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Carinaponcho's avatar

What is the deal with lucid dreaming?

Asked by Carinaponcho (1369 points ) February 5th, 2013 from iPhone

Do you have experience with lucid dreaming? Do you know somehow who does? I’ve read many articles about it and I’ve seen YouTube videos. Can anybody tell me what it is like?

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11 Answers

Crumpet's avatar

I have done it a few times, but not for about a year.
With me it starts with waking up in the morning as normal, but noticing that things seem a bit strange, and then checking and double checking that i am dreaming, by pushing my finger through the middle of the palm of my hand. When i realise that i am dreaming i always do the same thing… Run towards the nearest window, smash through it and try to fly.
Then i wake up and think to myself “that was great!” only to realise again that i am still not awake.
Then it starts to feel like i will never ever wake up. Each time it is a false awakening.
I get stuck in that cycle for what feels like about an hour until i genuinely wake up.

Carinaponcho's avatar

@crumpet Do you ever confuse your real life with a dream? Does it make your real life seem less important?

Crumpet's avatar

No, never.
I enjoy the odd lucid dream and the things it enables me to do. It’s nice to have that surreal escape from reality.
But my real life is certainly important to me. Obviously.

Carinaponcho's avatar

@Crumpet Is there a method that you recommend for beginners? How and why did you get started? Do you recommend it at all?

bookish1's avatar

The Vaults of Erowid: Lucid Dreams is a wonderful resource, far better than Youtube I’d warrant.

Also, check out the film “Waking Life” if you can.

wundayatta's avatar

Personally, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. I mean it’s nice to be able to take off flying when you want, or to walk through walls or make the bad guy disappear just by thinking it, although I’ve only had success with the former two.

But a dream can be a creative experience, I guess. Still, it’s just a dream, and you do wake up, and usually before the sex, and if you can’t make yourself stay asleep for the sex, what, I ask you, is the point?

bookish1's avatar

@wundayatta : You must be doing it wrong ;)

wundayatta's avatar

@bookish1 No doubt. But I don’t dream any more, so I don’t lucid dream, either. It’s funny. I used to be so fascinated with it. Now I don’t care at all. Is that a function of age?

Fly's avatar

I’ve done it several times but I honestly can’t tell you how to trigger it. For me, it generally happens when I am extremely tired (24+ hours without sleep) and/or sick. I can generally tell when it will happen by how I feel before I go to sleep. When I can control everything in my dream and I am aware that I’m dreaming, it is nice and it can certainly be fun, but I personally don’t think it’s worth all of the trouble people go through to have lucid dreams if they don’t come naturally to them. Something to be aware of is that not all lucid dreams are pleasant. In my case, most of my lucid dreams are extremely terrifying and involve sleep paralysis, in which case I find myself unable to move either in my dream or in real life, and they are extremely difficult to wake up from. That said, I’m not sure how common this is or how likely it is to happen when purposefully trying to have a lucid dream, so this may not affect you at all.

MilkyWay's avatar

I have done it a few times, without realising it. I found out later that it was lucid dreaming. I don’t know what or how you can make yourself have a lucid dream, but I can tell you what it felt like.
Most of my lucid dreams were ones where I was in trouble, or I was scared. They were quite unpleasant, and yet I was aware of the fact that I was dreaming. All the pain and all the physical/emotional feelings I had in the dream I also had in real life. There was one where I dreamt I was being suffocated, and was unable to scream. When I woke up the exact same was happening to me. It was like my body was paralysed.
In another I dreamt that I fell in a swamp full of leeches, that clung to my skin. When I wole up I could still feel the sharp stings all over my body. Its a scary, very weird experience to go through. But when you think back to it its actually pretty cool.

Crumpet's avatar

@Carinaponcho well, when i had my first lucid dream i didn’t realise you could trigger them until i described my dream to a friend and they told me you could.
The best way i can suggest is to make a habit of carrying out whats called ‘reality checks’
Normally when you are in a dream you could be talking to a monkey, and you wouldn’t findi t odd at all until you woke up and reflected on it. Reality checks are what you do in your waking life whenever something unusual happens, like a sudden flickering light or hearing a strange noise. Every time something like this happens press your thumb into the palm of your opposite hand. If you do this regularly it will sink into your subconscious, so you will begin to do it whilst you dream too. The only difference is that when you are dreaming your thumb will go right through the palm of your hand. That way you can become aware that you are dreaming and are free to pursuit the activity of your choice.
There are other reality checks you can do too, like looking at your watch. Or turning a light switch on a off. In a dream the hands on your watch wont move, and a light wont turn on or off because the mind can’t perceive these things in a dream state for some reason.
Hope this helps. Its different for everyone, but its worth giving it a go.
I’ve not done these reality checks for a long time, hence why ive probably not had a lucid dream for about a year. I might start doing them again myself!

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