Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous?

Is lucid dreaming dangerous?

If you're asking this question, chances are you've seen this picture and description floating around online. It's so prevalent on websites like Twitter, Tumblr, 9gag, Pinterest and even Google images that it is most people's first encounter with the term lucid dreaming.

"Word on the street" is that lucid dreaming is scary and dangerous. They warn "you can't move", "you might not wake up", "it's terrifying", and "you see dark entities!" 

Be careful what you read online. These rumors are uninformed and misunderstood. I'll explain why...

Sleep Paralysis is Not Lucid Dreaming

The image above actually details how to use sleep paralysis as a way to have a lucid dream. Sleep paralysis is your body's way of preventing you from moving while you dream. It happens multiple times every night, but you are almost always unaware of it since you are already asleep.

In order to become aware of the paralysis, you must be in a state called Mind Awake/Body Asleep. This means that your mind is still alert while your body is asleep. It can happen both voluntarily and involuntarily.

Experiencing sleep paralysis can trigger a fear response that might evoke strong hallucinations (since you are an the verge of dreaming). Thus, some people experience entities and/or strange noises. It is also just as likely that you won't experienced any of this at all.

Wake Induced Lucid Dreams can be achieved through sleep paralysis, but there are many other lucid dream induction techniques that don't require you to go through sleep paralysis.

Common Myths

Now that you know the difference between sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming, here are some other common myths calling lucid dreaming dangerous...and why they're wrong:

"Lucid dreaming is dangerous."

First, let me tell you what lucid dreaming is so we can learn what it isn't.

Lucid dreaming is knowing that you are dreaming while you are in a dream. It's a wonderfully exhilarating experience to consciously awaken in your dreams, allowing you to take control and do whatever you desire. 

Those that call lucid dreaming dangerous often have never experienced it for themselves. It's just a dream, there is nothing inherently dangerous about it!

"Dark entities will try to take over your body!"

Having a nightmare about an ax murderer hunting you down is a downright terrifying experience. Even after you wake up and realize that it was just a dream, it can take some time before you are able to calm down. But, after all that, there's nothing really dangerous about that ax murderer, is there? 

During sleep paralysis, you might experience the presence of an entity at the foot of your bed, but unlike the nightmare you are fully paralyzed and can't speak, making you believe it is real. You are actually experiencing hallucinations that are being run by the fear in your mind. You have the power to overcome the fear and end the terror.

Like we discussed before, this is brought on by sleep paralysis...not lucid dreaming. If you don't like sleep paralysis, there are better ways to reach a lucid dream. In a lucid dream you are not paralyzed, so if you see a dark figure you have the ability to alter the dream, embrace the darkness, fly away, or even wake up.

"I won't be able to wake up."

When you went to sleep last night, were you afraid that you wouldn't be able to wake up in the morning? That thought probably never crossed your mind. Of course you weren't afraid. You knew that you would either wake up naturally or to the sound of your alarm.

Why then wouldn't you be able to wake up from a lucid dream?

When lucid dreaming, you now have the ability to wake up from within a dream. You have the awareness of your body laying in bed and can consciously choose when to open your eyes.

"You can die in a lucid dream!"

While it is possible to die in your sleep, I've never seen proof that anyone died from a lucid dream (not that you could really prove or disprove it anyways).

I've personally had hundreds of lucid dreams. No matter what happens to me during a lucid dream, whether I get shot, run over, or murdered (which rarely ever happens) I always wake up without a scratch.

Conclusion

For those who call lucid dreaming dangerous, do you think a dream is dangerous? Because the only difference between a normal dream and a lucid dream is the awareness that you're dreaming.

Lucid dreaming is not dangerous. It is completely safe and extremely enjoyable. It's your own virtual world where you can experience what it feels like to fly, have superpowers, and do anything you desire without consequence. Sounds pretty safe if you ask me!

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