Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Lucid dreaming

  1. Nov 4, 2006 #1

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have started doing something in the past few months that I have never done before. (but always wanted to) I can recognize when I am in a dream. Last night I had a particularly strange experience where I was in a dream with a friend of mine. I told her, "hang on, I just realized I am dreaming. Don't let go of me, I am getting pulled out of it". I had to focus really hard to stay in the dream, but I did it. My friend had a photo album of pictures that I wanted to see so that was my motivation for staying in the dream.

    I am not sure what this is about, but I am having a lot of stress and insomnia lately that might be triggering it.

    Do you have moments when you realize you are dreaming and does it snap you out of it or do you stay in the dream state?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2006 #2

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    No idea, but sorry you are stressed and can not sleep, i have found that thinking about a tv program you like helps, i think about stargate, sad
    :smile:
     
  4. Nov 4, 2006 #3

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Thanks, Wol. I will try to think about Stargate tonight. I like that program, too. It reminds me of home because I bought my dad the season 5 DVDs last Christmas and we watched it on his new big screen TV. :smile:
     
  5. Nov 4, 2006 #4

    Lisa!

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yeah, it rarely happens that I realize I'm dreaming. It happens mostly because something impossible happens and I realize that must be a dream and I immediately wake up. I just try to stay in the dream when I have a nice dream and I guess I've been successful for 1 or 2 times only in mornings.
     
  6. Nov 4, 2006 #5

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's usually how it is with me - something I know is impossible happens and I realize I am dreaming. And it is funny that you said it was in the mornings because I think that is when I have the most control. I woke up at 3:00 AM yesterday and fell back asleep at 6:00 AM. The dream happened somewhere between 6:00 AM and my alarm going off at 7:00.

    Maybe there is something unusual with the frontal lobes not being completely switched off towards the waking hours when normally we would be waking up. From what I understand, dreams are plausible to us when we are in them because our reasoning areas of the brain aren't interfering to tell us the situation we are in isn't making sense.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  7. Nov 4, 2006 #6
    Maybe this is going around because it happened to me the other night. I suddenly became aware that I had slipped into a dream and was able to hover in that dream state for a brief time before it dissipated.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2006 #7
    I have always been able to stay in a dream, sometimes even when it was a nightmare (especially about shark attacks) when I was a kid I would find it hard to wake up (even though I really wanted to).
     
  9. Nov 4, 2006 #8
    I never realise I'm dreaming no matter how weird the dream is. When I'm in my dream no matter what is happening or what it looks like inside the dream it is always considered perfectly normal!

    For instance I remember a dream I had when I was a little kid and in the dream all the beds had quilts piled upto the roof and in the dream that was normal, all beds were like that, and after looking at the bed I wouldn't think twice about it, untill I woke up and realised how freakin' weird that was.
     
  10. Nov 4, 2006 #9
    I can stay in a dream for a while even when I realize it is a dream, but only for certain types (usually a falling nightmare). But I read a ton of fiction, some of it really quite bad, so I may have more extensive skill than most when it comes to the willing suspension of disbelief. "OK, this is utterly untenable, but let's play along to see where it goes." In the fiction, that answer is usually "nowhere": if the author were any good, you wouldn't need so much effort to stay with the narrative.

    But in the dreams, the answer is usually mixed. If everything works out just the way you planned, the dream usually peters out. I think if there's no conflict or inconsistancy to resolve, your brain figures there's no more work to do and shuts off. But if you can imagine all the ways every single thing can go wrong with whatever you're trying to do (never a problem for me), it can go on for a very long time.

    There's also the element of remembering: some say you dream every night, but simply do not remember them. If so, I would further argue that things that make some degree of sense are a great deal easier to remember than things that do not. On the other hand, things that are too predictable and regular are also very hard to remember. You probably need to hit a balance between control and chaos to remember the full dream. It certainly seems true in my experience.

    P.S.: I've read before that nightmares about falling are the most common type across all cultures. They are especially common through early adulthood. The author of that piece suggested it was a holdover hardwired into all primate nervous system from the days they all lived in trees.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  11. Nov 4, 2006 #10

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Does this have anything to do with cog sci?

    The dreams I remember are those which are quite 'vivid.'

    There are a few times when I've become aware that I am dreaming.

    I've rarely had dreams about falling, but I do remember one in which I fell hard, and I abruptly woke up with my heart pounding. My whole body tensed (flinched), which is what woke me up.

    On the other hand, I have more often dreamt of flying through the sky (like Neo in the Matrix III, or Superman). I enjoy being up high, in trees, on mountain sides, or flying. I would love to be able to hover or sit on clouds and look down upon the earth.

    Why does one read bad fiction?

    That can be useful at times. :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  12. Nov 4, 2006 #11
    What if they're all vivid? The ones that you remember would be vivid but the ones you didn't remember could be vivid as well, you don't know because you don't remember :tongue: :tongue:
     
  13. Nov 4, 2006 #12
    Because I have such a lot of it floating around. It passes the time, and functions well in the role of a hammer (cf. "hitting yourself in the head").

    Esp. when dealing with the opposite gender.
     
  14. Nov 4, 2006 #13

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well, I thought that there might be a lot of good science fiction (We have a thread somewhere around PF that discusses SF). I avoided SF, preferring to study math and physics, until I took an English elective during my senior year in HS. English, which I really didn't like, was a requirement, so I chose SF to make it less painful. I read some really good stuff, including Asimov, Heinlein, and others.

    True, but these days, I sleep only a few hours a night, so I don't usually remember dreams. One vivid/lucid dream I do remember combines dreaming and SF. Several years ago, I had an infection that resulted in a fever (~104-105°), and with that I was hallucinating (while dreaming). If one remembers StarTrek (TNG?) and the entity which traveled through space and entered the Enterprise, I had a dream in which an entity entered my body - actually two entities - one green and then one purple - and I was struggling to over come them. They finally left and shortly afterward I woke up drenched in sweat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  15. Nov 4, 2006 #14

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I never had any dreams like that. The realization I was dreaming comes with waking up. Though, I did manage to bore myself to sleep in my dream last night. I was dreaming about going to the dentist, and fell asleep while getting my teeth cleaned, and then woke up all disoriented after the cleaning was done. Yeah, no reason to fight to stay in that dream rather than wake up. :rofl:
     
  16. Nov 4, 2006 #15

    When I lucid dream it is usually when I am napping during the day and know I only have an hour or so until I have to wake up. Those are the times I dream that I am awake but cannot move far enough to get out of bed. That is also when I dream that I can float out of my body and explore that existence.

    I suffer from insomnia too. I cannot drink any caffeine after noon or it is much worse. I have found that taking the daily recommended dose of Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc about an hour before bedtime helps me to sleep or at least if I wake up I am able to go back to sleep.

    If I wake up in the middle of the night I cannot look at the clock because I calculate how much time before I have to wake up and then I don't let myself go back to sleep for fear of oversleeping.:mad:
     
  17. Nov 4, 2006 #16

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I not only recognized a dream, I could actually control what happened in it. Whether or not there's a connection, it hasn't happened since I got on the ADD meds. :frown:
     
  18. Nov 4, 2006 #17
    happened to me a few times.

    false awakenings also happened to me helluva times. sometimes 2-3 times. like i dreamt i woke up, then i dreamt that it was fake, and woke up again. stuff like that. its kinda freaky though, if you look back. reality back there when you had the false awakening was so everyday, yet different.
     
  19. Nov 4, 2006 #18

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    That's happened to me for years. First came realizing I was in a dream and intentionally waking from it, only to find out I hadn't really woke up but was still dreaming. Like misogynisticfeminist, sometimes it would take two or three attempts before I actually woke up. Then came realizing I was dreaming, but intentionally staying in the dream. The last never works that well. If I intentionally stay in my dream, then I also start controlling it and the whole point is lost - at that point, it's not much more than daydreaming and I tend to just go ahead and wake up. And both usually happen close to when I would normally be waking up (I always agonize over whether to go ahead and get up 15-30 minutes early, or whether to try to get a few more minutes of sleep).
     
  20. Nov 4, 2006 #19

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I am glad to hear that other people experience this. I had heard that it was pretty rare for people to just do this naturally, but I have also heard claims that anyone can train themselves to be conscious of a dream state and control the events. My friend bought a bunch of CDs about 5 years ago to learn how to do it. He swears it worked for him.
     
  21. Nov 4, 2006 #20

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Interesting that a guy with a sheep name counts stargate soldiers in order to relax.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Lucid dreaming
  1. Lucid Dreaming (Replies: 2)

  2. Was it a dream? (Replies: 2)

  3. Lucid dreams (Replies: 14)

Loading...