How Can You Control Your Dreams?

How Can You Control Your Dreams?
    Hey there, welcome to Life Noggin!
    What’s your favorite kind of dream?
    One where you can fly?
    One where you’ve won the lottery?
    Some people can manipulate their dreams into what they want them to be, but how?
    Generally speaking, dreams are narrative experiences that occur while we’re sleeping, often during
    REM sleep.
    You may have heard of lucid dreaming.
    General lucid dreaming is when you know you’re dreaming while it’s happening.
    Some lucid dreamers even say they can control their dreams!
    About half the population has reached general lucid dreaming at some point, but it’s not
    that easy to intentionally do.
    So, how can you train your brain to have lucid dreams and even control them?
    It’s impossible to say that one thing or another will definitely produce lucid dreams
    but some experts and lucid dreamers have provided some tips to try to induce them.
    They say that dream journals could help you achieve a lucid dream state.
    Keep track of what you dream about and look out for recurring objects, people and places
    in your notes.
    Once you’ve identified them, you may be able to consciously recognize these elements
    within your dreams.
    You can try to prep your mind to recognize these signs by telling yourself before bed,
    “The next time I see ‘blank’, I will realize that I’m dreaming.”
    You may also be able to increase your chances of lucid dreaming as you go about your day
    by doing a mental check of, “Am I awake?”
    This will encourage your subconscious mind to do the same while you’re dreaming, increasing
    your likelihood of having a lucid dream.
    In fact, in a recent study, out of 169 participants, around 17 percent of them were able to have
    a lucid dream during the trial period using a combination of methods.
    So, what happens in a lucid dream?
    Well, it begins by you becoming fully aware that you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming.
    Other than recognizing your dream signs, this can happen in a variety of ways.
    For example, reading is apparently surprisingly hard in dreams.
    Lucid dreamers say you may try to read a sign, see that the words are jumbled and realize
    that you must be dreaming, otherwise you’d be able to read them.
    Lucid dreamers also say it can happen when you notice something impossible or out of
    the ordinary in your dream… like if you see a dog talking on a cell phone.
    The dreamer realizes those things aren’t possible and that they must be dreaming.
    Some lucid dreamers even claim to be able to control their surroundings, their actions
    and actions of others within their dreams.
    Effectively creating the dream they want!
    Studies have found that lucid dreamers are more coherent in lucid dreams than in regular
    sleep and that they exhibit increased activity in certain frequencies within the brain!
    The areas of the brain associated with self-reflection and self-assessment light up.
    Wild, right?
    Scientists have even called lucid dreaming a “hybrid state of consciousness” that
    exhibits an increase in networking throughout the brain.
    So lucid dreaming is definitely a real thing.
    Other than mental prep, there are a few more ways to influence your dreams.
    One study found that if you smell something nice, like roses, while you’re sleeping,
    you’re more likely to have positive dreams, versus the horrible smell of rotten eggs,
    which prompted more negative dreams.
    Studies have also found that low-current electrical stimulation is capable of inducing lucid dreams.
    Businesses have jumped on this idea, creating headbands that electrically stimulate the
    brain while you sleep.
    Experts are reluctant though, because it’s unclear what effect this stimulation has on
    other areas of the brain.
    Aside from playing around with your dreams for fun, controlling your dreams can be very
    beneficial for dealing with PTSD and post-traumatic nightmares.
    By mastering these dreams, PTSD survivors feel safer in their awake state and have less
    nightmares, anxiety and flashbacks.
    Have you ever been able to control your dreams?
    Let us know in
    the comments!
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