Dream a Little Dream
Why do we dream? What do our dreams mean? Can we control our dreams? Lucid dreaming is the ability of becoming aware that you are in a dream. There are five stages of sleeping in which can be categorized into two main sections: Non-REM sleep
and REM sleep. The abbreviation REM simply means the stage of sleep in which rapid eye movement is occuring.The first four stages of sleep fall under the category of Non-REM while the last stage is included in REM. Lucid dreaming occurs in the later cycle of sleep during REM sleep.
While lucid dreaming a person is believed to be able to have some level of control over the vivid, mental imagery in which they are dreaming. Memory occurs in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain and during Rem sleep this is one of the few areas that is deactivated. When activation occurs one can then recognize that they are dreaming, allow the occurrence of the dream, and remember that it is only a dream.
The Experiment: Work of Dr. Stephen LaBerge
While working on his dissertation at Stanford University, Stephen P. LaBerge, began to put his fascination of lucid dreaming to the test. He found the possibility of roaming freely and resolving conflict within a dream fascinating. The possibilites are endless if one can obtain the knowledge to control the images in their mind during sleep. LaBerge was interested in determining whether or not a person could communicate with the researcher during lucid dreaming. Using the MILD technique (mnemonic induction of lucid dreaming) to allow researchers to enter a lucid dream at will, resulted in the communication of dreamers with the research team through rapid eye movement. Monitoring the electroencephalography (EEG) of a patient during Rem sleep allowed the signalling from the patient, to the collaborator of the EEG, with pre-arranged eye movement. This occurrence was the first documented occasion of a person signalling to the outside world while in the dream state.
Should I share my dream or is it all mine? Now that’s the true question. Hollywood attempts to answer this question with the fictional thriller, Inception. The motion picture tells the tale of dream sharing in which it is possible to enter into someone else’s dream. In reality we are forced to be greedy with our dreams; we cannot share our dreams! There is no evidence yet to support the idea of entering into another person’s dream world. While it made for a highly entertaining film it altered what is actually possible in reality. The film also touched on the concept of getting lost in the dream world which in reality we refer to as false awakenings.
Getting lost in the dream world as the characters do in the movie has not been proven to be possible, but one can experience a false awakening which is merely believing that you have awoken when in actuality you are still sleeping. While scenes in a dream change you might envision that you are in your bedroom waking up which confuses the mind into believing that you truly have awoken. While lucid dreaming scenes fade quickly and it is not until you get out of your bed and see the vivid image of the ocean that you realize you are still in a dream.
Should We Fear Freddy?
Watching a film like Nightmare on Elm Street could quickly make the idea of lucid dreaming very unappealing. Is it dangerous to lucid dream? If I run into Freddy do I need to fear for my life? Absolutely not! The only thing Freddy can do to you is increase your heart rate from the fear of believing he can really do bodily harm to you. Lucid nightmares do exist because our subconscious does play an active role in lucid dreaming. In lucid dreaming controlling your dream is not always what occurs, but when we are faced with a heightened feeling of anxiety from a lucid nightmare we have the advantage because we have the ability to realize we are only in a dream. It is believed that practicing lucid dreaming can help us control the fears we have in reality and during a nightmare.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Not only does mastering lucid dreaming allow us to overcome nightmares but we can learn to solve problems in our dream world that we are faced with in our waking world. Lucid Deaming can help us control our emotional well being by envisioning a peaceful world in which we have created and set our own rules to abide by. Waking up from a happy dream can start the day off just right.
Enjoy the article? Want to comment? Let us know what you think?
- Lucid Dreaming (pid-productions.com)
- The Facts About Lucid Dreaming (ethandayton.com)
- Lucid Dreaming: Awake in Your Sleep? (socyberty.com)
- My First Deliberate Attempt On Lucid Dreaming (ashscrapyard.wordpress.com)
- Dreaming A Lot Suddenly – One Step Closer To Lucid Dream (ashscrapyard.wordpress.com)
- Competing in a dart tournament, and lucid dreaming. (roscoesdreams.wordpress.com)