Caffeine – Another Lucid Dreaming Aide

I had a good experience last weekend with 2 vivid lucid dreams.  I have been wearing the dream mask as mentioned in my last post.  However, what I think led to two exceptionally vivid LDs on Saturday night was the amount of caffeine I had that day.

I’ve significantly reduced my amount of caffeine taken in each day.  I found by doing this I could sleep about 30 min less and still receive the same score on my Zeo sleep machine.  On Saturday, I had caffeine during an 18 mile run in the form of a Gu running gel.  Later that day I had a rare cup of coffee as well.   That night the caffeine kept my sleep from entering as deep of sleep as normal.  This interruption drove some good dreams around 4 AM.   Today I followed pretty much the same pattern – 20 mile run with 50 mg of caffeine and a cup of Peet’s coffee.  Lets see what happens tonight!

For me, interrupting my natural sleep either through caffeine, the REM Dreamer or segmented sleep seem to be the best way to increase my chances of attaining lucidity. What are your best ways?  Let me know what’s working and I can publish them in a future post.

Lucid Dream Aids

This weekend I pulled out my REM Dreamer  from the nightstand drawer.  I’ve worn it the past two nights with some mixed success.  One night I had a lucid dream, but did not wake up soon enough to record it and thus I don’t remember much.  Last night, I used it and can’t remember a single dream.  Given the hefty price tag ($200), I had expected more from it when I bought it over a year ago.  However, I wonder if I haven’t given it a fair shot?

My next experiment is going to track my lucid dreams over the next 30 days to see if using the REM Dreamer causes any uplift.  For those who haven’t seen or heard of this device, it is quite ingenious in theory.  You wear it like a sleep mask.  It has two sensors that pick up when you are in REM sleep.  It has two red LED lights that flash when you are in REM.  The idea is that in your dream you should see something flashing (your mind is trained to keep you asleep, so it incorporates external stimuli into the dream itself).  You train yourself to look for those clues in the dream (a large ball of light in the sky that is red instead of yellow, or the lights in a house flashing on and off).  Once you recognize the clue, you become lucid in the dream and off you go.

I have probably used it 30 to 40 times since I purchased it.  I have never seen lights in the dreams, but I do remember it having a positive affect on the frequency of the times I became lucid.  My last experiment, increasing sleep by 30 min, did have a positive impact (about 25% increase in LDs).  Lets see if the REM Dreamer can have an even bigger one.

Double Dream

I don’t think I’ve had this experience before.  I was inside a dream (non-lucid) talking to someone in a room where there was a bed.  At some point in the conversation, I decided I was tired enough that I wanted to lie down and go to sleep.  As I did, I started to experience the same feelings plunging into darkness in hopes of finding my way to a lucid dream.  I finally did “breakthrough” and enter into a lucid dream briefly.

In this dream within a dream, I was crawling around what looked like the underside of a house, but really must have been the basement of my mind.  The strangest part to me is that when I woke from the lucid dream, the woman I had been talking to (a friend from high school) was still there and I didn’t realize that this was a dream to.  To recap, regular dream, the lucid dream within the dream, the back to the same original dream.  This is very unlikely given how unstable the dream world is.  I also find it amusing that I recognized  one layer of dreams, but not the second.

I wonder if anyone else has had dream within the dreams and what their experience was.  Let me know!


 

The Writer’s Dream – Guest Blog by Author Nick Shelton

Recently, I’ve become extremely interested in understanding and controlling my dreams. My motivation has stemmed from questioning whether I am fully using my mind and making the most of my life.  Can I tap into a great source of knowledge in my dreams? Are my dreams trying to tell me how I can live out my fate? Can my dreams help me achieve what I deeply desire?

After reading this blog, I am focusing on taking  time and effort to find “hidden gems” in my dreams. Though I am a little cautious of making life decisions on crazy dreams that may be the result of the pepperoni pizza that I ate for dinner, I have plenty of experience that has demonstrated how dreams have allowed me to make better decisions, especially when it comes to writing.

Creative writing is one of my favorite hobbies. Ever since I started writing my first book at the age of 16, I’ve loved ending my day working on some creative writing piece. As the result, I’ve been able to write several novels of substantial length. Even though I have become better at writing more efficiently, I always come to a point in which I’m unsure how to advance the plot. It’s not necessarily writer’s block as much as not knowing which choice to make out of a dozen ideas in my head. As I lie in bed before falling asleep, I’ll think hard about these multiple options. Then, by the time I wake up, I have some clarity of which should be the right choice. Though I rarely dream of any episodes from my novels, I usually feel as if I had been thinking about the plot through the night, and I have the confidence on how to move forward.

Stories of writers being inspired by their dreams is something very common.  The most famous is Robert Louis Stevenson’s vivid nightmares that inspired, the Srange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a classic some consider to be one of the most scariest novels of all-time. John Bunyan was a ordinary citizen uneducated in literature and theology, yet he was able to produce one of the most famous spiritual allegories of all time, The Pilgrim’s Progress, based on dreams and “insights from God.” Mary Shelley journaled about a child coming back to life after massaging her near a fire. Months later, she would start writing Frankenstein.  Famous contemporary writer, Stephen King attributes the plot of his novel, Misery, to a vivid nightmare he had while napping on his way back from a flight out of London. Even, Stephenie Meyer admits that some of her ideas from the Twilight series came from a dream of a attractive vampire talking to a young woman.

Numerous other examples can be referenced to demonstrate how some of the most successful creative writers have been able to tap into their dreams to create their most memorable works. I’m hoping I will have as much success in the future. I hope I can even take it to the next level by becoming a “creative writer” of my own dreams and experience the fun, excitement, and insight from the world of lucid dreaming.

Nick Shelton is the author of The Good Life Crisis and The American Truth. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is trying to live out his personal life-philosophy of “experiencing beauty, love, and truth with a community of others and God.”