Lucid Dreaming

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
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Ohio
Can anyone here lucid dream? I read about it a few days ago and I've been reading about it since. For those that don't know, lucid dreaming is when your brain becomes aware that you are dreaming and you are then able to take control of your dreams and do whatever you want.

If anyone here is able to lucid dream, do you have any tips? I've read that you should make a habit of doing something during the day so that when you do it in your dreams you will be able to tell you're dreaming. I've also read that you should keep a journal of what you dream about so you will be able to recognize what you dream about frequently.
 

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,305
827
Ohio
The problem I'm having is I haven't had a dream in weeks. Even if I have, I have absolutely zero recollection of it when I wake up. How am I supposed to take control of a dream I'm not having? :p
 

sdilley14

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2007
1,235
190
Mesa, AZ
The problem I'm having is I haven't had a dream in weeks. Even if I have, I have absolutely zero recollection of it when I wake up. How am I supposed to take control of a dream I'm not having? :p
I have that problem a lot too. I think it's because I'm not getting "deep" enough sleep. When I was taking ZMA pills (zinc magnesium, designed to boost natural testosterone levels by helping you get a deeper, more regenerative sleep) I noticed I was dreaming a lot more (or at least remembering my dreams more often). So maybe taking something like ZMA will help you sleep "deeper", resulting in more memorable dreams?
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,059
2,745
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
Can anyone here lucid dream? I read about it a few days ago and I've been reading about it since. For those that don't know, lucid dreaming is when your brain becomes aware that you are dreaming and you are then able to take control of your dreams and do whatever you want.
I have, but I've never had total control of what I could do in my dreams. I've flown like Superman The Greatest American Hero before, but then the logical side of my brain always kicks in and ruins everything. Always.:mad: Gravity...hello... I dropped like a high school student's GPA.:p

Lucid dreaming is fun, if you can do it. I remember one time I dreamed I was flying over the Playboy Mansion when logic kicked it. I was pretty scary while I was falling, but after I crawled out of a Mousse-shaped hole and dusted myself off...:) What a great dream.:)
 

iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
I have, but I've never had total control of what I could do in my dreams. I've flown like Superman The Greatest American Hero before, but then the logical side of my brain always kicks in and ruins everything. Always.:mad: Gravity...hello... I dropped like a high school student's GPA.:p

Lucid dreaming is fun, if you can do it. I remember one time I dreamed I was flying over the Playboy Mansion when logic kicked it. I was pretty scary while I was falling, but after I crawled out of a Mousse-shaped hole and dusted myself off...:) What a great dream.:)

Believe it or not!

 

0dev

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2009
3,947
23
127.0.0.1
The problem I'm having is I haven't had a dream in weeks. Even if I have, I have absolutely zero recollection of it when I wake up. How am I supposed to take control of a dream I'm not having? :p
This used to be my hobby so I know a little about it.

Firstly, you always dream during REM sleep. You usually have two dreams per night assuming you have a healthy sleep schedule.

If you want to remember your dreams, begin keeping a dream journal. When you wake up you write everything you can remember in the dream journal before it slips away. As you keep doing this and continue to concentrate on your dreams when you wake, you will improve your dream recall.

There are a lot of different techniques for initiating lucid dreams as I'm sure you know. What I found most effective was waking myself up in the middle of the night (so you are still in a REM cycle) then laying there in bed and being completely still while staying awake. This tricks your body into thinking you are asleep and you will begin to feel sleep paralysis. Now you close your eyes and let yourself drift to sleep while imagining in your mind your "dreamscape", i.e. what you want your dream to look like, where you will be, who will be there... the whole scene. It might take a practice but eventually that method should drop you right into a lucid dream.

Another more subtle everyday thing you can do to improve your chances of lucid dreaming is looking at details in your day to day life while you are awake. This is called "reality checking" and it trains your mind into performing these checks during dreams too so you are more likely to realise you are in a dream. You need to look at the patterns on your hands and try and read things around you like signs, paying close attention to them and if they change. In a dream, things like the palm of your hand will not stay consistant and any text (even if it's just the time on a digital watch) will change upon reading it again, and might not even make sense in the first place. Finally, light switches. Light switches do not work in dreams. So try turning those on and off and seeing what happens.

While you are in your dream, to ensure you stay awake, avoid anything that shocks you or makes your heart beat fast. That will wake you up for sure. This means if you want to fly in a dream, or just have sex with a supermodel (hey, I'm not here to judge), you need to practice being calm within the dream first.

And that's 0dev's intro to lucid dreams! :D
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,406
17,359
The Misty Mountains
The moment I realize I'm dreaming and try to control the dream, I either wake up or fall deeper into sleep and lose control of the dream again.
My dreams are very fragile. It does not take much to lose one, especially the good ones. :) I am unable to control my dreams. They just seem to happen with me as a spectator and in many occurrences they are all over the place.
 

twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
5,296
1,545
Why would I want to control my dreams anyway? Isn't the whole point not being able to do that and hence experience something completely different to everyday life - where's the difference to any day-dreaming then?

Huntn, you really experience your dreams as a spectator?
 

SMDBill

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2013
255
1
I can't. My wife can vividly remember dreams every morning, but I almost never can recall any part of them. I sleep very soundly most nights and it's as if I went to sleep and nothing happened other than breathing until I woke up. She never feels rested and I almost always do, but I have no idea if dreams have any impact on that.

Now I'm curious to ask her if she has ever been able to do that.
 

twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
5,296
1,545
She never feels rested and I almost always do, but I have no idea if dreams have any impact on that.
I can often recall dreams quite well - mostly if you can grasp a little detail or situation or feeling right after awakening, the rest or larger parts follows rather easily...some dreams are that heavy it may take some time, up to 1-2 hours, to fully recover (mentally), but I never regret that. The more intense the better, it's an absurd world of fluid shadows and a very welcome differential to the real world.

My experience is that waking up all of a sudden out of a deep sleep gives the most poetic experience.
 

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
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Ohio
Very informational, thank you for the reply! I will have to give some of your suggestions a try and hopefully I can at least start remembering my dreams so I can get a step closer to controlling them.
 

twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
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Very informational, thank you for the reply! I will have to give some of your suggestions a try and hopefully I can at least start remembering my dreams so I can get a step closer to controlling them.
May I ask why you are interested in controlling your dreams? Only curiosity? Remembering dreams is awesome but can be highly disturbing. Dreamt of a car accident this night and that was pretty horrible ( although in the end a 60yo friend of mine sang Ballroom Blitz on stage in front of thousands, so that's priceless and I'll definitely tell her that one. :D)
 

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,305
827
Ohio
May I ask why you are interested in controlling your dreams? Only curiosity? Remembering dreams is awesome but can be highly disturbing. Dreamt of a car accident this night and that was pretty horrible ( although in the end a 60yo friend of mine sang Ballroom Blitz on stage in front of thousands, so that's priceless and I'll definitely tell her that one. :D)
Mainly curiosity. Lucid dreaming allows you to do things you could never do in real life, such as talk to a dead friend/relative, fly, become a superhero, etc, etc. Sure you can imagine it, but we all know that dreams are so much more vivid.

It's also said you can take control of nightmares and turn them around so they don't terrorize you, so your car accident situation could have been turned into a NASCAR race :p
 

marcial

macrumors newbie
May 18, 2013
10
0
I get them, sometimes even dreaming that I am flying like Superman. I try to steer my dream into places I want to see from the air. Till something distracts me and wakes me up.

I also get nightmares where I get into trouble or get hurt in my dream and find it difficult to wake myself up. That's when my wife shakes me to consciousness.
 

RenoG

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2010
1,269
51
.

It's also said you can take control of nightmares and turn them around so they don't terrorize you, so your car accident situation could have been turned into a NASCAR race :p
This is how I first learned of the ability to control my dreams, because of this I don't have very many nightmares that plays through.

The one thing I'm trying to work on is picking up where I left off after a good dream has been disturbed and or lost. I've been successful with this only once in my life..
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,398
972
The Finger Lakes Region
What about recurring dreams? I have the same dream since I was a kid (since the age of 4)every once in while (still even in my 40's). Godzilla is in it and I am still a little kid running from him. He eventually picks up my elementary school (I started school when I was 4) and spins it (like a basketball) and I wake up.

It's just weird I still from time to time have the same dream over and over again. :confused:
 
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twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
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I have had a recurring and scary ape dream as a kid, too. But turning around my school? Not the slightest ever. But I often now wonder while having a sort of Deja Vu in the real life, if it is rooted in a dream (i generally dream more realistic yet absurd / surreal) or not, since I can remember my dreams perfectly well at times. I also wonder if that has nothing to do with the ability to remember a dream ultimately because it already is part of the subconscious.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,406
17,359
The Misty Mountains
I think I had a lucid dream! My dreams have always felt a bit remote, or 3rd person, but this morning, I had a dream that felt like being in a movie, although I was not in control of the environment. The big thing is that it felt like I was making decisions about what to do next, at least more so, than other dreams where I felt like I was remotely watching myself. I think I was on a cruise ship picking out ties and walking around. :D
 

Roller

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2003
2,533
966
I tried it once, but I kept running into Leo DiCaprio trying to do weird stuff, so I woke up.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,656
7,873
CT
If I fall asleep with the TV on it can meld into a dream. It kind of becomes a real time dream mixed in with what ever my brain creates. :p
 

localoid

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2007
2,447
1,724
America's Third World
I think I had a lucid dream! My dreams have always felt a bit remote, or 3rd person, but this morning, I had a dream that felt like being in a movie, although I was not in control of the environment. The big thing is that it felt like I was making decisions about what to do next, at least more so, than other dreams where I felt like I was remotely watching myself. I think I was on a cruise ship picking out ties and walking around. :D
Despite my skeptical nature, I do believe in lucid dreams. For some time actually. When I was young, I had a few New-Age-ish beliefs about them, but as I've aged I've settled into a more logic-based belief system regarding the subject.

By most definitions, lucid dreaming does not require being "in control". The main aspect is "being aware" (of dreaming). In other words, your conscious mind has to "awake up", at least enough to realize you're dreaming. The control aspect is optional. You can take full control, or sit back and let your subconscious mind take over and handle things in auto-pilot mode. While taking full control can be fun and entertaining (and probably also therapeutic), leaving your subconscious in control allows for self-exploration and "getting to know thyself".

Of course, exploring "thyself" comes with the usual caveat. By doing so, we usually discover that "two players, one is light and one is dark" dwell in our subconscious realm. We encounter our ones hopes, dreams, and aspirations as well as our fears, worries, and inhibitions. But the journey can open a gateway to greater understanding of "thyself".

Unfortunately, many (most?) of the books on the subject of lucid dreaming seem to contain a good bit of pseudoscience malarkey. The only book I've found that comes close to adhering to the confines of science is Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Dr. Stephen LaBerge, a psychophysiologist. However, it too seems to get into some fuzzy-science areas. ;) If someone else knows of some good books or other source on the subject, hopefully they're see fit to post some info.