How to lucid dream (control dreams)
As you drift off and enter REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, you begin dreaming vividly. REM sleep is the very deep sleep that the brain needs to rest, but it also opens the floodgates of the imagination. You dream about the most random things, but without training, you won’t notice is that you’re dreaming. Everything seems like it’s real life, and you feel like you have absolutely no control throughout. Sure, a Bobcat is playing a harp next to Mariah Carey, but you think it’s real because you can’t control what’s happening. What if I told you that you can not only control it, but you can manipulate and change it (Like Neo in The Matrix or DiCaprio in Inception).
It’s called Lucid Dreaming. Without a doubt, there has been a moment in one of your dreams where you realized that you’re dreaming. You suddenly get excited and wake up. Since you exited REM sleep in a rapid act of realization, you tend to wake up with your entire memory of that dream. Like the movie Inception, that realization that woke you from the dream is something that actually happens.
If you’ve dreamt of falling down the stairs, or even daydreamed of falling down the stairs, you tend to wake up/snap out of it immediately. That part of the film, as well as time going slower, really nailed it on the head. I’ve had dreams that felt like days because of what I perceived, but woke up to find it was only an hour or 2. Before I could lucid dream, my subconscious decided to be a smart ass and dream the day I just experienced with slight changes to it. It was like my brain was reliving Star Wars, and George Lucas decided to go in and make some edits.
It takes training to be able to start a dream from the beginning and control it. When you have finally perfected it, you can let your imagination go wild. Just last night I lucid dreamed myself as Iron Man and saved the space shuttle from crashing into a bridge. The only downside is waking up and remember that I wasn’t Iron Man (ED Note: YET!). Just a warning, sleep becomes even more addicting when you can close your eyes and be a God in your own world.
START A DREAM JOURNAL
This is fairly simple. When you wake up, no matter what time of night, grab a notebook that you have near your bedside and start writing down everything you can remember. Even if you can’t remember much, write down the emotional feelings you get when you open your eyes. This will help you remember more and more as you keep recording your dreams. What’s the point of lucid dreaming if you wake up and have no recollection? The dream journal will help you start your training and put you on a path towards mastering your dreams.
THE TOTEM TECHNIQUE
Okay, once again I have to cite Inception as a reference for knowing when you’re dreaming and when you’re not. To further create the awareness you need when you’re dreaming, you have to practice when you’re awake. I know, it sounds stupid, but it really works when you think about it.
Every other hour of the day you should check to see if you’re dreaming. One way to check to see if you’re dreaming is to open up a book and read a few pages. Close the book and then open to the page you started from. If it changes and seems to be unreadable or blurry, you’re probably dreaming. Also, look at your surroundings and think about your daily routine. If your house suddenly looks like a mixture of multiple places you once lived in, you’re dreaming. Learn to inspect everything very closely, because the more you look at things, the more you will notice things are a bit off. This really works when you look at your hands. The back of your hands are objects you should recognize instantly if something is off. Start from there and branch off.
SET YOUR ALARM FOR A FEW HOURS AFTER FALLING ASLEEP
This one is quite simple. It takes your brain a little while to become fully immersed into REM sleep. So, if you want to cheat a little bit, set your alarm to go off when you’re in REM sleep (probably 2 hours in or so). Once the alarm goes off, it may become part of your dream before it pulls you out (like a fire alarm in your dream). Suddenly, you’re awake, and your recollection of the dream is still very much with you. Since you’re pulled out of REM sleep, it’s pretty easy to fall back asleep and start the dream back up. You’ll know that the situation you were in was a dream, and you can jump right in and control it.
RECOGNIZE DREAM SIGNS
Surely you have had certain occurrences in your dreams that don’t happen in reality. A few of mine are that all words and signs are blurry. I can’t read anything. I did mention reading above in dreams, but that’s only because others can read in their dreams. Not me, however.
Another is that when it’s nighttime in my dreams, there’s always a bright full moon, but the moon is light blue. I use that as a dream indicator when my dream is so lifelike that I sometimes get lost in my own subconscious narrative.
Others can be pretty easy to spot. Many times people dream of losing their teeth, seeing impossible things, and sleeping or hanging out with celebrities they fantasize about. No joke! That can be an entirely different experience to dream about. Dreaming about having sex with an A-list celeb also comes with the heightened sense of arousal that could wake you up to your Netflix screen asking you to play the next episode of Arrested Development. Talk about a bummer.
Make note of the things you see in the majority of your dreams and write those down in your journal. The more you become accustomed to seeing them in your dreams, the quicker you’ll be able to take control of them.
CONCENTRATE ON WHAT YOU WANT TO DREAM ABOUT
This sounds far-fetched, but it’s really not. All you have to do is focus on the dream that you want to have. Think of it like formulating the beginning of a book in your brain. You’re the main character, and you have to create a backstory. Soon other people will be created, locations will be built, and before you know it, you will be in that world and creating it as you go.
This also goes back to waking up in the middle of a dream. Since you can remember what the dream was about, all you have to do is concentrate on it as you fall asleep. I’ve done this most of the times I’ve woke up from a great dream. You can do this too if you focus hard enough.
WATCH A MOVIE FOR INSPIRATION
Before I actively try to lucid dream, I try to watch a movie that really feels like a dream. The Matrix, anything by Hayao Miyazaki, space adventures, and anything that makes you escape from reality will do just fine. This memory of visuals and story from the film can help you start a dream in an already beautiful location. That inspiration can help to actively build a dream into a work of art. Heck, the more and more you become able to do this AND remember it, you may just end up with some fantastic ideas for writing something that others will enjoy. You can make your dream a reality…. unless that reality is Jupiter Ascending, then you should probably scrap that dream and start over.
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