We all know what dreaming is – the state in which the impossible occurs (sometimes good and sometimes bad). The brain however, is a complex organ and therefore it can be expected that there are layers of dreaming which you may often encounter. Two such layers which often frighten, excite or perplex people is lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis. Here’s a brief description of what they mean as well as the relationship between lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis. Brace yourself! This is not a dream
Lucid dreaming explained
Lucid dreaming can be described as having consciousness within a dream. This strange phenomena while scary can also be extremely exciting. Imagine being able to control every part of your dream; to be able to make it seem as if all your desires have been attained despite the fact that it may be irrational. According to this article written on Lifehacker, you can also use the world of lucid dreaming as a canvas to practice self-empowerment;overcoming fears or performing mental rehearsals for difficult life challenges.
Although lucid dreaming can help you experience euphoric feelings, it may also be possible to experience equally sad moments. I remember having my first lucid dream of having a gaming console as a child. Everything was perfectly set-up; It was even wrapped up under the tree on what seemed like Christmas day. I opened it and played for hours – only to be awoken with the realization that it was a figment of my dreamlike imagination. Later in life I unfortunately experienced this disappointment for my first car. usually the best time for lucid dreaming is the period before you usually wake up or just after (usually when you take a nap).
Ways to bring about lucid dreaming:
Apart from the relationship between lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis, there are also other methods to self-invoke lucid dreaming. They include:
- Keeping a dream journal where you write down all the details of dreams you have
- Thinking about what you want to dream about
- Get the lucid dreaming times right i.e. before you wake or just after
And there you go! welcome to the world of flying cars or Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry (Say Hi to Hermione for me!) or whatever your crazy mind wants to imagine.
Sleep paralysis- What is this sorcery:
Sleep paralysis can be the most scariest experience you may ever encounter. Characterized by the inability of the body to move during REM sleep; this is the bodies natural protection against you acting out on your dreams. The cause of sleep paralysis is often dubbed sleep atonia; the act of your mind cutting off all nerve impulses from your muscles which inhibit movement during dreaming.
So what makes sleep paralysis so scary? In response to the inability to move – the mind naturally tries to make sense of what is happening by inducing the scariest imagery to explain the phenomena. Therefore what you visualize during sleep paralysis can range from someone breathing close to you, hearing noises, witches, demons or even someone trying compress your chest.
How to overcome sleep paralysis:
The easiest way to overcome sleep paralysis is to be calm and ease into slight body movements. Panic worsens the situation; instead slight movements will be better a better option to alert the mind that you have woken up from sleep.
Natural prevention of sleep paralysis can be achieved by:
- Understanding the importance of sleep
- having a steady sleep schedule
- Having plenty of sleep
- Reducing causes of anxiety before sleep
- Get treatment for sleep disorders
- Avoiding substance abuse
The relationship between lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis
So what is the relationship between lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis? Quite simply trying to practice lucid dreaming can give rise to sleep paralysis because lucid dreaming requires some form of awareness. Conversely it may be possible to convert sleep paralysis into lucid dreaming by practicing the ability to realize you can control the setting of your dream. Once you come to this realization you can then move away from the scary imagery of sleep paralysis to a more desired state through the power of lucid dreaming.