Have you ever had a dream at night where you would swear that it had actually happened in your real life? Then, perhaps you have been experiencing vivid dreams.
But, did it happen that you clearly remember your dreams and at the same time you were consciously aware that you are dreaming? If this is the case, you have had lucid dreams.
The concept of lucid dreams has spiked considerable interest in the modern sleep science arena leading to the discovery of hacks, techniques, and tricks to instigate lucid dreams naturally.
One such hack is sleeping on a latex mattress. We will cover that later in a bit. But, first, let us delve a bit more into lucid dreaming.
A Brief Overview of Lucid Dreams
While talking about dreams, people often get confused between vivid dreams and lucid dreams. Thus, most often they also use them interchangeably. But, that is not what it is. Yes, they are two different things.
By definition, when your dreams are extremely clear and bright as if you are experiencing the dream sequence in real life or perhaps watching a movie in high-definition resolution, you have had a vivid dream. It feels so real that you cannot distinguish between the dream and reality. You wake up and then you realize that you had been dreaming.
On the other hand, when the dreamer is fully aware that a dream sequence is taking place during sleep, he or she is having a lucid dream.
A lucid dream may or may not be very vivid. But, when you are consciously aware that you are dreaming, things can be taken to the next level - which is, to control the dream sequences. This is where lucid dreams have piqued interest in the world of sleep science and psychology.
At times, people can even control the events, circumstances, and outcomes of their dreams consciously. You can even change the people, characters, settings, etc. in a lucid dreaming sequence.
According to sleep experts, this can lead to many favorable changes in the psyche of the dreamer. For instance, it can drastically reduce nightmares and its associated anxiety.
In certain situations, you can consciously turn a nightmare into a beautiful dream sequence. The side effects are phenomenal. You get a sound sleep and wake up with a feeling of joy and enthusiasm.
Most lucid dreams happen spontaneously and naturally during sleep. However, there are certain techniques and tricks to enhance the chances of consciously dreaming lucidly.
Techniques and hacks such as sleeping on a latex mattress, reality checks, journaling your dreams, meditation, and practicing mindfulness while going to sleep, etc., have seen some success in helping trigger lucid dreams.
Get More Healthy Sleep
The brain undergoes various sleep cycles when the body is sleeping, namely., Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep and Non-REM sleep.
Non-REM sleep makes the body almost paralyzed, where the body is healing itself. The heartbeat lowers, the breathing is slow and steady, and the eye movement slows down.
Whereas, when sleep enters the REM cycle, the brain becomes hyperactive, and eye movement becomes rapid. This is the stage where dreams occur. Mostly this stage happens in the later part of the entire sleep duration. However, for a good cycle of REM sleep, the body must have a good Non-REM sleep cycle.
Therefore, it is very important to have a restful sleep at night to have lucid dreams. Experts recommend sleeping on latex mattresses can help in deep sleep, which can help trigger vivid dreams. Another benefit of sleeping on a latex mattress is that it can help reduce the chances of waking up during the night.
When you experience clear vivid dreams, you can delve a little deeper and become aware of your dreams just when they are happening. This is where techniques and hacks are used.
Techniques to Trigger Lucid Dreams
1) Reality Checks
While you are awake, ask yourself several times during the day whether you are dreaming or not. The idea is to make this seep into your subconscious and thus it will become an automatic habit.
So that eventually, when you are dreaming at night, you will ask yourself the same question and likely become conscious that you may be having a dream.
2) Wake-Back-To-Bed (WBTB)
The body enters the REM cycle of sleep roughly around after 4 to 5 hours of sleep at a stretch. Therefore, you may set an alarm to wake up after 5 hours from bedtime and stay awake for around 30 minutes before going to bed again.
It can lead you to enter into sleep in a conscious state, and the chance of lucid dreaming increases.
3) Mnemonic Induction Of Lucid Dreams (MILD)
You give auto suggestions to your brain by repeating to yourself just before dozing off that you will be aware of your dreams while you sleep.
Some people even visualize themselves dreaming, and they are fully aware of the fact that they are dreaming.
4) Journalizing Dreams
Keeping a daily journal of your dreams can help you track and become aware of them. And then possibly, control the events as well.
Regular meditation increases self-awareness and thus helps you be more mindful and aware just while you are going to fall asleep. This technique is also known as Yog Nidra or yoga during sleep.
Nevertheless, the sleeping surface is a crucial determinant of the quality of your sleep. Sleep on a latex mattress that helps to enter a deep sleep cycle which is vital for dreaming, both vivid and lucid. When you dream vividly, your chances of lucid dreaming increase.
And, with the techniques listed above, you can even enter your sleep consciously and thereby control your dream sequences altogether. But it requires a little patience and practice too.