Is lucid dreaming bad for you?
First, lets talk about what a lucid dream is. A lucid dream is a dream in which you know that you're dreaming. Technically, that's all it is. Of course, with that awareness you have the ability to do a lot of different things.
I personally wouldn't call lucid dreaming bad. However, it is understandable why others might think that way. Below, I explore the four main reasons why lucid dreaming gets a bad rap. You decide...
Other variations include:
These are all arguments against dream control...not necessarily lucid dreaming. It is certainly possible to become lucid in a dream and simply observe what is happening. It's not a requirement that you control or change anything in a lucid dream.
Due to misinformation on the internet and scary movies like Insidious, many people get the impression that lucid dreaming is dangerous. Some say that dark entities will try to take over your body, you might not be able to wake up, or that it can even kill you!
A lot of this confusion comes from thinking that sleep paralysis is the same thing as lucid dreaming. Sleep paralysis is your body's natural way of preventing you from moving while you dream and occurs 4-5 times a night. Some people become aware of it, unable to move or speak in their bed. This helpless feeling can evoke nightmarish hallucinations, since they are on the cusp of dreaming.
Sleep paralysis does not have to be scary and it isn't dangerous. It would be dangerous, however, if your body didn't go into sleep paralysis. Imagine bumping into everything in your room as you physically act out your dreams every night!
The truth is, sleep paralysis can be used to enter lucid dreams but it is not the only way. Lucid dreaming is completely safe. It is simply being able to know that you are dreaming, giving you complete control.
Actually, the exact opposite of that is true!
When lucid dreaming, you are more aware of when you are dreaming vs. when you are awake. That's literally the definition of lucid dreaming ...knowing that you're dreaming.
For those who aren't lucid dreamers yet, it can be helpful to practice reality checks to know whether you are dreaming or not. Here are a few examples:
If you are able to answer yes to any of those questions, you're dreaming. If you answered no, you're awake.
Some people wake up feeling exhausted and think it's probably because of the lucid dream. This is a tough one to argue. It's just so hard to pinpoint the cause of poor sleep. Feeling tired in the morning could be from stress, poor health, medicine, food, TV, nightly noises, not getting enough sleep, etc. If you're not getting good rest, here are some tips for a better night's sleep.
The truth is, lucid dreams are much more exciting and memorable than most non-lucid dreams. This excitement is sometimes enough to keep you awake in bed for a while. It similar to the excited feeling you had as a kid laying in bed on the night before Christmas.
On a few occasions, I've had lucid dreams that kept me awake in bed or left me a bit mentally drained in the morning. However, most of the time I wake up feeling energized from the incredible adventures I just had in my lucid dream!
If you get too excited or drained from your lucid dreams it can be very helpful to write them down (see dream journal), making it easier to fall back asleep.
Would you still call lucid dreaming bad? The best way to find out for yourself is by learning how to lucid dream. When you are able to become aware that you are dreaming, amazing things can happen. Here are 10 benefits to prove it.
If you still believe that dreams are only meant to be experienced unconsciously, you are certainly entitled to that belief and don't have to participate. That just means the rest of us get to have all the fun!