Sunday 29 June 2008

Getting Back To Lucid Dreaming

As I mentioned in my first post, I haven't had lucid dreams for a long time so I am really starting from scratch. Like many people who want to have a lucid dream, I am impatient and already find myself trying to short cut the process and am disappointed not to get instant results. Some people are lucky enough to get results very quickly, but the first time I attempted lucid dreaming it took me months. That was largely because my efforts back then were more sporadic rather than routine. Maybe a more committed approach will work better this time.

My Starting Position
No lucid dreams (or attempts) for well over a year.
No (to little) dream recall.
Irregular sleep patterns and usually tired.
So, it should be easy then!!

My first weeks intentions
Improve my sleep patterns.
Keep lucid dreaming on my mind.
Perform regular reality checks.
Start my dream journal.
Attempt to have dream initiated lucid dreams.

What has actually been happening
On the positive side:
  • I am starting to get to bed earlier (aiming for about 11:30). The more routine your sleep habits are, the better you will sleep. The better you sleep, the more likely you will be to achieve your lucid dreams.
  • I have temporarily cut out alcohol (although I'm not a big drinker anyway).
  • I have been doing some work on my website: every day which has helped me to focus on lucid dreaming.
  • I have started using the Lucid Dream Clock on my website to ensure I do regular reality checks.
On the negative side:
  • I have not started my dream journal. I have been convincing myself that I should wait till I write the online dream journal on my website but really I'm just being lazy. I need to put a pen and paper by my bed and start tonight. I have recalled a couple of dreams, but soon forgot the detail.
  • In my rush to have a lucid dream I have also jumped straight in to attempting WILDs (wake initiated lucid dreams) in the middle of the day. These are a challenge even for experienced lucid dreamers, but my impatience is driving me to attempt them.
The first couple of nights I just kept lucid dreaming on my mind and was reminding myself to have lucid dreams as I fell to sleep. I actually started to recall bits of my dreams when I first woke up so I can see that by just being more aware, my recall is already starting to improve, but still not very good.

I then started doing my regular reality tests and also introduced the Wake Back to Bed (WBTB) method of assisting lucid dreams. The idea here is basically to wake up early, read about lucid dreaming for half and hour then go back to sleep. On the two occasions I did this I had very short lucid dreams :) They only lasted 20 to 30 seconds and I could see that they were unstable, but they were as vivid and breathtaking as I remember them to be.

In the first lucid dream I didn't do a reality check I just knew I was in a dream straight away due to the surroundings. This shows that making lucid dreaming part of my daily routine is paying off and resulting in me being generally more aware of whether I am asleep or awake.

In the second lucid dream, a dream character didn't react as I would expect them to in real life. As they left I decided to do a reality test, simply looking at my hand. My hand was blurry and it was hard to count the fingers correctly so I was pleasantly surprised to find I was dreaming.

I intended to use the WBTB technique on three further mornings, but hit various problems:
  1. This attempt failed because I didn't get out of bed and instantly fell back to sleep.
  2. This attempt failed because I couldn't get back to sleep. Disaster!!
  3. Due to the last failed attempt I was very tired and this morning I have no recollection of waking and turning my alarm off.
Conclusions for first week
I'm really pleased I got to experience some short lucid dreams and don't feel I really deserved them yet. This tells me that to some degree lucid dreaming is like riding a bike, once you have the skill it does come back easier.

I also feel that I am falling in to the same traps many other new starters will, such as not doing my dream journal and messing up my techniques. That's not so bad, because my mistakes will provide more valuable experiences for my blog :)

I look forward to seeing what next week brings.

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