Some people can consciously perceive and control their dreams. This dream state is called lucid dreaming. You can read here what exactly such a lucid dream means, when it occurs and what you can do to promote this experience. We explain to you what advantages it brings and why you should be interested.
Do you remember what you dreamed last night? Or do you know that when you've dreamed something totally exciting or something beautiful? Suddenly you are waking up, still slightly foggy and want to go back again.
Sometimes we want to continue to experience the adventure in our dream world and see how the story ends or even influence it and control the situation. There are dreaming who are able to do exactly that - maybe you have already experienced that yourself.
That leads us into the art of lucid dreaming. You will now find out how you can learn lucid dreaming. Let's take a closer look at this exciting phenomenon.
Lucid Dreaming - What is it?
Lucid dreaming is also known as a lucid dream. When you are in the state of lucid dream, it means that you are yourself are aware in the dream that you are dreaming. You can do your Recognize thoughts and feelings, sometimes it can even happen that you have your lucid Control and steer dream so that you can People who change the environment or the action can. It can go so far that you can do this Using control to your advantage, for example when you have nightmares.
Paul Tholey, psychologist and lucid dream researcher, defines lucid dreams or lucid dreams in the following sentence as "Dreams in which you have complete clarity that you are dreaming and that you can act at your own discretion.“In essence, lucid dreams are dream phases in which you are aware that you are dreaming and that you can actively or consciously control your dreams.
In a research by the Max Planck Institute, the scientists came to the conclusion that in lucid dreamers the anterior frontal lobe larger is. That's the Area that enables conscious reflection on thought processes. This leads the scientists working with Elisa Filevich to assume that "people who can control their dreams can also think particularly well about their own thinking in their everyday lives."
Perhaps you have stumbled across the term Oneironaut, this term is derived from the Greek: “oneiros” for dream and “nautēs” for seafarers.
Lucid dreams represent a state that we can relate to from the waking state and the state of being Sleep can distinguish in REM phases.1 At that moment you have full control and can consciously control it. You can fly, transform and all that You experience it as real as if it would happen to you in reality. Lucid dreams are also used in the context of psychotherapy and, in combination with gestalt therapy, have proven its effectiveness as a treatment for nightmares.2
More about Sleep phases you will find out here.
Why do we dream at all?
It is not that easy for researchers to explain the role of dreams. When you are awake, your thoughts have a certain logic in your head. When you sleep, your brain is still active, but the thoughts or dreams often make little or no sense. This may be because the emotional centers in the brain are more likely to trigger dreams than the logical regions. Although there is no definitive evidence, there are Usually dream autobiographical thoughts based on your activities, conversations, or other problems in your life.
Dreams can help you process things that you have experienced or your feelings. Your brain works on a much more emotional level in the dream than in the wakeful state, which is why the brain can make connections to your feelings in the subconscious that your conscious self would not make.
Another theory is that it encourages creativity because yours Logic filter your creative flow in the waking state Do not restrict your sleep and let your thoughts and ideas run free.
When are lucid dreams most common?
Lucid dreams are most common when dreams are generally the most likely. This is in the REM phases (Rapid Eye Movement) the case. Find this especially early in the morning take place in longer periods of time.
In REM sleep, your brain is extremely active and your heart rate and eye movements also increase. Approximately 55% of people have had one or more lucid dreams in their life. However, frequent lucid dreaming is rare. Only 23% of people have lucid dreams at least once a month.3
Pros: what use can lucid dreams have?
You can use lucid dreams for yourself and your psyche. So can lucid dreams
- Lessen nightmares
- Relieve anxiety
- Improve motor skills
- Increase creativity
It is completely normal for us to have bad dreams at times. However, recurring nightmares can be stressful and have a negative impact on you. Lucid dreaming could help you realize that the nightmare is not a reality. You can also control the dream, whereby you the Turn a bad situation into a neutral or pleasant scenario .
Following the pattern of the nightmare, the state of consciousness in the lucid dream can help you to alleviate your fears. However, further scientific research is required for this. However, some people say they do so Overcoming the source of their fear The konnte.
Improve motor skills
If you exercise motor skills in a dream, the will Activated sensorimotor cortex of the brain, the part that controls the movement. The Visualization of physical movements in a dream can increase the actual ability.
The lucid dream also offers also a great advantage for athletes. repeated notion of muscle contraction increased muscle strength per se, and mental simulations improve the learning of motor skills and athletic performance.4, 5, 6
People who are more creative are usually more likely to dream of lucid dreams. This could be due to their increased ability to remember dreams and visualize events. But also the other way around, people claim that Lucid dreaming that increases creativity and imagination. Although this has not been proven by science, many people use the dream state to improve their creativity.
One of the greatest authors, thinkers and inventors of our time is Ray Kurzweil. Hardly anyone can solve problems as creatively and successfully as he can. But what's its secret? In an interview he revealed that he was When you wake up in the morning, make a note, write a problem or a task on it and then immediately go to sleep again to start the REM sleep phase. He then dreamed how to solve his tasks and problems - practically in your sleep. Why is he doing this and what can we learn from it for ourselves?
Kurzweil has been using the art of lucid dreams for a number of years. His inner critical voice in the head does not prevent him from thinking completely unconventionally. During his lucid dream he lives in a world in which anything is possible - any idea can lead to the solution of the problem.
Benefits of lucid dreams for athletes
Those who train during the day can improve their motor skills in their dreams - for greater performance in the future. Even if there are few studies of athletes who use lucid dreams as a training method, case studies of athletes who use mental training and lucid dreams to increase their performance and personal success keep surfacing.
In sport, lucid dreams as a training method could be a good addition to everyday training. Especially in seasonal sports such as alpine skiing, In the case of complex movement sequences or processes that are related to overcoming fear, the preparation in lucid dreams can offer an advantage.7
The dream researcher Daniel Erlacher is one of the few scientists who has specialized intensively on the phenomenon of lucid dreams. Erlacher found out in a survey that a fifth of lucid dreamers train specifically on motor skills.
You can find out tips on how to improve your sleep in our ultimate Sleep guide with 15 tips for restful sleep - now available for download.
Methods: How to Learn Lucid Dreaming?
There are a few methods you can use to train yourself to dream lucid to achieve this state of sleep. Dream Initiated Lucid Dream (DILD) can be translated as “from the gloomy dream to the lucid dream”. This describes the state of moving from a normal dream to a lucid dream. Critical awareness and reality tests are required here. We'll introduce you to a few methods that can help you increase your likelihood of lucid dreams.
First of all, be aware that it is very seldom that you achieve lucid dreams in a very short time. Probably It takes a lot of preparation, training, and clear goals to actually achieve lucid dreams. However, there are a variety of different methods or techniques, which is why we can only give a few examples.
The reality check in the lucid dream
It makes sense to do regular reality checks. Anyone who has seen the film Inception knows these checks. Leonardo DiCaprio turns a small top to determine whether he is in a dream or in reality. When the top stops spinning, it is awake. If he keeps turning, then he is in a dream.
When you are awake, your level of awareness is similar to when you are dreaming. Means by increasing your awareness during your waking state, you can increase your awareness during the dream state. The Reality Check trains your mind to recognize your own awareness while you are awake.
This technique is used in such a way that you make you aware again and again that you are currently in a waking state. The reality check can be carried out at regular intervals throughout the day. When these become a habit, you can create dream consciousness.
These are popular reality checks:
- Press fingers through palm
- Look in the mirror
- Nose clip
- Look at tattoos
Press fingers through palm
Press your fingers against your opposite palm. When the finger goes through the hand, you are dreaming.
Look in the mirror
In a dream state, your reflection in the mirror does not look normal.
Pinch your nose. You can still breathe if you are in a dream.
Look away from text and then back again. When you dream, the text changes.
Look at tattoos
If you have tattoos, take a look at them. If you dream, your tattoo will look different.
Pick a specific reality check and do it several times a day. You may also need to experiment with different reality checks for a while to see which one works best for you.
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams
The method of mnemonic induction (MILT or MILD for short) goes like this: Set up an alarm clock so that you can wake up briefly in the morning. Then you fall asleep again, so that you come directly into the REM phase in order to then become aware that you are dreaming.
This method by Stephen LaBerge, who is active in dream research, is very popular among lucid dreamers. The effect is greatest among beginners. Here you will find instructions, which were written out from a doctoral thesis:8
- Set the alarm 2 hours earlier than usual.
- Make a resolution to have a lucid dream. Imagine that you are in a lucid dream.
- Fall asleep imagining that you will experience a lucid dream that night.
When the alarm goes off
- When the alarm goes off, lie down and try to remember the entire dream.
- When you remember the content of the dream, get up to get your circulation going so that you are fully awake.
- Write down your dream
- Stay awake for half an hour and write down everything you can think of about the dream
- Lie down again for a "nap"
- Set your alarm again to 90 minutes
- Concentrate on these three aspects over and over again: focus thoughts, recognize dreams and repeat the whole thing
- Stay in bed for the full 90 minutes, even if you no longer fall asleep
- When the alarm goes off or when you wake up, lie down for a while and try to remember everything you dreamed of. Write all the content in your dream report, e.g. B. in the dream diary.
Lucid dreaming with the WBTB technique
With the WBTB technique (wake back to bed) you can do the Enhance the effect even further and performed best with test subjects in research. For this you provide yours Alarm clock for 6 hours after falling asleep and then stay awake for 15-20 minutes. It is important that you then too really get up and keep your brain busyto wake you up.
Then when you go back to bed, try to relax. You may find it easier to fall asleep again if you meditate. Otherwise you now do the mnemonic induction and visualize your dream to get your mind back there.
Increase awareness of lucid dreams through a dream diary
Next to this guide is this Dream diary another tip. All you need here is a notebook and pen. Especially if you continue to sleep afterwards, we advise you to really refrain from using your cell phone or other screens, as the blue light could disturb your further sleep - even if it is meanwhile Blue light filter in many electronic devices. Many are then tempted too quickly to just check social media and Co.
As the name suggests, you then take the time to to write down all of the information that is still in your memory of the dream.
This increases the awareness of the dreams, which can help you to notice in the coming nights that you are in the dream. With more mindfulness for your dream memory, you also increase your dream memory. At the beginning just try it out for a week and then draw your first summary.
Promote lucid dreaming through substances
Another approach is offered by substances with which lucid dreams can be achieved more easily or better.
Here, a special role of acetylcholine is indicated and the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that cleaves ACh, is described as the target of substances such as huperzine or galantamine.9 The results so far support the hypothesis: Lucid dreams arise as a result of an increase in dopaminergic (dopamine) and adrenergic (adrenaline / noradrenaline) stimulation coupled with a state of cerebral activation. The condition occurs either through cholinergic stimulation (acetylcholine), glutamate stimulation (glutamic acid), or both.10
Herbs such as the Aztec dream herb (Calea ternifolia), African dream root (Silene undulata) or Passionflower (Genus: Passiflora) used for lucid dreams. However, the safety and effectiveness of the first two has not been clearly proven in studies, which is why we always advise dream diaries, reality checks and a critical awareness.
Passionflower, on the other hand, can be recommended without hesitation. This is also in our supplement DEEP SLEEP included as well Melatonin, the sleep hormone that helps you fall asleep. We have often been asked whether a combination of DEEP SLEEP and SHARP MIND would be useful for attaining lucid dreams.
In SHARP MIND Contains citicoline, a naturally occurring substance that is broken down by the body into choline and cytidine after ingestion. This can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. Choline is a building material for the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is responsible for signal transmission in the brain.
You can combine the two products with each other without hesitation and tell us about your experiences, whether it makes lucid dreaming easier for you. Remember that you are not guaranteed a lucid dream and you should also follow the other tips to increase the likelihood of this.
Lucid dreaming through meditation and hypnosis
Meditation and hypnosis are also ways to achieve your goal of lucid dreams. There are already a large number of guided meditations or hypnoses on the Internetthat help you to get into this state. You can easily find suitable examples on YouTube or Spotify.
Meditations for lucid dreams in particular have a long history that goes back many years. For example, dream yoga has been practiced in Tibet for centuries.
Is lucid dreaming dangerous?
Generally speaking, lucid dreaming is not dangerous, but may pose some risks for people with mental disorders.
If you already sleep disorders and through certain techniques, deliberately interrupting your sleep, it can happen that you do not get enough sleep. This could make depressive symptoms and anxiety worse.
Furthermore, derealization and dissociation can occur in the mentally ill. Lucid dream induction combines reality and dream, making it difficult to determine what is reality. This overlap can also lead to you feeling disconnected from your surroundings and your self.
Lucid Dreaming: How Do I Interpret My Dreams?
If you have interpreted your normal dreams before, you can interpret your lucid dream in the same way. Dream interpretation can help you understand the relevance of your dreams. In order to understand or classify your content, websites that explain the possible meanings or symbols can also help.
Some people even say that when they have a lucid dream they find it easy to interpret their dreams as their awareness increases the ability to observe the dream as it happens.
Keep a dream journal to train your dream memory and to interpret your lucid dreams. It will help you to discover the topics that are important to you. If you keep an additional “normal” diary, you are more likely to find connections after a few weeks.
Lucid dreaming is also known as a lucid dream. If you are in this state, it means that you have complete clarity in the dream world about dreaming. You can get access to your unconscious thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes it can even happen that you can control and direct your lucid dream situations so that you can change people, the environment or the action. The effect can go so far that you use this control to your advantage, for example when you have nightmares. If you want to support lucid dreaming with supplements, we recommend you DEEP SLEEP and SHARP MIND of our products.
Lucid dreams are an exciting topic, but scientific research still has a lot to discover here. The art of lucid dreaming is not easy to achieve for everyone and requires some practice. Nevertheless, it is always worthwhile to deal with the topic and to consider trying it out for yourself.
Has the lucid dream already worked for you? What did you experience and how were you able to influence your dream? Tell us about it on Instagram @ahead_nutrition.