I’ve been exploring lucid dreaming for about 8 months now and steadily kept a dream journal. The amount of dreams I remember did increase over the last months. However lucid dreams seem to be hard to come by for me. So far I’ve only had 2 which I could remember the next morning.
I wonder if there are any more people exploring this?
I also recently got a Zeo, so sleep phases are being logged as well in combination with my dream journal.
I’ve been doing a LOT of playing with sleep… mostly so that I could sleep LESS.
So far the BIGGEST win was blackout curtains to sleep in a 100% dark room.
I tried the blue blocker glasses… that didn’t seem to help much.
I take melatonin sometimes so maybe that does it for me…
I also played with removing caffeine from my diet and that REALLY helped.
The Zeo wasn’t helpful to me … anyone want to buy mine?
I’ve found the Zeo very useful personally… Gave me a better appreciation of the effects of short sleeping and interruptions on my sleep architecture and helped me to compensate more rationally for the effects of my on-call, 24/7 doctor existence.
And for those with subjective insomnia where sleep hygiene and mind-body techniques don’t work, the Zeo is a good first cut to see what’s going on, short of a full polysomnogram which is expensive and resisted by many people.
As for lucid dreaming, there are a variety of techniques to train yourself to increase the probability of lucidity and dream recall. Don’t have my references to the various books and articles handy; let me know if you need some.
Big fan of blackout curtains and earplugs, if needed. Blue blocker glasses and other fixtures are sometimes helpful in those not able to resist nighttime light exposure. (see lowbluelights.com)
Sublethal caffeine toxicity is an underappreciated public health sleep menace. I think a venti S******* coffee has 470mg caffeine (!), in addition to being inferior quality beans. Many people will start to get more overt symptoms (anxiety, panic, palpitations…) above 700mg.
Joost - thanks for this topic. I’ve paid quite a bit of attention to dreaming. (Less now that parenthood has left me with a big sleep deficit and absorbed the time I used to have in the mornings.) I had some success with lucid dreaming and it was very pleasurable; it still makes me smile to think about. I picked up a simple technique from somewhere, can’t remember where. Here it is: remind yourself DURING WAKING HOURS to ask yourself, “hey, am I dreaming right now?” Ask it at all kinds of silly times, just cultivate it as a mental gesture. Since dreams often contain content from waking life, at some point in your dreams you may find yourself asking yourself if you are dreaming. Then the fun begins… Since my favorite dreams involve flying, I would usually take off at this point. It didn’t always work, it wasn’t a reliable or even very predictable occurrence, but it wasn’t infrequent either: maybe twice a month. Dreams that fade into semi-wakefulness in the morning are easiest to remember, and lucid dreams like this seemed much more common at the end of the night than at other times, but this is very hard to confirm.
One more thing I noticed: When I was reflecting on my dreams - not just noting their contents but thinking about what they meant - these reflections would then sometimes get incorporated into later dreams in funny ways, so that dream thoughts began to constitute a 2nd kind of internal dialog, distinct from but related to my waking thoughts. An odd, interesting phenomenon.
I didn’t venture into the blue blocking glasses yet. Caffeine intake is quite low in the evening, but most of the time I’ll sleep with the curtains open… So lightlevels maybe the next thing I’m going to experiment with.
QuantDoctor, I do have access to most of the libraries trough my old university, any specific recommendations for literature? I’d like to stay away from medicines for influencing things like this, but I am interested anyway in what you found usefull!
Gary, thank you for giving some useful tips, I’m gonna try the question one first. I also experiencing better memory of the dreams when you have them just before waking up in the morning.
[quote]QuantDoctor, I do have access to most of the libraries trough my old university, any specific recommendations for literature? I’d like to stay away from medicines for influencing things like this, but I am interested anyway in what you found usefull!
[/quote]Stephan LaBerge is the person that did the most scientific work on the topic of lucid dreaming.
Reading his book “Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life” should be a good start.
Most other Lucid Dreaming writing comes from New Age sources.
I religiously used blueblockers for three years when fixing my adrenals and think they help. I found that waking lucid dreams were easier to achieve than sleeping ones using techniques from IAC in Brazil. Huperzine helps many people but not me. EEG neurofeedback helped enormously. So did fasting in a cave by myself for 4 days - lots of lucid dreams upon returning (but not in the cave).