Check what you know.
True. Flying and having sex are, by far, the two most popular reasons that motivate people to start mastering lucid dreaming. Indeed, these two lucid dream activities are really worth trying, as they can be absolutely fantastic. In a lucid dream, it feels like it is literally happening and you can enjoy the unique experience you have always dreamed about.
False. Unless you have some mental disorder, you won’t have a problem with telling the difference between dreams and reality. When you master lucid dreaming, it is recommendable to do reality checks regularly, not because you need to question reality all the time, but because you will need to remember to do such a check in a dream and understand that you are dreaming. Lucid dreamers don’t lose touch with reality. On the contrary, they understand very well when they are awake and when they are sleeping. So, in a sense, they can be called more conscious than an average person who can’t see the difference between dreams and reality while they are dreaming.
False. This is one of the most popular misconceptions about lucid dreaming. Probably, it appeared thanks to A Nightmare on Elm Street, a classic horror film. But there is no evidence that it is true. Many lucid dreamers have “died” in their lucid and non-lucid dreams and nothing bad happened to them in their real life. If you die in your dream, you either wake up in your bed or you wake up inside another dream.
False. It’s not more addictive than any other regular hobby. Of course, it is really exciting to lucid dream and you might want to sleep more and more. But anyway, you can’t sleep 24 hours a day, can you? It is just simply impossible. Practicing lucid dreaming you might sleep longer (as it has been shown that after six hours of sleep there are more REM stages when lucid dreams happen), which is good for you and your health. Besides, there is no scientific proof that lucid dreaming can be addictive. So there is nothing to worry about.
False. Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move, speak, or react, and is related to REM atonia, the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Whether you are aware of it or not, REM atonia happens to you every night when you go to sleep. It is a sort of “safety mechanism” that keeps you from acting out your dreams.
But sometimes people may experience this temporary inability to move, speak, or react while falling asleep or awakening and it may be frightening.
Sleep paralysis can happen to anyone—to a lucid dreamer or to a person who has heard nothing about it whatsoever. Although it has been noted that people who use the WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dreams) technique may sometimes experience sleep paralysis, not all lucid dreamers have had it. Anyway, with the help of certain techniques, you can overcome the fear of sleep paralysis and even transform sleep paralysis into a lucid dream.
True. Many sportsmen have mastered lucid dreaming to train in their dreams and prepare for real life competitions. You can also use it to develop your artistic ability, hone and polish up your skills. You can practice dance moves and learn sequences, draw and experiment with colors, write music and mediate, etc. There has even been a study that showed that practicing in dreams can improve your performance (see Harvard Business Review to learn more).
True. Lucid dreaming is one of the most powerful personal development tools and its safe and realistic environment can be a perfect place for personal growth. Many people report that thanks to lucid dreaming they have overcome fears and phobias such as fear of public speaking, fear of heights, fear of flying, arachnophobia, etc. Besides, lucid dreaming has been successfully used in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (for example, by clinical psychiatrist J. Timothy Green).
True. Our dreams are a reflection of ourselves, that's to say, of things that inspire, motivate and restrain us. So lucid dreaming can actually help you know more about yourself and get more insight into your personal values and the causes of your behavior in real life.
True. Lucid dreams of lost loved ones may offer a consolation or even a psychological therapy for the surviving individual. Through lucid dreaming you can talk to them, ask them questions, spend time with them and do anything else you can imagine. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are—whether you strongly believe in life after death, or you just think that all characters of your dream are just created by your mind. Most likely, it will be a healing and emotional experience for you.
Also in a lucid dream, you can meet any hero or your role model and talk to them. Who would you choose to meet in your lucid dream? What would you ask him or her?
True. Dreams have always been considered a source of art inspiration. Many writers, painters and even scientists have written their works and made their discoveries in dreams. The melody of “Yesterday,” one of the world's most well-known songs, came to Paul McCartney in a dream. Mendeleev discovered a way to organize his periodic table in a dream. Indian math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan claimed he drew inspiration for his analysis in his dreams. And these are just a few examples to be mentioned.
Lucid dreaming allows you to gain access to a treasure trove of forgotten information, hidden memories, and valuable experiences. Thus, you could explore complex symbols, unexpected associations and vivid images, which can provide a fertile ground for artistic inspiration and creative freedom.
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.