The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and insomnia

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astrovineyard
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The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and insomnia

Postby astrovineyard » 01 Mar 2015 16:22

I am sensing a theme based on my own experiences and what others have written about trying to lucid dream, experiencing sleep paralysis, trying aids like Galantamine, and ending up with insomnia.

I have noted that when I used to get sleep paralysis, and when people report chronically report suffering from it, that it is something they are either unable to avoid or end without an epic struggle.

And yet, it can be the gateway to lucid dreams. But these are so hard to get into, and so often it seems hard to control or prevent oneself from waking up prematurely. Why is there this inverse phenomenon? Wanting long-lasting lucid dreams seems an impossible ideal, and for people with SP who want to be rid of it, find it so difficult?

Dream aids, or simply experimenting with LD can trigger insomnia, in which you are not asleep and so cannot experience ANY of the strange phenomena one might want to in which you need to be asleep to do.

So, what is it about insomnia what keeps one awake, when there is no fear or terror present? Even sleeping slightly, or waking up amid a lucid dream, what prevents one from staying asleep during it?

The answers to those questions might be simple, unless viewed relative to the situation with sleep paralysis, during which you are TERRIFIED to near death and want to awaken more than anything ever, but cannot. If SP and LD are related REM phenomenon, or one can be a gateway to the other, why isn't the tenaciousness of unconsciousness persistent in both? Wouldn't fear wake you up sooner?

And what about insomnia? Person A is awake half the night. Person B sleeps soundly, then struggles several minutes in a dread-filled SP experience, manages to awaken, and then, still fraught with the ultra terror of the condition, can somehow slip one more effortlessly asleep and sometimes into a dream or another SP episode, while Person A remains still awake. How is the super-scary SP experience LESS stressful to the person such that it does't prevent them from falling asleep instantly, while the insomniac cannot?

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Summerlander
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby Summerlander » 02 Mar 2015 02:04

The people who see SP as a problematic symptom tend to be the ones who are not aware of lucid dreaming, or, if they know about it, they are either scared at the prospect of having waking consciousness and self-awareness whilst dreaming or they dismiss the possibility altogether. Some lucid dreamers do find SP undesirable, of course, but they are still willing to lucid dream and only hope to bypass SP.

The truth is, as you said, SP can be a gateway to the lucid dream state. If one is too keen to induce it -- in order to bring about an OOBE, for example -- one can find it extremely difficult to relax. A busy mind is what keeps one awake -- thus insomnia. The practitioner must relax first. Meditation can help. Otherwise, attempt to fall asleep with a strong desire to become lucid later.

I am willing to further discuss insomniacs, SP, and fear but for now I'm running out of time. Let me just say that prolonging lucid dreams takes practice. One can use sensory amplification techniques to keep the dream world alive and protract one's stay there. Also, if a lucid dream fades and the sensations of lying in bed are imminent, the oneironaut can always attempt a re-entry. The rolling out of body technique or holding onto a dream object can work. Exhaust these options until you inevitably wake up for real.

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astrovineyard
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby astrovineyard » 03 Mar 2015 22:58

I was thinking more along the lines of "how is boring, run-of-the-mill and often unknown daytime stress a more powerful prevention of attaining sleep... whereas someone 'suffering' with chronic sleep paralysis will awaken terrified - often after a herculean struggle for what felt like their very lives from slipping into the abyss of evil - can slip effortlessly back to sleep (and sometimes unfortunately another SP attack)? Even nightly fear at bedtime at the prospect of SP doesn't seem barrier enough to prevent the inevitability of sleep, and its attendant horrors!"

astrovineyard
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby astrovineyard » 04 Mar 2015 00:24

With regard to LD and insomnia (the link between Galantamine and insomnia notwithstanding), I think it is important to discuss this as well. As I've said elsewhere recently, there seems to be a slight whiff of elitism among those who have mastered LD and look down upon anyone who would stoop to using herbal supplements as a crutch/boost (even though the damned things are featured in ads an articles on this site!), or who give up too soon because they don't get immediate results.

It would be nice for someone to acknowledge that some people don't need supplements, while others do, and probably there are some who won't be helped by them and for whatever reason can't have a LD. And it would also be nice to have an impartial comparison of the various supplements out there, what works best, or gives the highest probability, against any side-effects. When I read about them they only describe if they work or not based on the drug makers and testimonials of customers, but rarely as compared to other supplements.

As for "giving up" or "not sticking at it," I've tried this on and off over the years, so in total I've probably spent quite a bit of time, just not all in one go. There's a reason for that, and it isn't laziness, impatience or lack of discipline (although fighting those propensities is always present). It is because, for whatever reason, there mere intention to attempt LD invariably leads (for me an apparently others) to insomnia, often in spite of ourselves, even if we never or seldom suffer this condition. Something about the meditation, the focus, the reminders and obsessing, the anticipation of something happen, renders the mind prone to insomnia. One can't fall asleep, or stay asleep. It is very frustrating, and one is left worn and weary the next day, all daily activities adversely affected in some way. And this is no state to be in to attempt yet another LD session at the end of the day.

So what is one to to do? Give up, obviously, and find the quickest path back to a good night's sleep. Which, once it is reattained, is to be so cherished that it is a reluctant prospect to tempt relapse with more LD experimentation. So, assuming one can escape this vicious cycle and attain the serene sanity of proper sleep (albeit bereft of lucidity), what hope does one have to ever attain it?

The solution for such a person would seem to have to contain advice on how to accomplish the following:

1. How to quickly end the current bout of insomnia (presumably, if the anti-supplementers are against using them for LD, then even without using drugs and supplements to cure insomnia)?

2. How can a person prone to insomnia and seemingly requiring supplements (but perhaps not) for LD accomplish LD WITHOUT a relapse into insomnia or using supplements???

Assume that when one is NOT putting their mind to it, LD does not happen. Insomnia results from too much focus, not being able to quiet the mind. The two seem mutually incompatible. This is why meds seem a reasonable bypass to inducing a state I can't risk troubling my mind to produce. Except, of course, that the cruel joke it that one of the side effects of the drugs are insomnia. Which makes NO sense: "Galantamine, a drug so cool that it can produce a state of sleep paralysis that you will be UNABLE to WAKE UP, or, paradoxically, render you UNABLE to FALL ASLEEP!" Hmm.

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taniaaust1
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby taniaaust1 » 04 Mar 2015 08:18

astrovineyard wrote: Something about the meditation, the focus, the reminders and obsessing, the anticipation of something happen, renders the mind prone to insomnia.


Obsessing about ANYTHING can lead to insomina.

One can't fall asleep, or stay asleep. It is very frustrating, and one is left worn and weary the next day, all daily activities adversely affected in some way. And this is no state to be in to attempt yet another LD session at the end of the day.

So what is one to to do? Give up, obviously, and find the quickest path back to a good night's sleep. Which, once it is reattained, is to be so cherished that it is a reluctant prospect to tempt relapse with more LD experimentation.


I personally think you should give it a break for a while.. focus on getting your sleep right, that and health is more important (studies have shown that only 7 days of insomina affects peoples immune systems).

When you come back to this again, DO NOT do any WILD techniques at a time when they will affect your sleep at all (and dont allow yourself to obsess about this at all in sleeping hours). Seeing you are aiming for sleep paralysis states to LD from there, you are doing WILD techniques and obviously this is very wrong for you. I remember I strongly advised when you first came here asking things, I advised to stop aiming for SP but you insisted that was the best way for you.

You'd be far better off trying to trigger off a LD when you are already asleep. avoid WILD techniques in your case. In your case cause I think you have some hang ups too preventing giving you success with this technique eg how you are about SP and also with obsessing.. I suggest in your case not even to do this one during the day. Try other techniques.

1. How to quickly end the current bout of insomnia (presumably, if the anti-supplementers are against using them for LD, then even without using drugs and supplements to cure insomnia)?


I personally do use sleep drugs and strong ones at that at times eg benzos, melatonin and a anti-histamine for a sleep drug. I have nothing against using drugs WHEN NEEDED. (dont get the idea in your head thou to use things for sleep and go back to what you are doing cause you are then getting sleep as that would be a bad thing).

To help end the insomina I suggest to let go of the whole LD thing for time being (dont even read this website.. let it go and get your sleep right) and if you may need to take supplement/drugs for up to a week to get sleep back on track.

2. How can a person prone to insomnia and seemingly requiring supplements (but perhaps not) for LD accomplish LD WITHOUT a relapse into insomnia or using supplements???


By not doing any form of WILD techniques eg techniques in which you are trying to go into a LD from an awake state.

Other techniques eg
- keeping a dream journal
- programing reality checking during the day to something which appears in dreams
- working on increasing awareness during the day

There are lots of techniques which can be done during the day which shouldnt lead to insomina.

Assume that when one is NOT putting their mind to it, LD does not happen. Insomnia results from too much focus, not being able to quiet the mind. The two seem mutually incompatible. This is why meds seem a reasonable bypass to inducing a state I can't risk troubling my mind to produce.


One of the issues I can see you have is you do not understand the mind state which is needed.. to LD one needs to let go of the mind so one can start to dream (not quiet it but let go...these are very different things). I think its this aspect is one of the things which is stopping you from being able to LD, you havent learnt how to let go (while holding consciousness). No drug can teach you this.

All drugs/supplement can do is help you suddenly become aware during a dream or help you to relax.. but if you dont understand the right head space you need to be in for a WILD, you will consciously fight against the affect of the drug.

Except, of course, that the cruel joke it that one of the side effects of the drugs are insomnia. Which makes NO sense: "Galantamine, a drug so cool that it can produce a state of sleep paralysis that you will be UNABLE to WAKE UP, or, paradoxically, render you UNABLE to FALL ASLEEP!" Hmm.


This is all a good example of what Ive been saying, there is more to all this then just taking a drug, technique still comes into things.
The only thing to fear is the fear itself

astrovineyard
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby astrovineyard » 04 Mar 2015 16:30

Thanks.

When I say "obsessing" I am exaggerating. What I mean is "thinking about it, or having the intention." Without that element, though I may sleep well, SP or LD does not happen.

I agree I should stop for a while - but then again, I've stopped at other times in my life for similar reasons, and when I return it is the same old story again. This time the Galantamine is the biggest difference, and though it produced at least one night of interesting stuff, must be taken infrequently to avoid building resistance, and the side effect of insomnia. Point being, I'm NOT doing the same thing every time but expecting different results.

I was not aware that I was trying WILDS. That is why I hoped the Galantamine would do the heavy lifting, and my job was just to fall asleep, not THINK about having an LD while trying to fall asleep. Anything that would help me have the experience while I was already asleep is what I was looking for: i.e., anything that produced a similar experience as when I was a child having SP, where I most certainly was NOT doing WILDS, meditating, wake-back-to-sleeps, sleep deprived, taking Galantamine or being a narcoleptic, or even sleeping on my back. If it happened to me then as a child (younger than the normal demographic) and without me intentionally wanting it to happen (the opposite: I was hoping it would NOT happen and trying to FIGHT it when it did!).

Luckily I slept well last night. I had a banana, based on advice for food that helps you sleep, but skipped the warm milk. I had a hot shower. I actually read FROM A BOOK for a while rather than looking at computer screen. I had a couple sleep hypnosis videos cued on my laptop, so I lay down on the love seat (we have no couch) and curled up with headphones and played first one. Nice, but short and not great quality (some woman speaking). Found another with a man with a foreign accent that was longer with soft audio beneath it. His deeper tones and sleepier delivery and better audio quality did the trick. I remember thinking "this is nice but not working." Until I woke up an hour later (just past midnight) once the video finished! Either it worked as intended, or I just got bored of it and nodded off. Amazingly, I have NEVER FALLEN ASLEEP ON ANY FURNITURE OTHER THAN BED! So, that was good. Plus, I had a low-grade headache (I still have it) during the night, but didn't seem to affect anything.

I then got into bed and managed to fall asleep, where I did not awake until 4:30 when my wife got up fro her insane work schedule. I did not hear her phone alarm. I heard her shower and tip-toe around until she left me with her kiss, and so I guess by 5:00 I was sleeping again. A few unremarkable dreams later it was after 8:00. So this was a BIG improvement in many ways from the night before. But, during these past few weeks I've had other good nights mixed in with the bad ones. At least the insomnia isn't EVERY night or ALL night. So hoping I can continue this trend from here on.

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taniaaust1
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby taniaaust1 » 07 Mar 2015 10:48

astrovineyard wrote: I was not aware that I was trying WILDS. That is why I hoped the Galantamine would do the heavy lifting, and my job was just to fall asleep, not THINK about having an LD while trying to fall asleep.


ah okay.. that isn't aiming for WILDS then. I'd mistakenly thought you were aiming for the sleep paralyses state which happens between wake and sleep from an awake state and that would of been a type of WILD if aiming for that on first falling asleep to LD from.

when I was a child having SP, where I most certainly was NOT doing WILDS, meditating, wake-back-to-sleeps, sleep deprived, taking Galantamine or being a narcoleptic, or even sleeping on my back. If it happened to me then as a child (younger than the normal demographic) and without me intentionally wanting it to happen (the opposite: I was hoping it would NOT happen and trying to FIGHT it when it did!).


As a child thinking about it and being scared of SP is the kind of thing which can trigger that kind of experience after the first bad experience of it. It doesn't matter if one is thinking "I don't want this" or "I want this".. as it's the thinking about it which can trigger. (and the more intensely one thinks eg the more fear one has over it, the more likely something like that could happen). Hence probably why your childhood self had so much trouble with it.

but then again, I've stopped at other times in my life for similar reasons, and when I return it is the same old story again.


Seeing you aren't aiming to get lucid right on sleep as in do a WILD, I'm wondering what techniques you have been using to try to get lucid in the middle of the night other then taking the supplement?

Luckily I slept well last night. I had a banana, based on advice for food that helps you sleep, but skipped the warm milk. I had a hot shower. I actually read FROM A BOOK for a while rather than looking at computer screen. I had a couple sleep hypnosis videos cued on my laptop, so I lay down on the love seat (we have no couch) and curled up with headphones and played first one.


Just having the form of light in your room which computer screens give off can make it harder to sleep even if you aren't looking at it (though looking at them is even worst for insomnia).

. At least the insomnia isn't EVERY night or ALL night. So hoping I can continue this trend from here on.


best luck with that
The only thing to fear is the fear itself

astrovineyard
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby astrovineyard » 07 Mar 2015 16:20

Well, I'll take a WILD if that is what will do the trick!

About childhood, you need to amend your statement that the more you think of something the more likely it will happen. It needs to be changed to the more you think of something then the OPPOSITE of your wishes is what will happen. Thus, a child wanting to escape SP ends up getting it, and now an adult wishing to have that "gift" again, but can't.

The other techniques I've already mentioned (other than Galantamine):

1. Sleep deprivation (the insomnia takes care of that for me),
2. Eating banana (supposedly B6 works with Galantamine to help sleep) and warm milk,
3. Hot shower before bed,
4. Reading (from book),
5. Setting alarm to disrupt sleep,
6. Getting up for 30 minutes then returning to sleep,
7. Listening to theta/binaural beats and/or hypnosis videos (more to deal with insomnia),
8. Laying in bed still meditating, approaching a few dizzy or numb tingly moments but no paralysis or hallucinations (perhaps that is a WILD, or a failed attempt?),
9. Trying at least one daytime nap,
10. Doing reality checks (holding nose!).

So, I have tried other things.

Oh, when I listened to the hypnosis video I had the monitor turn off so there was no light.

After 3 nights of decent-good sleep with more memorable dreams last night, I had another "off" night last night. Seems to happen on weekend when I know I can sleep later. Sucks, because wife is in bed and we always would cuddle and fall asleep, and often I would fall asleep first and she'd hear me snore! Now we are completely opposite - she is working longer hours and will fall asleep in 30 seconds and I'll still be laying there for 30 minutes listening to her breathe, jealous and wondering how the hell she does that. And of course that is a vicious cycle so I had to get up and read then return to bed almost an hour later, this time in a fetal position by myself. Got about 5 hours sleep, so not too bad, but once woke up around 7 could not return to sleep, which is CRIMINAL for a lazy weekend morning!

I seem to sleep so much better when my days are so chock full and I'm running at full-tilt boogie and am physically exhausted by the end of the day. Right now there are a lot of directionless days and lack of activity, so you'd think it would be perfect time to focus on lucid dreams. The irony is when I am super-busy and exhausted I'll have no time or energy to experiment, but (I hope) that I'll still sleep great. It is a catch-22.

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taniaaust1
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby taniaaust1 » 08 Mar 2015 01:22

astrovineyard wrote:Well, I'll take a WILD if that is what will do the trick!


Why on earth want to do that seeing it gives you insomnia. You should avoid all WILD techniques in your case.

The other techniques I've already mentioned (other than Galantamine):

1. Sleep deprivation (the insomnia takes care of that for me),
2. Eating banana (supposedly B6 works with Galantamine to help sleep) and warm milk,
3. Hot shower before bed,
4. Reading (from book),
5. Setting alarm to disrupt sleep,
6. Getting up for 30 minutes then returning to sleep,
7. Listening to theta/binaural beats and/or hypnosis videos (more to deal with insomnia),
8. Laying in bed still meditating, approaching a few dizzy or numb tingly moments but no paralysis or hallucinations (perhaps that is a WILD, or a failed attempt?),
9. Trying at least one daytime nap,
10. Doing reality checks (holding nose!).


In your case you never should be doing sleep deprivation on purpose, you shouldn't be using an alarm to disrupt sleep, you shouldn't be doing WBTB (unless you naturally woke with your insomnia, you shouldn't be keeping yourself awake longer then you have too, you shouldn't be laying in bed meditating with the view to go into a LD from this in anyway (as you already know it stops you from sleeping).

If you do any of these things you only have yourself to blame for the insomnia outcome on you, it isn't about the techniques at all but a case of someone who knows certain ones cause them issues continuing to do them and them blaming the techniques. They are all good techniques for people if used in right situations and insisting to use techniques which cause you trouble is just a not wise thing to do, of cause it will just give you issues again. It isn't a right situation to use them.. they are not right for you and that is something you may end up having to accept. This thou doesn't mean that you can never LD.

"9. Trying at least one daytime nap "
That one is usually just used if one is going to try for a WILD during day but I don't think you should do it as I don't think you in your case will have luck with it seeing you have trouble relaxing at night to get to sleep, it would be even harder for you during the day to try to WILD and go to sleep!! So it's like setting yourself up for a probably failure if you start putting your time and energy into it.

A daily meditation may be a better then to do.. to practice relaxation (but not to try to LD then).

So that leaves very little left on your list of the ones you say you tried, there's only 2 things on your list I'd be recommending you to do. (and the milk and banana before bed if that seems to help you). As I started before, if you really want to LD you need to focus on other LD techniques in your case, ones which will make you become aware in your sleep and you only mention just ONE thing to help trigger off that. eg reality checking (but take care you are doing a good reality check. I cant remember if I went through yours with you to see if it could be better improved).

You made no mention of a few other important LD techniques which in your case become even more important when you cant do a lot of other things eg

-keeping a dream journal which is something which should be done as it helps signal to your subconsciousness to pay attention to your dreams
- awareness exercises during the day, preferably working to be more aware all the time.
- working on programming into yourself dream signs to trigger lucidity (done during day)
- meditation during the day may be good seeing you have trouble relaxing at will

I seem to sleep so much better when my days are so chock full and I'm running at full-tilt boogie and am physically exhausted by the end of the day. Right now there are a lot of directionless days and lack of activity, so you'd think it would be perfect time to focus on lucid dreams.


Also in your case seeing you sleep better when busier... it sounds like taking some exercise during the day would probably help your sleep issues. Maybe a daily gym session. I advise trying that for your sleep issues. It isn't an uncommon thing which is recommended for insomnia. It also helps to promote calmness.


sorry if I've come across harsh in this post. I'm feeling frustrated as you seem to be set on doing things you know cause issues for yourself and then seem to blame the techniques for your sleep issues (in other post/s). Anything done unwisely may cause a person issues. LD generally wont cause people issues if they are sensible about the practices they choose to do around it.

I feel like I should write an article on LD with insomnia (I have a lot of experience with dealing with insomnia). I may do that sometime.
The only thing to fear is the fear itself

astrovineyard
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Re: The counterintuitive/illogical nature of SP, LD and inso

Postby astrovineyard » 09 Mar 2015 09:28

I appreciate your comments. However I've done NONE of the things on my list (except banana), and yet, here I am at 4:30 a.m. not having slept a wink, tossing and turning, getting up, trying to think of something to do, the work day I dread ever approaching...

What makes this WORSE (other than being the worst insomnia unto this point, by which I would have already blacked out in spite of myself) is that TODAY I finally spend a day outdoors in the sun doing some physical activity, like I've been yearning to, not just because I've been cooped up indoors this winter, lazy and out of shape, but because supposedly exposure to sunlight helps circadian rhythms and sleep. After dinner and hot shower I was ready for bed. Except, by body/mind had other plans!

WHY is this happening, and precisely why is it WORSE when it should be better? Everything is so counterintuitive and counterproductive. And no, I am not wishing for LDs now, just sweet sleep. Seems to me that wanting more out of sleep is why I am being denied it, not any specific meditation or lucidity exercise. Why would some meditation or pill I took a few days ago keeping me from sleeping NOW??


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