Have you ever had that moment while you were in a dream where you realized you were dreaming? This “dreamception” moment is more common than you may think. However, the ability to always be aware in your dream state requires a little more practice. This is what is referred to as Lucid Dreaming.
Lucid Dreaming is described as a dissociative sleep experience. Simply put, lucid dreaming is the art of developing awareness in your dream. When you realize you’re dreaming, your dream world becomes clearer to see and easier to recall. Dream Hacking, a blog dedicated to lucid dreaming, explains why people lucid dream pretty succinctly, stating; “Colors come to life. It’s like you switch from 360px video quality to 2048px HD video quality.”1 The term “lucid” means clarity. With greater clarity and awareness during sleep, you can better realize what your dreams are communicating to you, or even control what happens in your dreams.
The practice of lucid dreaming involves raising your awareness, and is thus a deeply spiritual experience for many. You are learning to become present, only this time during REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep. The same way we meditate to ground ourselves during wakefulness, lucid dreaming can ground you in your dream reality. Traditional Tibetan Dream Yoga was a prior version of lucid dreaming. Buddhist monks believed that spirituality can be the essence of lucid dreaming.2 The merging of these realities illustrates a bridge between the two “spheres” of your brain connecting you to something even greater than imagined.
Why Lucid Dream?
There are numerous benefits to lucid dreaming. With dreams, there are seemingly endless possibilities and virtually zero consequences. It gives you the freedom and creativity to manifest whatever you choose to experience while in a dream state. It also makes those manifestations and visions crystal clear. Some have stated lucid dreaming led them to their spiritual awakening.3 With this newfound awareness, one can be more clear in their connections to the earth, a higher power, or even themselves. With this knowledge and practice, many try astral projection. Lucid dreaming has also been shown to help with anxiety. It can serve as therapy for those who have nightmares, teaching them how to control their dreams. Some lucid dreamers found it helped them with their creative projects. They were able to come up with new ideas or insights, sometimes with the help of characters in their dreams. However, while there are some benefits to lucid dreaming, the main fear many have with lucid dreaming is the possibility of hallucinations while awake and possible negative dissociative sleep experiences, such as sleep paralysis. This is why lucid dreaming should be a very intentional practice with oneself.
How To Lucid Dream
You are best able to lucid dream during REM sleep. Reality testing is one of the most basic ways to begin the process.4 This includes training your mind to always ask if you are in a dream state, to better recognize how you feel when awake, versus how you feel when asleep. Whenever you ask this, check your surroundings to confirm. Take note of these surroundings. Be mindful of how you interact with everything around you. You can also try setting an alarm to wake you up mid-sleep. Once the alarm rings, perform an activity that requires full attention, to ensure you’re fully awake. Then go back to sleep after about 30 mins. This training is another way many have helped their awareness in their dream state. There are numerous other ways people have trained themselves to lucid dream, but once you start to get the hang of it, you can start to remember your dreams better. With even more practice, you can even start to control what happens in your dreams.
Crystals such as scolecite have often helped lucid dreamers along this journey.5 Check out these books from our store to help you along your journey. Remember to practice with caution, and keep a journal to detail your experiences. Sweet dreams!
About The Author
My name is Efua! I’m 22, and I’m a sagittarius sun, libra moon, and taurus rising. I recently graduated Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, with a degree in African & African-American Studies, and a minor in Communication Design. I'm also a Content Creator and Strategist with Tablö Creative, a digital creative agency dedicated to helping small businesses leave a lasting impression online with our service offerings including content creation, copywriting, branding, social media marketing, web design and development. Our dream clients are brands whose core values are rooted in conscious & mindful operations. We believe that it's our responsibility to protect our planet from the climate crisis, not just through our personal lives, but also through our work. Our communication style supports creativity and freedom of expression by creating meaningful connections.