A lucid dream is when you are conscious and aware during a dream while your body is sleeping. It may sound strange, but it is entirely possible to do this.
Perhaps you have never experienced a lucid dream. If it is something that interests you, this article will guide you in the right direction. We will give you five steps which, if you follow, should give you the desired results.
What are Lucid Dreams, Anyways?
Lucid dreams are vivid and you are more likely to remember this type of dream rather than a normal dream which usually fades as the day passes. As we have said, you are aware during a lucid dream and with time and practice, you can even get to the stage where you are controlling the dream. This is useful if you are having a nightmare and you want it to stop.
Some people believe that only certain people can have a lucid dream, such as spiritualists, but this isn’t true. Most of us have the ability to lucid dream and it isn’t dangerous as long as you take the right steps.
How Long Does it Take to Start Lucid Dreaming?
The length of time it takes to start lucid dreaming varies from person to person. There are some people who can just do it the first or second time around. However, most people need some preparation and training.
If you are already having vivid dreams, it probably won’t take you long to learn how to have a lucid dream. If you meditate, it is more likely that you will learn how to lucid dream in no time at all. However, if you don’t often remember your dream and find it hard to meditate, it may take longer to induce lucid dreams. You will probably need to develop certain sleep and dream habits which we will explain in this article.
Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous?
While lucid dreaming produces vivid dreams, it’s not dangerous. It’s not like taking certain drugs that induce hallucinations. This is dangerous; lucid dreaming isn’t. Some people might not enjoy the experience, but others will find it mind-blowing.
Lucid dreams like normal dreams will have symbols and themes that you will need to interpret. These dreams will also cause you to feel a range of emotions, be it happiness, sadness, fear, anxiety,contentment, and a whole lot more. Sometimes you will be presented with feelings you don’t want to deal with in your waking life.. However, the dream will be telling you that it is time to face up to whatever is causing you such deep emotions.However, with the dreams being so vivid, it may be difficult for some people to cope with them.Making yourself relax before may help put you in the right frame to deal with strong emotions.
There are generally no side effects from lucid dreaming. The only possibility of a physical side effect is sleep paralysis.when you wake up. This means that you are awake, but can’t move. Your mind is awake, but your body isn’t and it can be a little frightening. However, it isn’t that common unless you are prone to sleep paralysis anyway and it will only take a little while to wake up out of sleep paralysis, minutes, if not seconds. If this does happen to you, you just need to understand that this isn’t dangerous and accept it as part of lucid dreaming. There is no need to be afraid.
Some people suffer from sleep disorders, like sleep apnea. If you do experience something like this, it is probably better if you talk to your doctor before starting to learn how to lucid dream. However, many doctors may not be aware of lucid dreaming as it is more of a spiritual experience rather than a physical one.
Lucid Dreaming is Not for Everyone and That’s OK
Some people can find lucid dreaming frightening. The dreams can be so real that we may feel afraid to go to bed.That’s okay. If lucid dreaming isn’t for you, you don’t have to practice any of the steps we are going to tell you about. This should lessen your chances of having a lucid dream.
Other people might find that lucid dreaming is worrying. Perhaps they don’t want to remember everything they dream about and would just like a good night’s sleep. Again that’s okay.
On the other hand, there will be people who want to have lucid dreams, but aren’t able to. They can feel that they are missing out on a great experience. This article should help you if you are one of these people.
If you are worried or frightened, you can take measures to stop lucid dreams. One of the simplest things you can do is to tell yourself that you’re not going to have lucid dreams. Say this when you go to bed. Quite often, the last things you think about before going to sleep will work their way into the deepest reaches of your brain. For most people, they have to practice lucid dreaming, so chances are that you won’t have lucid dreams if you don’t take the appropriate steps. After all, you wouldn’t fly in a helicopter if you were afraid of crashing. Nor would you want to go in an elevator (See also elevator dream meaning) if you were claustrophobic. You wouldn’t hold a tarantula if you were afraid of spiders. So, if you are afraid of lucid dreaming, don’t do it. The most important thing is to get a good night’s sleep and wake refreshed and recharged.
How to Have Lucid Dreams
Now for those of you who are excited about having lucid dreams, we will give you five steps to follow which will hopefully lead you to have interesting and exciting lucid dreams. Of course, a lot will depend on your sleep and dream patterns. The more real your dreams already are, the more likely it is that you will have lucid dreams. However, don’t let this put you off. If your regular dreams are vague and you can’t always remember them, you can still learn how to have lucid dreams.
Step 1: Start with Good Dream Habits
The first thing you need to do is keep a dream journal. Write in it as soon as you wake up to keep the dream fresh in your mind. Writing your dreams down can give you a better insight into them. You might find a theme running through your dreams and perhaps it needs to be explored more deeply. Try and concentrate on this before you go to sleep to try and induce a lucid dream about this subject. It will give you a better chance of interpreting your dreams.
Another thing you can do is to talk to family and friends to see if they have had lucid dreams. This could help you feel more comfortable about this type of dream. Other people may also give you tips about how they have achieved lucid dreaming.
What is even more important is to get a good night’s sleep. This will help you to dream. There are certain things that you can do before bed to ensure that you have a decent sleep.
- Don’t eat spicy food or a heavy meal, or drink alcohol or caffeine right before you go to bed. These things can interrupt your sleep quality. Perhaps a glass of whiskey may send you to sleep, but it may wake you up at times that you are not dreaming.
- Sit in low lighting for a couple of hours before you go to bed. This will help you to relax.
- Don’t use electrical appliances such as the television, your computer, video games, or your cell phone right before bed. They can make your mind whizz around with all sorts of information which may stop you sleeping. Instead, you need to be laid back.
- Each night, practice deep breathing before you go to sleep. You could also try to meditate.
Before you start trying to lucid dream, it is a good idea to spend some time learning about dreams and their meanings. If you have written in a dream journal, try and interpret the whole dream with all its symbols. It is a good idea to read through a dream dictionary and try to learn the meaning of symbols and themes in dreams.
Before you go to bed, it is an idea to write down any problems you want help with and anything else in your life that you are interested in. Perhaps have a separate section for these comments in your dream journal. Writing down your ideas can make them seem real and makes it easier for these thoughts to manifest themselves in your dreams.
Your bedroom can also influence your dreams. Decorte it to your style, something that you feel comfortable sleeping in. Think of your bedroom not only as somewhere you sleep, but your sanctuary for dreaming.
You will need to have patience and not give up if your intentions don’t match your dreams. It can take a few weeks of practice to begin having the type of lucid dreams that you want. Don’t give up. Some people will start having lucid dreams before others and that’s okay.
Step 2: Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Life
The second step that you should take if you want to have lucid dreams is to practice mindfulness. This is the ability to be present in the moment and to be aware of where you are. If you can do this in your waking life, it should transcend into your dreams. Why not try out the following exercises.They are all easy.
Surroundings Exercise: If it’s not pouring with rain (see also rain dream meaning), it’s a good idea to sit outside and take in everything around you. Use as many senses as you can in order to get the full picture. Perhaps you feel the sun warming your body. Maybe you hear the moo of a herd of cows. Perhaps you can smell some roses (see also roses dream symbols). Even if you live in a city you can do this. You may hear the hooting of car horns, or smell the scent of curry drifting out of an Indian restaurant. Each day, you may experience something new. It is a good idea to take a few deep breaths while you are out there and just take in everything surrounding you.
A Relaxing Cup of Tea: Nothing is more relaxing than a hot cup of tea. However, perhaps you don’t like tea. Have coffee instead or hot chocolate, anything that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.Take a couple of deep breaths and then stir the drink. Take a sip and taste it properly. Think about how it feels in your mouth, smell any aromas coming from it, and then swallow. However, don’t drink mindlessly. Enjoy each sip of the liquid.
Mindful Doodling: Doodling is a good way to keep your mind focused. Choose one shape and start doodling. It can be anything, stars, squares, circles, or hexagons for example. Keep doodling the same shape while concentrating on what you are doing.
Try out these exercises and maybe think of some of your own. Anything that keeps your mind focused on the moment is good. Doing this while you are awake should translate into your dreams. It will help you to focus on the most important symbols in your dreams.
Step 3: Practice Reality Checks
Reality checks will ground you into the physical world and as a result, your dreams should become more realistic. Let’s just first take the example of looking in a mirror. In real life you will see yourself reflected. In a dream, however, you could see almost anybody. If you stroke your cat, it will probably purr. If you stroke your cat in a dream, it could turn into a lion and roar at you. Keep doing reality checks throughout the day. Be aware of everything. Knock on a door, turn on your CD player, pinch yourself, or throw a ball in the air and catch it.
Step 4. Try the Wake Back to Bed Method
This lucid dream technique is backed by scientific research so is definitely worth trying. Of course, results can easily vary from person to person. It is very simple to perform so you have nothing to lose by trying it out. If it doesn’t work the first time, you can always try again.
To try out this method, go to bed and then tell yourself what time you want to wake up. You will be looking for a time that is before you need to wake up. If you decide to do this, a good time frame would be around five hours after you have gone to bed. This is about the time you would be in your REM sleep when you will be dreaming. Your brain is active at this time so if you wake and then fall back to sleep, you are more likely to have a lucid dream.
However, this won’t work for everybody. Some people could be deep sleepers so would find it difficult to wake up on command. Others could be light sleepers and although they might wake up easily, they might find it hard to fall back to sleep. For many people, once they are awake, they are awake and they need to get up.
Perhaps you don’t trust the method of just telling yourself what time to wake up. If so, set an alarm clock or ask somebody else in the house to wake you. Perhaps somebody wakes up early naturally.
The best thing to do when you wake up is to lie in bed and keep telling yourself that you want a lucid dream. Think about the dream you were having when you woke up and decide if you want to carry on with this dream or if you want to dream about something else. Perhaps state the intentions you wrote in your dream journal. Think about people, places (see also places dream meanings), objects you would like to explore. All this should help you to have a lucid dream. Close your eyes and let yourself drift off. Use your imagination as you fall asleep and you will hopefully have a lucid dream. Stay in your dream world as you drift off. This won’t work for everybody, but give it a go and persevere if you don’t get results the first time around.
The steps so far are a good beginning and introduction to lucid dreaming. Some people will easily be able to do this, but others may have to work hard to get results. It can be a mixture of physics, biology, and conscious development that will lead to lucid dreaming.
However, we have a final step for you to try and then some additional things that you can incorporate into your everyday day.
Step 5: Keep Trying
This is a simple step. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Most things we do in life need a little practice and lucid dreaming is no exception. If you follow the steps we have given you, the chances are high that you will be able to have lucid dreams. The way you act in your waking lives can also help. Reduce stress for a start. If you can do this you will be in a more relaxed frame of mind when you go to bed and this should allow you to dream naturally.
Should You Use Herbal nSupplements or Essential Oils for Vivid Dreaming?
Some people use herbal supplements, essential oils, and aromatherapy to help induce lucid dreams. Perhaps you are wondering if this is a safe method. Well, if you do your research into these methods and learn about the uses of herbs and their side effects it should be. However, it is always worth seeking the advice of a professional before you start going down this path.
There are various herbs that are normally associated with both sleeping and memory. They will make sure that you are relaxed, but are still conscious enough to have lucid dreams. These herbs include chamomile, peppermint, lavender, valerian and ginkgo biloba.
There are some herbs marketed at ‘dream herbs’, but be careful with them. Some can be dangerous and can cause problems. Many of these herbs are psychedelic hallucinogens. Having a hallucination is definitely not the same thing as a lucid dream and you could experience side effects. Using them could result in something quite dangerous and even cause bodily harm. For example, you could think that you were jumping into a swimming pool, when in reality you are jumping off the second floor balcony.
‘Dream herbs’ aren’t usually regulated which makes them even more dangerous. There usually isn’t any scientific data behind them, and they can be contaminated even if they come from a legitimate source. You will find that many products are taken off the market quickly because people have had bad side effects.
One herb that isn’t recommended for lucid dreaming is the common mugwort. It belongs to the daisy family and can cause both hallucinations and unpleasant side effects especially for people with allergies. Taking this herb can result in skin irritations and rashes, It can also cause miscarriage (see also miscarriage dream meaning) in pregnant women.
When it comes to essential oils, diffusing lavender, cypress, or cedar wood can help you towards lucid dreaming. Just remember that if you have pets in the room you sleep in, these oils can be toxic.
It is best to use essential oils aromatically rather than topically. To actually put them on your skin can cause skin irritation, a rash, or even burns. Essential oils are extremely concentrated which adds to the danger risk and they should be used with respect. You can even add a little water to them when putting them in the diffuser.
Beware, however, that some companies sell essential oils that are not the real thing/ They can just be chemical compounds that are synthetic. They will not have the same effect and probably won’t encourage lucid dreams.
If you’re not sure which essential oil to purchase, read up about them, or, better still, consult a professional. Herbalists and aromatherapists can guide you on the right path. It will naturally cost you, but isn’t this better than having unpleasant side effects? If the subject really interests you, why not take a course that leads you to becoming a professional aromatherapist? In this way, you will be able to help others by setting up your own business. This is the best way to learn about essential oils and their uses.
Watch Out For Contamination and Street Drugs
There are unscrupulous people around and they may recommend certain drugs to you if you tell them that you want to have lucid dreams. Most of these people will think first of hallucinating drugs and this is not what you want. You need to know exactly what plant you are being given, the source, and the quality. Don’t just take the word of a friend of yours who is using the substance. They could have been fooled and might be using something that could be dangerous or basically have no effect whatsoever. Why waste money on a substance that doesn’t do what it is supposed to? Unfortunately, many people are fooled, even by people they trust, and it could lead to illness or death in the worst case scenario..
You can buy hallucinogenic drugs and ‘magic mushrooms’, but do you really want to take the risk? Not only won’t they be regulated, but they are probably illegal and you could end up in court, if not in jail (see also jail dream meaning).
One drug often thought of as being an aid to lucid dreaming is marijuana, but is it? Martijuana is a herb that can be legal in certain places, but in others it isn’t. Even in places where it is legal, it can often just be bought for medical reasons, not enjoyment. It is a drug that is often used in spiritual ceremonies and perhaps you think that this is a connection with lucid dreams. However, it isn’t something that can get us closer to a god. Lucid dreaming is more to do with developing your senses and connecting with your conscience. If you have never used marijuana before, it could give you some unpleasant side effects. In addition. If you aren’t familiar with street culture, you don’t really want to get involved. Starting with a mild drug which perhaps won’t give you the results you want could lead to you trying stronger drugs/ You don’t want to walk down that path.
It won’t surprise you to hear that many dealers aren’t honest. Some will add powdered down heavy metal into the marijuana to make it heavier. That way they will get more money for each sale. Even more unscrupulous dealers will add dangerous chemicals or other drugs to the mix. You won’t be surprised that even such things as household cleaners can be added which of course is unsafe. Some dealers are even more cheapskate and wil substitute other herbs for the marijuana. Oregano, for example, looks a lot like marijuana and someone who doesn’t know much about drugs could easily be fooled.
If marijuana is legal where you live, make sure that you buy it from a reputable seller.You need to get the perfect strain and one which has not been contaminated in any way, shape, or form. Perhaps grow it yourself as then you will know that it is pure.
Marijuana has the effect of putting you in a state of mild euphoria, but you could also become a little ‘spaced out’ so perhaps it isn’t the best herb to use if you want to dream lucidly. It can impair your memory, your ability to regulate your emotions, and can worsen your ability to learn. In addition, it can increase your risk of psychosis and hallucinations aren’t what you want.
Hopefully we have convinced you that you don’t need herbal supplements, aromatherapy, or even drugs to induce lucid dreaming. Yes, it can be tempting to look for shortcuts in your journey towards lucid dreams, but the risks are high and it is better to achieve the dreams in a natural way. Follow the steps we have outlined. Get yourself a dream journal. You will be able to see if there are themes and symbols running through your dreams and will also have the opportunity to write down what you would like to dream about. This will imprint your wishes on your mind especially if you do this just before bed. Make sure that you have peace and quiet before you go to bed and don’t take any stimulants like caffeine or alcohol. Breathe deeply a few times when you get into bed. Practice mindfulness and be aware of everything around you. Develop all five of your senses. Practice reality checks throughout the day to ground yourself in the physical world. This will help you to realize that what happens in a dream is usually a symbol. If you are still having problems, try waking up earlier than you would and going back to sleep. If you are in the middle of your REM period, you are more likely to have lucid dreams.
If you work hard at this, you will find that your dreams have more relevance to your life and are more authentic.They will help you to understand yourself and your close family and friends
The most important thing to say is ‘keep trying’. Don’t give up if you don’t have a lucid dream after a few days. It could take weeks to get into the state of lucid dreaming.but it will be worthwhile.
Hopefully this article has been useful and has spurred you on to try lucid dreaming. I hope too that we haven’t frightened you with our talk of herbal remedies and supplements. In reality, you don’t really need them as lucid dreaming (see also What Is Lucid Dreaming?) is a natural thing. Just avoid anything you feel isn’t genuine or factual. Then you will succeed.