OK, I’m posting this because I’m getting annoyed that nobody’s contributing to the wiki. But first I’ll explain what a wiki is.
A wiki is just a set of articles which anybody can edit. It’s that simple. You read the article, then you click on “Edit this page” at the bottom, then you change whatever you want, press Submit, and your changes come up.
The point of a wiki is that if everybody edits, not only are typos and grammatical mistakes edited quickly, but also everybody can add their own point of view. So if you think that somebody should do a wide variety of reality checks, you can say that. If somebody wrote that you start WILD just before sleep, you can correct them. So hopefully, a small set of articles grows into a large one, full of information.
However, if you do any mistake, anybody can also change the article to an older version. So whatever you do, an old version will still be kept.
Unfortunately, I have tried to catch peoples attentions a bit and make people contribute, but I don’t seem to be managing. So I’m posting this in the Lucid Lounge section to try again.
You just need to go here, where everything is, and you can start editing. Just a few notes:
- You can also help by answering the questions here if you have the knowledge. If you don’t, you can still help a bit. Check that thread for details.
- On the Wikibooks site, blue links are for pages which have already been made and red links are for pages which haven’t. If you shy away from just starting a new article all by yourself, use the blue links instead.
- When you start editing pages, you might notice that there’s a special code for bold, italics, lists, and so on. If you can’t be bothered to learn it, ignore it and use whatever you want - I or somebody else will fix it.
Thanks for reading all that, and I hope you contribute! Any questions, just post them here.
PS I’ve already written this much (if you want to actually read it, just go to the wikibook here)
[size=9]Each night, we spend about one and a half to two hours dreaming. We dream about once every 90 minutes of sleep. The time you spend in a dream becomes longer through the night, from 10 minutes to about 45 minutes. But what happens when we dream?
There are four levels of sleep, from Level 1 to Level 4. We dream mostly in something called the REM state, between levels 1 and 2. The most vivid dreams, and therefore the ones we remember the most, are in the REM state. Every 90 minutes of sleep is roughly one cycle of sleep. A cycle starts in stage 2 (stage 1 if we just went to sleep) and progresses downwards to stage 4. In stage 4, our heart beats the slowest and there is the least brain activity. This is called slow wave sleep. Then, the heart speeds up slightly and progresses upwards until the REM state is reached. In the REM state some parts of the brain is nearly as active as while awake. During REM your eyelids flicker rapidly (hence the acronym, Rapid Eye Movement). We awake quite often throughout the night, but if it is for less than 3 minutes it is usually forgotten by the time we wake up.
I never dream anyway.
You do, actually - you simply don’t remember any of your dreams. In the next chapter you will find out how to improve your dream recall.
What is lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is basically dreaming while being aware that you are dreaming. If you are in a lucid dream, you will usually have some power over your dream - anything from being able to fly or making an object or room appear behind a door or inside a pocket right up to being able to change into animals and create a whole world!
Why might I want to lucid dream?
There are plenty of reasons:
Simply for fun! Just flying in a lucid dream is an exhilarating feeling. Lucid dreams are far more intense and vivid than most non-lucid dreams. You can use a lucid dream to wind down after a long day.
Transforming into animals or getting superpowers is a unique experience which is hard to get any other way.
A major part of “training” for lucid dreams is improving your dream recall or how many dreams you can remember. If you are particularly interested in dreams - either in spirituality or in psychology - trying lucid dreaming could help you in your research.
If you’re writing fiction or just creating a world for a computer game, lucid dreaming can help you visualise it. You could ask your characters how they feel about something or what they think will happen. Some people compose music in their lucid dreams.
Are lucid dreams supernatural?
There are differing views on this. Some people claim to have organised shared dreams or precognition dreams through lucid dreaming. Others say it is simply created in the brain, much like self-hypnosis.
How long does it take to learn how to dream lucidly?
This completely depends on the person and circumstances. Some people have a lucid dream just a few nights after finding out about it (usually by accident) while some people can take months! If you don’t get enough sleep or feel too stressed after work to try techniques, it may take a long time. It will also depend on how much effort you put in. However, everybody can learn how to dream lucidly.
I can do astral projection, should I learn how to dream lucidly?
Possibly not. If you often enter a “dream world” after leaving your body, that is basically the same as the method called Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming.
I can use self-hypnosis, should I learn how to dream lucidly?
Again, maybe not. If you often enter a “dream world”, that is basically the same as the method called Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming.
If these are so similar, why learn lucid dreaming and not self-hypnosis or astral projection?
Here are some reasons:
Lucid dreaming is something that everybody can understand. Most people have already had a lucid dream. Nobody knows how self hypnosis works and no particular spiritual theory about astral projection is accepted.
Hypnosis has many negative connotations for some people. This is mostly from myths in books and films, but some people remain scared of hypnosis.
In contrast with self-hypnosis, much material about lucid dreaming is available for free.
If you are prepared to spend money, there are some gadgets to help people dream lucidly. Usually, they will give a light or sound signal shortly after the REM state is detected.
If you don’t believe in the supernatural you will be much more comfortable reading books about lucid dreaming or self hypnosis than those on astral projection.
I had [dream], was I lucid?
Try using this table:
Signs you were lucid Signs you weren’t lucid
Doing a reality check which gave a positive result
Frequent remarks to dream characters that you are dreaming
Attempting to spin (if you alreayd know about lucid dreaming)
Attempting to fly immediately after realising you are dreaming
Waking up as soon as you realise you’re lucid
Dreaming that you dreamt, i.e. dreaming that you woke up
Having a bad memory for that dream after you got lucid
It is important to improve your dream recall because it is possible to have a lucid dream without remembering it! It is worth getting your dream recall up to a few dreams per night for exactly that reason.
First, a quick reminder about how often and how much we dream. We have REM dreams approximately every 90 minutes of sleep, and while they start off at about 10 minutes they increase in length to 45 minutes. If you wake up while you are dreaming, you have roughly an 80% chance of remembering what you dreamt. Therefore, try setting an alarm clock to 4.5, 6, 7.5 or 9 hours after you think you will fall asleep. This should wake you up directly from a dream.
The most important part of improving your dream recall is keeping a dream diary or dream journal. You could use an office notebook, artist’s sketchpad, an online journal, a sheet of paper or even a dictaphone - whatever seems natural to you. Here are some tips for keeping your journal:
Write down everything you remember about the dream. Phrases, colours, feelings, everything. Write it down in the morning.
Keep a small dream diary notebook with you all the time. It is quite easy to remember a dream in the day and then forget it when you get home.
Using a dedicated pen in a special colour helps to make keeping your journal more of a ritual.
Try to go to bed early enough to ensure that you wake before your alarm clock rings. In the time you get, mull over any dreams you had and do a reality check.
You should try to keep your eyes closed for as long as possible, particularly if you wake up near the sunrise. Try to use a notebook which holds a pen and scribble down whatever you can with your eyes still closed.
You might want to copy out rough notes into a neater dream diary later on in the day. This helps engrain the dream in your mind.
Keep a small notebook with you throughout the day and, even if you only get a fleeting feeling of some dream, note down as much as you can remember about the dream and what triggered the dream.
Think about your dream or dreams throughout the day, and ask yourself “What did I dream?” several times. Often, you only get a good answer to this an hour after you woke up.
Also, use MILD to improve your dream recall (see the full description of MILD in the next chapter).
You should have your dream recall up to about one dream a night before trying induce lucid dreams.
There are some things which are common to many techniques and these will be handled first.
Firstly, how to get yourself to wake up and then to go to sleep just 10-60 minutes later. Probably the easiest method is a fairly quiet alarm clock. However, you could also use MILD (see below) to try and wake yourself up immediately after you dream. This should help with your dream recall too. You might want to drink lots of water or some tea, which is a diuretic (makes you go to the toilet). However, you might just wake up at 10AM feeling very uncomfortable!
If you have trouble getting to sleep in the first place, don’t drink water for about an hour before you think you’ll turn your lights off. In fact, do drink water an hour before, to stop you from getting thirsty later on. If it takes very long for you to fall asleep, you can take advantage of this by reading books about lucid dreaming before going to sleep. This could greatly increase your chances of getting a lucid dream. You definately need a light next to your bed to read until you’re too sleepy to carry on, as getting up to turn the light on often wakes you up again!
Secondly, reality checks. Reality checks are a way to make certain whether you are dreaming or are in the “waking world”. You may think “well, of course I’m in the waking world” but if you simply think this automatically, you will come to the same conclusion in your dreams!
So here are some reality checks. You should be familiar with all of this list even if you only use a few.
Nose - Can you see your nose with one eye closed?
Breathing - Can you breathe through a tightly shut nose?
Reading - Do sentences change when you read them? Read, turn away and repeat it to yourself, and then turn back and read it again. The Lucidity Institute has found that text changes 75% of the time when checked once and 95% of the time when checked twice.
Time - Does your watch or clock tell a reasonable time? Are you even able to read the time off it? Sometimes clocks have the wrong amount of hands or have strange symbols.
Memory - Are you able to remember how you got here, why you are here and what happened an hour ago? This is not always a reliable Reality Check!
Powers - Are you able to fly (just visualise it), unlock doors or have other magical powers?
Hands - Are your hands a strange colour, have too many fingers (sometimes they disappear and reappear when you tyr to count them!) or have other abnormalities?
Mirrors - Do you look normal in a mirror?
Light switches - Does a light switch work?
Choose a few reality checks which you will do regularly. Keep doing reality checks until you are convinced that you aren’t dreaming. You should always carry out more than one reality check.
If you are in a situation where you cannot do a Reality Check, such as at a public speaking, try to do one as soon as possible. You can do some reality checks very discreetly, such as feeling your fingers to make sure you have five. If you start to say “well, I can’t do a Reality Check now” you should not be surprised when you do this mistake in a dream!
This is actually considerably more than it looks like when it’s 1 pixel tall! Go read it on the wikibooks website.