Lucid dreaming can be helpful for several things, but did you know there are some techniques you can implement to control your dreams?
Have you ever been caught in the middle of a dream and suddenly you realize it is a dream? More often than not, you wake up just before you can start controlling the plot. What if you could stay asleep and control it?
What is lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is what you experience when you are in the middle of a dream and you realize it is a dream and you can influence the dream’s story –it typically happens during REM sleep or rapid eye movement. Around 55% of people experience a lucid dream once in their lifetime and 23% have lucid dreams once a month or more often. While some people can easily get into the lucid dream state, others can induce it while they are awake.
There are some techniques to induce lucid dreaming, such as is called “reality checking,” you can try purposely doing something to check whether you are awake or no –like touching a wall to see if it is real. You can also set your alarm five, or six hours after going to sleep and waking up for half an hour –you can read during that time–, then going back to sleep, the purpose is to be immediately immersed into REM sleep.
- As you can control the narrative of your sleep, it could be helpful to overcome phobias as you can gradually expose yourself to what you are afraid of and realize you are safe. For people who have recurring nightmares, having control of the outcome can help deal with conditions such as PTSD.
- It is also said to improve motor skills, as the same area of the brain activates when you move while awake and while you are dreaming.
- If you have any mental disorder like schizophrenia or sleeping problems, you should not try this technique.
So next time you are caught up in a dream, try to see if you can control the plot and at least have some fun!
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