MadCast: Khaos

Lucid Dreaming Guide

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I've been meaning to/fearing writing a guide like this for a while, and I figure now is as good a time as any. Good bye meager MadCast credibility, hello life of the outcast. Here goes:

What the hell are you going on about?

A workable definition of a lucid dream is a dream in which you are fully aware that you are dreaming.

Ok ... so what's the big deal about that?

The big deal is that, once you are fully aware that you are dreaming, you can have full and complete control over your surroundings and your dream and essentially do any damn thing you want and it will look and feel completely realistic . Let that sink in for a minute.

Here is a brief and non-exclusive list of things that I am personally able to do in my lucid dreams (there are many more skilled practitioners out there who put my meager skills to shame.

1. Shift scenes: Realize that I'm dreaming about doing laundry. BORING. Quick shift to snowboarding. Nice.

2. Telekinesis: Once I realized that I can manifest telekinetic powers in my dreams I immediately stopped having nightmares. Nothing is particularly scary if you can fling it over the horizon with a single thought.

3. Flying: I've even flown straight up through the atmosphere and out into space, zooming along and landing on other planets.

4. Manifesting people/objects: Feel like playing a 1 on 1 game with LeBron James? No problem. Need a machine gun? No problem. Want to ride a giant turtle? Sure thing. Munch on Bamboo with a herd of Pandas? I guess, but that is getting a bit weird.

5. Fireballs: Hell why not.

So ... you are batshit insane then?

Probably, but Lucid Dreaming is a scientifically verified phenomenon. Dr. Stephen LaBerge and other legitimate doctors have done a variety of studies on lucid dreaming. One that I will point out is that there is actually documented communication between a sleeping individual and the waking world. Background: your waking eyes follow the movements that your eyes make in your dream (Hence REM sleep, Rapid Eye Movement). They had a dreamer make specific eye movements within a dream and recorded those movements in his waking eyes. For this particular study they were testing how time passes in dreams and the dreamer moved his eyes left and right every dream-second. If you are interested, in that particular instance they found that a real second was about 1.5 dream seconds.

Alright, so lay it to me straight. Can I manifest a famous actor/actress and go out on a "date" with them?

Yes.

Damn it I'm sold. How do I learn these dark magics?

If you want to become an oneironaut (real word!) there are two basic and fundamental requirements:

1. You must remember at least one dream a night. If you don't remember dreams then you will not even remember if you had a lucid dream, and then it may as well not have happened.

2. You have to get into the habit of checking to see if you are dreaming on a frequent basis while you are awake. These checks are called "reality checks." The idea is that if you get in the habit of performing reality checks while awake, it will be a habit you follow while dreaming.

I'll get into more detail about what to actually do once you become aware you are dreaming later on.

Well shit, I don't remember my dreams. I don't even think I dream.

Everyone dreams. REM sleep is a requirement of the brain to continue to function. They've done studies that REM deprivation will seriously fuck you up even if you get other types of sleep.

So here comes the single most difficult and time consuming thing about learning to lucid dream. It is a pain in the ass. I did it for a long while, and don't really do it anymore so my lucid dream frequency has dropped. But you have to do it.

Keep a Dream Journal: Keep a notepad near your bed and, immediately upon waking do a reality check (I may get to why later) and then write down everything you can about any dreams you remember. If you wake up and don't remember a thing, write that down. Given time, this will improve your dream recall, even if you never remember your dreams. Write down strange things that seem to occur with frequency in your dreams.

Do. This. Every. Day.

If you are not having any luck remembering any dreams, try rearranging your schedule to take a 2 hour afternoon nap on a relatively frequent basis. You will sleep lighter and be more likely to remember dreams (and become lucid once you get good at it). I become lucid pretty much every time I manage to find time for a nap.

And the reality checks?

Reality checks can take many forms, but the basic idea is to do a test to see if you are dreaming. Here are a few that I have used in the past.

1. Attempt to put your right index finger through your left palm. If you are dreaming it will go straight through your hand.

2. Hold your mouth closed and cover your nose and attempt to breath in. In a dream you will be able to dream normally (incidentally, you can breath underwater as well in a dream, but this probably isn't a good reality check).

3. Jump. In a dream you will stay up noticeably longer than in real life.

4. Inspect your hand. Your mind has a hard time keeping things consistent in a dream. It is particularly bad at rendering your own hands. In a dream the outline of your fingers will wave and bulge, and otherwise look wrong.

I've settled on number 4 as my only reality check, because it isn't all that embarrassing if a stranger sees me staring at my hand, whereas jumping around like a fool ...

In order to remember to do reality checks you can set reminders on your phone/computer/watch, or do a reality check every time a specific event occurs, like every time you see a red car. If you are choosing an event, then you should choose something that would happen with frequency in a dream, like seeing a stranger, or looking at the sky.

So that's it?

That is a start. However, you may find that the first time you become lucid the dream breaks down and you wake up. Lots of people report this. There are a few ways to maintain and improve the integrity of the dream when it starts to break down. The two most effective methods for me are to 1) rub my hands together furiously and 2) closely inspect the details of nearby objects/your hands. For some reason the tactile sensation of rubbing your hands and the close attention to detail will keep the dream together and often improve clarity.

Is this dangerous?

I don't believe it is dangerous. I have died many times in my dreams and been none the worse for wear. I think the only possible danger is if you have an inability to distinguish dreams from reality and become absolutely convinced you are dreaming when you are actually awake. And then you go do something asinine like jump off a building to try to fly. Pro tip: Take off from the ground!

So I'm interested in learning to do this. Any other resources?

You can do what I did and start out by reading "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming" by Stephen LaBerge. He gets a little too much into spirituality and dream sex for my taste, but the core information is valid and helpful. I believe if you google "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming" you will be able to find a location to legally purchase a copy. You should not, under any circumstances, download the PDF version of the book that is just floating around on the internet, as LaBerge has done us a great service and should be rewarded for his efforts.

There are also a ton of internet guides and forums dedicated to lucid dreaming out there.

Ok, I'll check out a legal copy of that book. Have you got anything else to say right now?

Only that my opinion is that lucid dreaming and dreams in general are largely based on expectation. What do I mean by that? Your brain crafts your regular dreams, in many ways, as you expect them to occur. You find yourself in a darkly lit street. You expect that there might be danger there. So a man approaches in the shadows. You expect him to be a danger, so he begins chasing you. You expect him to actually be a nightmarish monster, so he becomes one, and congratulations you are having a nightmare.

I say this because all of the "powers" I described above work because I expect them to work. I expect that if I close my dream eyes and focus on creating the new scene I want to be in I will find myself in that scene. I expect that if I focus on an object or person (or building, or mountain, or planet) and mentally push it, it will move. And it does. I expect that when I turn the corner I will find LeBron James and Kobe Bryant having a shoot out. And I do. I expect that rubbing my hands together will stabilize my dream, and it does.

This is important because if you expect to fail you will fail. But you won't fail. Focus on that.

Also, this is a very basic primer. There are also a variety of methods of inducing lucid dreams that I didn't get into but that are described in that book.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, either in this thread, through PM, or on TS.

Good luck!

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I think this is brilliant, honestly. I actually developed my lucid dreaming skills as a way to cope because of my nightmares. I often dreamt of dying, being hurt, etc, when I was younger (and even now) and had nightmares every night. When I was 11 or 12, I just stopped sleeping, but my parents wouldn't allow that (funny that) and would sit and comfort me until I fell asleep.

One night, when I was having a particularly bad nightmare about drowning, I somehow- maybe in my panic or maybe subconsciously knowing I was dreaming- just took a breath. I expected pain but instead I got a full breath of the most delicious air ever. Since then, I check myself while dreaming regularly. I would say that #2 and #3 are my checks for dream vs reality, although I also tend to see blurred out faces when I dream. That being, I will sometimes look at someones face in order to check also.

This is a really great basic guide. I definitely believe keeping a nightmare journal- (wait, wow, I actually typed nightmare instead of dream). I mean DREAM journal is a great great way to start. I know its said we have more than one dream, and I am lucky (sometimes not so lucky) to often remember most of them.

I haven't been able to actively change my dream (adding people or things or throwing Fireballs- that would be so awesome), but I am able to fly once I realize I am dreaming and, if I want, just wake up.

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This time one time in summer I guess I "mastered" lucid dreaming and I had an awful episode of sleep paralysis. No idea if there is some sort of link betweem ;ucid dreaming and sleep paralysis after looking through the Lucid dreaming subreddit but now I don't do it anymore.

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The only time I don't lucid dream is when I take some type of sleeping pill.

Is that bad?

Also, I get wicked bad sleep paralysis sometimes. It's really scary.

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I sleep terribly (mostly a result of 'hectic' dreams. I've learned quite a few triggers to remind me that I am dreaming.

The most obvious triggers are:

Cannot run at full speed.

Cannot scream

Teeth are loose/fall out (odd I know but I've read more than one occasion of this being common with people).

Repeating the past

Quantum shifts in events. (Something like walking in the park, then all of a sudden being in outer space)

What I've discovered though is that once you've found out that you are dreaming it is best to continue with the flow of things. If you try to force the dream in one direction or another your brain actually starts working cognitively and as a result beings to wake up. Instinct is always going to be available to you in REM, but adaption and learning require access to different parts of your brain.

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@Luxieto: I would trade positions with you in a second. I don't think it is bad or unhealthy.

@Luxieto & munnyfish: While I can see why sleep paralysis could be scary, ultimately it is not dangerous and will pass. It is simply a result of the systems that keep your body still while sleeping (instead of pantomiming every action you take in a dream) staying active while you are waking up. I'll add in a portion on sleep paralysis in the OP.

@Scooba: I've had the teeth falling out dream several times. I've heard it is a semi-common stress dream. I guess I would agree that actively changing things has a tendency to break down the integrity of a dream, but I (and others I think) have found that the methods I describe (rubbing hands, careful & closeup inspection of surroundings) will more than counteract it. I enjoy going with the flow at times to see what my brain can create, but I also enjoy taking the reins.

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I once had a dream journal for the same purpose. I could remember up to 6 dreams a night, but I still wasn't able to have a lucid dream. Whenever I did (and do) have one, it's pure coincidence and then it's not even that great because, I know that I'm dreaming but I'm not doing anything to change the direction of the dream.

I stopped having a dream journal because I had to wake up earlier than usual to write a lot of keywords down, then when I got home from work I had to rewrite it all to a story. I'm not that good at remembering dreams anymore though, max 2 dreams a night now.

I recommend watching this movie about dreaming. It's not really about lucid dreaming but more about lucid dreaming through a machine.

Also, check out the lucidity website for massive articles on the subject.

If you want to know what a certain thing or event actually means when you're not lucid dreaming, check out dreamforth.com - IMO it should be taken with a grain of salt.

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wait, you know what certain things in your dream mean?

I have horrible insomnia so I have to take sleeping pills more often than not, and as a result, I've had recurring nightmares of werewolves. I've pretty much had them since I was a kid, but I taught myself how to control the dream. Can't control the dream when I'm under sleep enhancers, ya know?

My question, what do wolves mean? Not happy friendly wolves. I'm talking vicious monsters that rip out your heart. Literally.

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I've only had a couple of episodes I can remember that I think I was lucid dreaming. Usually my first instinct is to fly which usually starts by me "swimming" into the air and moves into more of a superman style of flying.

One thing that has interested me is that I have a type of "recurring dream" where instead of repeating I just pick back up where the last "episode" left off. It can be six months to years between these, but unfortunately for me it's a nightmare type scenario. It has an incredible amount of detail and clarity and doesn't fade from memory like most dreams. The most recent one ended with a wicked episode of sleep paralysis with a creepy grandma who had ratty long black hair that covered her entire face and the front of her body in a rocking chair and a little kid brushing my feet with her hair and giggling while I struggled to move. That really sucked.

On a good note I had one of the best dreams in a long time last night and I think I was right on the verge of being lucid. I was a rookie astronaut going up on a space shuttle with a bunch of seasoned space vets and fellow rookie spacefarer Michelle Obama. We got to the space station and flipped on the lights and had the first night off before we started doing any science, so the regulars informed us that this meant we'd all put on space suits and go chill outside, drink beers and watch the earth as we orbited around it. Michelle was tired and ventured into the station and that was the last I saw of her for awhile. I cracked open a beer and we all started suiting up. Instead of a normal helmet it was this goofy looking thing with an air hose, but no seal around your head. I was like wait guys, you can't open up the doors like this can you? Won't we just instantly freeze to death or something? They kind of chuckle and are like man you are such a space noob, come on. (I think this is where I almoooost realized I was dreaming, but instead just shrugged and went with it) Next thing you know we're just floating out into space with our beers and chilling as we watch the earth spin below. I use my cell phone to try and take a picture of how awesome the stars are from space, but can't figure out how to turn the flash off and get frustrated that I can't make it take a longer exposure, then realize I should probably call my wife to let her know we made it up safely. Next thing I know she's up on the station and we're having beers out in space, lol! What an awesome way to spend the night last night.

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The thing about sleep paralysis is that there is no definite time. I know some say to hold your breath and some other weird techniques but I had some friends growing up that had sessions lasting up to 2-3 hours. Imagine if you were living by yourself and just had an episode that lasted way too long. I would dread falling asleep every night wondering how long the next one will be.

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Just thought that I would add some advice on remembering dreams.

When waking up take a moment to lay still and wake up slowly, and it helps to move into the position, or cycle through the positions, that you slept in. I do not know the reason but you are more likely to recall a dream if you are in the position you were in while dreaming it.

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Just thought that I would add some advice on remembering dreams.

When waking up take a moment to lay still and wake up slowly, and it helps to move into the position, or cycle through the positions, that you slept in. I do not know the reason but you are more likely to recall a dream if you are in the position you were in while dreaming it.

Me in bed trying to remember a dream

X9uFgGp.gif

I don't remember how I sleep

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This time one time in summer I guess I "mastered" lucid dreaming and I had an awful episode of sleep paralysis. No idea if there is some sort of link betweem ;ucid dreaming and sleep paralysis after looking through the Lucid dreaming subreddit but now I don't do it anymore.

Back when I was still in college I used to have frequent bouts with sleep paralysis. That shit is utterly terrifying.

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Back when I was still in college I used to have frequent bouts with sleep paralysis. That shit is utterly terrifying.

I have sleep paralysis two different ways. One is the typical panic, but usually I can realize that I'm having SP, convince myself that I am still dreaming and slowly float down, through my bed and into a dream with awareness.

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Guest morganktaylor

Hi,

research into lucid dreaming has shown that the vast majority of us would be able to do it if we were willing to practice regularly. I recently published a post comparing inception and lucid dreaming. Where lucid dreaming is different is that you are in fact asleep, but are in a state where you are very much able to control what happens in your dreams.

You can check it out at: http://realityplex.com/inception-is-it-real-or-just-a-movie/

Let me know what you think!

Thanks

Morgan

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I was talking to Thortt about lucid dreaming and it reminded me of this post. Thought I would deliver over a year late on the sleep paralysis issues that were discussed above.

I found this article on sleep paralysis and using it to enter lucid dreams: http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/sleep-paralysis.html

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Thanks for bumping this, I would really like to know more. I dream a lot but sometimes don't remember them. This has been very helpful.

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Glad you found it useful. I'd recommend some sort of dream journal app, like dreamboard. Also try to always do reality checks immediately when you wake up. Often when you think you wake up at night you are only dreaming that you woke up. A quick reality check in that false awakening and you'll be lucid in no time.

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Since reading this Iv remembed parts of my last 2 dreams. I'm also starting to be more proactive with my reality checks as well.

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I tend to have lucid dreams a couple of times a month.  Usually the dreams are based around whatever game I've been into lately (video game dreams are AWESOME!)  Some of my favorites include blowing up tanks attacking my college (BF2) or trying to coordinate an evacuation of a futuristic science lab that was built around a volcano that is about to erupt, which also happened to be situated in the back yard of the house I grew up in (Mass Effect I think).  
 
Luckily, when I was young I learned how to wake myself out of any dream if it got too uncomfortable.  Last time I remember having to do that was a GTA 5 inspired dream.  Me and three others were on a heist style mission.  We got spotted and all ran in different directions.  I ran into a field and hid in a ditch.  I watched as the guy chasing me stopped right above me and starting looking around.  When he looked down and saw me, I decided "F-it, I'm out" and ended the dream.

Alpha Brain.  Not that I'm trying to advertise or have personally used this, but the Rooster Teeth podcast I listen to (who have used this) say as a side effect this stuff tends to give crazily vivid lucid dreams.

Edited by Warlord Bob

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Glad you found it useful. I'd recommend some sort of dream journal app, like dreamboard. Also try to always do reality checks immediately when you wake up. Often when you think you wake up at night you are only dreaming that you woke up. A quick reality check in that false awakening and you'll be lucid in no time.

So true, I've been 4 layers deep a  long long time ago.

By the time I actually woke up I was still uncertain if I was awake in the real world or not.

Probably the weirdest thing I've ever experienced with dreams.

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Super thread necro here, but I recently decided to go back to keeping a dream journal to increase lucid dream frequency.  I'm still using the free Dreamboard app but I wanted to share a new trick I learned on a lucid dreaming podcast.  I use the build in voice-to-text function on my phone to make it very easy to describe my dreams right after waking up.

Good luck!

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