Possible Dangers of Lucid Dreaming

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Possible Dangers of Lucid Dreaming

Postby Jonathan » 07 Jun 2011 05:25

Here's an article I wrote many months ago, but never posted anywhere. :)

Possible Dangers of Lucid Dreaming

There really aren't any true dangers in lucid dreams. Dreaming is a natural part of life for humans, and many other animals, and the ability to lucid dream is just the act of taking conscious control of them rather than watching them play out like a movie while you sleep.

There is no evidence of lucid dreaming being unhealthy, but there are a few possible "dangers" if taken to an extreme, in the same sense that anything else (television, the Internet, etc.) can become dangerous if it becomes an obsession. Some of these possible problems are...

Physical Side-Effects
Some lucid dreaming techniques ask you to wake yourself on purpose at set intervals, and these can interfere with your normal sleeping cycles. Lack of sleep can cause dizziness, headaches, forgetfulness, and stress. If you have trouble getting good sleep, consider using lucid dreaming techniques that don't wake you up intentionally.

Being Perceived as "Weird"
For some reason, some people just don't believe you can control your dreams. They might think you're crazy or delusional for saying you can, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that lucid dreaming exists. Don't be too surprised - there are still some people who believe the world is flat too.

If someone asks you about lucid dreams, feel free to share what you know. Fortunately, most people are receptive to the idea of lucid dreaming, and many people have done it at least once themselves by accident. They may ask you for advice on how to get started.

Becoming Addicted or Obsessive
If you find yourself thinking of nothing else but lucid dreaming, or becoming obsessive about it, then it may be a good time to step back and take a break. Lucid dreaming requires you to be asleep, but too much sleep is harmful for your physical health. Lucid dreaming is a fun activity and can be used as your own personal "virtual reality machine", but just like everything else in life, it should be practiced in moderation.

If you become very talented at lucid dreaming and begin doing it a lot, this could make it harder to distinguish what is waking life or dreaming life, reality or fantasy. You may remember something and think it really happened, but actually it only occured in a dream. When you start having high dream recall, you will need to sort out what was a dream and what is reality. Naturally, if your spouse says something harsh in a dream, you would not want to be angry with them about it in the waking reality! This is unlikely to ever be a problem for you, but it is a possibility.

Here are some other signs to watch for that could indicate a bigger problem if experienced while you are awake:

- You develop the ability to ignore or not feel pain.
- You become so absorbed into television or a movie that it seems real.
- You find yourself often thinking about and/or living in the past.
- You find evidence of having done things but you can't remember doing them.
- You forget important events in your life.
- Familiar places seem unfamiliar to you.
- Stuff in your Waking Reality doesn't seem real.
- You don't recognize friends or family members.

If any of these things happen and there is no other cause, such as drugs, you should take a break from lucid dreaming and futhermore, I'd recommend you strongly consider seeing a doctor and explain these issues. Dreaming is as natural as breathing and should not be causing any problems like this.

Creating Bad Habits or Becoming a Control Freak
While lucid dreaming, you have the ability to control your dream world in ways that you can't do in the regular world. For example, you can control the weather, teleport to places, make objects appear out of thin air, have other people act according to your will, and almost anything else you can think of. Although I believe this is rare, some people believe this may cause your subconscious to desire this kind of control in your normal life, which is inappropriate and impossible.

Some people also believe that lucid dreams can negatively impact your real-world problem solving abilities. For example, instead of facing a problem, they think you might just "wish" it would go away, like how you might do in a lucid dream.

I don't claim to be an expert on mental health, but realistically, I believe these problems would only affect someone who is already mentally unstable. I do not believe lucid dreaming would normally cause any kind of problem otherwise, besides possible drowsiness.

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