Let's face it, in the midst of the study insanity called midterms, we all take a second to dream. Maybe we go for a quick daydream in the midst of a lecture, or a bit of musing about plans for the weekends ahead (hello Halloween), or go for an adventure through Atlantis while deep in REM sleep.
But controlling our dreams?
Yes. We've all heard the pep talks, with hard work and determination you can achieve anything you dream of!
Except... what if you want to be a shape-shifter for a day? What if your dream is to be Beyoncé? What do you do when you want to live in a world entirely made out of candy?
Simple. You lucid dream.
I take it back. It's not that simple. But wow, it seems like the ultimate technique for relaxing, for adventure, or for anything your brain could possibly conjure up.
Cloud 9 = lucid dreaming in my life
So what did I do? I decided to try to accomplish it. Various tips for learning to lucid dream (amongst others) recommend writing your dreams down immediately upon waking, checking for wakefulness in everyday life, and planning out what you'd do in your first lucid dream.
Writing down dreams (check: turns out my subconscious really wanted UBC to be a gigantic playground, go figure)
Checking for wakefulness (check: hey you, behind me in the Starbucks line, don't you roll your eyes at me for pinching my arm after picking up my chai tea latte, I'm not hinting that this latte is too good to be true, this is an EXPERIMENT)
Planning it out (check: Candyland. Obviously. Sweet tooth central here.
Did it work? Not for me, yet. But I've come close. I unfortunately woke myself up a few moments after realizing I was dreaming, but we'll see what the future has in store..
Knowing that it can happen definitely helps my determination; research at Frankfurt University, conducted and articulated by Ursula Voss et al. in 'Lucid Dreaming; A State of Consciousness with Features of Both Waking and Non-Lucid Dreaming' (you can find this through the UBC library) has shown that through 'pre-sleep autosuggestion', which simplified is reminding yourself to think about lucid dreaming, initiated lucid dreaming in 3 of the participating subjects. The lucid state was indicated by a predetermined and subsequently measured eye signal from the subject asleep, and during lucid dreaming it was found that brain electrical activity resembled frequencies seen in both awake and non-lucid dreaming states. So basically, lucid dreaming is real, and a unique mental state!
If you've read this and have had a lucid dream (quite the low probability, I know), I'd absolutely love to hear from you! Write about your dream, or any tips you happen to have for me here in the comments for this blog and I'll definitely write you right back!
If you still want to know more, check out http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/
RECOMMENDED READS: CATEGORIES "MENTOR SPOTLIGHTS" AND "ALUMNUS INTERVIEWS"
About Me: My major is Integrated Sciences; I'm integrating physiology and psychology, and completing a minor in kinesiology. The movie 'The Imitation Game' blew my mind, and every piece done by the artist Alex Cherry is spectacular. Also, if you look up the definition of a bookworm, you'll find me.
Integrating Physiology and Neuroscience!
I like hanging out at Tower Beach but you can usually find me studying at Ponderosa even though I don't live there.