What is lucid dreaming? Is it scientifically proven? Can anyone learn to lucid dream on demand? How long does it take? What else can I use dream control for?
I'm sure you have plenty of questions about lucid dreaming and this article aims to answer them all... Welcome to my quick start guide to lucid dreams!
Lucid dreaming is the ability to consciously direct and control your dreams. It transforms your inner dream world into a living alternate reality - where everything you see, hear, feel, taste and even smell is as authentic as real life.
Lucidity occurs during altered states of consciousness when you realize you are dreaming - and your brain switches into waking mode inside the dream. In normal dreams, your self awareness is shut down. That's why they often feel fuzzy and distant. But when lucid, the conscious brain wakes up during sleep!
This is a safe and natural state. It is not a literal out of body experience - because you are always asleep in bed. And if you want to, you can wake yourself up. When you become lucid, your senses become alive. You can explore the inner workings of your unconscious mind with total freedom.
Lucid dreaming is a learnable skill. To start right now, take my tutorial-based, interactive and fully illustrated course, The Lucid Dreaming Fast Track.
Tibetan Monks have used dream control for more than a thousand years, in a philosophy called Dream Yoga. It is certainly not a new phenomena. However, the modern term "lucid dreaming" was not created until the 1800s by the passionate dream researcher Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys.
The concept of lucid dreams became popularized by Celia Green in the 1960s, who pointed out the scientific potential of self awareness in dreams. She was the first to make the link with both REM sleep and false awakenings.
The first scientific evidence of lucid dreaming was produced by the British parapsychologist Keith Hearne in 1975. He did it by catching eye movement signals from his volunteer, Alan Worsley, in a lucid dream state in laboratory conditions.
But Hearne's research slipped under the radar of the mainstream science journals, and it was Dr Stephen LaBerge at Stanford University who became famous for replicating this experiment and formally publishing his findings.
A prolific lucid dreamer himself, Stephen LaBerge founded The Lucidity Institute in 1987 to explore the question: what is lucid dreaming? His mission is to research the nature and potential of consciousness in dreams... A riddle that may one day offer considerable advances in our understanding of the human mind.
Yes, I believe so. We all have dreams (whether we remember them or not) and so I think we all have the capacity to become conscious within them. Children have reported lucid dreams. And certain medications for degenerative conditions like Parkinson's Disease can cause lucid dreams. Age - and even cognitive ability - appear not to factor into the equation.
Having a lucid dream is not actually all that hard, once you tap into the right mechanism. Research shows that everyone will have at least one lucid dream in their lives, just by accident. And to have lucid dreams on demand, all you have to do is get into the habit of recognizing the dreamstate.
There are many ways you can achieve this habitual recognition, such as:
You can practice one or all of these methods during the waking day or just before you fall asleep in order to plant the seed of lucidity. It is up to your unconscious mind to trigger you during sleep. It can sometimes appear elusive at first but this unconscious programming gets easier over time.
In fact, one study found that committed students of lucid dreaming were able to have their first lucid dream, on average, between three days and three weeks. That first taste of lucidity usually provides all the motivation you'll need to continue your mental training long term.
At first, many people are drawn to the idea of lucid dreaming for the escapism it offers. In your virtual reality dream world, you can realistically fly over cities, meet your favorite celebrity in the flesh, or become a ninja assassin. It is way more realistic than day dreaming or playing your favorite video game.
But once you get over the immediate novelty value, you'll understand that lucid dreaming has many personal growth applications, such as:
Robert Waggoner tackles the intriguing latter point in his book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. He introduces new ways to explore your lucid dreams and how to use them for communicating with your inner self.
If all that isn't appealing to personal development enthusiasts, I don't know what is! Lucid dreaming is a powerful psychological tool and an enlightening experience. As a beginner, intermediate or expert oneironaut, I hope you find this website and its complete guide to lucid dreams useful in your own personal quest for self awareness in the unconscious dream world...
For step-by-step tutorials on lucid dream induction and exploration, check out The Lucid Dreaming Fast Track, my online study program for beginners and beyond.
I'll show you how to develop a lucid night life and use it to improve your waking world with my 10 Steps to Lucid Dreams. More than 30,000 people have already subscribed.
Stop humping unwitting dream characters and go on a REAL adventure. Planting these dream seeds will help cement your lucidity and give your lucid dreams more meaningful direction. Next time you're lucid, think hard to recall a meaningful lucid dream intention.
Calea Zacatechichi is a herb that is scientifically shown to increase dream recall, dream intensity and hypnagogic imagery. About five years ago, I had my first Calea Z experience. It produced a night of highly meaningful and vivid dreams that left me waking up thinking WOW. They were like no other dreams I'd had before. (And I'm a lucid dreamer.) Though it can certainly open the gateway to lucid dreaming, the really meaningful aspect of Calea Z is its ability to take you on an incredible inner journey. I'm talking about the kind of dreams that change you - even more, perhaps, than many of your memorable waking experiences.
Dreams are like letters from the unconscious mind. If only they were written in the same language we use in waking reality. Fortunately, we do have the ability to study our dreams and interpret the common dream symbols they contain. Although there is no hard-and-fast rulebook of universal definitions, the following dream meanings offer a sound starting point for most people to create their own personal dream meanings.
A sleep mask is a handy lucid dreaming aid to have in your bedroom. In fact, it can help on several levels. If you have trouble winding down to sleep, or still feel tired even after a good night's rest, it may be because artificial light sources are interfering with your body's natural Circadian rhythms. Whether you're subjected to street lights creeping in around the curtains, standby lighting from electronic devices in the bedroom, or continuous light streaming from your LED alarm clock.