I’ve always been fascinated in dreaming. Our body is asleep yet our brain is awake and taking us to places and having another experience. It is an effortless journey. Dreams are the stories the brain tells during sleep. Collections of clips, images, feelings, and memories that involuntarily occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of rest. Humans typically have multiple dreams per night that grow longer as sleep draws to a close. My mood in the morning usually depends on what I dreamt about the night before, so if I’m in the good mood, it means I had a good night sleep and a nice dream.
I remember once when I was asleep and in the middle of my REM which is the stage where a person experiences dreaming, I was waiting for a bus so that I could go home, but one person said that no bus will arrive today, I thought that’s weird, “how can I go home now?” I looked around and saw how vague my vision is and then I thought, “What if I’ll fly in order to go home?” thus I jump to the air and focus myself into floating, and surprisingly, it worked! It was as if I can control my body to move around the air, I was struggling at first because it seems as if I’m about to drop but the more I think about flying the more I go up in the air. I can’t recall much of what I dreamt about but it was a really fun experience, I woke up that morning filled with joy. One of the things that I notice during this dream is that some part of me is aware that I’m dreaming and my decision to fly is my desire. Experts called this Lucid Dreaming. Lucid dreaming means being aware that you are dreaming while you are dreaming, and you have the ability to change the dream in minor to major ways.
Even though the term “lucid” means clear, lucid dreaming is more than just having a clear dream. To have a lucid dream you must know that it’s a dream while you’re dreaming. That’s it. It doesn’t require that you can control anything in your dream, though control is what beginning lucid dreamers often aim at. People get attracted to lucid dreaming because they want to be able to do things they could never do in waking reality, for example, turn into a dragon or fly to the sun. You can use it to explore the boundaries of your own agency and the limits of the universe.
But there are some interesting clues about what may distinguish lucid dreamers from non-lucid dreamers. Some research indicates that certain personality traits and cognitive styles may be linked to lucid dreams. Imagination and creativity have both been associated with more frequent lucid dreaming. Self-examination, and a tendency to rely more heavily on internal thoughts (rather than external information) have also been linked to lucid dreams. Research shows that people who can effectively split their attention between different tasks, or points of focus, may be more apt to have lucid dreams. There’s also some indication that people who experience nightmares more often may be more prone to lucid dreams.
And some research suggests that stronger overall dream recall a greater ability to remember all types of dreams after waking may be linked to a greater capacity for lucid dreaming.
There are also a spiritual benefit of lucid dreaming, it will make you a more enlightened person. You learn to be in the present moment and to notice your surroundings and take in things without being sidetracked by random thoughts or the past or the future. That’s what all big spiritual teachers teach you now: The importance of being in the present moment. That’s what lucid dreamer have been doing all along. They are aware of the present moment with more than just their physical body, because their agency is expanded to include a higher self.
If you want to be lucid in your dream, the best technique is to actually become more aware and look and listen and pay attention to details, because when you see things that don’t fit, that’s a clue that you’re dreaming. To facilitate the process you can form the habit of examining the environment or your state of awareness during the day. Mental habits you practice during the day tend to continue in dreams. So you examine your environment during the day, you examine your awareness, and then you may notice that something is different once you start dreaming. Someone who has become lucid has much higher levels of awareness and obviously, I think that’s one of the biggest benefits of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreamers are typically better at noticing things because of the heightened awareness.
Good dreaming contributes to our psychological well-being by supporting healthy memory, warding off depression, and expanding our ordinary limited consciousness into broader, spiritual realms.
If I have good dreams I also experience bad dreams or nightmares. Nightmares are distressing dreams that cause the dreamer to feel a number of disturbing emotions. Common reactions to a nightmare include fear and anxiety.
I had a dream once, I was with my mother we were seated on a chair facing each other and we are having a conversation when all of a sudden I saw the place being warped and turning black and everything went dark I looked at my mother and she grabs my neck and was about to choke me after that she turned into a dark figure and all I can see is a dark place and a hand around my neck. I’m having chills while I’m writing this. I woke up and my heart pounding so hard and I was so scared that night.
That’s not the creepiest thing that happened to me while asleep, have you ever heard Sleep Paralysis before? Have you experienced it? I did.
I can sense myself laying down my bed. I tried to move but I can’t. I tried to talk but I still can’t, I feel nervous and scared, I can’t stop the thoughts that are swerving in my head. I stopped myself from over thinking and prayed and asked and beg God to make my body move. I woke up and catch my breath while my heart pound so hard, so loud I can hear it through my ears, I’m all sweaty and my hands are shaking.
That is the typical thing that happens every time sleep paralysis occur. The worst part is that when you started to hallucinate, I can see and hear things. There’s another time when I feel really tired and exhausted from work, I’ve already had 8 hours of sleep but I still feel sleepy so I decided to continue my sleep, then it happened again, my body cannot move but I can see my surroundings and then I saw this dark figure sitting on my stomach. I felt scared yet I tried to be strong, I was about to say ‘get out!’ to that dark figure but I am also not able to speak. Once again I tried to calm my nerves and pray. I do not believe in demons and paranormal but I do believe in God. I open my eyes that night and force myself to wake up because I’m still feeling sleepy but I don’t want to be in a sleep paralysis stage again. I was scared of course, but these things happens so often that I already got used to it. There were times when I caught myself screaming when I wake up. That is really weird, but the truth is, these are common to a lot of people, I’ve talked to my friends and they also experience sleep paralysis in their life.
I looked it up online since I got curious that maybe there’s a scientific explanation behind this sleep paralysis and turns out it is a Neurological Disorder. Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain and body aren’t quite on the same page when it comes to sleep. During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, dreaming is frequent, but the body’s muscles are relaxed to the point of paralysis, perhaps to keep people from acting out their dreams. Researchers have found that two brain chemicals, glycine and GABA, are responsible for this muscle paralysis. Doctors suggests to improve sleep schedule and maintain a better bedtime routine. But many individuals suffer from sleep paralysis without any apparent psychiatric or neurological condition. Some study shows that stressful life events, anxiety, sleep quality and genetics are some of the factors that trigger sleep paralysis.
There’s no need to fear nighttime demons. If you have occasional sleep paralysis, you can take steps at home to control this disorder. Start by making sure you get enough sleep. Do what you can to relieve stress in your life — especially just before bedtime. Try new sleeping positions if you sleep on your back. And be sure to see your doctor if sleep paralysis routinely prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Maybe the reason why it always occur to me before is because I was stressed and tired. I often overthink before I go to sleep. But now I’m doing my best to have a healthy lifestyle, have an organized thought and fight my anxiety. I don’t really consider this as serious matter because I’ve notice that sleep paralysis only happens when I overthink.
Some fascinating recent research conducted by scientists in the United Kingdom has also linked sleep paralysis to lucid dreaming. Sleep paralysis occurs when we wake from sleep unable to move or to speak. Both sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming appear to be related to transitions in and out of REM sleep. During REM sleep, the body is largely paralyzed. And REM sleep is a sleep stage characterized by vivid, active dreaming. This research showed an association between the frequency of sleep paralysis and the frequency of lucid dreaming. It also highlighted some important differences between the two sleep phenomena. Sleep paralysis was connected to higher stress and to lower sleep quality. That’s not surprising to me, given how upsetting and scary episodes of sleep paralysis can be. On the other hand, lucid dreaming appeared to be a much more positive sleep experience. In this study, lucid dreaming was not associated with stress or reduced sleep quality. It was linked to more positive waking daydreaming experiences, and to more vivid waking imagination.
I guess the important thing here is that we have a good night sleep because sleeping well may affect our mental and physical health. There are times when we struggle to fall asleep causing us to toss and turn at night. Therefore we need to develop some habits for us to get a good night’s sleep and do better in the morning. Some of the tips are exercise during the day, limit the intake of caffeine and nicotine, keep your room dark, cool and quiet and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to set the body’s internal clock.
Whether we like it or not we will still encounter struggles in our sleep and have bad dreams but the important thing is, getting up in the morning and being ready to face the challenges ahead of us in and being prepared for a brand new day.