The Dangers of Lucid Dreaming
Have you ever had a dream that disturbed you? Where you see something unsettling, and you are unable to do anything! But just a minute. What if there was a way to control the narration of your dreams? The answer is lucid dreaming. Now, if you have seen movies like Inception or Behind Her Eyes, you have already been exposed to the concept of lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming is a phenomenon of realising you are dreaming amidst a dream. Today, scientists are associating lucid dreaming with mental health. But is it truly a healthy way to take care of your psyche? Are there any dangers of lucid dreaming? We bring you all the information below!
What Are Lucid Dreams?
Lucid dreams are when you know that you are dreaming when you are fast asleep. Then, despite the vivid images flashing through your brain, you realize it’s not true. In fact, lucid dreaming also allows you to control the narration of your dreams. Almost like you are creating your movie in your mind.
When Do Lucid Dreams Happen?
Lucid dreaming occurs during the REM sleep stage. R stage or REM starts about 90 minutes after falling asleep and lasts for about 10 minutes. Each REM stage lasts longer than the previous one.
Risks of Lucid Dreaming
Some of the dangers of lucid dreaming are;
Decrease in Sleep Quality
When you experience vivid dreams and wake up, it can make it difficult to go back to sleep. And sometimes, when you concentrate too much on lucid dreaming, it can get you excited, making it difficult to go back to sleep.
Confusion and Hallucinations
Sometimes, it is possible that lucid dreaming can diminish the lines between reality and dreams, especially for people who are suffering from health disorders. It can be one of the harmful effects of lucid dreaming.
Benefits of Lucid Dreams
One of the main benefits of lucid dreaming is that it can be helpful to combat anxiety. Sometimes, nightmares can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. However, with the help of lucid dreaming, you can shape your dreams how you want to, making you feel empowered.
Better motor skills
A few studies show that lucid dreaming can improve your motor skills. For instance, if you practice tapping your hands faster during your lucid period and do the same motion when you are awake, it can activate the same part of your brain. These are some of the beneficial effects of lucid dreaming on the brain.
Research shows that with the help of lucid dreaming, your creativity, and logical thinking improve, and you gain better problem-solving skills.
A lucid dream enhances creativity in participants, and they could also come up with new ideas or insights.
How to Lucid Dream
Now that you are well aware of what are the dangers of lucid dreaming and its advantages let’s take a look at the techniques that can help you lucid dream.
This technique helps you get in the groove of lucid dreaming. Here, you stop at different times of the day and check if you are dreaming or if it is reality. But first, you must do something like trying to push your finger through your hands.
People who want to experience lucid dreams can keep an entry of all their dreams. Writing them as soon as you wake up can help you focus more on them.
It is a technique where you sleep for 5 hours, wake up for 30 to 60 minutes, and then go back to sleep.
Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD)
Just like the wake-back-to-bed technique, here, you wake up after 5 hours, and before going back to bed, you repeat several times that the next time you dream, you will have a lucid dream.
Some medicinal plants and supplements can help induce lucid dreams. However, you must consult your doctor before you proceed.
Some masks and headbands can be used for lucid dreaming. These devices also play messages, such as the ones you use in the MILD technique.
When practised in therapy, lucid dreams can be beneficial for you and can help treat conditions such as severe nightmares and PTSD. However, if you want to try lucid dreaming, you can try the above techniques carefully.
Is having lucid dreams dangerous?
Lucid dreams are generally safe. However, if you are suffering from any mental disorders, it can pose a few risks as mentioned above.
What can lucid dreams lead to?
Some of the dangers of lucid dreams can be disrupted sleep and even adversely affect sleep hygiene.
What do lucid dreams do to your brain?
During lucid dreams, the connectivity of the dreams improves and dreamers can access memories from waking life and control the narrative in their dreams.
Can you get trapped in a dream?
False awakening can make you feel like you are stuck in a dream.
Why do I lucid dream every night?
It is believed that lucid dreams occur because of the enhanced functioning and connectivity of aPFC and temporoparietal association areas.
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