Rapid eye movement sleep

How to Wake Up in Your Dreams

Now that you know what lucid dreaming is, and you know the benefits and risks, it’s time to give it a solid try. Get ready, oneironauts—we’re about to take off the training wheels. Welcome to Week Three of Lifehacker’s Lucid Dream Workshop.

How to Prepare for and Induce Lucid Dreams

To increase the likelihood of having a lucid dream, you need to prep your environment, watch what you eat, drink, and otherwise ingest, and fall asleep the right way.

For starters, you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep for lucid dreaming to be a possibility. You have more REM sleep in the second half of your night than you do in the first half, and more REM sleep means increased odds of having lucid dreams. In fact, the likelihood of you having a lucid dream increases more with each successive REM period. On an average night where you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep, you’ll experience about six REM periods. The last three of those REM periods happen in the last quarter (or two hours in this case) of the night. So, if you aren’t sleeping enough and only getting about six hours of sleep each night, you’re basically reducing your chances of going lucid by half. You need to get good sleep, and lots of it, for this to work. If you can find a way to extend your sleep at least one night a week, like on a weekend, do so.

What you put in your body affects your likelihood of having lucid dreams as well. Alcohol and drugs inhibit your REM sleep and disrupt your sleep cycles, so avoid nightcaps as much as possible. And while sleeping pills and melatonin can help induce sleep, keep in mind they may interfere with normal sleep cycles. Food and non-alcoholic drinks can play a major role in dreams too. Some people have more vivid dreams depending on what they eat, or report having nightmares if they eat certain types of food too late in the evening. I’ve personally had success with pickles, apple juice, peanut butter, and spicy foods as helpful elements. Also, reducing screen time before bed is always a good idea.

Lastly, you need to fall asleep with the intention of having a lucid dream. It’s not quite as simple as merely thinking about being lucid before bedtime, but that is actually a huge part of it. Oneironauts, this is the “MILD Technique,” from Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Howard Rheingold:

  1. Set up dream recall: Before going to bed resolve to wake up and recall dreams during each dream period throughout the night (or the first dream period after dawn, or after 6 a.m. or whenever you find convenient).
  2. Recall your dream: When you awaken from a dream period, no matter what time it is, try to recall as many details as possible from your dream. If you find yourself so drowsy that you are drifting back to sleep, do something to arouse yourself.
  3. Focus your intent: While returning to sleep, concentrate singlemindedly on your intention to remember to recognize that you’re dreaming. Tell yourself: “Next time I’m dreaming, I want to remember I’m dreaming.” Really try to feel that you mean it. Narrow your thoughts to this idea alone. If you find yourself…

What Do Our Dreams Mean? Psychologists Have Different Answers

For a long time, dream has been under the radar of many scientists. It has been such a mythical phenomenon that many would like to know more about. More importantly, many of us are curious about the answer to the question “Why do we dream?”.

There is no certainty about the actual function of sleep or dreams. And everybody dreams, yet memories of dreams remembered varies.

What do dreams do to us? Do they serve any purposes at all?

This is a question that remains unanswered. The speculations and theories continue.

A common theory is that sleep and dreams work as a team, helping the brain to refresh and restore after capturing millions of inputs each day. The inputs are sensory details that may be minor like colours and major mind boggling details like those in seminars or presentations. While sleeping, the brain sifts through the information and refines it, keeping what is needed and disposing content into the recycle and trash compartments. Researchers have speculated that dreams are a tool in this process.

Dreaming is the protoconscious state. This occurs during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. It also occurs at other stages including the fourth stage of sleep ( Slow Wave Sleep-SWS). This is the deepest stage of sleep. Studies shown dreams vary according to sleep stage they occur in. Most dreams are reported during the REM stage. 1

Sleep stages

Emerging neuroscience views insinuate that dreams are linked to memory consolidation that occurs during sleep. These many include recording and organising memories according to emotional drives as well as transferring memories…

Sleep Facts – 36 Interesting Facts About Sleep

sleep facts

Sleep facts: 36 Interesting facts about sleep. Sleep is one of the most complex physiological processes which is still not fully understood till now. An average man spends one third of his life sleeping. Still we know very little about how it functions and what is its role in the life process.

Sleep facts

Its no wonder there are so many pervasive myths about sleep.

Research on sleep began only in the middle of the 20th century.

The REM or the Rapid Eye Movement sleep was first discovered in 1950’s.

It was in the late fifties that research about sleep started in the right earnest. Sleep evoked very little scientific interest because it was thought to be a passive process.

Sleep is not a passive activity but is a process characterized by complex, regular and cyclic pattern each night. There are various hemostatic processes which happen during sleep.

The endocrine glands, which pours its secretion directly into the blood, increases the secretion of growth hormones and prolactin, which is vital for the functioning of our immune system.

The REM sleep is the period when we dream and can be easily discerned by the rapid movements of our eyeballs.

REM sleep or dreaming is crucial and is a process by which long-term memories are consolidated, and neural connections are built.

Among mammals, only man can delay his sleep.

All mammals and birds experience REM sleep.

Facts about sleep

Cold blooded animals like reptiles do not have REM sleep.

A person who has been born blind will have only auditory dreams.

Sleep disruption is a common problem in high altitudes, greater the altitude, more the sleep disturbance. Most people take some time to adjust to the new altitude.

Studies have revealed that widowed, divorced or separated people have problems in sleeping.

Sleeping pills are the most prescribed drugs in the world, and according to a study, 10% of US population has been prescribed a sleeping pill for sleep disorders in 2010.

The report also indicts the hypnotic medications like temazepam and zolpidem, to increased risks of death and cancer.

An average adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep per day. However, there are exception and persons can function well even after six hours of sleep

Sleep is critical just like diet and exercise, and a report by International Classifications of Sleep Disorders said that shift workers are at greatest risk to suffer from…

How to Stop Nightmares and Get A More Restful Sleep!

Have you ever experienced a bad dream so horrifying that your heart was pounding when you woke up? Perhaps this is a regular occurrence for you, and you’ve started to dread going to bed?

Nightmares can ruin your sleep and leave you feeling exhausted during the day, but fortunately there are steps you can take to get a better night’s rest.

Nightmares are more common in young children, but can affect anyone. They are not harmful, but can result in fatigue if they continue every night or most nights over a long period of time.

Understand the science behind nightmares, as this may make them less frightening.

When we sleep, we progress through several stages throughout the night. You can think of sleep as occurring in waves or cycles, with each lasting between 90 and 110 minutes. This is further subdivided into five stages, known as Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4, and REM sleep. It is in this final stage that dreams and nightmares occur. Scientists are not sure exactly why we dream or precisely how the brain generates this strange experience. One theory is that during REM sleep, the brain may be attempting to form a coherent “story” from fragments of knowledge and memories it previously stored away. Around half of adults will have nightmares occasionally.

So what causes nightmares? According to the 1, the following may trigger nightmares in adults:

1. Stress and Trauma

It is common for those with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions to experience nightmares. For example, an individual with anxiety disorder may have dreams in which they feel overwhelmed and as though they are facing a danger beyond their control. People who have experienced trauma may also have nightmares in which they relive the incident.

Some medications affect sleeping patterns, which may trigger nightmares. For example, some anticonvulsants medicines used in the treatment of epilepsy) can result in especially vivid dreams.

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