Do you wish to exercise control over dreams? It is possible by employing the MILD technique of inducing lucid dreams. Previous studies suggest that what you experience in your dream world depends upon the thinking pattern before you fall asleep. There are many techniques (revolving around lucid dreaming) that can help you control your dreams. Have a look.
Three Techniques to Manage the Dream State
1) Achieve lucidity during rapid eye movement
It is believed that lucid dreaming is the most effective during the REM sleep period. This is because the brain is calm enough to transition into the world of lucid dreaming. The MILD technique is also practiced during the same phase.
For Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams, you need to wake up right before this sleep stage begins. Set the alarm or change your sleep pattern accordingly. Five hours is the average duration. Lie down in bed and focus on the theme of your lucid dream. Let go of any other thoughts, and soon you will drift into a lucid dream environment.
2) Replace the alarm clock with brain activity
The transition period of five hours is essential for good sleep. To ensure that you wake up at night, you can program your brain to get lucid dreams. Early on, setting alarms might help you strike a balance. It should not be continued for a longer duration as new research indicates that sleep quality is reduced if you wake up forcefully.
Within a month, you will be able to get rid of the alarm clock. Since you wake up naturally, creativity will be high. This will help you have better lucid dreams. Even if you fail to induce lucid dreams early on, keep trying.
3) Journal dreaming in the waking state
The best way to control your dreams is to keep track of your old dreams. A dream journal is used for writing about your recent dreams. Establishing a connection and understanding the natural pattern helps you achieve a high success rate in the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams. The MILD technique works only if you plan while staying awake.
The WBTB, or Wake Back to Bed practice, should also be mentioned in the journal. When you try to induce a lucid dream next time, the brain will find it easier to establish control as there is a lot of information stored in advance. Stephen LaBerge propagated the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams to use prospective memory for controlling dreams. It involves waking up and thinking about a future event that you wish to dream about.
Reality Testing for Dream Recall
Wondering how remembering dreams is associated with controlling dreams? That's because the human brain gets conditioned to enter into the lucid dream state and then manipulate dreams accordingly. A good working memory can be an added advantage in learning the art of controlled dreaming. Reality testing was first introduced in the 1990s by established psychologist Sigmund Freud (dream analysis). To remember every lucid dream, you can think about your last dream the moment you wake up. It is quite similar to dream journals but involves enhanced motor skills.
Some common reality checks include checking the time, moving some furniture, playing with light switches, or simply asking someone whether you are awake or not. The essence of reality testing lies in the easy differentiation between the sleep state and wakeful state. It also involves checking whether you are dreaming or just imagining. Avoid walking while you are performing a reality check.
Potential Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Controlling dreams is not only about channelizing mental activity. Lucid dreaming has many other physical and mental advantages in the long run -
- Lucid dreams reduce the occurrence of nightmares.
- If followed by a reality check, lucid dreaming can improve memory by recalling dream content.
- Lucid dreams help improve mental health.
- For people who get significantly less sleep, lucid dream induction might help in falling asleep.
- Sleep quality has improved more than normal dreams.
- Paralyzed individuals can practice physical skills during lucid dreams.
- A single sleep phase continues for five hours, leading to deep sleep.
- Problem-solving skills in lucid dreamers are significantly higher compared to people who do not know how to induce lucid dreams.
- Lucid dream induction techniques improve brain capacity if a specific combination of dreams is followed.
Dr. Denholm Aspy's Research on Lucid Dream Induction Techniques
Out of the many techniques available, the MILD technique works best, as established by this new research. The research was conducted in Adelaide's School of Psychology. The university's school included every visiting research fellow (including those from Harvard Medical School)in this study on lucid dreams.
Dr. Denholm Aspy's research on the benefits of lucid dreams was published in the journal "Dreaming" and became popular worldwide. All the lucid dream induction techniques mentioned in this article were brought up by the same. Though participants achieved a success rate of only 17%, this research was a breakthrough due to the new developments in lucid dreaming (although they reported low success rates).
Frequently Asked Questions
How to enhance prospective memory for the REM sleep period?
Keeping a dream journal might help. Other ways include practicing mindfulness while sleeping, consuming memory-enriching foods, and planning lucid dreams before you fall asleep.
What are Lucid Dreams?
Lucid dreams are self-induced dreams during which the person is aware of dreaming while staying asleep. It is also known as conscious dreaming. This type of dreaming is an excellent way to reduce nightmares and improve some cognitive skills.
What is the negative effect of being sleep-deprived?
A study involved in establishing a connection between sleep and wellbeing shed light on this issue. Sleep-deprived people are slow at processing vital information, and thus, mental health suffers the toll. In addition, they also find it difficult to stay calm and composed once they wake up. Previous studies have also shown that lack of sleep is dangerous for the immune system.
Conclusion: Control Your Dreams in Just One Week
Create a lucid dream environment each time you wake back to bed. During REM sleep, prevent yourself from staying awake for long. The MILD technique (mnemonic induction) can easily be mastered in a week or ten days. To speed up the process, you can keep track of each lucid dream and establish a connection. Remember that the best time to start a lucid dream is when you wake up in the middle of your REM sleep. Stick to whichever technique works for you and control your dreams like a pro!