You might not think that within the context of Functional Medicine I would want to talk about lucid dreaming but, I think we should!
For two reasons, one being rather obvious(!).
- Sleep is one of the most important elements of healing, from many chronic conditions.
- Many in the field believe that lucid dreaming can be used to support healing – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally
I am on a mission at the moment to become a regular lucid dreamer! Having experienced my first lucid dream last week there is no turning back – I am hooked on the topic!
What Is Lucid Dreaming (LD)?
Lucid dreaming is the ultimate form of immersive experience
LD is the process of being aware that one is dreaming while dreaming. In some cases, the dreamer may even gain control over a part of the dream plot and scenery. LD is a hybrid sleep–wake state, with increased activity in frontal areas, which are usually suppressed during sleep.
These characteristics (fantastic sensory and emotional experience) make LD indubitably highly desirable
What Triggers A Lucid Dream?
LD, and ‘induction techniques’ are clearly getting more popular though as 35% of first-year Psychology undergraduate students had tried to deliberately initiate LD at least once (click here)
Perhaps we need to break this in to short and long term factors, as well as internal and external factors (click here for a great paper discussing the latter)?
- Charlie Morley (see his books below) discusses reality checks which can induce a lucid state. An example is performing a hand check.
- Galantamine – a medicine called a cholinesterase inhibitor – has been suggested to induce lucid dreams. Although I wouldn’t recommend it’s use!
- Potentially vitamin B6 may support lucid dreaming (click here)
- It has been suggested that long term meditators have increased lucid dream frequency (click here).
- ‘Reflection’ or ‘reality testing’ technique involves asking oneself regularly during the day whether one is dreaming or not, and examining the environment for possible incongruences
- Light stimulation (including DreamLight, DreamLink, NovaDreamer)
What Are The Potential Benefits Of Lucid Dreaming?
- Lucid Dreaming Training may be of benefit for those suffering from insomnia (click here)
- Lucid Dreaming Training may be of benefit for those suffering from Nightmares (click here)
- There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence of people healing from entering lucid dreams with the intention of healing