What are possible benefits of lucid dreaming? There are still discussions regarding beneficial or harmful influence of lucid dreaming on our body and mind. Why do we lucid dream? Is lucid dreaming dangerous? Is lucid dreaming real? Do we have to give it any consideration at all or just treat as any type of dream?
Dreaming and the study of dreams give way to a vast array of interesting scientific discussions. There is evidence that suggest that how well we dream and in particular having lucid dreams has a key effect on health and well being. The idea of lucid dreams has do to do with being able to have an awareness that you are dreaming and to some degree having a vivid to sparse recognition of what was in the dream and to the same degree feelings associated with the dream.
A lucid dream can go so far as to increase awareness beyond what a person would normally experience in a real life setting. For this reason people are interested in getting lucid dreaming tips and how to induce lucid dreaming. The interest is one of both spiritual interest and scientific interest. How to lucid dream easily and how to lucid dream instantly is a subject that is becoming one of the hottest topics on the web.
The Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
With an increase in awareness that lucid dreams have value for health and mental enhancement comes a greater degree of scientific scrutiny and in depth analysis.
Deep REM sleep has been known for it association with good health and the lack of it with ageing and atrophy toward the decline of the body. Like REM sleep lucid dream states have gained notoriety and a in depth discussion is merited. Lucid dreaming differs from REM because during a dream and one could be in a deep REM sleep state one becomes concise that they are dreaming to some degree.
Science also suggests that during early morning hours of sleep in which REM sleep is taking place that if one awakes for some reason these dreams seem to be ones they can remember to a varied degree. So from that stand point how to induce lucid dreaming can be done by awakening yourself during these deep REM sleeping hours which gives to lucid dreams.
The health benefits of lucid dreaming alone make it worth your time to look into lucid dreaming. The mental benefits of lucid dreaming that are indicated are mental clarity, enhanced cognitive abilities, and a greater feeling of well being had been reported from lucid dream research. For many there is also a spiritual increase in awareness of the world around them and a calming effect that is said lucid dreaming can bring about. Taking a closer look at the seven benefits of lucid dreaming:
1. Dealing with Nightmares
Dr La Berge and other researchers have suggested that lucid dreams can be used as an effective therapy for countering nightmares, and it is not hard to see why. Once you become aware that you are dreaming, and you go fully lucid, then you realize that really there is nothing to fear from your dream experience: no consequence and no physical or mental harm.
Experienced lucid dreamers know that fear is best countered in a dream by facing the source – when it usually melts away or transforms into something far more interesting. There are numerous accounts of monsters turning into enticing lovers when the dreamer confronts their fear and faces the monster. The lessons for our waking lives are obvious; only by facing fear can we dispel it.
Research has also shown that calming dream imagery can enhance waking performance, and lead to physical and mental healing, and alleviate pain.
2. Assist in Healing
You could try to use lucid dreams to overcome phobias, or deal with a bereavement.
Upon the death of my father, I met him several times when I was lucid dreaming and was able to say things that had gone unsaid – which helped me enormously with my grief. Whether I actually made some metaphysical link with him is something that I remain unsure about, but I certainly felt better for our dream meetings.
Other potential application benefits of lucid dreaming include treatment of stroke and spinal cord injury patients to promote the recovery of neuromuscular function or counter sensory loss.
3. Dream Analysis
Speaking of therapy, lucid dreams are a very helpful tool of dream analysis. It is true that the classic dream analysis makes no reference to lucid dreaming, working primarily with our usual dreams.
Some people believe that lucidity interferes with the “natural” course of the dream, thus making the lucid dreams ineligible for analysis.
However, the levels of lucidity vary greatly and, although the dreamer is in control of some aspects of his or her dream, it usually doesn’t involve major dream events. It is more like lucid dreaming is a type of interaction between the dreamer and the dream environment and dream characters.
Lucid dreaming enables a dreamer to start analysis already within a dream. This may sound like a paradox but in fact not that different from an old technique of continued dream.
The technique is quite simple: upon awakening don’t get up but try to recall your dream, begin to sort the images and think what the meaning of the dream could be. Meanwhile, you’ll start dosing off and eventually fall asleep for another short period. Now, however, you are most likely to slip directly into a REM-phase and dream another dream. This dream will be connected to the imagery of the previous, the one you were pondering on before. In this second dream there are often tips and key-images valuable for the analysis.
Lucid dreaming isn’t that different from this old and useful practice.
Your awareness within a dream facilitates the work with the images and dream characters, who you may ask directly of their origin and purpose.
Moreover, in-dream analysis makes you go over the events of the previous dream in your mind, which greatly improves dream-recall.
4. Practice, Rehearsal and Problem Solving
That we generally believe our dreams to be true in the moment of experiencing them is due to the fact that they are extraordinarily vivid and convincing. Our minds produce mental imagery so realistic that we are fooled into thinking that dreams are real. But once you realize that they are not, you are by no means denied the opportunity of treating the dream as a rehearsal for real life.
Actors have practiced their lines when lucid dreaming, speakers have rehearsed speeches – just about any artistic performance or other performance can have its first run through whilst lucid dreaming.
You may be surprised to know that research has shown that brain activity during REM (dream sleep) is almost exactly the same as brain activity during waking life. This means that we have all our faculties during dream sleep and are able to make decisions and take action just as we would in normal life.
Accordingly, we can exercise skills and make rational judgments – try things out – which can then assist us with preparation for waking life. Similarly, the potential for creativity and problem solving is well established.
Dreams produce at times highly bizarre experiences – often due to the incongruity of events, but this juxtaposing of unusual items can lead to novel thought, a new ideas – the thinking ‘outside of the box’ so often lacking in real life.
5. Adventure and Fantasy
This is what first attracted me to lucid dreaming. The potential for wild adventure, fantasy, freedom, escapism, colour, and joy – lucid dreaming can add a whole new experiential dimension to your life.
Many people like to fly in lucid dreams, they discover new worlds, or meet old ‘dream friends’ over a course of several dreams.
Sexual exploration is an obvious favorite. It is not uncommon for people to describe their experiences when lucid dreaming as being amongst the most wonderful experiences of their lives.
Lucid dreaming can be truly exhilarating. I believe, largely due to the sense of total freedom and lack of consequence one experiences. This is something that one cannot get from waking life.
6. Communication Outside Dreams
During lucid dreams, the body is completely paralyzed (a phase of sleep during REM) for which it was difficult initially to gather proof about the ability of the person who experiences a lucid dream to communicate with the world outside.
Keith Hearne, a British psychologist was the first scientist who worked out a method to provide that this is possible. He and his colleague Alan Worsley worked out a method whereby they could communicate with one another through eye movements – which is one part of the body not paralyzed during REM. This proved beyond doubt that a lucid dreamer can communicate during the dream with the outside world.
7. Used As A Tool Towards Enlightenment
Science has long since dissected and analyzed meditation. There have been pioneering studies on Dalai Lama and Tibetan monks conducted by Dr Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin (Madison).
The studies have showed beyond doubt that the brain changes during meditation to project electromagnetic waves associated with perception, awareness and consciousness. This answers to the question on why people who are adept at meditation can experience lucid dreaming easily and vice-versa.
Tibetan monks practice dream yoga, which is the original form of lucid dreaming. This is a practice that is more than 1000 years old.
Tibetan Buddhism uses lucid dreams as a gateway to the ultimate goal – enlightenment. The process here involves apprehending the dream and dissolving it completely to achieve a most pure state of consciousness that leads to enlightenment.
Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous?
After learning about benefits of lucid dreaming I’m sure many are curious to know; is having a lucid dream dangerous or is wild lucid dreaming dangerous?
Well it is not currently proven to be unhealthy or in anyway harmful, but it can have various effects on the dreamer. Some effects of lucid dreaming are controversial and have not been stated as proven facts. If you want to know is lucid dreaming dangerous, well here are some possible effects:
Lucid dreaming is used for different reasons. A person can do it for fun or as a means of escape for their everyday lives. If you think more about lucid dreaming than your day to day waking life then you might be addicted to lucid dreaming and may neglect important parts of your real waking life.
Once you begin your journey into lucid dreaming many people might see you as crazy due to the fact that not many have ever experienced or even heard of a lucid dream. You start speaking about what you experience and those that don’t know or understand it will find you a bit weird.
This might not be a major problem but can be a bit annoying. Having lucid dreams that to the dreamer are somewhat real it becomes harder to know what really happened and what was actually part of dream. Even though this might not be seriouse there are things that the lucid dreamer should be on the look out for to avoid more serious problems. They are:
- Being able to not notice when one is experiencing what should be a high level of pain.
- Finding proof of doing something that you might not remember doing.
- Looking at yourself but feel like its another person.
- Not recognizing close relatives or friends.
- Getting dressed but not remembering doing it.
- Actually looking at something but it does not seem real to you.
Experiencing any of these symptoms, the lucid dreamer should take a break or refrain from lucid dreaming until they get their waking moments in order. One should not get so involved in lucid dreaming that they can no longer tell the difference between what is real and what is not.
This can greatly affect people of all ages. A child will have mental problems in school and when surrounded by family and friends. An adult can have trouble at work, with day to day responsibilities, and caring for their family. Once the dream world and the real world begin to cross in your mind then its time to stop.
Is lucid dreaming dangerous? Its not proven unhealthy or unsafe but at the same time yes, it can have a serious effect on your REAL daily life. Its not to say that you should now be afraid of lucid dreaming. It can be a lot of fun but be aware of your limits and know when to draw the line before it has greater effects than just a fun time asleep.