Ian Parkin is the verified author of this post.
What is lucid dreaming like to practice at home alone?
It's pretty cool stuff! So why not learn about the actual signs, possible dangers, and real advantages of controlling lucidity in your dreams with this list of FAQ answers.
There are plenty of reasons you might want to lucidly dream: Simply for fun! Just flying in a lucid dream is an exhilarating feeling. Lucid dreams are generally far more intense and vivid than regular dreams.
What is lucid dreaming?
Is lucid dreaming scientifically proven?
Is lucid dreaming a skill?
What is lucid dreaming used for?
If you are particularly interested in dreams - either in psychology, spirituality or in psychic studies - trying lucid dreaming could help you in your research.
Here is a list of things lucid dreaming can be used for:
Can you control your lucid dreams?
Are lucid dreams psychic?
How long does it take to learn lucid dreaming?
Can you naturally have a lucid dream?
How do I know if I had a lucid dream?
Signs you were lucid:
Signs you were not lucid:
Is it dangerous to lucid dream?
While there is no current evidence of lucid dreaming being abnormal or unhealthy in any way, there are a few things you should be aware of that could occur because of practicing lucid dreaming techniques. These possible side effects have been outlined for you below. Please do not let this scare you away from this wonderful tool; rather, remember that with dreams you are dealing with your own subconscious mind, and recklessness is not recommended.
Alienation: Many people have never even asked about lucid dreaming, much less ever experienced it. Some people are also less than open-minded and receptive to new ideas. Do not be surprised if someone considers this whole phenomenon “weird” or “crazy” (which it is not). Do not preach, either; it is not your job to absolutely convince everyone. Often people who spontaneously lucid dream, especially children, may find it surprising that not everyone does. They may even start thinking that they are the only person in the world who has lucid dreams. If they are worried, the best support is to let them know that they are not alone, and they are not abnormal.
Addiction: Lucid dreaming can be used for different purposes. Some may want to try it just for fun, using it as a "safe drug", or a personal virtual reality machine. Having fun is a fully valid reason to experience what is lucid dreaming. However, be careful not to be addicted to this way of escaping your waking life. If you find that you are spending more time asleep than needed, or that you are thinking more about lucid dreams than your real waking life, take a break.
Dissociation: Lucid dreaming may weaken the borders between waking and dreaming, the conscious and subconscious mind, reality, and fantasy. This might lead to problems of a dis-associative nature. Probably the most common form of dissociation involves having problems distinguishing lucid dreaming and what are your waking memories. Everyone who recalls at least one dream will have to sort out what was reality in the morning. This can really be a problem for those who have previously had zero recall and, due to lucid dreaming, have had a major uptake in what is lucid dreaming recall. Now, suddenly, they have all these excess, illogical memories to sort out. This is unlikely to be a major problem but may be a big annoyance.
However, there are signs that you should watch for that indicate a bigger problem may be developing. Lucid dreaming should not cause these to appear in a waking state:
If this has happened, and there is no other cause (e.g. drugs), take a break from lucid dreaming for a while. In fact, take a break from lucid dreaming for a while, at least until symptoms stop.
Creating bad habits or becoming a control freak. When lucid dreaming, you have the option to control the dream world in ways that are impossible in the waking world. You can, for example, make objects appear or disappear, or make people act according to your will. Some people believe this may lead your subconscious to desire this kind of control in the waking world, where it is highly inappropriate. Also, you might be tempted to apply lucid dreaming solutions to waking-life problems instead of facing them; for example, just willing bad things to go away or escaping or destroying them by superpowers. Again, this is probably more of a problem if you are not mentally stable at the outset of the lucid dreaming process.
Accidentally encountering “spiritual” entities. This depends on your worldview. If you are a psychic-junkie like me, you will be looking forward to meeting entities in the psychic realm. However, if you see dreams as a creation of your brain and nothing more, you do not need to worry about spirits or anything similar. If you want to be on the safe side, treating everything in your lucid dream decently and politely will not do you any harm.
Is lucid dreaming similar to astral projection?
Is lucid dreaming similar to self-hypnosis?
What is lucid dream recall?