When developing your lucid dreaming skills, you may wonder: “Can I die in a lucid dream? Is lucid dreaming safe? When can dream control become dangerous?” If you’ve ever found yourself asking such questions, here is a brief outline that may help you minimize your fear.
When is Lucid Dreaming Safe?
Under normal circumstances, dream control, as well as lucid dreaming are safe. It is an extraordinary, rewarding and positive experience. At the same time, it can slightly increase the chance of sleep paralysis – a state of complete muscle weakness, where your mind has awakened but your brain is still sleeping (some people are already prone to this).
How Sleep Paralysis Works
When asking yourself “Is lucid dreaming safe?” while knowing about the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, remember the following: sleep paralysis is a common human condition. It prevents us from acting out in our dreams as we sleep. After falling asleep, the brain’s signal to muscles to move is blocked, and therefore we do not lift our physical body and start walking when we dream about it.
The sleeping state is associated with various illusory perceptions. If you experience sleep paralysis in your dream, you may sense a feeling of total body numbness often combined with other “symptoms”, such as decreased heart rate, suffocation, sense of being dragged around the room etc..
When learning how to control dreams, luckily, by using certain dream control techniques you can shape these hallucinations according to your expectations. As such, they can be used as a stepping stone to brilliant lucid dreams - and that is not a bad thing at all. However, there are some people, who are very afraid of sleep paralysis and the hallucinations it can create – and this puts them off lucid dreaming altogether.
How To Fight Sleep Paralysis
Although you may feel sleep paralysis being very real and scary, and you might be struggling to get out of it, it’s the panic that causes harm, not the perception of paralysis itself. At the same time, when the breath starts to drop in a dream, the untrained mind panics, causing the heart rate to jump up; and you wake up.
Here is what I suggest you try:
Step # 1. Relax you body and mind.
Step # 2. Focus on your little finger or try to wiggle your toes.
Step #3. Focus on deep breathing and try to move your mouth.
Slowly let it go. Do not fight against it, as it will make things worse! Eventually, your brain will recognize your body parts being awake and you will return to full wakefulness. Remember, sleep paralysis is a normal process in lucid dreaming, and it won’t cause you any damage.
If you wish to learn more how to control dreams, the mechanism of sleep paralysis and how to take full control of its directon, take a look at Fast Track - the ultimate guide on lucidity and dream control that helped me to overcome this condition and turn it into a positive, even remarkable experience . It might also help you to be well-prepared if you ever encounter it.
Lucid Dreaming Safe – What Are Lucid Nightmares
Some people experience lucid nightmares (when lucidity coincides with a time of anxiety manifested in dreams). They may find the experience of lucid dreaming frightening, or even extremely disturbing. For that reason, perhaps lucid dreaming should not be mixed with psychiatric disorders. But even so, one can find these experiences intense, cathartic and very enlightening.
Although nightmares can cause big stress in such cases, they do not cause death, as sometimes claimed. Stephen LaBerge (founder of The Lucidity Institute) proved that the heartbeat barely goes up. Only people that already have heart conditions can reach abnormal levels, in which case they can take medicine or get other forms of treatment.
Lucid nightmares can transform the habitual fear into conscious courage. Realizing that you are dreaming in a nightmare might help you feel better.
Now some of you may still wonder: “What if I die in a lucid dream?” No worries. We cannot die in a dream! Dreams of death can actually be insightful experiences about life, rebirth, and transcendence. They are not a paranormal prediction of any kind.
Some experts on dreaming claim, that dreams are messages from our unconsciousness and shouldn’t be controlled. I agree with the other group of authorities: dreams are models of the world, formed by our assumptions, motivations and expectations. We CAN and SHOULD alter these models, if there is something wrong with them.
If you are intersted in discovering more about the specifics of mental conditions related to lucid dreaming, check out this guide. You will find out everything you need to know about how to consciously control dreams in one complete package.
When Not To Lucid Dream?
The safest way to learn how to control dreams is to practice it in the state of mental balance. In general, it is not recommended to use lucid dreaming techniques if you are extensively neurotic, suffer from any kind of mental condition, or you lost your stability after a traumatic event or a strong regrettable experience. It is because lucid dreaming might induce some disturbing lucid dreams (might be hard to cope with at that moment). It also induces hypnagogic hallucinations (a state between sleep and dream, where you can experience visions, voices, insights or sensations which are not real).
Is Lucid Dreaming Safe For Kids?
The same rules apply in considering children as suitable “candidates” for lucid dreaming. Just like adults, lucid dreaming might not be suitable for children suffering from any kind of mental condition (such as PTSD, schizophrenia, anxiety, etc.).
On the other side, kids tend to have more nightmares than adults. You can teach them how to control dreams to change their nightmare into a positive dream or generally reduce frequency of nightmares with lucid dreaming techniques.
Lucid Dreaming Safe - Final Thoughts
For an average healthy individual, occasionally going through some form of anxiety or neurosis, lucid dreaming is safe. There’s really no point warning you (assuming you are a regular explorer of the dream world) away from lucid dreaming, because you might not use it in an optimal manner. Just try to have a balanced mind, sleep well, and don’t let others impose their personal fears on you!
Dream control can become dangerous only if you become addicted to it (even then, you have only limited amount of REM sleeping phase avaliable for lucid dreaming!). Or the idea of shared lucid dreams as revealed in the movie Inception becomes real.
Please remember, when it comes to learning how to control dreams, conscious dream control is a journey of exploration, just like lucid dreaming in general. If you are not prepared to find out what is inside your own head, then maybe you should leave it alone.
If you are curious about exploring full potential of your mind, or promoting psychological growth, visit World Of Lucid Dreaming. Download the guide and learn how to interpret certain dream symbols, dream characters or fight hypnagogic hallucinations.