The concept and purpose of dreams has been under discussion for centuries, with ancient philosophers using them to interpret the future or make sense of the world. It still proves a subject of intrigue today, with more and more research giving us an insight into brain activity during sleeping and also the different types of dreams individuals have.
It’s pretty common for the majority of people to not even remember their dreams, or certainly only remember small fragments when they initially wake up. But, some of us may have had dreams that have felt so real, that you often questions if you were in fact awake, which is classed as a lucid dream.
What Is Lucid Dreaming?
The definition of a lucid dream, is any dream that occurs where the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. It’s very simplistic in that sense, but there are varying levels of participation that can occur as lucid dreamers gain more experience. Many beginner lucid dreamers try to exert control over the dream, but in fact it is more of a realisation that it is a dream and the chance to explore your inner boundaries and test the limits of your imagination. It may be that in a lucid dream you can walk on water or fly to the sun, these are all impossible feats in everyday life, but in your dreams you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
For example, the film Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio, explores the depths of lucid dreams and the ability to control and manufacture entire worlds. This offers an insight into lucid dreaming, although, having said that, it’s a Hollywood movie, so it’s not an entirely accurate account of lucid dreaming, but more of a take on the idea.
How to become a lucid dreamer
For some people lucid dreaming comes naturally, but for others it might need a little more coaxing. With certain techniques, a heightened self-awareness and a strong desire to lucid dream, you can train yourself to start having lucid dreams.
Start by ensuring you have a positive and relaxing environment for sleeping. Try a mattress sale in Melbourne or any big city and invest in a high quality mattress, declutter your room and redecorate in relaxing tones and plenty of soft furnishings.
Take the time to remember your dreams, write them down and record what happened with as much detail as you can as soon as you wake up. The simple act of recording the moment can help you to hone your skills whilst you’re asleep.
Become more aware of your surroundings in everyday life and pay attention to the small details, so you will be able to better differentiate between reality and dreams. Often in dreams, significant items are in different places to trigger your subconscious that you’re not awake.
You should also tap into certain triggers within your dreams. These can happen automatically, often during vivid dreams with lots of detail and bizarre events occurring, you will automatically wake in your dream and know it’s not real. Other triggers can be reoccurring dream characters or scenes that can act as a cue to waking you during dreams. For example, if you regularly talk to Elvis in your dreams, you know it’s not real as he’s dead.
The Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
The concept of lucid dreaming can have a positive psychological effect too, as most lucid dreamers are more self-aware and have a greater understanding of their being and inner emotions. Many lucid dreamers live more in the moment and have better control over their everyday life as they are able to live out fantasies or overcome real-life obstacles in their dreams, which leaves them feeling more fulfilled in their conscious life.