- Mental Health
10 Side Effects Of Lucid Dreaming
Imagine being able to control and bend your dreams to your will, that's exactly what lucid dreaming is. As shown in the recent horror film, "Insidious", lucid dreaming is when a person gets conscious within a dream and can control it to some extent. Now even though it may seem impossible, it is very true and scientifically proven. But, as amazing as it may sound, Lucid dreaming comes with it's own set of side effects, some scarier than others. Let us take a look at this list of some of the worst side effects that a person can face from lucid dreaming.
10. False Memories
This is one of the major side effects of lucid dreaming, when we are in a lucid dream, we're conscious to some extent and so, what we do in the dreams such as the decisions we make or pretty much any actions we commit may stay in our memories, as opposed to normal dreams which we usually forget as soon as we wake up. Now this can be troublesome as sometimes we make mix the memories from lucid dreams with that of real life, thus creating false memories. We might have memories of doing something that we never really did in real life. Like if someone is drunk and goes into a lucid dream and cheats on his partner, when he wakes up he might not be sure if he did it in his dream or while he was drunk which can be very confusing and frustrating.
This is one of the rare issues that may arise from lucid dreaming. Somniphobia is the fear of sleep and it is exactly as scary as it sounds since sleep is very important for both mental and physical health. Now as we have understood so far, lucid dreaming isn't always as promising as it may sound and another problem is that not everyone chooses to be a lucid dreamer, some people may fall into lucid dreams unwillingly and may even be suffering from other side effects mentioned here which can be extremely frustrating, sometimes to the extent that the person fears the idea of falling asleep, leading him onto the road of somniphobia and sometimes even insomnia.
This should be pretty obvious, sleeping is the only time our human brain can reduce most of it's higher functions to a minimal state, giving us enough time to recharge ourselves and wake up feeling stress free and rejuvenated. Now usually when we sleep, our mind is lingering between subconscious and unconscious states, but when we our lucid dreaming, our mind is very conscious and constantly working and so there's no time for it to rest and so excess lucid dreaming may lead to some serious exhaustion. Now this can be kept in check by making sure there's a balance between lucid dreaming and just good old sleeping so better to keep a watch on that.
Lucid dreams can be a really amazing experience, being able to do anything we want, only limited by our imagination. Now there could be some of us who love it to the extent of ignoring what's going on in real life. This is something that should be avoided, some people consider lucid dreaming an escape from real life and may give more time and importance to sleeping hours and what they do within their dreams instead of what really matters in their lives. Getting addicted to lucid dreaming is definitely not a healthy habit so it's better to keep a watch on that.
5. Dissociation From Reality
Lucid dreaming can weaken the borders between the conscious and subconscious mind. Lucid dreams can feel extremely real and some people might be so mesmerized by them that over time he or she might start having troubles distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Now it can be an extremely serious issue if a person is having trouble figuring out whether he's in a dream or reality. common effects of this involve mixing dream memories with real memories and vice versa. This can also lead to some severe psychological stress which in turn may lead to a number of mental conditions such as loss of concentration, falling into depression, forgetting things and always feeling tired and stressed.
4. Meeting Spiritual Entities
This is a debatable effect of lucid dreaming but is still one of the most reported experiences that people have had while trying lucid dreaming. Many times lucid dreamers report to have met spirits of their relatives that have passed away and sometimes there are also reports of getting in contact with evil spirits but this is usually wavered off because lucid dreaming is in fact dreaming and the person could just be having bad dream or dreaming about some relative from his past memory in the first case. Other cases also include meeting various kinds of spiritual beings, both good and bad, such as the ones shown in the film "Insidious" (check out the trailer below).
3. Trouble Waking Up
As we have read, Lucid dreaming doesn't always mean that we are able to have absolute control of the dreams, usually the dreamer is just aware that he is dreaming, now the problem starts when the dreamer can't figure out how to wake up from the dream. Usually when a person sleeps, he or she wakes up automatically when the body has had enough rest or if there is any external stimulation. And since the mind isn't in a conscious state, the person does not have to worry about waking up, but in the case of lucid dreaming, the person is fully aware of dreaming, and the way we perceive time within dreams is somewhat different from reality, and so there's been many cases where the person isn't able get out of a dream on until his or her body decides to wake up.
2. Sleep Paralysis
Many of us might be familiar with this term, sleep paralysis is one of the most talked about side effect of lucid dreaming and is also one of the main reasons that frighten people from practicing it. So what is sleep paralysis? we have talked about having trouble waking up from a lucid dream, now there's times when the dreamer's mind does manage to wake up from a lucid dream, but his or her body still remains in the state of sleep, and well.. the person is not able to move the body to his will and it feels as if the person is paralyzed. The person's eyes may be open and he or she will be able to look around but won't be able to move their bodies and also sleep paralysis is sometimes accompanied by the feeling of suffocation, since the oxygen intake is fairly lower when a person is asleep, and sometimes the person may even have hallucinations since the person's mind is lingering on the border of consciousness and subconsciousness.
This is definitely the most controversial as well as the most famous and fear inducing side effect of lucid dreaming, and is often accompanied with sleep paralysis. Now the scary part of the hallucinations is that pretty much everyone who has given their account about their hallucinations seem to describe the same scenarios, which usually include dark shadowy beings moving around the room and the even scarier ones include the dark beings sitting over the person's chest and seem to be staring right into their eyes. That is something we wouldn't want to experience, rational explanations for such hallucinations include the fact that the person is still in this half asleep subconscious state and that there's a low intake of oxygen which would explain the feeling of a heavy chest. But it's definitely creepy as hell how everyone seems to have the same description of the hallucinations...
So would you still try lucid dreaming with the chance of facing any of these side effects?
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