Side Effects?

Are there any side effects to lucid dreaming because I have this dream book that says controlling you dreams can cause problems with your mind.

Curious: Whats the book called?

I haven’t heard of any serious side effects to LDing so far… But I can imagine that if you’re an extreme control freak and really try to control every aspect of your dreams, there could manifest some problems in time. Because imo one of the many possible meanings of dreams is to store and restore memory processes inside the mind by means of a seemingly natural, unpredictable way of neuron activity. This seemingly causes many dream phenomena to be so out-of-place and extraordinary weird. But also, this unpredictable nature gives a unique touch to dreams. However, if one wants to change the inherent unpredictable nature of the dream into a nearly fully controlled environment, I have a feeling this might indeed collide with the natural brain processes going on at that moment. I think the best way to practice LDing is to keep things balanced: you can control some things, but on the other hand it’s best to keep many things flowing naturally in an unpredictable way. This way you get the best out of LDing. Imo :smile: A fully controlled dream seems too boring because everything then happens as predetermined by yourself.

Yea, it does cause side effects. More of an understanding of your dreams, more of an understanding of sleep patterns, added awarness while awake, more motivation to sleep on a good schedule, and a possibility to get to know your subconsious better. If you can handle these drastic results, then I suggest lucid dreaming. Whatever book you are reading must be making up facts of somekind because lucid dreaming does nothing more to your mind than regular dreaming.

Well, as some people have LD’s everynight, and with no aparant (negative) sideffect, I’d have to go with no.

Also, naturals would be in trouble if there was a negative effect…

I don’t think that controlling your dreams about 5 minutes per month can change anything. What is the title of the book ? (so I won’t buy it :wink: ).
Great lucid dreamers and scientists, for instance Pr Laberge or Pr Tholey, never told about something like that.

This is only true if you assume a direct causality between dream content and brain neuron functions/activity. It could be very well the other way around; brain has “random” neurons firing to fix itself during the night (mainly during REM), and these random neurons also cause dreams. Now, when you consciously and fully control the dreamcontent (total control is nearly impossible anyway I think), this doesnt mean the background process of the random firing neurons stops, only that these don’t influence the dream any longer. This is actually what I suspect, and also the reason I think why having lots of LD’s has never seemed to cause any harm to our brain and/or memory processes.

The book is called “Dictionary of Dreams” by Didier Colin.

i see some very good points of view here!
besides those dictionary of dreams books where said to me (by psychologists) to be crap!
i read some and i found some things that had a lot to do with me and some others that had nothing(at least for my awareness).
and also psychanalists say that a dream has to be interperted in his whole not just by some word or event!
not disregarding the meaning of those particular events! but there’s a context wich can’t be forgotten.
peace~@~you and me too

Yes after some consideration this seems more likely than my explanation. The causality between dream content and neuronic activity is still not fully understood but as you say, a direct link seems a bit unlikely. There is some link nonetheless, because by studying the neuronic activity through brainwaves, one can tell if that person is having a prelucid dream, a LD or a nonlucid dream. But for now it’s impossible to gather information of the actual dream content itself. I think if there was a direct link, one could theoretically unravel the whole dream solely by studying neuronic activity through the study of brainwaves. Furthermore, there are many other factors playing a role in the process, not just neuron firing.

Thanks for correcting me :smile:

Well people have been lucid dreaming for hundreds of years and I have not heard of any negative effects. On the contrary most report it as a very positive experience.

On a personal note, I have been lucid dreaming for a long time with no ill effects. I don’t care what my psychiatrist says. :smile:

But seriously, the only negative thing I can think of is frustration with dry spells which hit most of us from time to time.

Xetrov, Mystic, I was just writing this answer when the server stopped.

My opinion about that. Neurons are firing randomly during REM, but you have to notice that, though our ND’s are curious, they are not really random. So I suppose that, amongst the hundreds of images which are triggered by random firing, a part in our sleepy brain sorts and organizes them into rather coherent stories. When you’re lucid, the sort is more rational but, as you say, it doesn’t mean that the process of the random firing neurons stops.

Only to very mentally fragile / unstable personalities.

But then, the same can be said of meditation. And religion. And a few other things. I wouldn’t worry about it. If you’re in this class of people, you should also be staying away from the internet, and be under medical supervision anyways.

some people say it messes with serotonin levels.

and from my experience when i first started being able to regularly do it, i felt worn out in the mornings, and if i force lucidity for an abnormally longer time than my body wants to allow, then i feel burned out when i wake up.

Which answers the perrenial question of whether you can “do too much lucid dreaming”.

You can try, but your system won’t let you go too far past your limits, any more than it will let you give up sleep, or stop breathing. (like the old fable about the kid who killed himself by holding his breath too long).

Well, by random I did not really mean to say that the proces behind it is random, just the result to any observer. Popov explained it pretty good in this threat:

So what I meant to say is that somehow this process of “random” firing of the neurons in REM seems to trigger and influence our dreams, but that the inlfuence can be cut to some extend by becomming lucid. I agree though that there also has to be some process that has to organise all the signals during REM into somewhat coherent stories. On a side note, did you ever notice that this coherene of dreams is far less in the early REM dreams then in the last cycles? I find this to be a curious phenomenon.

Holy Reality, do you think it has something to do with the hypervigilance you have to set up if you want your LD to last longer?

See I don’t get that. I have extended rem periods and such just as you have yet I still awake feeling energized to a point that far exceeds what I would get with normal dreaming. Don’t get me wrong as I am not doubting you in any way. I just find it interesting.