to your post, I often wake up in the middle of the night in a dream state--Usually I think I see something that isn't really in my room. It is kinda creepy.