In my thriller Fatal Distraction, Oliver Sullivan uses a technique called lucid dreaming to help him cope with lifelong grief–the death of his son.
Here’s a description from Fatal Distraction about what Oliver Sullivan does and why he does it.
“[Oliver] allowed himself to sink into light sleep again, or perhaps a state close to self-hypnosis, lucid dreaming, a technique he’d learned from his grief counselor.”
If you’re not familiar with lucid dreaming, it may sound a bit preposterous. But it simply means “dreaming while you know you’re dreaming.” The fun part about it is that during a lucid dream, you can do almost anything. Super powers? Flying? Time travel? Yep. Use lucid dreaming.
Techniques have been studied at Stanford University for quite a while. Here’s a short explanation:
Lucid dreaming is a state somewhere between being awake and being asleep.
Aristotle described it this way:
“Often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream.”
In a lucid dream, one is supposed to find oneself more alert.
Here are other specifics of what a lucid dream is supposed to entail:
- Heightened senses
- Strong emotion and feeling
- The ability to have some control over the dream.
To the brain, “seeing is believing.” In other words, if the brain goes into a lucid dreaming state and becomes convinced something is real, the brain may be able to come up with more creative solutions.
Here are several strategies that are supposed to increase the chance of having a lucid dream.
- Keep a dream journal.
- If you wake up and remember that you were dreaming, focus on the dream and try falling asleep again.
- Lastly, if you realize that you are dreaming, and the dream isn’t going the way you want it to, ‘close your eyes’ in the dream and try opening them forcefully until you awaken fully.
Are you convinced? Is lucid dreaming something you’d consider trying?