You may have heard the phrase ‘lucid dreaming’ but never been clear exactly what it means. When you are dreaming and are aware that you are dreaming, that's a lucid dream.
They usually occur when a dreamer finds themselves in a strange situation or environment, or with someone they could not possibly be with. The dreamer then stops to question the reality of the experience and they come to comprehend that they are dreaming.
Lucid dreams occur among everyone from time to time, but some people experience them more often and more naturally than other people do. The definition of lucid dreaming is simple ‘to grasp the awareness of a dream' but there are a number of common misconceptions.
Lucid Dreaming Misconceptions
One misconception about lucid dreaming is that a dream isn't lucid unless you can control it. This is not true and there is a fair amount of confusion between dream control and dream lucidity. They are akin to each other but you can have one without experiencing the other.
An example of this is that the majority of dreamers are able to elicit no control over their dreams, lucid or otherwise.
Other people can actually control their dreams and yet not be aware that they are actually dreaming. In the dream the dreamer believes that they are controlling everything – that they have a godlike power. This demonstrates then, that dream control can be conscious or unconscious.
Another misconception about lucid dreaming is that it is only experienced by ‘new age types’ or the more spiritual amongst us. This is not the case.
There is evidence that people have experienced lucid dreaming over thousands of years and they have come from all or no religion. Lucid dreaming can affect anyone, anywhere of any background.
Escapism From The Real World?
Does lucid dreaming advocate escapism? Well, not really. No more than playing a computer game or reading a book does.
Lucid dreaming happens when you are asleep so it does not impact on how you interact with the real world. Some lucid dreamers do like to write down their dreams or discuss them with others, and some people even like to plan lucid dreams, inducing them using aids such as binaural beats, which we'll discuss below.
But this does not prevent a person living in the reality of the real world. If anything, being excited about dreaming can improve and enhance the enjoyment of your sleep.
Dark & Unnatural?
For some religious or spiritual groups, lucid dreaming has been labelled as inherently ‘dark or ‘unnatural’. This is certainly not the case.
Lucid dreaming is not linked to the occult or any other spiritual practice although many lucid dreams have been the conduit of religious epiphanies and messages, in the same way that artistic masterpieces or great works of literature have come about.
Our dreams are an extension of us; they are what we make of them.
Are My Dreams Trying To Tell Me Something?
There are many theories about why we dream and to what end dreams can be put. Some researchers suggest that dreams are made up of important and useful messages about our lives, but of course, for the most part, people do not remember their dreams so that any message sent to us must surely be lost.
Lucid dreaming requires excellent dream recall and you may miss the message or misinterpret its meaning. For this reason lucid dreaming is practiced as an art by those who seek to learn more about the messages of their dreams.
Can I Lucid Dream?
Levels of awareness of lucid dreams naturally vary between people, but also within the individual too. If your level of lucidity is high then you will be very aware that what you are experiencing within the dream is not real, and therefore you will know that you have nothing to be afraid of.
No situation in your dream can harm you at all. However with a low-level lucidity you are only partially aware that you are in a dream.
In this situation you are not aware enough to make any changes to the dream, and you may accept things that you would normally question in your daily reality. Low-level lucidity can mean that the realization that you are in a dream quickly fades, and then the dream seems real.
Lucid Dreaming with Binaural Beats
To induce a lucid dream, where you have control and awareness over your dream, it is best to gradually slow your brainwaves down into deep relaxation rather than fall asleep very quickly.
Our Lucid Dreaming recording uses Theta frequencies to guide you into a calm, relaxed state. The music then slowly drops down into the Delta zone, hovering just above the point where you might fall to sleep.
This keeps you in limbo, in a cat-nap-like sleep state, where you are almost asleep and able to dream lightly but would be woken if someone made a noise or called your name.
In this state, your subconscious will awaken but leave your conscious mind asleep. This is a mind trick of sorts: because your subconscious will assume you are awake and therefore give you control of your dreams.