Lucid Dreaming, Asleep And Aware Essay

1207 words - 5 pages

Lucid dreaming is an issue that has been studied as far back as 1896. A Lucid dreamis one in which the dreamer is aware that he/she is dreaming and is sometimes able to takecontrol. Lucid dreams are an actual phenomena that do occur in REM sleep.Dr. van Eeden was the first recorded person to study dreams in which the dreamer isaware they are dreaming. In 1896 he began recording his dreams. Over a period of oneyear he recorded 352 dreams, but only eight were lucid (Dreams 784).The actual definition of a lucid dream, is a dream in which the dreamer mentallyawakens in the dream and becomes aware that it is only a dream. This 'awakening' isusually triggered by the dreamer noticing something in the dream that is far too unusual tobe real (Blackmore 362). The actual term lucid dreaming was first used by the Dutchpsychiatrist Fredrick van Olen in 1913. It simply means 'clear dreaming' (Blackmore363).Surveys and research have shown that 50 percent of all Americans have had atleast one lucid dream in their life that they could recall (Lucid Dreaming 365). When adreamer becomes lucid there are physical changes on the outside of the body and brainpatterns also change. There are usually pauses in breathing and changes in heart rate. Theamount of brain activity is more heightened than that of a regular dream, but less thanwhen waking. It has also been observed that a person having a lucid dream shows morebrain activity than a waking person under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs such asLSD (Lucid Dreaming 364).A lucid dream is usually provoked by an earlier day of heightened stress or anxiety(Lucid Dreaming 364). They usually occur at the end of an eight or nine hour sleep(Horgan 50).Several methods have been developed for inducing lucid dreams. The simplest andmost common method is known as the MILD method, or Mnemonic Induction of LucidDreaming. This method consists of waking in the early morning from a dream andremembering what the dream was about. Then as the dreamer returns to sleep he or sheshould remind themselves that the dream is not real as they return to the original dream(Lucid Dreaming 366).The second method involves work during the day. The person should constantlyask them self when they are awake, 'Am I dreaming?', then look for a clue to prove theyare. Then when the person falls asleep they will be reminded to ask the same question andin turn realize the dream is not real (Lucid Dreaming 366).Another method involves the use some kind of an external device that will create asignal to the dreamer that they are dreaming. Keith Hearne was the first person toincorporate this strategy. He would watch the dreamers eyes for rapid eye movement(REM) to show that they were dreaming. He would then spray them with water to signalto them that they were dreaming. This method was fairly unsuccessful (Blackmore 366).In 1989 Dr. Steven La Berge invented the 'Dream Light'. This device is a maskthat the dreamer wears that contains a small LED for signalling...

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