Can you dream in a dream
Lucid dreams: From now on you can determine what you dream for yourself
There is this dream that just won't let me go: I have to go to a ballet performance that I was informed about shortly before, but something comes up with me. Most of the time I forget a pointe shoe. Or I can't find the headgear on my costume. Or I literally can't go to the theater. The reason for this dream is surely my general fear of being late or being unprepared.
How great it would be if I realized in my sleep that I was only dreaming! I could do anything to turn the situation around for the better and then my nights would be much more relaxed and less scary. I could have so much fun and dream happily dancing around the whole night.
What sounds like a pipe dream is actually a reality for some. There should be people who can influence what they do in the dream (or at least they claim that). And that's what is called lucid or lucid dreaming.
Chances are, you've had a lucid dream before but weren't aware of it. According to studies, around 70 to 80 percent of people reported having had a lucid dream. They're also common in people with narcolepsy (a sleep-related breathing disorder also known as sleeping sickness), according to the National Sleep Foundation.
"Many of us have had a lucid dream, but because we don't talk about our dreams that often, most of them don't know the term - or don't know what's behind it," explains Robert Wagoner, President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and Author of the book Lucid dreams. Paths to the subconscious. Put simply, we notice in the dream state that we are dreaming. In normal dreams, we just accept what happens. In a lucid dream we are aware that we are dreaming and that allows us to decide for ourselves what we do and how we react. We can even do small experiments, says Wagoner. “You can do almost anything; The imagination knows no limits".
For skeptics, the whole thing sounds pretty wacky and improbable so far. But there is neurological evidence to support the existence of lucid dreams. More specifically, a study was conducted in which the brain activity of people who are currently having a lucid dream was measured by electroencephalography. During a normal dream, the cerebral cortex is usually dormant, or at least not very active, says Wagoner. But during a lucid dream, the part of the brain that is responsible for self-assessment and decision-making suddenly becomes active. Lucid dreams are therefore a “hybrid state of consciousness” because you are neither awake nor dreaming. You're something in between.
So much for the scientific background, but now back to reality: Being able to control your dreams sounds pretty cool, doesn't it? I mean, it's almost like you have superhuman powers. On Reddit, people share how they plan to have a lucid dream, completely change their dreams in the middle, and play games while doing it. But there is also a more “adult” or more sensible way of using lucid dreams: some therapists use them to help patients with recurring nightmares or post-traumatic stress disorders, according to Waggoner. There are also people who were able to overcome their phobias in this way.
If you are now curious and want to try it, you can test the following technology, according to Wagoner, which he has been using for years. Before you go to bed you look at your hands and say to yourself: Tonight I see my hands in my dreams and realize that I am dreaming. You repeat this sentence like a mantra over and over again until you fall asleep. After a few nights, you may notice your hands in a dream. This is the signal that you are beginning to be aware of things while you are sleeping. You can also use the "power of suggestion" and use a mantra that goes more like this: Today I perceive everything very consciously and question it. If I see something strange, I will find that I am dreaming. Another tip that Wagoner has is to keep a dream journal - that is, to get it on paper every morning. In this way you train your consciousness.
Well then: be careful, nightmares! Your nights are numbered, because from now on we will take the content of our dreams into our own hands.
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