Lucid dreaming is a fascinating thing where the person is aware that he is dreaming. While lucid dreaming, you know that the things roaming around your brain aren’t really real, but the images are pretty clear, and you can control the events.
Lucid dreaming shows you things that you can’t do in real life. For example, you may see yourself flying, swimming in the middle of the ocean, jumping from a very high cliff, etc.
But is lucid dreaming dangerous? Are there any negative impacts of lucid dreaming?
Here is a detailed post on lucid dreaming, its impact, how to prevent it, and more. Keep reading if you experience lucid dreaming or are generally curious about it.
What Exactly Is Lucid Dreaming? Is It For Real?
As stated, in lucid dreaming, you see yourself doing things you don’t usually do in real life. For example, you see yourself flying, and you fly everywhere you want to go. The dream looks so vivid that you feel you’re present in the state.
For example, Paris is your dream designation, and you fly there, walk in the streets, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Even though you’re aware you’re dreaming, your senses are heightened; lucid dreaming is physical.
Lucid dreams are more common during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. It’s a period of deep sleep with very deep breathing, more brain activity and eye movements.
A person enters the REM state after 90 minutes of sleep. Lucid dreaming may last only for ten minutes but may also extend to an hour.
Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, first introduced the concept of lucid dreaming in his treatise, On Dreams. He talked about a state of consciousness when people are dreaming.
But are lucid dreams real?
Yes, lucid dreaming is pretty real because you’re present both physically and emotionally in it. The scientific community at Hull University confirmed lucid dreaming for the first time in 1975.
According to a study, when lucid dreaming, there is increased activity in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is associated with cognitive abilities. Therefore, lucid dreaming is a hybrid state of consciousness.
In normal dreaming, your consciousness levels don’t work. You’re not in control of your actions and aren’t self-aware of what you’re seeing.
In contrast, in Lucid dreaming, you’re self-aware; you can influence your actions, make decisions, and decide what should happen next. In short, you enter a magical world where you have the superpowers you always wanted.
Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous?
The rising popularity, different interpretations, and myths about lucid dreaming have made people believe that lucid dreaming is dangerous. Is it true? Is lucid dreaming dangerous?
No, lucid dreaming isn’t dangerous. You won’t die while lucid dreaming because you’re aware you’re dreaming and can control how your dream goes.
But lucid dreaming can be scary, and when not practised with caution, it may have the following negative impacts-
1. Hallucinations & Mixing Reality With Dreams
Lucid dreams may cause confusion or hallucinations between what’s real and what’s imaginary. Especially people with mental disorders will find it difficult to distinguish between reality and dreams.
Also, normal lucid dreaming may become an addiction to escape reality when we face any hard time. However, it’s a very serious concern because most people don’t fall into the trap, and people who professionally practice lucid dreaming are also able to distinguish between the two.
In case it becomes an addiction, and you find it difficult to differentiate between the two, it’s best to see a licensed psychologist.
2. Sleep Deprivation
A lucid dream occurs in the REM sleep state, which is the final stage of sleep, and when it gets disturbed, the person may feel sleep deprived.
Also, since lucid dreaming is so vivid, we remain in half-asleep and half-awaken mode. And the shock of lucid dreaming may make you wake up in the middle of the night. Sometimes, it is really difficult to go back to sleep, and you may lie awake for some time.
Lucid dreaming causes fragmented sleep, a short cycle of sleep interruptions. Momentary nighttime waking disrupts sleep quality and, in the long run, may cause sleep deprivation.
3. Feeling Trapped In The Dream
Even though it has never actually happened, some people may feel trapped in the dream. You may feel unable to return to reality or wake up.
This often leads to false awakenings. When the dreamer tries to wake up but realizes that they are dreaming again, this continues until the person can wake up. This could be a very scary experience.
4. Sleep Paralysis
This is one of the scariest things about lucid dreaming. Sleep paralysis is the inability to move your body when you’re asleep. This takes place in the REM state because our dreams in the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) state are so vivid that our bodies get paralyzed to prevent us from breaking that dream.
While lucid dreaming, you’re in the REM state. It’s possible that you may gain consciousness while your body is still paralyzed. Sometimes sleep paralysis is accompanied by hallucinations creating an extremely scary feeling.
It may scare you when you experience it for the first time. But if you train your mind that it’s natural and only a situational stage, you can easily overcome it.
Lucid dreams may also turn into lucid nightmares. When things get out of your control, the dream becomes a nightmare. However, this should be less scary than a normal dream because the person is aware that it’s a dream, and you have the ability to remind yourself of it.
While it’s an unpleasant experience, it’s a great way to overcome your fears. Some people, because they are aware that it’s just a dream, actually want to see what happens if they face certain problems and how to prevent such issues in real life.
6. Hypersensitive Emotions
We experience hypersensitive emotions while lucid dreaming. We may experience the loss of a close one, or we may fall in love with someone we have hardly spoken to. Such feelings get so heightened that you may cry or laugh in the dream.
Since these emotions are so powerful, we may feel stressed for a short span.
Can You Turn Lucid Dreams Into Something Positive?
Yes, you can turn lucid dreaming into a positive experience. There are people who practice lucid dreaming for spiritual growth, to overcome fears, to fulfill wishes, and for emotional and physical healing as well.
However, you need to take it slow and believe in the process. The only thing you must remember is that it’s just a dream and create ways to overcome the fear.
Most people say that they feel quite relieved after practising lucid dreaming. It’s one of the proven techniques to practice mindfulness. If you focus on lucid dreaming only for 10 to 30 minutes a day, you can achieve extraordinary things in life.
How To Prevent Lucid Dreaming?
If you feel lucid dreaming is constantly affecting you and you no longer want to experience it, the following steps may help prevent it-
1. Create A Sleep Routine
Developing a sleep routine is extremely important for quality sleep. A sleep routine should be like going to bed at the same time every day, switching off all electronic devices, taking help of sleep meditations, don’t taking caffeine before bed.
2. Exercise Daily
Daily exercise of at least minutes is essential for your overall development. Exercising gives you a boost of energy for the day, but as bedtime gets closer, you feel tired and get a sound sleep.
3. Make Your Bed Comfortable
There are mattresses with plush foam folds as per your sleeping pattern. It makes you feel relaxed and lets you doze off peacefully the entire night. Again make, you dim your lights, light cancelling curtains, and you may play soft music that creates a nice sleeping environment.
Final Thoughts! Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous
Lucid dreaming is quite an extraordinary experience where you experience a different world while in your senses. Even though it’s pretty unreal, it gives you a slice of what a fantasy world may look like.
I hope this extensive guide on lucid dreaming was insightful. Lucid dreaming isn’t harmful when you realize it’s only a dream and it can’t leave any permanent impact on your life. If you have any further questions about lucid dreaming, ask in the comments!