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Busting Some Lucid Dreaming Myths

Updated on September 5, 2012

Let's get down to business

I know we've all heard some pretty scary rumors about lucid dreaming; The old hag sitting on your chest, if you die in a dream you die in reality, something could possess you while you sleep etc. Not only rumors but people adamantly screaming: Run away! Demons! Do I dare even mention horror movies associated with being aware in dreams (probably not)? Let's try our best to disassociate fact from fiction, shall we?

  1. So let's get straight to the elephant in the room: Sleep Paralysis. What it is not: The devil holding you down or an old "hag" trying to possess you (lol). Have you ever come awake in bed and were unable to move a muscle? The thought of being trapped inside of your own body terrifies you, the inescapable feeling of being a catatonic vegetable absolutely freaks you out! Then in a few seconds (or should I say hours because when we're afraid it seems as if time stretches forever doesn't it?) it's over. So... What is sleep paralysis? According to researchers, sleep paralysis is when your body shuts down at night for sleep. Why does your body need to shut down? Well dreams are pretty real while they're happening aren't they? To stop you from jumping out of a window and enacting what is happening in your dream, your body shuts itself down for your protection. Isn't that neat? If you awaken many times throughout the night you may become a victim of sleep paralysis, as your body needs to catch up with your mind (according to my own personal trials). If your body doesn't wake up on time: relax, don't be afraid! A simple solution is to change your breathing rhythm, take a deep breath and relax. You'll escape the ills of paralysis in no time!

"I have a friend that doesn’t want to lucid dream because he thinks he will no longer know what’s real."

2. Losing touch with reality. This is a myth I find weirdly attractive. It is kind of like when people ask ,"how do I wake up from a lucid dream?". Why would you want to wake up?! LOL. How about an alarm clock? Okay, just teasing. One simple and effective way to wake up is to... BLINK! Nine times out of ten blinking in a lucid dream will wake you up, pretty inconvenient if you ask me. If you're a beginner and are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the dream, a very easy way to break out of the dream is to just... do.... absolutely...... nothing! I've learned this from many incomplete lucid dreams. Sadly I would stand and just admire the dreams and their resplendent allure, then without warning everything would go black. I've digressed, I know, bear with me! From what I can surmise, what happens is your brain will pull you out of the dream because you aren't responding to the dream and aren't being stimulated by the dream, so you will wake up. This makes sense because one of the ways to prolong a dream is to touch things, move around in the dream, and eat things. Stimuli keeps the dream going and the mind involved. Now back to the main course. Will you lose tack of reality? Well have you lost track of reality now? No I bet you haven't and you still dream every night don't you? Not a great answer eh? Okay, you won't lose track of reality, although some lucid dreams can seem like an exact copy of reality it's all about the feel of dreams. Whenever you wake up, you can just feel the difference. Don't get me wrong, you will undoubtedly have false awakenings where you could have sworn you were awake but even those lack the substance and gravity of waking life. Also, in dreams, something is always wrong or amiss. Another thing about lucid dreaming is that one subtle thought can and will change the whole dream scenario, can that happen while you are awake? If it can, teach me your sorcery! Don't be afraid of confusing dreams with reality, simple observation will tell you whether or not you're dreaming. Fun fact; Tibetan Dream Yogis believe that life in itself is a dream and treat everyday as such. They do this so that when they are in fact dreaming, awareness comes naturally. They practice what is known in the west as: All Day Awareness; being aware of things you would usually ignore in both dreams and reality. Small details like: the texture of the button on your favorite shirt. It is also know as mindfulness. It is a great lucid dreaming induction tool!

If you died in your dream how would you let someone else know it was because of a dream?

I've "died" many times in dreams. This is a silly rumor which I don't want to waste too much time on. All you have to do to bust this myth is kill yourself in a dream, you'll simply wake up. Every time. Or you may fall through the dream and into a completely new dream! Some suggest that dreams can cause stress which can lead to death. The results are unsubstantiated. This doesn't particularly pertain to lucid dreaming though, just regular dreams.

So in closing..

You're going to have to experience lucid dreaming for yourself and make up your own mind. Don't be afraid and if you find fear won't leave you be then mix in some courage and embrace your fears. Be objective and aware, observe and understand. Nothing can hurt you in your dreams. I will say this, we are asleep for about 1/3 of our lives, why not enjoy it? Fly, teleport, talk to your subconscious or whatever you can imagine. I don't know about you but I'm an adventurer, I need to know things, I need to explore and uncover truths. We cannot discover and explore things vicariously can we? Maybe we can but what fun is that? Someone once said: Dreams are life's coming attractions. I would say in lucid dreaming we create the script, act out the part and watch the movie simultaneously. Myths smyths! We are our dreams. Dream on dreamers.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I enjoying my lucid dreamz! And have even gotten my teacher to repeat a lecture before a big test -aced it the next day!

    • LazyLucid profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from NY

      Lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis do not go hand in hand. Some people believe that in order to lucid dream you have to go through sleep paralysis, this is simply untrue. SP happens when you wake up "too fast" and your body is still in sleep mode. All of your muscles are relaxed and "asleep".. But it happens when it happens not because of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is only becoming aware that you are dreaming.. what happens after you wake up is separate.. Also the WILD method may cause a small period of SP but before you know it you're in a dream. I don't think there is a specific time that one can say you will be paralyzed for lol.. It only seems to last so long or be so horrible for people because they panic. You can handle it lol and it doesn't come in a package with lucid dreaming. Usually people will suffer from SP and not even be able to lucid dream. They mostly associate SP with nightmares.

    • LazyLucid profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from NY

      That still sounds like sleep paralysis to me. Although if you think it was something else then I hope you can help people with this problem and give me some pointers as well. If you are paralyzed, no matter what it feels like, then it still falls under sleep paralysis. I don't think that there was anything in particular "on you", just that it felt that way and so you perceived it that way. In fact many sleep paralysis cases sound just like this. Try deep breathing and the alternating of breaths and relaxing.. These are small ways of telling your body that you are awake.

    • profile image

      wolfie wolf werewolf 

      5 years ago

      I really DON'T want to be paralysised even for one second can some at least tell me how long your paralysised because i don't mind being immovable for a few seconds or maby a minute but i want to breath and I want to lucid dream because you shall live while you can. Should you?

    • Jandayi profile image


      5 years ago

      I have to say what I went through definitely was not a sleep paralysis. I was waking from a sleep. Then all of a sudden I was felt something sit on my abdomen and lay into my body, by this point was knew I was well wake. I couldn't screm and was paralsised, I could'nt move no matter how hard I tried. So with every ounce of my being rolled off the bed on to he floor and it (what ever it was ) left me.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      strange I came across this just now, I just finished writing a hub on my dream experiences.

      I agree with you to some point. However lucid dreaming does not and will not put you in fear. If you know how to lucid dream chances are you will dream of good things that you would like /want to learn in your everyday life.

      Usually lucid dreaming is a state of consciousness that one can relate to and grab perspective on. We can actually heal in our dreams and that person will be healed. We can over come our fears such as flying.

      As for dying I agree with you that is not so. If you dream of dying and you are lucid dreaming than there may be a warning behind the lucid dream. Most people that can have control on their dreams will not dream of dying.

      But for me dying in a dream is the opposite, it is wedding, birth or a new beginning. Death usually is a new beginning. Completion.

      However as I have mentioned everyone is different and their patterns for their own dreams depends on their own lifestyle and positive/negative drama in their life.

      You do bring up some very good points I must say

      Thank you

    • MzChaos profile image


      6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Here are a couple more...There is a silver cord that connects your spirit to your body. Hmmm, maybe there is but I have only ever seen a cord attached to my body 1 time.

      If you get close to electrical lines it can snag your spirit and you won't be able to return to your body. Well, so far, perhaps I am lucky...I seem to have more issues with getting the spiritual body up an over them in an attempt to fly. It's unfortunate that flying isn't just automatic anytime you want it in a dream.

      Another "awakening" tactic...just go, oh my gosh, I am dreaming. Unfortunately, that will almost always pop you out of a dream and make it next to impossible to get back in. At least, I had that issue a lot when I was younger, now I use it to clue myself in that I am in alternate space and can do more than the usual.

      Love to listen to what other dreamers are doing...thanks for sharing.


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