When intrigued by the concept of self-awareness while dreaming, you must be inquisitive about finding out how does lucid dreaming work.
Basically, conscious dreaming allows you to explore your dreams vividly and with practice, even works as a tool to control them.
In addition, lucid dreaming techniques can also help you escape to a dreamscape of your choice. Although this comes more naturally to some people, other may have to try a little hard to experience this incredible phenomenon.
However, like any other phenomenon in the material world, lucid dreaming is not entirely free of faults. For instance, it can be like an addiction for those who are more interested in dream world rather than reality.
Plus, excessive involvement in lucid dreaming can lead to dissociation from friends and family, not to mention the controversial issues such as exhaustion and inability to stop the process.
Nevertheless, lucid dreaming can be one of the most exhilarating and liberating experiences in the world. On a deeper level, it can help you understand more about yourself, both psychologically and spiritually.
So, How Does Lucid Dreaming Work?
Although proven scientifically now, the concept of lucid dreaming is not at all new. In ancient times, this powerful tool was combined with astral plane projection and used by shamans, seers, etc. for mystical experiences related to altered states of consciousness.
Coming back to the modern times, this phenomenon has been proved true through scientific studies and experiments by scientist Stephen LaBerge and his team.
Here’s a video giving useful information on lucid dreaming.
Conscious dreaming, whether natural or induced with the help of lucid dreaming techniques, usually takes place during REM sleep characterized by rapid eye movements.
There are five stages of sleep with varying ranges of brainwave frequencies. During vivid dreaming, this frequency is almost as high as that in case of waking consciousness.
The most favorable time for experiencing this phenomenon is the Alpha stage of sleep. Thus, disrupt your sleep about an hour before your usual waking time and then fall asleep again to increase the possibility of gaining lucidity in dreams.
How to Start Lucid Dreaming?
For this, you will have to start maintaining a dream diary to record your dreams to help you remember them in more detail and hence understand the patterns of your dreams. Plus, you also need to have a clear objective for having lucid dreams.
Next, there are several methods like, autosuggestion, reality checks, morning napping, MILD and WILD to name a few, that can be used to induce conscious dreaming.
For example, you can pick out dream signs by studying your dream patterns for a while and then perform reality checks when you spot a sign to determine whether you are in a dream or reality.
This, however, would require patience and practice. The most obvious way to introduce reality tests in dreams is to practice it during your waking hours as well by asking yourself if you are dreaming.
You can observe your own hands, your surroundings, look in a mirror, or ask yourself logical questions. You will find that in dreams, your clothes would be different, lines on your palms would be somewhat disfigured, you may even grow additional fingers! Besides, people also make use of hypnosis, binaural beats, etc. to help them have lucid dreams.