Sleeping To Dream

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lucid dream by Taylan Soyturk Photographe
"Often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream." - Aristotle


I woke up with remnants of sleep and foggy dream scenes in my head.

Today wasn't as hot as days before. I stayed in my human cave like an ancient turtle. I pondered a bit about the usual mundane stuff like should I shave my hairy legs or leave them be au naturel. Before long, distracted by other mundane thoughts I let my mind rest on a topic of lucid dreaming.

Why do we care for what happens in dreams?

Why the focus on something that takes place during sleep? What do we get from lucid dreaming? Money? In your dreams, surely.

So anyway, these are some of the questions that will naturally pop up if you're of the mindset that dreams as a sort of wasteland that the mind goes to when you sleep. This reductive thinking is also applied in the old notion that nothing good is ever derived from daydreaming either.

The rationale behind this is that nothing physically happens when we dream or daydream. The act of staring into space at a prolonged duration of time doesn't outwardly translate into real perceivable benefits..

But, why do we stop here? When solutions arise after mulling over a predicament or simply sleeping after a half-completed puzzle, do we not see that something intangible takes place while we are not struggling physically to arrive at said solutions?

I'd like to think that if we are so enamoured by the outside world that we have devoted time and energy to getting a deep understanding of the mechanisms at play in the fabric of our so-called physical life, surely it's natural to be fascinated by the things that happen in our brains when we are not consciously steering the wheel, so to speak.

So, if you're wondering why should we give two hoots over dreams that we have while asleep, here are some real benefits of lucid dreaming that may just get you to reconsider your position:

Overcome fears.

For instance, if you're afraid of heights, you can plant a dream seed that will take you to a setting up high on a cliff with unicorns. Remember, it's a dream that does not follow physical laws. So why not go all out, yes?

And because you know that it is a dream landscape created by yourself, you can relax and coax yourself to let go of your fear and enjoy the scenery.

If your fear lies in planning a move on a sweet guy that may potentially be your soulmate but fear that he will not respond to your invitation to go out for a cup of tea and talk about the weather, you can take this into your dreams and let yourself act out how to best approach him. Be nice but you can be extra preposterous as well. This is after all your dream to control.

Knowing that it is a dream of your making helps tremendously because which ever way it goes, you can get in touch with hidden sides of yourself that you may not be aware of or refuse to see.

Get better and more restful sleep.

Lucid dreams can occur regardless of whether you plan on having them or not. So, there's no need to stress yourself out in the planning stages.

By being conscious of the fact that you are planting seeds to lucid dream as you lay in bed, you are in awareness of what your body and mind are up to moments before slumber. Putting yourself in this state before you spiral into deep sleep realm is akin to meditating. You become aware of your breath, heart rate, body temperature, etc.

Random thoughts will spill out but gently bring your focus back onto the seeds of a the lucid dream you're planting. Picture a seed that's sprouting tiny little roots with more seeds doing the same thing.

Even if you don't experience any conscious dreaming, you are able to get a more conscious and restful sleep this way.

Enhance your memory.

Sleep solidifies memory. I learn this by personally experiencing it myself. Not sleeping and studying extra last minute translate into nerves and flopping a paper. Crankiness sets in and as much as it pisses other people off, it disturbs the mind.

Deep sleep in particular, solidifies semantic memory, which is your ability to retain facts.

Example: The chapter of a book you devour before you hit the sack.

Dreams, on the other hand, help to solidify episodic memory, which is a recollection of autobiographical events such as the dress that you had on your first date with your other half.

Lucid dreaming allows you to retain whatever you've learned in the day and helps you to select certain things that you wish to keep in your memory storage while being conscious of it.

So, if you're a lucid dreamer, pray tell, what do you conjure about in your sweet dreams? Do you experience any of the benefits to having a lucid dream experience? How does a lucid dream help you in real life? Comment below, dreamers!

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shanaz@RS | 5:19 AM | Labels:

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