Lucid Dreaming and Induction Techniques to Achieve Lucidity

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by scem0, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #1
    Hi everyone. I was researching teas that made you have more vivid dreams yesterday because I'm a loser, and I ended up on the wikipedia article regarding lucid dreaming. I read it because it was interesting (and because I'm a loser).

    So that night I decided to try out one of the techniques described to induce lucid dreaming. The technique was to imagine a simple scenario, void of too many details, over and over and over in your head while you fall asleep. I think the idea is that you imagine it over and over until your body falls asleep but your mind keeps imagining it. I didn't read into it that much, but I got the impression that after your body fell asleep your mind would take over and the dream would continue, but your mind would still be awake. Being a horny 18 year old gay boy, my scenario was a big grey room with a bed in the center and the man of my dreams (get it? :D) on it ;). So I replayed walking into the grey room with the sexy man in the bed over and over and over in my mind. Unfortunately I was a bit too excited about other things last night to stay concentrated on that. I might be going to New York in April, and I was really excited about that, and I ended up thinking about that, instead. Basically, I got distracted, thought of other things, and went to sleep with nothing in particular going through my mind. No lucid dreams occurred.

    However, when I woke up, I remembered reading the following:

    Waking Induction of Lucid Dreaming (WILD) is one of the most common induction techniques used by lucid dreamers. In this particular technique, a person goes directly from being awake into a lucid dream. The key to this technique is recognizing the hypnagogic stage. This stage is within the border of being awake and being asleep. If a person is successful in staying aware while this stage occurs, they will eventually enter the dream state while being fully aware that it is a dream. Proponents recommend three steps to induce lucid dreaming: relax, stay aware, and enter your dream... Users of this technique often count, envision themselves climbing or descending stairs, chanting to themselves, or any various form of concentration to keep their mind awake, while still being calm enough to let their body sleep. During the actual transition into the dreamstate, one is likely to experience sleep paralysis, including rapid vibrations.

    This happened to me almost word for word. I remembered reading that, so I closed my eyes and imagined myself walking up an endless staircase in a void of nothingness. Eventually I fell asleep but my mind didn't! It was the strangest but most amazing thing I've ever experienced! It was so strange because I had full awareness. My consciousness of sleeping wasn't fuzzy at all. It was like I was wide awake, yet I was definitely asleep. In fact, the whole rapid vibration and sleep paralysis thing happened to me too. My body vibrated and I couldn't move my arms and legs. So I was on this stair case in my mind, which was fully aware, yet I knew I was asleep and dreaming. I wasn't sure what to do at this point, I thought I was supposed to start directing my dream.

    I was kind of panicking though because I didn't want to let it slip away, so I quickly tried to imagine myself in that room with my dream man on the bed, but I think I was too aggressive about it, too shocked at my mental state, and too excited about my first lucid experience that I woke myself up. So I was in a very clear lucid state for what seemed to be about 15 seconds to me. It was almost too easy. It totally surprised me. It was exactly like the wikipedia article explained. I just was too excited to remember the "stay relax, stay aware, and enter your dream" part ;).

    What I learned is that being really tired when you attempt to enter the state is key to being able to do it. Unless you're really tired, your mind gets distracted and wanders. I also learned to stay calm when it happens. I didn't expect it to happen at all, and I didn't expect to be so aware when it did happen.

    But I'm still unsure of what to do once lucidity is achieved. Tonight I plan on doing almost the same exact thing. This time I'm going to climb the same endless staircase as I go to bed, but I probably won't be tired enough and I'll forget to keep thinking about it so I won't have any lucid dreams. But I'm going to set my alarm for 5 hours after I go to sleep, as the article suggests:

    Wake Back To Bed is often the easiest way to induce a lucid dream. The method involves going to sleep tired and waking up 5 hours later. Then, focusing all thoughts on lucid dreaming, staying awake for an hour and going back to sleep. The odds of having a lucid dream are then much higher. This is because the REM cycles get longer as the night goes on, and this technique takes advantage of the best REM cycle of the night. Also, lucid dreams are usually longer and more vivid at this time.

    So when my alarm wakes me up, I'll stay up for a little while, and I'll go back to sleep climbing the endless staircase. I'll be tired enough to achieve lucidity, I think.

    But I still don't know what to do when it happens. Say I fall asleep, but my mind is still awake again so I'm on the staircase. What do I do then? Last night I think I jumped the gun and tried to make things happen too fast. Am I supposed to try and make things happen? Or do I let things happen? I'm not sure if I'll be able to make something happen in my dream. Say I want to fly... Could I just will myself to sprout wings while I'm on the staircase and then jump off and fly? Or if I achieve lucidity do I try not to think at all and then wait and see what happens? Hopefully this will make sense to some of you.

    So, is anyone here familiar or experienced with lucid dreaming and/or induction techniques to achieve lucidity while you sleep? If so can you give me some recommendations as to how I can stay lucid yet asleep? I think I'll be more likely to remain asleep tonight, as I'll be expecting it tonight. Last night I was so shocked, excited, and anxious that it woke me up. Still, some direction would help me a lot.

    Thanks,

    e
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    I have what I call "epic dreams." They seem to go for ages and I have full access to all senses.

    For example:
    On the eve of the Boxing Day tsunami I had one of my recurring massive tidal wave dreams (we'll talk about premonitions later). In this dream I am racing away from a huge wave that is towering above me but moving fairly slowly so I run into a building. The building is constructed mainly of glass that miraculously always maintains its integrity.

    Now the fun part begins...
    As the wave breaks over the building I can literally feel the pressure changes - like my whole body is somewhat constricted, my ears pop etc. It's very much like being underwater in the deep end of the pool. I can also smell the salt in the air around me, can hear the screams of the other people and can see in full vivid colour.

    They are seriously cool dreams. I love em.

    Problem is, I get nightmares like that too - torture dreams when you can see and feel everything are not very cool.

    The "other" type of dreams are awesome too though I think you scem0 might not appreciate my description of them.

    I don't know what it is that brings them on but I always wake from them as though I have not been asleep - they make me physically tired. Funny thing is, though they seem to go for ages, most dreams only occur during the last few microseconds before you wake up - your brain processes so much information so quickly that to the time part of your brain it feels much longer.
     
  3. Shamus macrumors 6502a

    Shamus

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    #3
    WOW! I wish I could do that, it sounds seriously cool! :):cool:
     
  4. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #4
    Heh, weird. It's only kinda creepy because today I spend a great deal of time reading about parapsychology/precognition/dream transfers on Wikipedia. Anyone else find the [eerie] irony in that? Sometimes, little coincidences like that freak me out. :eek:
     
  5. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
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    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #5
    It is!

    I just finished doing an hour of research on the topic, and reading exactly how to do it. It turns out I'm really lucky to have had a lucid dream on my first attempt. It also turns out that it is most common for you to have them in the morning after you have woken up while taking a nap like I did.

    I've also learned about reality checks and how important they are. If you tell yourself something before you go to bed over and over like "if I see my hands, I know I'll be dreaming" then you're more likely to have a lucid dream. Also if you get in the habit of doing certain things in reality, like pinching yourself every time you see the sky, then if you see them in a dream and you pinch yourself, you'll realize it's a dream, and you'll gain lucidity.

    So, tonight before I go to bed I'm going to look at my hands for 5 minutes, I'm going to repeat to myself "When I dream tonight, and I see my hands, and I'm going to realize that I'm dreaming". Also I'm not going to stop thinking about lucid dreaming between now and when I sleep. Also, I'm going to set my alarm to go off very quietly 90 minutes before I would usually wake up. When it wakes me up I'm going to stay awake while not fully waking up my brain for as long as I can (the longer the better) - 60 to 90 minutes is optimal supposedly. And then I'm going to go to sleep thinking about lucidity. I'll also do the staircase trick, as that worked for me before.

    All these stories of things people have done while lucid are totally exciting me! I'm going to work really hard at being able to become lucid in my sleep for the next couple of weeks! You can totally control everything in a lucid dream. You can fly, you can swim to the bottom of the ocean, you can re-enact your favorite movie scenes. I'm excited :).

    Hopefully, that I was able to achieve lucidity on my first attempt means that I'll be predisposed to achieve it again. I guess we'll see. Expect updates in the morning. I'm going to drink a pot of tea (Celestial Seasoning's 'Sleepytime Extra') with valerian, an herb that makes you have a deeper sleep to hopefully help things out. It also has Chamomile and other herbs that will help me fall asleep quicker, and calm me down.

    To sum things up - I'm psyched :D.

    e
     
  6. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #6
    Interesting... Maybe I'll see you on the dreamplane tonight ;).

    e
     
  7. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #7
    I'm glad you posted about this because this sounds like the unplanned and unwanted thing that has been happening to me for about 20 years now.

    Sometimes, in the morning usually, I wake up but my body doesn't! I am fully aware, I vibrate, I'm paralyzed, and usually scared. How do I wake up! AAAAhhhh. Then one day, I realized that if I let myself consciously and completely relax, let my mind go blank, I'll snap out of it instantly. Before I discovered that I was stuck... but in all 20 years it NEVER occurred to me that I could do anything while in that state. Usually I panicked.

    I was in a junior high class one day and sleeping :eek: but that weird thing happened to me and I could hear the teacher saying wake up, wake up and I was trying to move and scream "help me, help!". That was insanely scary. That was my first time.
     
  8. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #8
    Maybe! I'll keep my eyes [subconsciously] open for you! :D
     
  9. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    Another thing that I did in a psychology class in HS was to keep a dream journal. Before I went to bed at night I would tell myself over and over to wake up after a dream and write it down. I kept a pad and pen next to my bed.

    When I woke up in the morning, I usually had about 10 dreams written down that not only didn't I remember having, but didn't remember even waking up to write them down!
     
  10. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #10
    Maybe that's not the best of ideas as he's expecting you to lie waiting for him in a bed in a grey room. :p
     
  11. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #11
    :D I'm willing to bet he's not the MR member Emerson's expecting! ;)
     
  12. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #12
    hah, no, there's a specific person I'm imagining, and sorry njmac, he's not you ;).

    That's actually one of the techniques to achieve lucid dreams. Keeping track of your past dreams. I think i'll start a journal as well.

    e
     
  13. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    The mind's subconscious is basically the coolest thing ever if you take the time to get to know it. :)

    Lucid dreaming and hypnosis have a lot in common...and your experiences while lucid dreaming sound a lot like how it was for me when I got hypnotized...http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=176640 (yes that's shameless self-promotion, but I wrote a lot of stuff about my experience there, and copying and pasting < linking)

    Anyway, have fun with lucid dreaming! The imagination is a wonderful place. :D
     
  14. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #14
    good point. I actually compared it to self hypnosis when I was telling my Mom about the experience.

    Very cool :).

    e
     
  15. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    LaLaLand, CA
    #15
    I have a lucid dreaming machine. Looks like a night mask you wear over your eyes. You can adjust it to flash a light and beep at you while you dream so you kinda wake up but you're still asleep. It's cool when it works. As a person who has carried on full conversations in my sleep and unfortunately have even sleep walked a couple of times, it may be easier for me. But with some practice almost anyone can lucid dream. There are some good books on it, but I'm afraid I can't remember the particular names. I'm sure they all have the same info though.

    Just be careful, you rarely control where your dreams go, and sometimes it feels real even when you know it isn't.
     
  16. camphorsunrise macrumors newbie

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    Lex Vegas, KY
    #16
    I am PLAGUED by recurring tidal wave dreams... Everytime I'm over-stressed or something bad is about to happen I have one.

    Sounds interesting, do you have a product link?

    As far as lucid dreaming goes, a few years ago I did an experiment with a cheap dollar store watch; I had it beep every half hour, and when I heard it beep I would ask myself, "Am I asleep or am I dreaming?". It gets your mind into a pattern of questioning reality, so that when you actually are asleep you can consciously recognize it and take control of your dream. Sounds like a hassle, I know, but it worked.
     
  17. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #17
    haha, you mean plymouthbreezer! No need to be sorry ;) I have a husband that I'm dreaming about :)
     
  18. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #18
    oh no, he's not plymouthbreezer either :). I might see him on the dreamplane, but chances are we won't do anything naughty ;).

    Speaking of doing naughty things on the dreamplane, an alternative to saying "when I see my hands in my dream, I'll know I'm dreaming" is "when I see my hands in my dream, I'll know I'm dreaming, and then I'll do naughty things with said hands." ;)

    e
     
  19. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #19
    I very rarely remember dreams (though I'm thinking of doing njmac's journal idea), but I do remember the ones I wake up for (really rare):

    Much like Chundles I get 'stuck' dreams. I'm outside my house on a warm day, and for some reason I trip and fall into the road. Of course it's impossible to get up from the road......and when the truck is about 15 feet away I wake up. :p

    Also, before heading back to school this fall I had the same dream 4 nights in a row: I was at school on the first day back, but I didn't have my schedule, and I couldn't find my classes because, somehow, the campus had been replaced with green rolling hills covered in church pews. On the last night I had the dream I managed what might have been a bit of lucidity...I kicked a pew, layed down in the grass and said "F*** it.". :D
     
  20. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #20
    You do not know how truly correct you are. For you, scem0, or anyone else who wants some insight into this "ability" and what it really is, feel free to PM me - I can share some information which will truly open your mind on this and other subjects relating to the mind in general. :cool:
     
  21. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    NYC
    #21
    I don't now do I? :p

    I've spent a lot of time toying with my subconscious and reading about the world of the mind in the past couple of months....really cool stuff. In any case I still don't know much of anything about lucid dreaming, except for the fact that it's closely related to self-hypnosis. Feel free to hit me with your best shot.

    In reading I've focused a lot on age-regression in guided hypnosis (never actually done it myself though), but that's some really ****ing cool stuff, if I may say so myself.

    In the realm of the subconscious online, there's also a very fine line between people who've been there and complete idiots...there's a stunning amount of BS hype about hypnotism out there...
     
  22. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    LaLaLand, CA
    #22
    It's similar to this, though a lot nicer. Got it from some catalog years ago. Tweaked it a little to work better. I don't use it much when I'm working or traveling though. Best for weekends and downtime. Haven't used it in awhile. Maybe I'll bring it out to play with again. Gotta be careful though, it can mess with your head.
     
  23. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000

    pimentoLoaf

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    #23
    I dream lucidly most of the time, with full sensations.

    Been using a technique described in an early-80's issue of Omni. When you're in a dream, try to look out a window if you see one, try turning a different corner, try engaging someone in conversation (still quite difficult after twenty years) -- in short, attempt to alter the normal flow of events.

    Dreams are largely your mind sifting through daily memories, creative moments, and fears; your senses aren't fully-plugged in, however, and so your brain is in one big feedback loop.
     
  24. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #24
    Many times this is all dreams are, agreed. However, with focus and understanding, amazing things and enlightening experiences can be garnered from dreams, as they are like a gateway into the true mental aspects of things. In many ways, our dreams are actually more real than our perceived "reality". :cool:

    And other times, yes, it's just random firing of neurons after a late evening snack... ;)
     
  25. UKnjb macrumors 6502a

    UKnjb

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #25
    Just to put my three-penny worth in on this subject, but it's nothing to do with Lucid Dreaming.
    For all those interested in dreams in general, there is a brilliant book out there, a classic from about 1930 or something, called "An Experiment with Time" by JW Dunne. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1571742344/104-2482826-7287169?v=glance&n=283155
    Although the book deals with the prophetic quality of dreams, there is a really neat trick to help remember your dreams with total clarity. You know that bit where you dream something, but you have only a vague idea of what it was about - and often, even those vague ideas have vapourised by the time you have got up and had your first coffee?
    Briefly, you go to bed with a pad and pencil on your bedside table. As soon as you wake, you write down as much of every dream that you can -- very important; do it as soon as you wake.
    Through the day, as you remember extra snippets, you write them down as well.
    Soon, about 2-3 weeks is what it took me, you have developed the ability to have pretty much total recall of all of your dreams. Easy! And then you can forget about having to write things early in the morning and get staright onto the coffee. And the ability to have that recall doesn't seem to disappear with time - much like learning to ride a bicycle.
    Hope this may help. :)
     

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