The lucid dreaming phenomenon presented little to no interest for the scientific community until the 80s because there was limited evidence attesting to its existence. The very first study to prove lucid dreams are actually possible was conducted by LaBerge et. al back in 1981; it involved asking the subjects to carry out a pre-established eye motion pattern during the REM sleep phase as soon as they become conscious. The ability to perform these motions proved once and for all that lucid dreams are not a paranormal phenomenon but rather an achievable sleep state.
What Do Lucid Dreams Imply?
During a lucid dream, the individual acknowledges the fact that he is not actually awake, but sleeping, and the reality constructed around him is in fact a figment of his subconscious’ imagination. The realization empowers the dreamer and permits him to alter the experience, subjecting the perceived reality to the reins of his will. To put it simply, he can control almost everything that happens in the dream, depending on the level of lucidity. For instance, while some gain absolute power over the dream state, for others the awareness stems from the fact that their dreaming presents no significance.
What Benefits Do Lucid Dreams Provide?
Utilized in numerous eastern cultures as a form of meditation and transcendence that allowed monks to achieve clarity and enlightenment, the advantages of lucid dreams are also relevant in the modern age. Taking control of the dream will not only enable a person to employ the realm of fantasy in order to resolve inner conflicts and uncover deeply buried desires and aspirations, but it also represents a way to get in touch which one’s own spiritual side.
Lucid Dreams and Recovering Addicts
It’s no secret that post-rehab sobriety is a scary and confusing time for every struggling alcoholic. The cascade of conflicting emotions, the anxiety about one’s capabilities to stay on the straight and narrow path, the difficulties of adjusting to the new reality without your favorite coping strategy, etc. All of these factors take an immense toll on the former addict. The lucid dream represents the perfect place to face all these negative emotions and address the conflicts on your own terms, facing your anxieties and subduing their sources.
However, it is worth noting that there’s also a catch. A recovering alcoholic who has lucid dreams about relapse triggers and being unable to resist them is liable to wake up with guilt and stands to fail to remain sober in the real world. The key is to always remember that it’s your dream and you have full control over the outcome.
Lucid Dream Inducing Techniques
There are a number of ways a person can train himself to realize that he’s dreaming and assume direct control over that reality. For example, during the moments of the day when you’re awake, you should make of habit to verify whether or not you’re dreaming and test the theory that everything around you is real. Once this habit is formed, your mind will also start testing the boundaries of reality when you’re dreaming.
Another way to induce lucid dreams consists of setting your alarm clock to go off six hours after falling asleep, waking you up during the REM phase. Once you lie back in bed, focus on maintaining consciousness as your mind attempts to fall back into the original dream. You can also employ binaural beats designed specifically for this purpose to improve your ability to retain awareness.
To learn more about how other recovering alcoholics are dealing with unresolved inner conflicts, we invite you to check out our forum.