By Jernice Kelley
Web Content Contributor
Have you ever tried to run away in one of your dreams, but it seemed like you only went slower? It has happened to me so many times that I have lost count. There was nothing more frustrating than trying to get away and just not being able to.
I have always wondered what it would be like if I could be in control of every aspect of my dreams. After doing a quick google search, I came across lucid dreaming.
During lucid dreams, the sleeper is aware of the dream taking place and can, to some degree, exert control over the surroundings. For some, lucid dreaming happens by accident, but others have trained themselves to be able to do so.
So, I figured why not give it a try as well. I went on YouTube and found several videos on how to lucid dream, guided hypnosis, and even a 10-hour video of binaural beats that are supposed to help induce lucid dreaming. I spent three weeks attempting to do this, and nothing happened.
It’s possible that I solely didn’t give it enough time, or maybe I had not found the right technique. Either way, I was disappointed. The sleep foundation shared a few ways to help induce lucid dreams but also mentioned the impact that frequent lucid dreaming could have. Some lucid dreamers have even offered up advice on things you should not do in your dreams.
While lucid dreaming may decrease sleep quality or become potentially disruptive, researchers have not been able to pinpoint why some people are more susceptible to recurrent and intense lucid dreams.
After a couple more weeks of trying this out for myself and nothing happening, I decided to give it a break. About a week later, I had my very first lucid dream. At first, I was not aware that I was dreaming, but at some point, I began to recognize certain things from my dream. It was a dream that I had before, and once I realized that I instantly became conscious of my dream state.
From that point on, I was able to change the outcome of my dream. It was interesting because I had suffered the same recurring dream for so long, and this was the first time that I was in complete control. I have had four lucid dreams since this instance. Luckily, I didn’t have to listen to another 10-hour video for it to happen.
Lucid dreaming looks different for everyone. Some people go to bed with a certain intention on what they want to happen, and others choose to do randomly funny things in their dreams or achieve a goal.
If lucid dreaming is something you would like to explore, I say go for it. Lucid dreaming is generally considered safe, and there are several potential benefits to doing so. With that being said, there are potential downsides as well, just like with anything. Please dream with caution, and talking to an expert beforehand is beneficial as well.
On the other hand, if lucid dreaming does not seem like something you want to try for yourself, there are plenty of beautiful visuals you can watch to get the same feel.
Feature image by Jernice kelley