The Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions -- Edgar Cayce

Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions -- Edgar Cayce

Lucid dreaming is NOT just a load of “New Age hippy crap.”

Neither is it the work of Satan.

(Although some people apparently believe it is, which is ludicrous, if you ask me. I mean, really. Seriously?)

Lucid dreaming is quite simply the ability to achieve lucid awareness while dreaming. Numerous scientific studies have shown that lucid dreaming confers significant mental and physical benefits to the practitioner. Here are some the ways in which conscious dreaming has been shown to improve people’s lives:

  • Improved problem-solving skills: Lucid dreaming helps you process much of the subconscious “babbling” in your mind that distracts you and prevents you from being able to concentrate on a task at hand. When you quiet these voices your ability to think critically and solve problems increases significantly.
  • Enhanced creativity: Your subconscious mind is the source of creative inspiration. Many artistic geniuses — Salvador Dali, William Blake, Paul Klee, Mozart, and Beethoven among them — say they came up with their best ideas while asleep. By establishing direct, unfettered access to your subconscious mind and then learning how to manipulate it your capacity for creative thinking will explode.
  • Greater self-confidence: When you control your dreams, you can face your fears head on and learn how to overcome them. These triumphs will carry over to your waking life and will empower you with a new sense of self-confidence.
  • Greater self-awareness: What are the deep-rooted anxieties that fill you with unease? You can confront them in the safe environment of a lucid dream and understand what you need to do in your waking life to resolve this issues and attain a higher level of peace.

  • Greater self-control: Do you suffer from addiction issues? Looking to lose weight, perhaps, or quit bad habits and pursue a healthier lifestyle? When you control your dreams, you can enter into a self-hypnotic state in which you can retrain your own mind to adopt  healthier behaviours.
  • Fewer nightmares: Nightmares are dreams where YOU are the victim. But when you control your dreams, you are no longer the victim. You can turn Freddy Krueger’s knife gloves into harmless butterflies and chase him away with a baseball bat, should you so choose. And if you have a recurring nightmare that has plagued you for years, you can choose a different ending for it and finally exercise the night-time demons that have been haunting you for so long.
  • Improved memory: Do you ever wonder where all your forgotten memories go?  They’re still in your brain — they’re just so deeply buried your surface mind can no longer access them. But when you lucid dream, you can relive those memories and greatly expand your powers of recall.

  • Better, more restful sleep: Sleep issues are often the result of residual stress and anxiety. But when you learn how to lucid dream, you can resolve the issues that are causing that stress and anxiety. Not only that — when you spend your nights having incredible experiences such as flying, exercising  supernatural powers, shape-shifting into whatever animal you want — you will be excited to go to sleep each night because you will be so excited to embark on your next nocturnal adventure.
  • Higher energy levels: This one follows naturally upon the last… If you are sleeping better at night then you will be better rested during the day. Not to mention that when you’ve spent the whole night fighting off supervillains you will wake up feeling supercharged and ready to take on anything the waking world will throw at you!

You might believe that dreams are the random sparks produced by chemical processes in the brain, or symbolic worlds in which we continually replay and re-examine the experiences of our waking life, or gateways to a multi-dimensional universe our feeble human minds can barely comprehend. Whatever your thoughts on dreams, there’s no denying that establishing a stronger connection to your subconscious mind can result in huge benefits to your waking life — benefits you would be crazy to ignore.

… At least, that’s what all my research has told me. As I embark on my quest to achieve regular lucid dreaming, I will keep you updated on how my waking life changes as a result. If I start to experience these benefits, you will be the first to know. And if I discover that despite my nocturnal adventures, my waking life remains unchanged, well, then, I guess I’ll start looking at other options. Like, maybe heroin.

Kidding!

5 Comments

  • By Katie Bug, August 4, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

    So, when you lucid dream you should not wake up with raccoon eyes because of a lack of rest, you should feel more rested than usual?

  • By lucid dream girl, August 7, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

    That’s what I’ve found, at least. Whenever I have a lucid dream I wake up seriously pumped afterward. It’s a very empowering feeling.

    If there are any other lucid dreamers out there in the audience, I’d love to hear about your experiences. What was the best lucid dream you’ve ever had, and why?

  • By Konstantin, August 16, 2009 @ 7:29 am

    Lucid dreams are something I’ve been in active pursuit of for a large chunk of my life. It’s not easy, but with the help of some techniques, I’ve been successful in achieving them sometimes. Also, I’ve often had incredibly interesting and cool dreams.
    Unfortunately, these categories don’t often overlap.
    I could get a dream to be lucid, yeah – but I’ve always had problems having the dream become interesting afterwords. The instant I try to cause anything remotely beyond the idea of ‘being in my house walking around’ to happen, the dream either A.) loses its lucidity, B.) becomes harder to maintain (Forces me awake or more awake), or C.) DESTROYS THE WOOOORLDDDD…..
    …Not that last one.
    I’m currently awake after five hours of sleep in an attempt to have a lucid dream upon re-sleeping. This post is part of an attempt to maintain focus on lucid dreaming for said hour, and intended dream focus for tonight is Mad Science.
    Anyways.
    Things I’ve been successful in lucid dreaming: Flying a small number of feet in the air for short bursts (I find it hard to visualize things from a top-down perspective due to lack of experience and when I force myself to try the dream falls apart), directing my focus (very slightly) for a somewhat cooler then average NON-lucid dream following my lucid one, and walking around my house. Also, my lucid dreams (or the lucid parts of my dreams) are often short.
    Do you ever have/have ever had problems doing cool things in lucid dreams? Do your dreams remain lucid throughout, or are they lucid at first and un-lucid but still cool after initial lucidity? How long do they tend to be in perceived time?
    Rant rant, rave rave, lack of sleep have.

  • By lucid dream girl, August 17, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

    Hi, Konstantin. Yep, I’ve had frustrating lucid dream experiences for sure — ones where I want to fly but only manage to float a few feet above the ground or ones where I try to use mind control on my DCs and they just laugh at me. (The nerve!)

    In general I find that the more control I try to exert on my lucid dream, the fuzzier the detail becomes. If I focus on flying, it’s just me and the ground and everything else pretty much disappears.

    So far, all of my lucid dreams have started as regular dreams in which some trigger has forced me to realize I was actually dreaming. Often the trigger is flying. (I’m much better at flying when I’m already in the process of doing it before I become lucid!)

    And yep, I’ve even had dreams where I’ve lost the lucidity and been drawn back into the crazy logic of the dream, but then have gone on to have an incredibly vivid experience.

    … You’ll have to let me know if you succeeded in having your Mad Science dream! Sounds intriguing.

  • By Konstantin, August 18, 2009 @ 1:20 pm

    Unfortunately, trial one has largely failed. While I have succeeded in achieving lucidity, and even remembered the plan I had for the dream – I was to walk over to the mostly-taken-apart computer I have in my room, and assemble some sort of mad science-y gadget out of it – the results were disappointing. I failed to do anything remotely interesting with the electronics; I think I held them for a bit, unable to do more. The rest of the dream was boring, and not even really worth remembering. I walked around my house some. It was dull. I couldn’t even start a direction for a non-lucid dream.
    Still, I’m-a keep trying! I have a theory that things that you give plausible reasons to have happen in a lucid dream have a greater likelihood of happening. For example, objects you know to be in the house can be found, people you can expect to be able to locate in your kitchen can be there, if you get on a plane you can fly, etc. Perhaps, then, if I interact with my computer in more realistic ways I can get some cool devices out of it which will provide an excuse for a mad science dream. I’m-a test me this theory some.

    You say you’ve had frustrating lucid dreams – have you had dreams in which you were able to exert control flawlessly? And do you have any opinion/anecdotal evidence for or against my theory?

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