Lucid dreaming: The endless possibilities of your dreams

Edited by Kavya Mittal

I was walking by the street, right outside my house. It was a pleasant evening, the sky had a beautiful pinkish hue and was full of hopes and dreams. The weather seemed ideal, maybe a bit too ideal. The gorgeous skyline, a happy mood and the great vibes just made me think of how amazing it would be if I could meet my friend, who lived miles away, in another country. Suddenly, she appeared right in front of me in a fancy car, with Belgian chocolates. I could not believe my eyes. I paused. How could she be here? How could she afford these expensive things? I had no recollection of her telling me about any of these things.

 

Then it slowly dawned on me. I could no longer see her, the car or the chocolates. The pink sky seemed to be fading away. I was dreaming. I was asleep yet somehow I was conscious.

 

Have you ever felt like you can control your dreams? Like you are actually living your dreams? (No, I do not mean the far fetched idea of living your dream life) Then you, my friend, are experiencing what is called a lucid dream. This is a type of dream in which the dreamer becomes aware that they are dreaming. The dreamer is then able to control the environment of their dream, the characters and the entire situation. Imagine being able to fly! To ride unicorns! To owning a robot! To accomplish all your goals! All this is possible when you are lucid dreaming.

 

The prospect of lucid dreaming sounds incredibly exciting, doesn’t it? Being able to live your dream life, exploring your deepest desires and fantasies, even for a few hours is something many would be fascinated with. But how do you lucid dream? I have prepared a small guide just for this purpose!

 

  1. Increased REM Sleep 

Researchers have said that one way of increasing your chances of lucid dreaming is to have more REM(rapid eye movement) sleep. A good sleep schedule and healthier lifestyle will help you gain access to lucid dreams.

 

  1. Own a dream journal

Keeping track of your dreams helps your brain recall them, making it more aware of what you are dreaming about. Write down your dreams in your bedside journal and use it to familiarize yourself with them.

 

  1. Notice your dreams

Try to familiarize yourself with your dreams by realising the discrepancies in them. Your mind cannot always portray a perfect reality so it tends to paint an unclear picture with wild inaccuracies. For example, having three legs, the inability to look beyond a certain point or a mixture of various sceneries and backgrounds. If you are able to recognise these, you become more aware of your dreams.

 

But what are the benefits of lucid dreaming, apart from it being so exciting and fun? It allows you to explore any situation, be it realistic or imaginary. This can also increase one’s creativity. Many artists look into their dreams for inspiration and lucid dreaming allows one to truly enhance one’s creative potential. As one can control their dreams, it can also lead to reduced nightmares and a better sleeping pattern. This could also potentially help in reducing anxious thoughts and having a more peaceful mindset.

 

But no matter the benefits, there have been potential concerns for lucid dreaming as well. One such concern is that people having lucid dreams may get stuck in them and find it difficult to get up and out of them. However an average human being is only able to dream and sleep for a specific amount of time (yes, even you, permanently exhausted college student) so this is not a real risk. People may find it difficult to differentiate between reality and lucid dreaming, under some circumstances of certain mental illnesses. Some may also experience sleep paralysis and experience hallucinations which can be quite a scary experience. 

 

I have not personally experienced lucid dreaming, but reading about it and hearing others’ experiences makes me thrilled to live this experience. Entering a world of your creation, with the possibility of living everything you want and more is something most of us would find delightful. Overall, I think lucid dreaming can be a very interesting experiment, full of exciting opportunities, hopes and dreams, of course!