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Do you think it’s possible to communicate with the outside world from inside of your dreams? The British psychologist Dr. Keith Hearne, discovered that it isn’t impossible. Using a concept known as lucid dreaming, his subjects were able to memorize eye movement patterns and perform them during sleep, communicating with the outside world from inside of another. 

Lucid dreaming is the recognition that you are dreaming and the process of being able to control your dreams. It’s a fascinating concept to explore as your only limitation is your imagination. You have the power to control your dreams and shape them into a reality of your choice. 

However, lucid dreaming does come with its own challenges. Not only can it be incredibly difficult for one to accomplish, but you might not get the same quality of sleep as you would while not attempting to control your dreams. Lucid dreaming can also cause sleep paralysis and nightmares as well as a loss of distinction between the real world and the dream world. Some may even become obsessed with their dream worlds and forget their realities. It is important to use caution but also to remember that not everyone experiences these effects. 

On the other hand, lucid dreaming is a great way to enhance your creativity. The sky is the limit as you can distort your dreams in any way you like. You could even utilize your sleep to accomplish goals, try new things, or practice hobbies. You can also just have fun and enjoy experiences that you can’t have in the real world. By flying, exploring the deep sea, meeting a celebrity, or traveling to a foreign country, you can make your life feel incredibly exciting and adventurous.  

In order to lucid dream, you must begin keeping a dream journal. Each morning, you should write down as many details from your dreams as possible, including sensory details and emotions that you felt during your dreams. If you can’t remember your dreams, at least write: “I did not remember my dreams last night, but I will remember my dreams tonight.” This will stimulate dream recall and vivid dreams as you become more aware of them and the goal you have.

Second, you should place reminders throughout your daily life to lucid dream, such as through sticky notes or alarms. This will spark the idea in your mind that lucid dreaming is something you are determined to do. The more you remind yourself to lucid dream, the more likely you are to recognize when you are dreaming and in turn, you will be able to remember that you want to control your dreams. You should also learn as much as you can about lucid dreaming by reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching trustworthy online videos.  

Next, you should practice performing reality checks. These help you to distinguish the real world from the dream world so you can tell when you are dreaming in contrast to when you are awake. I personally like to count my fingers in real life, repeatedly, as in the dream world I usually have six fingers on each hand. Making a habit out of this transfers the habit into my dreams, and my dream self will begin to count her fingers so that I can find the distortion and take control. Others check the time or try holding their breath as time is distorted in the dream world, and you do not need to hold your breath while dreaming.  

Choosing a lucid dreaming technique may also benefit you. My favorite method includes the WBTB method or the “Wake Back to Bed” method. This technique includes setting an alarm four hours before you usually wake up. At that time, you will busy yourself for ten minutes before going back to sleep. You will be more prone to enter REM sleep and have vivid dreams by doing this. Other techniques include the WILD method, the use of binaural beats, meditation, and more.

Before lucid dreaming, you should drink plenty of water and limit your screen time before bed. Some also find that repeating mantras to themselves stimulates lucid dreams, either through verbal or written words. Some will repeat “I will have a lucid dream” about ten times before sleep in order to build their confidence. In addition, it is important to plan what you want to do in your dream by creating something like a script. The easiest task for beginners to complete is a flight by jumping into the air in dreams. By imagining you can fly, you should be able to do so. 

Once you recognize that you are dreaming and begin to take control, it is important to stay calm and relaxed as many lose control of their dreams by becoming too excited or fearful of the experience. By carrying out your plan as you scripted, you can maintain control. If the dream becomes fuzzy or you lose control, try to visualize what you want and make it clear with detail. You can then begin to explore your options by investigating your dream’s setting, talking to people, walking into mirrors, and more. If you wish to leave the dream, many recommend looking down and spinning in a circle to wake up. 

After your lucid dream, you should retain the dream by writing it down as soon as you wake. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t work for you as you prepare to lucid dream again. If these techniques don’t seem to work for you, I recommend giving your technique a few tries before turning to a new one. 

Lucid dreaming is a challenging process. Some can lucid dream every night quite easily while others have not been able to accomplish it. However, I believe that with patience, dedication, and care, anyone can experience the magic of a lucid dream. 

Hey, there! My name is Allyson Ennis and I am a sophomore student at Susquehanna University. While studying business and communications, I pursue hobbies in writing, dancing, reading, and video-editing!
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