Check what you know.
False. Practicing lucid dreaming doesn’t require that you sleep less or not at all. On the contrary, you are more likely to have a lucid dream if you sleep eight hours or more. A lucid dream does not make you more tired. It’s quite the opposite. A lucid dream is such a unique and exciting experience that many people report that they feel unusually energized and inspired after having a lucid dream.
False. Many people have dreamed that they died or fell from a cliff or a high building and they lived a long and happy life after. If such dreams worry you, work with them as with any nightmare and use proven lucid dreaming techniques to deal with them. For example, when you are very frightened in your dream, try to relax as much as possible and see what happens next.
False. There is no evidence that anyone has ever gotten stuck in a lucid dream. On the contrary, when you learn to be aware in your dream and manage it to a certain extent, you can also decide when you want to wake up. Usually people practicing lucid dreaming face the opposite problem—that they wake up too early.
True. While the overwhelming majority of all dreams are in color, there are people who report that they have only black and white dreams (although it is not possible to check whether they are telling the truth or not). Some recent studies show that our perception of dreaming in color or black and white can be determined by our age and whether we watched color or black and white TV when we were children.
True. Smoking marijuana reduces the ability to achieve REM sleep, which means that you are less likely to have a lucid dream. Many lucid dreamers report that they have had almost zero lucid dreams after smoking marijuana. So it’s better to refrain from smoking weed if you want to master lucid dreaming.
False. Although regular meditation can accelerate your progress in mastering lucid dreaming, it doesn’t mean that you can’t master lucid dreaming without it. What is more, if you only meditate and don’t practice any of the techniques aimed at developing lucid dreaming skills, at best you will have spontaneous lucid dreams, but not regular ones. So, decide for yourself whether to meditate or not, but remember that it doesn’t substitute for lucid dream training.
False. Many lucid dreamers wish it were so. The problem is always quite the opposite—you want to experience more and more dreams where you are not a passive observer, but more of a stage director. When you have mastered lucid dreaming, you will have regular dreams as well as lucid dreams.
False. Each night we go through several sleep cycles, each of which lasts about 90-110 minutes and consists of five NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and REM (rapid eye movement) stages. We have most of our dreams during REM sleep. The first REM stage typically lasts 10 minutes. Then each of our later REM stages gets progressively longer. Thus, during the fourth and fifth sleep cycles (that is, after about six hours of sleeping), the REM stage can be up to 45 minutes long.
In total, REM sleep accounts for up to 20-25% of total sleep time in adult humans. It means that you can have about two hours of absolutely breathtaking experience a night, but not eight, of course.
True. Although our dreams can be full of strangers, our mind does not invent those faces—they are real faces of people who we have met in our life even if we don’t remember them. A stranger in a dream might have the face of a person you passed by twenty years ago.
False. During the decades of scientific studies about the lucid dreaming phenomenon, not a single case was reported of anyone who lost the ability to separate the real world from dreams. However realistic and exciting a lucid dream can seem, we always understand that it is a dream. And in fact, when we are not sleeping, we don’t need reality checks to make sure that we are not in a dream. We do them for training purposes only.
Can you answer typical questions about lucid dreaming? Can you tell the difference between a lucid dreaming myth and fact? Take the quizzes below to check how much you really know about lucid dreaming.