What is lucid dreaming? Discover the advantages and disadvantages
Achieving a successful lucid dream is something that many people have been chasing for centuries, thanks to the pleasant feeling it offers, and the possibility of materializing in dreams what we would like to be real. The experiences are amazing, but go much further than what we just told and we must take into account certain aspects so that we do not get out of hand.
Think about the following situation: you are sleeping and you begin to dream, it can be a pleasant dream or, on the contrary, a nightmare. From this last you will be wanting to flee, and yet most of the time we fight long time to face the fears that devastate us when we are with Morpheus.
However, when we have a pleasant dream, we are always thinking of extend it, even though, on certain occasions, the alarm clock rings to bring us back to that everyday reality...and what we were so pleasantly as spectators ends up disappearing after few minutes. How annoying this can be! 🙄
All these situations remind you of something, don’t you? What if I told you that you can be the master of your dreams and rule them wherever you want? And no, I’m not talking about pursuing personal or professional goals in real life, but to be able to go from being a mere spectator of your dreams to being an active actor in them and living thus what, in earthly life, probably you cannot do it, either for good or for bad.
It would be great, right? Well, you have to know that there are people who get a lucid dream every day, after having carried out certain well-known techniques to produce this kind of dream, i.e. that state in which in spite of being asleep, your degree of drowsiness is not so high in such a way you can be aware what you are living at that moment and, therefore, you decide how the story ends.
Among some of these techniques that we will mention later, consuming marijuana is one of the most we like, but the way you do it really matters, since it’s necessary to follow certain guidelines. Of these and other techniques, as well as the main aspects about lucid dreams we will speak long and hard. Will you come with us? ➡
⛳ What is lucid dreaming?
This, I think has already been clear enough before, but if there was any doubt, the lucid dream is one that occurs when the dreamer is aware of it, being able to control it and intervene in it to change its course towards where you want.
“Dreams and the Ways to Direct Them” Léon d’Hervey de Saint-Denys.
This evaluation, which seems to us some common today, is not so, in fact, such is the pleasure of being able to control dreams and such are the benefits, that many people have been searching for centuries for this type of dreams every day or, at least, to the greatest extent possible.
Hence, many methods are now known to achieve this, some more effective than others, more or less orthodox and more or less effective.
It all depends on the person, the circumstances and how that method is applied.
However, it was not until 1867 when the French writer, Léon d’Hervey de Saint-Denys, began to talk about lucid dreams in his book “Dreams and the Ways to Direct Them”. The Frenchman spoke long and hard about this type of dreams that occurs in the REM sleep phase, but as early as the 5th century and the 7th century Latins and Buddhists respectively were pioneers when it came to talking about this type of dreams.
Since then, numerous essays have been written about it and, not only that, seventh art and literature have also echoed this phenomenon that has aroused curiosity in the mankind for centuries, in search of its advantages.
The most propitious stage to achieve these types of dreams without seek them out is around 10 to 19 years old, especially among the most intelligent children, since It’s been said that their ability to memorize and acquire knowledge also influences when it comes to perceiving that they are having a dream, besides that they have greater capacity to remember it once they wake up, and we must not forget that it’s already known the dreams are often repeated in numerous occasions, although, in the majority of cases, we never remind it.
✨ Advantages of lucid dreaming
Many people may not be aware of the importance of having lucid dreams, but the truth is that this type of dreams go beyond living a pleasant experience; Something that is also duly endorsed scientifically, after having performed numerous studies in the sleep disorder units at different hospitals and universities.
Providing you a global insight into lucid dreaming and in a summarized way, the main advantages you may find on lucid dreams are:
–It reinforces cognitive memory, due to the effort that the brain does while, in theory, it rests. This also allows us to improve on real-life problem solving with greater ease. We can improve concentration and precision.
-It strengthens our confidence in ourselves and helps us to feel more satisfied with our lives, since this type of dreams gives us general well-being.
-It helps us overcome post-traumatic situations, or rather, the stress that these generate in our lives, since people who have suffered those bad experiences get solutions from lucid dreaming.
–It improves our creativity, we must not forget that when we control our dreams, we are creating a new world, as if we produce our own film.
👌 Cannabis and lucid dreams
In the following lines I am going to explain you what are the main techniques that are used today to have lucid dreams, but firstly, I would like to make a stop along the way and dedicate this little section to marijuana and the experiences this plant may produce in your “asleep mind”.
We already know that although one of these techniques is precisely the use of certain plants such as the African sleep herb (Silene Capensis), common valerian (Valeriana officinalis), mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) or Uvuma Omhlope (a type of African plant very powerful to induce sleep), to consume marijuana before sleep also has its reward as far as the experience of dream is concerned.
One of the advantages of using marijuana before bedtime is that, especially with Indica strains (Do not forget that sativa strains have rather an opposite effect, in lots of cases), help you to relax and, therefore, solve insomnia problems that many people suffer.
But cannabis does not only has a mere relaxing effect on humans, but when cannabis is consumed before bedtime, the REM phase which is the one in which lucid dreams may occur is altered and reduced, because of this people who consume the cannabis plant take less time in reach the phase in which get completely asleep.
As we may review from studies carried out in this regard, during the period of time that people have used cannabis to sleep, lucid dreams have been accumulating in such a way that when they stopped consuming cannabis the dreams arose (in fact it likely occurs) again with more intensity.
So we can say that marijuana actually helps to have lucid dreams, but the question is when and how to consume it to achieve this goal. This is what is known as the REM rebound and only occurs, as we said, with a discontinuous use of marijuana.
Among some of the best strains you can use to induce sleep are Citronella Sky Feminized, from PEV Bank Seeds. In spite of being a sativa phenotype, it has been shown to induce lucid dreams.
Amnesia Lemon Feminized PEV Bank Seeds, is a mythical marijuana genetic, making closer to you this high quality chemotype…
Another kind of seeds that will undoubtedly be great if you want to have lucid dreams are Ak-47 Autoflowering from PEV Bank Seeds (extracted from its European Old School line, providing an Indica autoflowering phenotype), this cannabis cultivar is ideal for solving sleep problems, providing mental alertness as long as you are immersed in a complete state of relaxation. A perfect combination to achieve the most desired lucid dream.
AK 47 Auto PEV Bank Seeds, in just 70 days of crop cycle, gives us a very dense resinous flowers extreme potency, caution users less accustomed…
And if what you are looking for is having deep dreams first, consuming cannabis later at any time in the day, farther away from bedtime, I suggest, for example, Gorila Vip Feminized, from PEV Bank seeds, a cultivar belonging to the Premium American Line which can be harvested in 10-11 weeks from the beginning of its flowering time.
Gorilla Glue Feminized, grows strong and well branched, grows as vigorous as you can hear it screaming as long as legnthen its stem under the first sun rays in the morning…
These are just few ideas, but you know we have many more. As I said before, it is not the only technique to achieve lucid dreams, but I may ensure that thanks to it will be much more special.
With all this information, it will always good for you to put into practice the techniques that I am going to mention in the next section.
☕ Main techniques to get a lucid dream
Achieving lucid dreams is, rather, a work of constancy. In fact, people who manage to have lucid dreams consistently, usually use the following techniques:
–Have a dream diary: or, at least, a place to take notes, just wake up, what you remember of your dreams. This will make it easier for you to remind the next night, as well as help you solve certain issues that have occurred the day before.
–Mild technique: consists of putting the alarm clock a few hours after lying down, for example, 5 or 6 hours later, remembering what you dreamed and thinking about how you would drive it until you fall asleep again. In this way you will be fully aware that you are having a dream. This technique was invented by the expert psychologist in lucid dreams, Sthepen Laberge.
–Evaluation of the reality: when you are aware that you are having a dream, but you are just a mere spectator, to check it out, you can pinch your nose for example, or look at your hands and ask you if you are dreaming.
–Ludic nap: Similar to the Mild technique, to carry out this technique you have to set the alarm clock 90 minutes before bed, stay awake for 90 minutes and then go back to sleep with the hope of being lucid.
📖 Lucid Dream vs. Astral Projection
As I have been commenting from the beginning, lucid dreams can be intense, especially if you reach it using cannabis, but do not confuse this type of dreams with astral projection that, although they have points in common, are very different.
But, what is an astral projection?
People who have experimented with it define it as an experience in which consciousness leaves the physical body that is placidly resting. It is as if you have two bodies: one, your own and is that one from which you are aware of, and the astral, that is the one that makes you where your mind takes you, unfolding completely. They are two different entities.
It’s precisely that last point, which is about of realizing that you have two different bodies, is the most complex task. People who live this experience describe it as spooky and similar to which we were referring before, existing some differences that I will quote below:
Difference between the lucid dream and the astral projection
–In the astral projection the individual seeks to perceive things that happen around him and relate to the people he encounters during his trip. He is aware that his physical body goes out and becomes another, unfolds. Something that does not happen in lucid dreaming.
-In lucid dreaming the individual is aware that he is dreaming and is able to drive himself to where he wishes, but does not perceive what is happening around him.
📲 How to have lucid dreaming easy and fast
In addition to the technique we have discussed above, the Rebound REM, to have lucid dreams consciously, I recommend:
–Remind your dreams during the day and analyze them while you are fully aware of it.
–Practice yoga or meditation, which will help you to be more aware of yourself and of your body.
–Quit smoking marijuana more or less at the same hour you would stop taking coffee, because it affects the way you sleep, for example, at 6 or 7 o’clock in the afternoon (but you know yourself better than anyone, and you know the best time for you, I have no doubt ).
–Repeat the quote several times before falling asleep “I realize that I’m dreaming“. It seems a nonsense, but if you think about it, what things do you usually dream about? The last or the closest you’ve lived in the day, so … why not to try this method?Achieving a successful lucid dream is something that many people have been chasing for centuries, thanks to the pleasant feeling it offers
Weed and lucid dreams
This article comes complete with a dreamy soundtrack to listen to while you read about the relationship between cannabis and dreams. To increase the vividness of the images shooting through your mind, just press “play.”
Track 1: “Mr. Sandman,” by the Chordettes
After midnight, something happens to me. I lose all inhibitions and the rules of space and time no longer apply. I’m able to engage in unprotected sex with strangers without consequences, drive super fast in adventurous car chases, and fly through the air without the help of a plane. I even floated around in outer space once…but I got pretty scared when I couldn’t see the ground, so I went home. Luckily, getting home is always easy. All I have to do is wake up.
Track 2: “Dreams,” by the Cranberries
I’ve been lucid dreaming since childhood, so at this point I’m pretty tapped out on creating crazy dreamscapes. Now, my favorite thing about being lucid in a dream is that I’m able to be irresponsible and leave my purse at a bar and not worry about it—because it’s just a dream-purse and dream-bars are super chill. But I recently found out that most of my friends have NO IDEA what I’m talking about when I babble on about Dream Land.
“Don’t you know?” said my pal with a wistful sigh. “People who smoke weed don’t dream.”
Track 3: “Dream Police,” by Cheap Trick
I was shocked. “But I vape weed all the time and my dreams are so intense!” I countered.
“Maybe you’re just lucky?” she said, and then we stopped talking about my dreams because describing your dreams to someone is like explaining an improv scene you saw once. #NoOneCares
My friend’s comment and wistful sigh really bothered me. Why shouldn’t cannabis users be able to dream? Everybody dreams! It’s just that we don’t always remember what happens in Dream Land….
Track 4: “Enter Sandman,” by Metallica
Basic Internet searches for “weed and dreams” seemed to agree with my dreamless friend. Many articles told me that stoners have “shorter REM cycles”—the part of your sleep where you dream—and therefore they don’t dream as much as non-stoners. People in forums also reported that when they stopped using weed their dreams got super intense and scary.
Maybe I’m biased, but I don’t want to live in a world where cannabis is capable of such things. Taking away dreams? Giving you nightmares when you stop? That’s not the Mary Jane I know. So I dug deeper into the research.
Track 5: “Dreams,” by Fleetwood Mac
In a recent NY Mag article about crazy weed withdrawal dreams, Dr. Timothy Roehrs, a sleep expert at the Henry Ford Health System, explained that there are only “six scientific studies” that say weed shortens your REM cycle. Most of those studies are from the ’70s and ’80s—and none of them are super well-controlled. So, Roehrs and his pal, Leslie Lundahl of Wayne State University School of Medicine, decided to retest this tired old REM theory. The results aren’t yet published, but they are juicy.
Track 6: “Dreaming of You,” by Selena
As part of a larger sleep study, Roehrs and Lundahl—whom I picture as sleepier versions of the Masters of Sex duo—placed a group of heavy cannabis users in a sleep lab. Some nights they gave the stoners real weed, and on other, less fun nights they gave them placebo weed (weed with a teeny-tiny amount of THC). Turns out the REM sleep of the heavy pot-users was the same amount of time regardless of the amount of THC they consumed. They even got as much REM sleep as the non-weed-using control group. So potheads CAN dream!
Track 7: “You Make My Dreams Come True,” by Hall & Oates
But what about those weed-withdrawal nightmares the Internet told me about? Dr. Roehrs has a nice explanation. In any kind of withdrawal situation (nicotine, alcohol, etc.) sleep is disturbed, causing the sleeper to wake up during their REM cycles more frequently, which causes them to remember what they were dreaming about. It’s not that they are having new and weirder dreams, it’s that they are able to remember the dreams they’ve been having because they woke up in the middle of it. Kind of like catching the end of a weird horror movie on TV—disturbing and confusing.
Track 8: “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night,” by Electric Prunes
More research is definitely needed into the subject of cannabis and sleep, but there is no shortage of scientific information available on lucid dreaming. Sleep scientists have recorded a ton of lucid dreaming adventures and have even documented a lady experiencing an orgasm during a lucid dream. And the International Association for the Study of Dreams exists IRL and is not just a thing I made up.
Track 9: “Dreamlover,” by Mariah Carey
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich have discovered that lucid dreams even have their own special area of the brain—the prefrontal cortex (the front of the frontal cortex), which is the region of the brain that allows us to self reflect. Scans show that this frontal area is larger in the brains of people who are lucid dreamers.
Which made me wonder…what area of the brain is affected by cannabis? It’s the frontal cortex! What a coincidence….
Track 10: “Dreams Never End,” by New Order
The German researchers now want to know whether these self-reflection skills can be trained. In a follow-up study, they intend to teach volunteers how to lucid dream, so they can see if it will improve their capabilities of self-reflection. You know what I think would really help that study? Cannabis, a plant known for enhancing meditation. Scientists, call me. I have lots of ideas.
Track 11: “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” by Mama Cass Elliot (sporting an amazing caftan)
So, if cannabis doesn’t shorten REM sleep but does affect the same area of the brain where lucid dreaming happens, it would make sense that potheads have a ton of potential to lucid dream their asses off. As of now, there are no formal studies looking at lucid dreaming and regular cannabis use. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be your own guinea pig….
Track 12: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These),” by Eurythmics
When you first start trying to lucid dream it’s important to not freak out. Going into a dream scared is like going into a psychedelic trip while scared—it can lead to some spooky shit. So, relax! Consume some cannabis, get your blankets on, and as you drift off to Dream Land, tell yourself that you want to be aware in your dreams, and that you want to remember them. Keep a dream journal by your bed to jot down symbolism right when you wake up, then try to make sense of it later. This self-reflection will help you to lucid dream, just as the lucid dreams will help you to self-reflect.
You’ll find the language of your dreams is distinctly your own—dream dictionaries are nice novelties but you are the best person to interpret your own dreams.
Track 13: “Dream On,” by Aerosmith
Our dreams affect our decisions and attitudes just as much as our decisions and attitudes affect our dreams. If you believe that you’re unable to lucid dream, then you won’t lucid dream. Don’t be the Debbie Downer of dreaming. If you are open to lucid dreaming then the gates to Dream Land will open up to you, whether you use pot or not. Sweet dreams!Scientists are debunking decreased REM and withdrawal nightmares. ]]>