Here are my top 10 tips on how to sleep better - so you can orchestrate some more shuteye in your life. This is important for a healthy mind and body, besides improving your chances for lucid dreaming.
Everyone needs a different amount of sleep to function normally - on average this is about 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night. If you have to press the snooze button in the morning, or drag yourself out of bed feeling exhausted, then you're probably not getting enough shuteye and are suffering from sleep deprivation. Give yourself a fair chance of getting sufficient sleep by going to bed earlier, preferably before midnight.
To sleep better, aim to go to bed at roughly the same time during weekdays and weekends so your bodily rhythms can get into a routine. To help this process, put up curtains that allow some sunlight through, so the sun naturally wakes you up at the same time each morning and keeps your Circadian Rhythms in time.
The main culprits are coffee, tea, chocolate and soda drinks - these all contain caffeine which will keep your body and mind alert for hours. This will also prevent you from getting deep non-REM sleep. Be conscious of your caffeine intake and how it causes any sleep deprivation and you will soon understand how to sleep better naturally.
It is totally unnatural for us to be immersed in bright light before attempting to go to sleep for the night. This tricks our brain into thinking it's daytime and interferes with our Circadian Rhythms. So if you must read before bed, use a low wattage bulb (15 watts should do the trick) or install a dimmer switch. Make it easy on the eyes.
A heavy meal forces your body to crank up the digestive system while you actually want to be getting your body nice and relaxed for better sleep. What's more, if you lie down on a full stomach, you're more likely to induce acid reflux which can disturb your sleep and even trigger Night Terrors and nightmares.
A regular routine tells your mind and body to start winding down for the night. Make it a relaxing one - don't sit up on the computer til your brain is frazzled and you want to pass out. Some people like to have a light snack about an hour before bed so as not to sleep on an empty stomach. Also try a cup of herbal tea to relax jittery nerves. Always empty your bladder before bed so it doesn't wake you up during the night and disturb you.
We all have an optimum room temperature for better sleep, so make sure yours isn't too hot or too cold. Wear enough layers to bed in the winter and switch your thick duvet to a light sheet in the summer. It's better to be slightly on the cooler side so you can wrap up warmer if you need to.
If you're tossing and turning in bed, unable to get to sleep for whatever reason, don't torture yourself for more than 30 minutes. Get up and go do something to occupy your mind. You'll eventually feel sleepy enough to fall back into bed.
Don't lay in bed worrying about the fact that you can't get any sleep. It's likely that your mind is already buzzing with thoughts, so stressing about how to sleep better will make things worse. Try listening to some isochronc tones to silence your mind chatter and create a relaxing meditation. After that, visualize a lucid dream intention.
Ask your partner if you ever snore, temporarily stop breathing, talk, shout, or move about a lot during sleep. It could be that you have a sleep disorder (ranging from sleep deprivation, to sleep apnea, to REM sleep disorder) that is preventing you from enjoying good quality sleep. See a doctor and you may discover how to sleep better for good.
If we're completely honest, lucid dreaming isn't really known for being the most social of interests. In fact, often it's a lone pursuit - just you, your dream journal and the landscape of your mind. But this technique called PAL (or Partner Assisted Lucidity) breaks down that wall and turns lucid dream exploration into a social event.
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
It is estimated that these wise and wily Indians have been using mugwort in their healing and ritual practices for 13,000 years, where it is known as the ‘dream sage’. They use the herb to promote good dreams, which they consider an essential aspect of normal human functioning! But that’s not all...
Silene Capensis has been used for millennia by the Xhosa shaman of the river valleys in the eastern cape of South Africa, where it is known as Undela Ziimhlophe or 'white paths'. It's fragrant white flowers open only at night, when they emit a fragrant and almost hypnotising aroma. Also known as African Dream Herb or Ubulawu, Silene Capensis induces spectacularly vivid dreams - yet has never entered the mainstream and remains a fringe taste within western culture.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?