The results of the survey indicated that 77 percent of the respondents had experienced lucid dreaming at least once. Like most dreams, lucid dreaming will typically occur during rapid eye movement REM sleep. For some people, it occurs spontaneously.
However, others train themselves to start dreaming lucidly, or to become better at it. Nowadays I can pretty much do it on a whim, as long as I'm in that half-asleep half-awake process. The degree to which a person can influence their dream if they are lucid while dreaming also varies to a great extent. Some people may simply wake up immediately upon realizing that they had been dreaming.
Other people may be able to influence their own actions within the dream, or parts of the dream itself. The lucid dreamer who spoke to MNT told us that she was able to manipulate the dream narrative in order to create a pleasant experience for herself. Lucid dreaming is certainly an attractive and fascinating prospect — being able to explore our own inner worlds with full awareness that we are in a dream state is intriguing and has an almost magical flavor about it.
Denholm Aspy , at the University of Adelaide in Australia, is a researcher who specializes in lucid dreaming. Its main application, Dr. Aspy said, is to address nightmares — especially recurring nightmares, which may affect a person's quality of life. The practice of learning to lucid dream in order to stop nightmares from occurring or reoccurring, he explained, is called "lucid dreaming therapy. You could try to talk to the attacker. You could ask them 'why are you appearing in my dreams? And then you can also try to escape, so things like flying away, or even doing techniques to deliberately wake up from the nightmare.
Lucid dreaming also has the potential to help people with phobias , such as fear of flying or animal phobias including arachnophobia the fear of spiders. Aspy said. This is possible, he said, because dream environments can provide a realistic enough experience without it actually feeling unsafe. During lucid dreaming, the individual knows that they are not in the real world, so they may safely explore their fears without actually feeling threatened.
At the same time, lucid dreaming is also attractive as an unusual means of entertainment — kind of like the immersive experience of virtual reality. An experienced lucid dreamer might be able to "go on an adventure" and interact with people and things in a way that they may not be able to do in real life. The lucid dreamer who spoke to MNT said that she thinks of the experience as something akin to storytelling, which makes her feel happier upon waking up:. It's not got much use apart from just being interesting and it makes me happy usually [ You get immersed in a narrative that involves you in some way.
There are many techniques that people who want to try and achieve lucid dreaming — or who want to perfect their lucid dreaming experiences — employ.
A study conducted by Dr. Aspy and colleagues last year tested the efficacy of three common techniques.
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The first is known as "reality testing. For instance, throughout the day, a person may want to ask themselves "am I dreaming right now? This technique relies on intention. In real life the wall will remain solid and impenetrable, while in a dream the hand will easily pass through. Another "reality check" is rereading a line of text.
In reality, if we read the text on a poster, for instance, it will stay the same when we reread it. In a dream, however, the text will constantly shift. Conducting these experiments repeatedly throughout the day may make it easier to remember to conduct them during a dream state, thus allowing the dreamer to gain awareness of the dream. Another technique is "waking back to bed," and it requires setting an alarm to wake up the sleeper after about 5 or 6 hours of going to sleep. Once awake, the person should aim to remain awake for a while, before going back to bed.
This technique is supposed to immerse the sleeper immediately into REM , the phase of sleep during which they are more likely to experience a lucid dream.
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Finally, lucid dreaming may eventually occur through "mnemonic induction. With mnemonic induction, a person must repeat to themselves, just before going to bed, a phrase such as "tonight, I will notice that I am dreaming," so as to "program" themselves to achieve in-dream lucidity. It also appears that those who find it easier to lucid dream do not have much trouble recalling their dreams on a regular basis. Aspy explained. Therefore, some people who are interested in exploring their dreams with full awareness may find it useful to keep a dream journal in which they record the dreams that they have each night in as much detail as possible.
The lucid dreamer that we interviewed corroborated this idea by noting that, for a long time, she used to enjoy writing down her dreams upon waking up. Another practice that may aid lucid dreaming is meditation, or mindfulness, as it "trains" people to become more aware of themselves and their surroundings, in general. Aspy mentioned, explaining, "The idea there is that if you're more aware during the day, you're more likely to notice that you're dreaming while you're asleep.
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One concern that people express about engaging in lucid dreaming, if they are able to achieve it, is that they may get "stuck" in a dream and find it more difficult to wake up. However, Dr. Aspy explained to MNT that this is not a worrying risk; normally, an individual is only able to sleep — and dream — for a set amount of time every night, so it is unlikely that anyone would get "stuck" sleeping. He told us, "The main reason for that is — pretty much no matter what you do you are only going to, on average, only have a certain amount of sleep and dreaming every night.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I've known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. He did a lazy sway. To the tune o' those Weary Blues. With his ebony hands on each ivory key He made that poor piano moan with melody. O Blues! Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
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Sweet Blues! Coming from a black man's soul. Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor. The stars went out and so did the moon. The singer stopped playing and went to bed While the Weary Blues echoed through his head. He slept like a rock or a man that's dead. Materials for Teachers Materials for Teachers Home. Poems for Kids.
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