June 18, 2012
A possibility can bring a smile to one’s lips. Sometimes people imagine these possibilities or fantasies in their sleep – the act of which is called lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming means conscious dreaming. On a scale, it is tucked between daydreaming and dream control. You may not be in control of every element, but you are aware that you are actually dreaming. The term illustrates it well: the clear manifestation of dream, an imagined reality.
Relive Your Fantasies and Banish Nightmares
A number of benefits and advantages have come out of lucid dreaming, the most tempting of which is the realization of one’s greatest fantasies and pleasures. Dating a rock star, flying over the night sky, delivering a life-changing speech — all these are feasible in the lucid dream. This warranted freedom and the chance to play God makes lucid dreaming an attraction, a cheap luxury. After all, there is no real physical harm and social consequences involved. You are your own audience.
It has also been known to be a therapeutic solution to nightmares. The Lucidity Institute says that lucid dreaming is seven times more likely to outdo a nightmare than the other way around.
Too Much of a Good Thing
However, most of you might wonder, is lucid dreaming dangerous? There are many schools of thought on this issue, but many think that there certainly are negative aspects to lucid dreaming. Not being dangerous goes to the extent that no evidence of physical or social malfunction has been linked to lucid dreaming. But like with all good things, there are cautions regarding probable abusive conduct.
Lucid dreaming may be a form of escape, but spending more time in this state than in real life sows risks in important aspects of life:
1. Oversleeping is unhealthy; the easiest proof is that it causes headaches, then later on obesity, diabetes, etc. Literally now, too much sleep can kill you.
2. Moreover, obsession with your lucid dreams can cause you to lose touch with your real social life, manifested in forgetting tasks and occasions. If lucid dreams resemble waking life, then eventually you might confuse which is real and which is a construct.
3. Another danger is that the controlling command in lucid dreams might be carried out in actual situations. Leave those super powers with the dream ego!
4. This segues to the possible effects of lucid dreaming in your mental state. Although studies claim links of psychotic tendencies with lucid dreaming, no concrete evidence has been cited. Interestingly though, lucid dreaming was noticed in patients with malaria and influenza, among others, according to dream specialist Ryan Hurd.
5. A minor concern in lucid dreaming is having false awakenings, or perceiving that you are already awake when that’s not really the case. Inception, anyone? Confusing as this seems, it does not mean that you are veering away from reality. A separate subject would discuss how to cope with these false awakenings, but the easiest advice would be: don’t fret. Fear is a construct, and in lucid dreaming, it will always boil down to the point that nothing about it is real and penetrating.
Lucid dreaming can be relaxing, pleasurable, and addictive — but too much of a good thing can be dangerous. Don’t abuse lucid dreaming and be vigilant for signs of abnormality. See a therapist or doctor if you experience things out of normalcy. Even if the internet can provide you plenty of information on the subject, nothing would be as effective in resolving your issues as a sit-down session with an expert.