An Attempt at Lucid Dreaming

8 Nov

I’m not sleeping much lately.  In fact, at all. I’m trying really hard but it’s just not working out.  So this week, it’s only appropriate that I attempted to complete my Lollipop Tuesday in my sleep.  Literally.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, you beautiful ladies and gentlemen.

I’m incredibly intrigued by the idea of lucid dreaming.  For those of you unaware, lucid dreaming is basically the state of being aware you are dreaming, which allows you to take control and manipulate the actions in your dreams.  There are a slew of tips and tricks for how to accomplish this, though on occasion it will happen independent of effort.  It usually sparks when you’re in a dream and realize that something defies reality.  For the most part, we accept anything that happens in our dreams.  For example, I’ve played Monopoly underground with grizzly bears and my grandparents and nothing struck me as odd.  However, when I ended up underwater in a dream and finally couldn’t hold my breath any longer, the realization that I can indeed breathe sparked me into lucid dreaming.

There were mermaids.  It was awesome; thanks for asking.

I’ve been reading up on ways to encourage more lucid dreaming and came across this list.  Most suggestions (keep a dream journal, look at your hands and ask yourself if you’re dreaming) are efforts made over a long period of time and maybe when I tire of this world, I’ll dedicate more time in reality to successfully escaping to fantasy.

After all, flying in a lucid dream is pretty much the best thing ever.  

Ever.

But for now, I was content to attempt a short term goal and initiate my own lucid dreaming experience by taking tip numbers 5 and 6 in this WikiHow: How to Lucid Dream.  Basically, it required me to set my alarm for 5 hours into my sleep cycle, wake up, and dedicate time to focusing on my dream, what happened, and the desire to remain in it.  The idea is that when I fall back asleep, I actively attempt to ease back into the dream but with the knowledge now that I am in it.

Doesn’t that sound awesome?  Doesn’t it sound totally killer to be able to wake up in the middle of the night, lasso control of your dream, and lie back down for the remainder of your sleep session flying over walls, talking to animals, and saying and doing anything you want? You can bend spoons with your mind or buy a circus elephant for your backyard.  All your deepest desires can be indulged.

Except last night I didn’t dream.

Or at least if I did, it was nowhere near the 5-hour mark.  All I did was wake up 5 hours into my dream, recognize the fact that I did not, in fact have anything to focus on or remember because my mind was a vapid, white space.  So I fell back asleep unaccomplished.

It’s unfortunate, really.  Perhaps this takes training or time or something special that just didn’t work out for me last night.  I’m not even really upset that I woke myself up in the middle of the night for no good reason.  I’m upset that I’m not writing a post about becoming a mermaid queen or discovering time travel or turning into a three-toed sloth and telling of my lazy adventures in the forest.

Don’t judge me.  There’s no judging on The Jackie Blog.  I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this.

I might try again tonight.  And maybe the following night.  After all, if I’m not sleeping well I might as well use that time to do something productive, like cure cancer or transform into a wallaby.

Plus, ever since I first failed at Lollipop Tuesday (Geocaching, followed by apple pie, followed by lack of lucid dreaming), I’ve been harboring a sort of resentment toward myself that might not be reconciled until I right my wrongs.   Maybe I can use my next lucid dream to successfully geocache and then celebrate with a well done apple pie.

Who knew that sleep could be so very productive and delicious? 

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10 Responses to “An Attempt at Lucid Dreaming”

  1. veehcirra November 8, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    I totally relate on with you on lucid dreaming. I have been trying to muster how to have lucid dreams and like you so clearly said and experienced, it does not happen over night. The key is knowing the difference between sleep time and waking time…am stuck there. That thing about looking at your hands when sleeping is hard, and yet it sounds so easy. If only there was a way to make this easier…

    Like

    • Jackie November 11, 2011 at 12:47 am #

      There are a couple of good suggestions on here – I like the whole easing yourself into a set of circumstances as you fall asleep – kind of like telling yourself a story and then eventually you’ll fall asleep into it. I might try that tonight, actually 🙂

      Like

  2. Jules November 8, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    I heard you shouldn’t look into mirrors when you’re lucid dreaming. Or else…

    Like

    • Jackie November 11, 2011 at 12:45 am #

      I don’t even want to google this to see if you’re alluding to something I should know. I have a hang up with mirrors that this wouldn’t help. *cringe*

      Like

  3. pegoleg November 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    I’ve never heard of this. Good for you for trying something new, yet again!

    Since hitting menopause, I’m trying to figure out how to have lucid sleep; to hell with dreaming. Sorry – TMI.

    Like

    • Jackie November 11, 2011 at 12:38 am #

      LOL Peg, I feel so bad for your change of life, but I’m really loving hearing about it.

      Like

  4. egills November 9, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    When I was small I used to use a similar trick to stop myself from having nightmares. I’d wake up screaming that spiders were crawling all over me and I’d imagine an apple instead of the spiders. It took a long time to stop the spiders from crawling out of the apple but eventually I’d get better and end up with orchards of apple trees, no spiders and happy fluffy dreams ( not always but most of the time ).

    Nowadays I’m with Peg and wish I could actually get enough sleep to actually dream!

    Like

    • Jackie November 11, 2011 at 12:29 am #

      I love hearing these tricks! Thanks!!

      Like

  5. oanh November 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I taught myself to lucid dream as a teenager (though I must admit, I’ve only just now learned that’s what it’s called) because, like egills, I had nightmares. Lots of terrible nightmares, all the time. So terrible, that my screaming would wake my family and my father (who slept on the first floor whereas my bedroom was on the ground floor) would come into my room in the middle of the night and shake me awake from my nightmares. My nightmares are less frequent now, as an adult, but my partner still occassionally wakes me in the middle of the night to shush me from screaming. What a great sleeping companion I am!

    Anyway, to do it, I thought through how I wanted my nightmares to end. So, instead of thinking, I’ll dream of apples because I like apples when I’m dreaming about spiders crawling on me (not that I’ve ever had that nightmare! just different ones!), I would try to work out how best to get rid of the spiders within the context of the dream. E.G It’s raining outside and I walk out into and have them washed off me, then the rain turns to light summer rain and the sun comes out with beautiful golden light and I’m in a field of waving knee high grass and dandelions etc

    Tell yourself a story and lucid dream the continuation of the story. Start it BEFORE you sleep AND when you wake in the middle of the night.

    I still do this now to get myself to sleep. Sometimes, all I do is walk through a house. I start opening a beautiful wooden door, walk down a hall, look at pictures, smell flowers, find the kitchen, see my mum or sisters cooking something delicious, sit down, imagine a conversation – I fall asleep somewhere in the house, or I keep walking to a hammock in the yard or the bedroom or ..

    and so on.

    good luck!

    Like

    • Jackie November 11, 2011 at 12:16 am #

      Oh my goodness – those nightmares! You must have had so much angst trying to fall asleep, knowing what was waiting for you. I love the suggestion – I’ve actually experienced sleep paralysis like that before (working into a story as I sleep into it) I’ve woken up half awake and found that I can’t move. It’s so incredibly unnerving.

      Grats on getting through the bulk of your nightmare nastiness. I have a lot of issues with sleeping that I shan’t go into and I really feel for you there. It’s unfortunate to not be able to rest well or to have any anxiety wrapped into the one thing that is supposed to be most restoring.

      Like

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