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Posts tagged ‘dream’

Lucid Dreaming-Can You Control Your Dreams? Part Two

Lucid dreamers make some pretty remarkable claims and we are only going to list a few for you today, but if you have had lucid dreams please share them in the comment section.

One woman began lucid dreaming in high school and used lucid dreams as a way to problem solve from everyday issues to school work. She continued this practice through medical school and even as a surgeon today who is able to complete a surgery more accurately and on average 40% quicker than her peers. Another person reports that he used lucid dreaming to perfect his defense skills as a black belt and was able to earn his instructing certification in less than a year. Many reports often come from children, one in particular that could recall lucid dreams from the age of five, the dream consisted of flying around the world in a rocket ship made out of a garbage can. The bottom of the garbage can was glass so that he could see everything below while flying and when it was time to land he was aware that he didn’t have proper landing gear, so he just simply said time to wake up right before impact.

Lucid dreaming is even being used as a therapy to help people overcome their fears and nightmares. The idea is that if you know that you are dreaming then the next logical step is to realize nothing in that dream can physically hurt you. No matter how scary a nightmare may be, if you are able to realize that it is just a dream than you should be able to conquer that fear. Many people have reported that after facing their fears or monsters in their nightmares through lucid dreaming that they transform into friendly creatures and even friends.

Even more recently new technology is allowing more possibilities than we thought possible, such as Daniel Oldis, a software engineer who has invented an EEG headband called the Zeo. The Zeo consists of a little red light bulb, internet connection, and programmed to connect with other users for what he calls “social dreaming”. This works by connecting two people in different locations in the world that are wearing the Zeo headband to bed, and it begins to collect brainwave data that it sends to a computer. When Zeo detects that both people have entered into REM sleep the light turns on and cues the sleepers to incorporate the light into their dream, hopefully without waking them, in an attempt that they realize that they’re in a dream and from there they can try to join in each others dreams.

LaBerge, S.. N.p.. Web. 22 Nov 2013. <http://diyhpl.us/~bryan/papers2/dreaming/Lucidity Institute Research Papers.pdf?>

LaBerge, S., and L. Levitan. N.p.. Web. 22 Nov 2013. <http://www.lucidity.com/LucidDreamingFAQ2.html&gt;.

Parmy Olson, . N.p.. Web. 22 Nov 2013. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2012/11/08/saying-hi-through-a-dream-how-the-internet-could-make-sleeping-more-social/&gt;

Lucid Dreaming-Can You Control Your Dreams? Part One

Lucid dreaming is when a person has a dream that typically happens during the REM stage of the sleep cycle in which a person is aware that they are dreaming, and then is able to control what happens within the dream. For some people lucid dreaming comes natural and has even been reported to start in children as early as five years of age. But, for others it proves to be much more difficult; taking hours of research and years of practice. Some people are able to learn how to lucid dream, but have to have a lot of practice staying in the lucid state after realizing that they are in a dream and can control what happens, this can cause to much excitement causing them to snap out of the dream. People who get the hang of how to lucid dream can continue to have them as they wish, while others only have lucid dreams for a couple of weeks, months, years. There isn’t an exact science on how to lucid dream, but there is a substantial amount of research being done to learn more.

Lucid dreaming is understood to have been happening since the existence of people, one of the earliest accounts we have is from Aristotle (384-322 B.C.). Who was one of the first writers to try to study the mind and dreams in a systematic way, and then in 1913 Frederik Van Eeden coined the term “lucid”.  Scientist have had a hard time trying to wrap their head’s around the idea of lucid dreaming, and they eventually accepted that being aware and awake are two different concepts. The studying has continued throughout the years and now we can find hundreds of articles and scientific studies on the subject of lucid dreaming.  When looking online it’s easy to find this information, from how to lucid dream in 15 steps on wikiHow, or watching YouTube videos to help take you into a lucid dreaming state, and even joining The Lucidity Institute’s mailing list. While we have all of this information and these scientific studies the statistics aren’t clear on how many people have lucid dreams, though most people report having had a lucid dream at least once in their lives, and only around 20% of the population reports having lucid dreams once a month or more.

LaBerge, Stephen, and Howard Rheingold. Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. New York: Ballantine, 1990. Print.

LaBerge, S.. N.p.. Web. 22 Nov 2013. <http://diyhpl.us/~bryan/papers2/dreaming/Lucidity Institute Research Papers.pdf

Hurd, Ryan. N.p.. Web. 22 Nov 2013. <http://dreamstudies.org/2011/01/06/the-neuroscience-of-lucid-dreaming/&gt;.

LaBerge, S., and L. Levitan. N.p.. Web. 22 Nov 2013. <http://www.lucidity.com/LucidDreamingFAQ2.html&gt;.

Crisp, Tony. N.p.. Web. 22 Nov 2013. <http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/aristotle-on-dreams/&gt;.

What are dreams?

Everyone has awoken from a frightening dream or rolled out of bed feeling fulfilled because of a dream. Dreams allow individuals to feel as if they are using the time they spend sleeping for entertainment and learning. Dreams have always been an area of interest for many people, but the true origin and substance of dreaming remain a mystery to most.

Dreams, as defined by Dictionary.com, are “a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.” 1

Dreams occur in all stages of sleep but occur most frequently and vividly in the first stage of REM sleep.2 This stage is the most important in the sleep cycle as it provides a period of restoration and healing for the body and mind.

If an individual gets the recommended eight hours of sleep in a night, they can go through at least 4 stages of REM sleep resulting in hours of dream time, although most dreams are never recalled.2 Many individuals report never remembering dreams when, in actuality, they are simply not placing importance on dreaming.  People tend to recall their dreams about once every few days on average; however, if one is awakened during REM sleep, they can recall their dream 80% of the time.3

It is thought that dreams occur because of the process during REM sleep when the brain synapses are activated and intensive firing of neuronal pathways that hold memories and experiences occurs.2 This stimulation may be what causes dreaming and recall of prior experiences, future goals and a mix of the two.

Some of the most common dreams are those of individuals being chased, pursued, embarrassed, failing at something, or falling. While these types of dreams can all derive from different situations and causes, they all present a frightened sensation to the individual having the dream. Additionally, all dreamers place emphasis on different areas of their lives causing similar dreams to have various meanings to different individuals.3 For instance, more than 80% of college students noted having had dreams of the falling nature. These dreams are thought to originate from feelings of insecurity or fearing loss of emotional balance.3

While the significance of dreams is still unknown, it remains that REM sleep is truly essential to the body and mind’s health and wellness through storage of information and healing that is vital to performance during the daytime.

Bibliography:

1. Dream (n.d) On Dictionary.com—Retrieved May 24, 2012, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dreams?s=t

2. Maas, Dr. James B., Megan L. Wherry, David J Axelrod, Barbara R. Hogan, and Jennifer A. Blumin. Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance. New York : Villard, 1998.

3. Carskadon, Mary A. Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreaming. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1993.